As we rapidly approach 2018’s halfway mark, XBIZ takes its annual look at the live cam industry, exploring how models are making the most of their fan connections and mastering their destinies through the use of social media.
To kick off this overview, XBIZ sought the expertise of some of the industry’s top networks, studios and performers, first exploring the service provider aspect of the equation with a look at what’s new in camming tech (be it hardware or software, site offerings, or studio amenities); the top trends in marketing cams to consumers in 2018 (social media, advertising, affiliates, and the models themselves); and preferred model recruitment and retention strategies with a focus on the importance of attracting, cultivating and keeping performers today.
We have seen very cool things like drones used as a live web camera and the use of overlays that allow broadcasters to insert animations over their live broadcasts, or to appear as if they are camming in a completely different setting.
Here’s what they had to say:
Plunging head-first into the more technical considerations, Chaturbate COO Shirley Lara says the company encourages all of its broadcasters to learn the ins-and-outs of Open Broadcaster Software (OBS), highlighting the popular platform’s tech-forward approach where creative camming can be as much about scripting as it is about smiles.
“OBS streaming allows broadcasters to add plug-ins and adjust settings to give fans a more immersive experience and to be even more creative in their broadcasts,” Lara explains, noting, “We have seen very cool things like drones used as a live web camera and the use of overlays that allow broadcasters to insert animations over their live broadcasts, or to appear as if they are camming in a completely different setting.”
It is one example of how nouveau niceties can make a real difference in providing the creative edge that separates “the girl in a million” from the crowd. Another way is by boosting interactivity — especially through the use of haptic devices, otherwise known as teledildonics, which literally provides a direct physical link between lovers that may be a world apart.
In a nod to the leadership leveraging ability that new tools can provide, Flirt4Free VP Brad Estes tells XBIZ that camming technology continues to evolve rapidly both in the quality of the broadcasts and new ways for performers and customers to interact online.
“At Flirt4Free we recently expanded our video footprint, providing additional data centers closer to key broadcasting areas around the world,” Estes says. “These data centers feature sophisticated technology to split streams into a variety of bitrates to deliver the end-user a low latency stream at a bitrate their device can handle.”
Estes notes that improving the level of interactivity and presence via haptics is another key theme for 2018 that the company is focused on.
“Our site is a market leader in allowing customers and performers to interact with a variety of adult toys,” Estes explains. “Performers who take advantage of the new interactive technology open themselves up to a large audience of highly engaged and tech-savvy customers who love the ability to interact on a deeper level.”
For his part, Head of PR Derek Devlin tells XBIZ that CAM4 has worked hard to adopt a mobile-first approach to all that it does, liberating models from the confines of home and studio.
“Performers have for some time been able to broadcast from their Android device using our dedicated C4 Broadcaster app, available in the Play store,” Devlin explains. “With our latest update, performers with iOS devices will now also have the ability to broadcast from anywhere using their iPhone or iPad. All without the need for a dedicated app.”
Devlin says this is one of the most requested features from performers, and CAM4 is pleased to be finally releasing this much-anticipated update.
“It’s now easier than ever to start broadcasting on CAM4 because you no longer need a computer or laptop,” Devlin declares. “CAM4 is working on a future where broadcasting, chatting, managing your fans and video sales can all be done from your phone.”
With all of the promise of exciting new cutting-edge tech, it’s important to remember that to be competitive, camming technology needs to be robust and super stable, with each network devoting considerable resources to its success — such as LiveJasmin, which is focused on building a reliable platform incorporating market-leading technology.
“By having the latest and most up-to-date technical background in the industry,” LiveJasmin’s Gabor Gaspar tells XBIZ, “we provide our partners with the highest income and our customers with the best service.”
Stripchat Business Development Manager Rick Morales says camming tech is going beyond sight and sound, noting, “the element of tech toys is always on the rise.”
“Tipping and interaction between content creators and viewers are enhanced with web-controlled toys, and the diversity is just at its beginning,” Morales told XBIZ. “A website with an artificial intelligence orientation customizes itself better with each returning visit of the viewer, from favorite performers to types of content, chatrooms and virtual meeting places.”
Morales also says the traditional separation between live content and customized recorded clips is over.
