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TikTok CEO To Testify In Hearing On Data Privacy And Online Harm Reduction

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TikTok CEO To Testify In Hearing On Data Privacy And Online Harm Reduction

TikTok CEO Shou Chew will testify in a hearing before the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce this Thursday, March 23, at 10:00 a.m. ET.

As CEO, Chew is responsible for TikTok’s business operations and strategic decisions.

The “TikTok: How Congress Can Safeguard American Data Privacy and Protect Children from Online Harms” hearing will be streamed live on the Energy and Commerce Committee’s website.

According to written testimony submitted by Chew, the hearing will focus on TikTok’s alleged commitment to transparency, teen safety, consumer privacy, and data security.

It also appears to broach the topic of misconceptions about the platform, such as its connection to the Chinese government through its parent company, ByteDance.

Chew shared a special message with TikTok yesterday from Washington, D.C., to thank 150 million users, five million businesses, and 7,000 employees in the U.S. for helping build the TikTok community.

@tiktokOur CEO, Shou Chew, shares a special message on behalf of the entire TikTok team to thank our community of 150 million Americans ahead of his congressional hearing later this week.♬ original sound – TikTok

The video has received over 85k comments from users, many describing how TikTok has allowed them to interact with people worldwide and find unbiased news, new perspectives, educational content, inspiration, and joy.

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TikTok Updates Guidelines And Offers More Educational Content

TikTok has been making significant changes to its platform to address many of these concerns before this hearing to evade a total U.S. ban on the platform.

Below is an overview of some efforts by TikTok to rehab its perception before the hearing.

Updated Community Guidelines – TikTok updated community guidelines and shared its Community Principles to demonstrate commitment to keeping the platform safe and inclusive for all users.

For You Feed Refresh – TikTok recommends content to users based on their engagement with content and creators. For users who feel that recommendations no longer align with their interests, TikTok introduced the ability to refresh the For You Page, allowing them to receive fresh recommendations as if they started a new account.

STEM Feed – To improve the quality of educational content on TikTok, it will introduce a STEM feed for content focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Unlike the content that appears when users search the #STEM hashtag, TikTok says that Common Sense Networks and Poynter will review STEM feed content to ensure it is safe for younger audiences and factually accurate.

This could make it more like the version of TikTok in China – Douyin – that promotes educational content to younger audiences over entertaining content.

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Series Monetization – To encourage creators to create in-depth, informative content, TikTok introduced a new monetization program for Series content. Series allows creators to earn income by putting up to 80 videos with up to 20 minutes in length, each behind a paywall.

More Congressional Efforts To Restrict TikTok

The TikTok hearing tomorrow isn’t the only Congressional effort to limit or ban technologies like TikTok.

Earlier this month, Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) introduced the RESTRICT Act (Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology), which would create a formal process for the government to review and mitigate risks of technology originating in countries like China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, and Venezuela.

Organizations like the Tech Oversight Project have pointed out that Congress should look beyond TikTok and investigate similar risks to national security and younger audiences posed by other Big Tech platforms like Amazon, Apple, Google, and Meta.

We will follow tomorrow’s hearing closely – be sure to come back for our coverage to determine how this will affect users and predict what will happen next.


Featured Image: Alex Verrone/Shutterstock



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Americans Know About ChatGPT But Few Use It, Survey Finds

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Americans Know About ChatGPT But Few Use It, Survey Finds

As artificial intelligence permeates our lives, public awareness becomes increasingly significant.

In this article, we delve into a recent survey by the Pew Research Center that explores American adults’ familiarity and experiences with ChatGPT, an open-access online chatbot known for its versatile and human-like responses.

Here’s a glimpse of the study’s key insights:

  • The extent of American adults’ familiarity with ChatGPT.
  • The percentage of Americans who have used ChatGPT.
  • How Americans have used ChatGPT.
  • American users’ opinions on the utility of ChatGPT.

Join us as we navigate the public perception of AI, guided by the findings of Pew’s study.

