Meta, a pioneering Metaverse player and the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, is on a mission to empower digital artists worldwide with its Creators of Tomorrow initiative. To do this, the company is launching a year-long support program for 150 innovative and promising creators across the world. 10 creators from sub-Saharan Africa (East Africa, South Africa, and Francophone West Africa) made this global list.
According to Meta, the selected Africans are breaking out from their online communities and championing key creator territories from art, music, beauty, business, dance, well-being, and fashion. They will join other creators from countries including France, Spain, Italy, Germany, and the United Kingdom to further grow their audiences on Meta platforms and reimagine how tools such as Reels can be used.
The social media industry is seeing an astronomical rise in creator numbers globally and competitor firms are giving the Zuckerberg-owned company a run for its money. For example, TikTok, a Chinese social app, recorded a massive growth rate in Q2 2022 amidst Facebook’s declining revenue and growth.
Also, within the past few months, Instagram has received strong criticism for replicating BeReal’s community photo-sharing style and TikTok’s algorithm and framing. Thousands of Instagram users, including the Kardashians, vehemently opposed Instagram’s move in July, forcing the social media company to revert its updates and “stay true to itself.”
With the launch of the Creators of Tomorrow initiative, Meta is seeking to consolidate itself as the true powerhouse for digital content and its creators. The social media giant handpicked creators who, according to them, can lead the new frontiers of digital content and pull global interests towards their Meta-powered platforms, which would later include the metaverse.
The 10 selected creators are Uganda’s Nadia Matovu, South Africa’s Pamela Mtanga, Kenya’s Kennar and Kwambox, Zambia’s Ruth Ronnie, Senegal’s Ngorbatchev Niang and Fatou Toure, Zimbabwe’s Hannah Hapaguti, and Cote d Ivoire’s Sarai D’Hologne and Mishaa.
“The 10 diverse creators selected are at the forefront of their communities and industries, leading the charge in how they approach storytelling, interactive entertainment, video formats, and technology,” Meta said in a web post.
Moon Baz, Creator Partnerships Lead, Middle East, Africa, and Turkey, Meta, said: “With this campaign, we aim to highlight creators who are innovating through tools such as Reels and short-form video content formats, as well as those who are leveraging, exploring new content formats such as AR/VR. We are excited to work closely with these creators, and we’re committed to helping them grow their audience, build a business and unlock new possibilities for the future as we build for the metaverse.”
Though Meta says it will help these creators expand their audiences and “turn their passions into professions,” some experts suspect Meta’s move is primarily geared towards creating a global audience for its metaverse plans. Whatever the case is, one thing is for sure: Meta’s decision to work directly with 150 global creators and improve their work has got the world watching, so if things go well for Meta, more people may be attracted to its platforms.