“Webcam sites enable viewers to engage in live shows and purchase clips in the same place,” Morales explains. “There are some websites that also have a fulfillment for an actual palpable goods store [offering everything] from fan memorabilia to swag items.”
Serving as the bridge between performers and platforms, today’s pro cam studios offer far more than good internet connections and a safe place to work, and as they have for a number of years, studios remain concentrated in Colombia and Romania — but the best of breed are franchising into other regions around the world, including the U.S. — in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami and more — even as new players enter the market.
Andra Chirnogeanu, Studio 20’s PR and marketing executive tells XBIZ that the high-end studio chain is always innovating and coming up with new ideas.
“The studios from the Studio 20 franchise benefit from state of the art tech equipment, special rooms designed for the models, training courses and all the amenities one might need to be set for success, and right now we’re working on building an army of specialized people in all departments that exist in a cam studio,” Chirnogeanu reveals. “What I mean by that is we’re developing our own academy/courses so a trainer will know how to do social media marketing; a makeup artist will know how to create cam platform accounts; and so on. The reason behind it is that we’ve gotten amazing feedback, income and lots of knowledge after I went from Bucharest to L.A. to manage the studio there, and we came to the conclusion that given the opportunity, we can all succeed in more than one department.”
“My personal input about the cam industry,” she adds, “is that we’re all going to switch over to a crypto payment system in the next year.”
It is an insightful glimpse into the many business facets that top-tier operators need to focus on.
Based in Colombia, Diego from M Group points to fundamentals such as improved cameras and studio amenities as the next step in the development of the cam business.
“Better resolution and easy camera controls [result in better quality] and simple handling by the models,” Diego told XBIZ, “[while] the need to bring comfort and confidence to the models will let us explore new designs and technologies for better transmission.”
Cams.com Model Manager Steve Hamilton says many companies are investing in VR technology, but some things may be more important.
“VR seems to be the next technological frontier that most sites are going after, but we are more interested in sticking to the basics and preparing for a Flash-less future,” Hamilton explains. “We are improving the resolution of the broadcasts, working on site stability and minimizing the footprint of the broadcast on the model and the member alike.”
“We are using new software to encode the broadcast more efficiently causing an improved streaming experience for all. We are also revamping our studio page to provide improved stats for models and studios to improve efficiency,” Hamilton adds. “We are also working towards mobile broadcasting so that models can broadcast from their mobile devices.”
From the hardware side, Hamilton says Cams.com is seeing models having much clearer images using the new wave of 4K cameras such as the Logitech Brio and others.
“We are also adding new ways for models and members to connect better, we are adding games to our broadcasting as well as a video gaming mode for models to play video games online with their members,” Hamilton notes. “We want members and models to connect with their common interests better.”
Because camming today is such a competitive endeavor on all fronts, careful and creative consumer marketing is crucial, with each brand taking its own unique approach — but nearly all relying on one common resource — social media. But this is not the only promotional or profit avenue available.
Chaturbate’s Lara says the models themselves are great promoters and use affiliate links to generate their own traffic along with earning additional revenue, and notes there has also been a growing trend in mainstream interest in camming and particularly in Chaturbate.
“In the past year, Chaturbate and our broadcasters have been featured in interviews and stories produced for the BBC series Queer Britain, ABC Nightline and publications that include VICE, BuzzFeed and the Huffington Post,” Lara reveals. “Chaturbate was also parodied by Saturday Night Live, which we never expected.”
The power of publicity cannot be underestimated, nor can the motion and emotion that only video can deliver.
“One of the trends we’ve seen with marketing cams to consumers is an increase in video, whether it be with how the model is choosing to market themselves or our users’ interest in video content we make and share on social media to our own in-house affiliate offering,” Devlin reveals. “This will at first be restricted to a few affiliate partners but the aspiration is that we will open the program to webmasters in due course.”
“We strive to bring the best quality traffic to our performers,” Devlin adds, “and we are confident that a well-managed affiliate channel will increase the earning potential for all of our broadcaster community, across both gay and straight markets.”
For his part, LiveJasmin’s Gaspar underscored the vital role of performers when it comes to marketing, attributing success to “the prestigious models who perform with a posh, elegant and irresistible style that makes you fall in love with them.”
