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Social media updates in 2022 that shook the affiliate marketing world

By iGBA Editorial Team

After another year of change and innovation, Sharon McFarlane looks back at some of the biggest updates within social media for affiliates to help you plan your 2023 strategies

2022 was a big year for social media in general, and there were some specific updates that were particularly noteworthy in terms of how they affected affiliate marketing. Here, I outline some of the biggest game changers and highlight how affiliates can either overcome those challenges or use the evolutionary changes to their advantage.

Twitch banning gambling on their platform

Twitch has proven to be increasingly popular with affiliate portals, especially those that promote brands featuring slots or casino games. There are lots of creators out there with large followings who have partnered with these sites. They streamed slot reviews, new game additions on the site or were hosted by an operator looking to promote its brand.

Unfortunately, Twitch became so popular that it generated some negative feedback. Its original response was to issue a simple blanket ban of affiliate links, but in October 2022 they decided on a gambling ban that had an immediate effect on slots streams. They no longer allow slots, roulette or dice games that are not licensed in the US or other jurisdictions.

This has put a big spanner in the works for affiliates who have included this type of content as part of their overall marketing strategy within certain jurisdictions and who already have partnerships in place with top streamers. Not all is lost, however, as slot streamers can find a new home. DLive welcomes slots/casino streamers and has a dedicated section for them. They aren’t quite as prolific as Twitch but it’s a good alternative for affiliates to look into.

The rise of influencers and ASA rules to abide by

We have seen a huge surge in the use of brand ambassadors and influencers. Sports stars and the like have thus become much more prominent within the world of igaming and endorsing both operator and affiliate sites. This has led to much more innovative activity on social media and strong partnerships being created with external parties.

However, this is something that the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) has looked at and it has now put in place further regulations to ensure any advertisements and paid partnerships do not have a strong appeal to people under the age of 18. This has been added to the CAP code and means that much more care and attention will be needed by affiliates to ensure they are working with influencers that can age-target effectively.

Although originally seen as challenging, this can only be a good thing, right? It will result in a deeper dive in followings and engagement stats so affiliates work with creators that are more fitting with their brand. It can be all too easy to look at a large following and jump on it, but there’s much more to pulling off an effective influencer marketing campaign.

TikTok announces it is set to launch a gaming tab

As short-form video content has seen its most successful year yet, it’s no surprise we have seen an increasing number of affiliates use TikTok, the king of short-form content! The platform has announced that it will be diversifying and launching a gaming tab. This means “Games” can be featured on users’ home screens and they can access games-related content there. Creators will also be able to pay for additional content.

Why could this be big for affiliates? Think about those in the world of esports and how they can use this effectively. There is a great brand-building opportunity there. We will see much more content from creators within this niche, which means more partnerships can be created.

What’s going on with Twitter?

Well, there have been major developments with Twitter in general. The whole world knows that Elon Musk has bought Twitter. He has promised to stand down as CEO, passing day-to-day decisions to his chosen appointee, but when that will be announced remains to be seen.

What will this mean for affiliates? It could affect the partnerships they are nurturing. There have already been big changes to the verification or ‘blue tick’ which has led big esports tournaments to opt for an alternative medium to use.

There have been lots of reports of broken features that are required to use the platform effectively. There have also been strong opinions on how the new handover has affected staff in relation to lay-offs – so in the long run we may see some of the bigger brands pull away from Twitter. The reality is there are currently a lot of ifs, buts and maybes when it comes to Twitter.

2022 has been a big year in relation to developments within social media. If these aren’t things that you have already considered when creating your strategy for 2023, I’d recommend you have a think about the platforms you are using, the partnerships you are making and how you can make the most of these changes.


Sharon McFarlane

is managing director at Glasgow-based Digital Footprints, a digital marketing agency specialising in content marketing, social media, UX design, website design, branding and conversion rate optimisation.

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