This is an important factor, that while understated, should not be underestimated.
More intimately in touch with models and their needs than are the network operators, studios provide marketing and support services for models.“Modesty aside,” Chirnogeanu tells XBIZ, “I think Studio 20 has set the marketing trends in the last two years — everyone either tried to duplicate, steal or follow. And that’s a good thing. As I said many times before, we enjoy having a bit of competition if that competition is fair.”
When it comes to marketing, Chirnogeanu believes giving power directly to the models is really important.
“You can see the success of independent models that market themselves and that only shows that genuine content is the best way to go,” Chirnogeanu advises. “The strategy for 2018 is to bring more awareness to the #girlsfromstudio20 brand by having merch, getting them more into mainstream media (we’ve already started this in 2017 by appearing in BuzzFeed and Vice); a dedicated site only for the #girlsfromstudio20 where they can sell their clips, photos, calendars, t-shirts, etc., and of course, choosing the right social media platform where we can promote them.”
“You guys need to keep your eyes on Studio 20,” Chirnogeanu concludes. “If anyone thought 2017 was the year we were everywhere, 2018 will be the year when we’ll go all crazy!”
As with nearly everyone in the industry, M Group’s Diego says social media is becoming a strong ally for models, studios and sites, but he notes the appeal of real-life interaction should not be overlooked, harkening back to the days when solo-girl amateur site operators would host “bar meets” with fans and attend conventions to cultivate connections with dedicated admirers.
“Customers are easily made aware of the promotions, schedules and news about the models, and new models [can discover] the kind of studio they would like to apply to work in,” Diego explains. “Consumers are more in touch with models, so they are going to start attending events where some interaction may be possible, and that could bring the possibility of better sales.”
Cams.com’s Hamilton told XBIZ that 2018’s top trends in cam promos are a continuation of the second half of 2017’s trends.
“The models that are the most successful are the ones that are not only relying on the traffic that is brought to them from their sites, but using other methods of marketing to drive more targeted traffic to their cam page,” Hamilton says. “The most successful ways to market to members have become Instagram and dating sites like AdultFriendFinder, Tinder, etc. Since Instagram is very strict on the policy of non-nudity, models can post tease photos and entice members to come in based more on their personality. Snapchat is also very popular for models to use for marketing.”
Hamilton notes models are now using dating sites to entice members to their pages.
“Our models are able to use the broadcasting feature on AFF to get members into their rooms,” Hamilton reveals. “The line between dating and camming is blurrier than it ever has been and we want to make sure that models and members alike find what they are looking for.”
Stripchat’s Morales underscores the importance of affiliates for traffic and marketing.
“From media buying strategies to using intelligent software on tubes, or good old-fashioned blog reviews, the affiliate is still an important force in every successful adult webcam site,” Morales explains. “Social media channels, with recurring restrictions on specific platforms like Instagram and Facebook, are utilized for engagement and brand presence, rather than an immediate conversion.”
Morales says some platforms enable the selling of content on private messages as a new feature of fan subscription content services.
“The rise of social media as an engagement and marketing tool for solo models is used to create their brand persona, learn about their fan crowds and distinguish themselves,” Morales adds. “In social media, as in affiliate work, content is always king, and models know how to make it better than most online entrepreneurs, mainstream and adult alike. A good webcam site enables them to produce it faster and easier.”
As for favorite model recruitment and retention strategies and how important is it to attract, cultivate and keep performers, Lara tells XBIZ that Chaturbate’s best recruitment comes from its existing broadcasters.
“Word-of-mouth marketing is the most effective and credible method of reaching new broadcasters and fans,” Lara explains. “No one has to take our word on the fact that we offer the best livestream, token-based cam platform, a variety of innovative money-making tools and great customer service; they hear it from the people that already know and trust us from building their own cam businesses on Chaturbate.com.”
For his part, Estes says picking a favorite model recruitment technique is difficult as Flirt4Free offers a number of unique benefits for performers.
“The thing that stands out above the rest, however, is our performer contests and promotions,” Estes reveals. “At least 10 days each month, performers can compete for cash bonuses in addition to the standard bonuses available 365 days a year. Our promotions go to another level during the holidays when we produce themed holiday contests on the site centered around popular holidays such as St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s and Halloween.”
“Our promotions and special events are not simply targeted at the all-star performers on the site,” Estes adds. “Everyone has a chance to benefit from the additional cash prizes we offer each month.”
Like other networks, Devlin says CAM4 has invested a significant amount of resources into improving its onboarding infrastructure, finding its own solutions for smoothing workflows and more.
“This extends from personnel, right through to the interface and reporting,” Devlin tells XBIZ. “We want to further empower our performers and studios and so too, we want the process of broadcasting on CAM4 to be as frictionless as possible.”
Devlin notes CAM4 has been keen to improve the flow for cashing out and checking earnings for some time, by creating a more seamless process.
“We are pleased to say that we will be launching a new, more integrated approach to performer and studio management in the coming weeks,” Devlin concludes. “We are sure this will be well received by our existing performer base and it is sure to make the process of becoming a successful performer or studio on CAM4 much easier.”
Studio20’s Chirnogeanu cites the importance of marketing when it comes to recruitment and team-building for retention.
“I found out that not only creative media works when it comes to getting leads, but word of mouth is extremely important, too. But for a positive word of mouth, one needs to have everything on point in the studio,” Chirnogeanu explains. “Studio 20 is not only concentrating on having as many models as they can, but having new cam stars [that follow in the footsteps of] Rebecca000 and Sassha Red.”
“We’re looking to create the new Devious Angel, who opened a Studio 20 franchise in October of 2017,” Chirnogeanu adds. “We couldn’t be happier for her as we’ve seen her grow and develop into this amazing woman and entrepreneur.”
Chirnogeanu emphasizes Studio20’s commitment to empowering models and investing in them and their future.
“We don’t buy them clothes, jewelry and chocolate. Instead, we get them English tutors and dance professors; we travel with them to events and we ask them to speak on different panels so that they understand and feel the business from another perspective. We teach them about finance and help them understand how a company works,” Chirnogeanu concludes. “We’re not raising cam models, we’re raising empowered, independent entrepreneurs — that’s how you get models like the ones mentioned above to stay with your cam studio.”
M Group’s Diego is another believer in the power of word-of-mouth recommendations from the studio’s models as a recruiting tool.
“If a model is happy with a site or a studio, she will tell aspirants to try to work with the studio. Unfortunately, in some cases, models try not to tell people around them what they do, so regular advertising strategies to recruit are always a good tool,” Diego explains. “It’s always a challenge to try to keep people happy, and in any industry, workers are looking for the next step — models are not the exception.”
Diego says M Group looks forward to keeping models happy, selling and learning more, and sees value in sending them to industry events, among other initiatives it is implementing as it moves forward in the industry.
“XBIZ Miami is a good example,” Diego explains. “The model is motivated for the trip, the venue, the chance to meet other models, and of course, the learning opportunity, because in the future, the model will be a good trainer, a good studio administrator, etc. This motivates them to continue with the company and in the industry, growing and applying what they have learned and studied.”
Hamilton says when it comes to model recruitment and model retention, the two are intertwined, with the most successful recruitment tool Cams.com has is the word of other models and studios.
“As long as we are continuing to innovate, keep our product stable and keep bringing in qualified traffic, models and studios are happy,” Hamilton told XBIZ. “When they’re happy, they will spread the word to other models and studios, and we grow.”
Hamilton notes that cultivating talent is something that Cams.com focuses on, with its solid emphasis on support being one of its differentiators.
“We have support available to help models with any questions, comments or concerns that arise. For new models, we have a comprehensive model university that gets models up and running much faster,” Hamilton adds. “When models need more personalized service, our expert support team walks them through everything they need to be successful.”
For his part, Stripchat’s Morales says efficient recruitment for models nowadays is made by websites that treat them as business partners, product researchers and analysts.
“That means top-notch streaming technology is just the tip of the iceberg,” Morales explains. “Friendly content management systems, editing tools, profile and bio features are only a few of the perks and models, whether solo or couples, are encouraged to take control and be their own boss.”
Morales says the financial aspect is also a factor.
“A good webcam site has a steady and reliable chargeback protection policy, technology and legal expertise. A performer will be more at ease with a platform that provides a backup in these rare, but unpleasant cases,” Morales concludes. “A dynamic webcam site has a viewer centricity, and a model success centricity on all the aspects, front, back, full stack and content. These are communicating vessels that enhance the fun and the business at the same time.”
Capping the network outlook, one industry mainstay agrees, drilling down to what for many models may be the most important factor…
“Personalized customer service is something that our competitors don’t have, and I believe this plays a key role in preserving our partners while we grow together,” LiveJasmin’s Gaspar concludes, revealing the bottom line: “Of course, having our models earn the highest payouts in the industry helps as well.”
Models Move Cam Industry Forward
Last but certainly not least, to round out the equation with the final leg of the network, studio, model triad, XBIZ sought the perspectives of the models themselves, seeking insights from industry pros as to the best practices for cam modeling today, thoughts on their favorite platforms and techniques for social media marketing to fans.
Keeping it simple, Studio 20’s Devious Angel (@DeviousAngell) says the best camming practice is being genuine and giving out positive vibes.
“A lot of girls come into this industry thinking that they can play a role or thinking that they can be like a model they admire, only to later find themselves let down by their own expectations,” she explains. “Everyone is their own person and being yourself has never been so important as it is now.”
2017 XBIZ Best Female Cam Model in North America, Vera Sky (@VeraSkyLive), agrees that it’s best to be as real and genuine with your audience as possible.
“In my opinion, everything does not have to always be sexual. Some of the best nights on cam/times I’ve had with my fans have been the nights we all just hung out and laughed and told stories,” Vera tells XBIZ. “This gives your audience the chance to see another side of you and gives them the chance to develop a more meaningful and heartfelt friendship with you.”
2017 XBIZ Best Male Cam Model, Dave Slick (@itsDaveSlick), tells XBIZ that since cam models are a very diverse group, the practices that work for one model may not for another.
“There are substantial differences in the ways we all do things. However, there a couple items I feel strongly about for the more mainstream model, the model who wants to be most successful,” Slick says. “The first is authenticity, and I preach this to anyone who will listen. Viewers of webcams are customers seeking an intimate experience, often something real. They don’t want to feel taken or duped, or misled. They simply want to connect with another human being. Being real and relatable is the secret to cultivating a devoted following.”
“On a related note, being engaging is also crucial to maintaining these customers and followers. They want to be entertained and engaged in a way that appeals to them, that they feel they can’t find with another model,” Slick adds. “Then lastly, and very importantly, it’s important to be sexy. Physicality and sexuality is what ultimately drives traffic to these sites. To get a heavily trafficked cam, it should be considered a high priority to appeal to the sexual appetites of viewers.”
Melody Kush (@MelodyKush) says compelling content is a must in today’s golden age of camming, but it’s not the only consideration.
“Things always sell better for me when they’re on sale, so I always suggest to price things a bit above what you think the right price is, and have the occasional limited-time offer sale,” Melody reveals. “A regular schedule is something I’ve also found makes things much easier. Make it simple for your supporters to know where and when to find you!”
“And don’t forget,” Melody concludes, “knowing when to take a break is just as important as working hard. #selfcare.”
2017 XBIZ Best Cam Duo BlondeRider and RobxxxRider believe in always having a positive and engaging attitude.
“Find what styles and techniques work best and build from there,” the team told XBIZ. “Invest in proper equipment for a high-quality stream and take advantage of affiliate links/programs and other platforms to maximize income and gain exposure.”
Bailey Rayne (@TheBaileyRayne) concurs, telling XBIZ one of the best habits to start early in camming is setting a consistent schedule.
“Models should pick an ideal time to log into their cam room multiple days throughout the week and try to stay consistent with the time they choose,” Bailey says. “A lot of site members log in around the same time every day because of their schedules. If they see a model online day after day and they feel comfortable in that model’s room, that’s a great way for that model to possibly gain a regular visitor every time she’s on cam.”
“Having a friendly and devoted group of regulars in a cam room goes a very, very long way,” she adds.
Profitable camming takes more than just showing up for work on time, however. TajaEthereal (@camhustlers) tells XBIZ she thinks any performer who realizes that camming is more than just logging on and doing their hours will find success in this industry.
“We have to be our own promoters, our own tech support, webmaster, publicist and social media manager. Independent cammers have to learn how to do all of these things,” Taja says, “and the best part about learning all of this stuff is you can apply it to crossover ventures if you choose to go that route.”
Taja says this is why she loves using social media sites such as Instagram.
“I can engage my fans with Instagram live while cooking in my kitchen or out shopping,” Taja explains. “These guys love knowing what we’re up to and I think it helps them feel better about spending money when they can see that we’re ‘real’ people and not just some girl sitting in a chatroom.”
While the appeal of reality has long driven the market, it takes more effort and professionalism today than it has in the past in order to compete.
“You know, if I were answering this question back in 2012, I would say the most typical answer,” 2017 XBIZ Best MILF Cam Model and 2018 XBIZ Female Cam Model of the Year Jenny Blighe (@JennyBlighe) confides. “I’d suggest watching/studying successful cam models to see what works for them, buying a decent webcam, properly setting up your profile, having a cam schedule, knowing how to handle your taxes and making social media accounts to promote yourself while simultaneously letting your fans know when you’ll be online. While all of these are still great cam modeling practices, there’s a bit more to consider in 2018.”
Jenny says that over the course of the past six years, there has been a highly noticeable influx of new models entering the industry, which comes as no surprise considering just how lucrative camming can be if done efficiently. Citing MyFreeCams.com as an example, she notes it was reported as having more than 100,000 models and more than five million members in 2011, with the number of models streaming on MyFreeCams multiplying substantially since then.
“With that being said, there really isn’t one specific way that all cam models should livestream,” Jenny tells XBIZ. “In order to be a successful cam model, in my opinion, you need to play off of your strengths in the hopes of grabbing the viewer’s attention. You not only want to grab their attention, you want to give them a reason to stay in your chatroom and to come back for more.”
Jenny reminds models that the cam industry is flooded with highly talented men and women, so competition is tougher than ever, with many showcasing their singing or instrumental abilities, while others like to paint for their viewers or dance with a hula hoop, for example — others still, aren’t even real.
“As a matter of fact, just last month a new type of cam model emerged like no other ever in existence. This cam girl goes by the name of Abby, and she is a cartoon cam model, the first of her kind,” Jenny explains. “As you can see, there are literally models of all types, so you really should think about what will make you stand out amongst the crowd of thousands of other hopeful models.”
Jenny says the thing that makes models most appealing to viewers doesn’t have to be some extraordinary talent, as it could easily be something as simple as their smile.
“In my experience, I’ve always teased with my long red hair, flexibility and sensuality mixed with intense eye contact and a little attitude,” she reveals. “Combine all of that with a sexy lingerie piece and bam … you have Jenny Blighe.”
On the topic of favorite platforms and techniques for social media marketing to fans, one particular answer can always be expected, with Jenny counting herself among the many models who absolutely love Twitter.
“I have been building a following on my @JennyBlighe Twitter account for almost six years now, and my current following is around 112,000,” Jenny says. “Anyone who follows me via social media, in my eyes, is a potential customer. Therefore, I use my Twitter account (and sometimes Instagram, also @JennyBlighe) to promote my content, photo sets, when I’ll be online and things I’m selling at any given time.”
Jenny tells XBIZ it’s best to stay active on your social media platforms in order to keep fans updated with your broadcast plans, content release dates, important days to remember (birthdays, “camiversaries”) and even just to show your personality a bit.
“Your social media accounts are first and foremost there for you o promote yourself and your work, but don’t forget to have fun with it! Interact with your fans and models you find common ground with,” Jenny recommends. “Remember, this is a job and while it may get tiresome, it really can be a fun one if you make it that way!”
For the Rider’s, Twitter and Snapchat are tops.
“With Twitter, we post different content and the promoters help get us out there,” the duo told XBIZ. “Snapchat is great for promotion as well as profit [so] we snap before getting online as well as during our shows.”
Bailey Rayne is another advocate of engaging fans via social media, especially Twitter.
“It’s really easy to just upload a few sexy photos, add a link to whatever I’m promoting, and just watch the tweet activity stats go crazy,” Bailey explains. “Instagram’s engagement stats are a lot higher than Twitter’s, but their anti-nudity policies make it very difficult to promote anything adult related.”
“I also enjoy posting on Snapchat, but again, the anti-nudity policies are overbearing and I stopped using the app after my fifth account was suspended,” Bailey adds. “Twitter may be hiding adult accounts but at least I know my followers are going to see what I post and my account isn’t going to be suspended if I forget to cover a nipple.”
Reflecting a sign of the times, performers are increasingly aware of the limitations and growing restrictions on adult content across social media channels.
“Nowadays, Instagram is really cracking down on sex worker accounts, deleting photos left and right, deleting accounts,” Vera Sky tells XBIZ. “In the past week, I have seen sex workers with more than a million followers have their accounts taken from them.”
Vera says Twitter seems to be the safe place for sex workers, but even then, it seems to be cracking down now, too.
“Snapchat used to be my favorite platform because it was an easier and more personal way to keep your followers and fans updated with your day to day life, but Snapchat recently released a new update that now causes our stories to get barely any views/interaction,” Vera explains. “I used to get about 45,000 views on my public Snapchat in 24 hours, but since the update, it has gone down to 4,000 views. I still make use out of the views I have now though.”
Vera says her favorite way to sell Snapchat access is by posting the public username all over her Instagram and Twitter.
“Models are so friendly, you can always find a few girls that will post your snap code on their social media too! Then all your fans and followers add you, and from there you post teasers and previews on your XXX Snapchat, and then advertise to your viewers,” Vera exclaims. “Snapchat makes it so easy to purchase things nowadays, all fans have to do is ‘swipe up’ on the Snapchat and it will take them straight to your Snapchat purchase page!”
Dave Slick sends a nod to the notion of catering to what certain platforms allow.
“Twitter does allow adult content, when most platforms don’t. It is also fantastic for broadening your reach. Engaging with others on the platform is highly conducive to expanding one’s following,” Slick says. “I have taken to Instagram lately as it also helps to expand a following beyond what you have from your own traffic.”
“On the other hand, I’ve grown disillusioned with Snapchat,” Slick adds. “It is helpful for engaging with an existing following, but is not something where you can really gain new traffic as a direct consequence of being on the platform.”
Like many models with a penchant for photography, Melody Kush says her favorite place to advertise is her private Snapchat, since it allows her to speak directly to an audience that are already supporters, but she notes that the absolute best place to advertise promos is live on cam.
“The live connection with people where you can communicate your offers verbally, speaks louder than any tweet or snap will,” Melody reveals. “Using multiple platforms is really key though — aim to reach as many audiences as possible and try to post different content across all platforms — always keep it fresh!”
One strategy for success is to limit social media to adult-friendly channels, but this caution comes at a cost in raw numbers of consumers, most of whom continue to exclusively flock to mainstream venues.
TajaEthereal tells XBIZ that at this point in her career, she primarily focuses on using platforms that allow creators to stay connected with their fans.
“Outside of having my own personal website, I think iWantEmpire does the best job of helping people to stay connected, and also ManyVids. Both companies have a strong understanding that in order for us to flourish they have to give us more control by providing useful social media tools to help us get the content out there,” Taja explains. “The sites that actually get this concept will be the ones that continue to rise to the top while the others will phase out.”
For her part, Devious Angel is a big fan of Twitter, especially now that she’s opened her own studio, but is also a fan of adult-targeted platforms and the promo tools offered by top cam networks.
“I realize now how important it is to update your pics, to upload more on your personal website, and how easy it is for every cam model. I wish I realized this sooner, before having the business, I would have had even more followers and fans.”
Devious Angel also points to LiveJasmin’s “My Website” option as a way of reaching fans, saying, “all you need to do is stop being lazy and produce that darn content.”
Clearly, camming has evolved from the novelty of seeing a model appear live over the internet, into an expansive realm where cams, commitment and creativity combine to drive economic opportunity and empowerment for a new generation of entrepreneurs — many of whom will take their lessons learned and move forward in their careers — both in front of, and beyond, the cam.