ChatGPT: Familiar Yet Unexplored

The Pew Research Center study reveals that most American adults have heard of the AI chatbot ChatGPT, though a small portion has tried it.

Approximately 58% of the U.S. adult population knows ChatGPT, but only 14% have interacted with it.

Most people who have engaged with the chatbot find it at least somewhat helpful.

Demographic Differences in Awareness

Familiarity with ChatGPT is not uniform across the American population.

The study finds notable demographic differences. Among adults with a postgraduate degree, around 80% have heard about ChatGPT, compared to 71% of those with a bachelor’s degree and 59% of those with some college education.

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Only 41% of those with a high school education or less are familiar with the AI.

Household income plays a role in awareness levels, with individuals from more affluent households being more aware of ChatGPT.

Racial and ethnic disparities are observed, with Asian adults being more likely to have heard of ChatGPT.

The study finds 78% of Asian adults reported some familiarity with the ChatGPT. This figure starkly contrasts the approximately 60% of White adults and roughly half of Hispanic or Black adults who said the same.

Gender and age correlate with awareness. Men and adults under 30 are more likely to have heard about ChatGPT than women and those 30 and older.

How Americans Use ChatGPT

Of the Americans who have heard of ChatGPT, 19% have used it for entertainment, 14% for learning, and a smaller number have used it at work.

There’s a strong correlation between age and usage. Young adults (under 30) aware of ChatGPT are likelier than those aged 65 and older to have used the chatbot for entertainment.

As for the utility of ChatGPT, American views are varied.

Approximately a third of those who have used it find it extremely (15%) or very useful (20%), while 39% deem it somewhat valuable.

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Around a quarter of those who have tried it find it not very (21%) or not at all useful. Interestingly, younger adults tend to find ChatGPT more useful than older adults.

Despite its utility, ChatGPT has faced criticism for sometimes producing inaccurate answers, fabricating information, and citing nonexistent sources, making it seem that these falsities are real even to the people it engages with.

These findings highlight the importance of using AI responsibly and ensuring its reliability and adherence to ethical standards.

The Future of AI Usage

Despite the relative lack of uptake among Americans, the swift rise of ChatGPT has brought to the fore many questions about the future of AI in our daily lives.

The ongoing conversation about ChatGPT’s use and potential misuse reflects broader societal debates. Some see AI as a helpful tool for educational and work purposes, while others believe it should be used primarily for entertainment.

Conclusion

As AI evolves, public opinion and usage patterns will change.

The Pew Research Center’s survey provides a snapshot of current perceptions and uses of ChatGPT, and these findings will undoubtedly shape the ongoing conversation about the role of AI in society.

Future studies are needed to track changing attitudes and behaviors as Americans get more familiar with using AI in everyday life.

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Source: Pew Research Center

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What You Need To Know In 2023

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What You Need To Know In 2023

In a recent interview, Rene Ritchie, YouTube’s creator liaison, sat down with Todd Beaupre, YouTube’s growth and discovery lead, to discuss the algorithm’s future and its implications for creators in 2023.

Beaupre shares many insights that can help content creators understand and navigate YouTube.

This candid Q&A uncovers vital details, such as:

  • The importance of focusing on audience satisfaction over algorithmic manipulation.
  • The role of audience feedback and survey responses in refining YouTube’s recommendation system.
  • Strategies for creators to build long-term relationships with their audiences for sustained success.
  • YouTube’s dedicated efforts to support new or smaller creators.
  • Advice on managing multi-format, multi-language content and the advantages of channel experimentation.
  • The future of content discovery on YouTube, including the potential of emerging technologies and user interface enhancements.

This article overviews their enlightening conversation, with all the details on optimizing your YouTube content in 2023.

From Algorithm To Audience: A New Perspective

Q: What’s the main thing creators should focus on for the YouTube algorithm?

Beaupre emphasizes the importance of not thinking about algorithms but audiences. Creators are often asked about the best time or frequency to upload videos to optimize algorithm favorability.

Beaupre encourages a shift in perspective:

“Creators often ask about optimizing their upload time or frequency for the algorithm. But we want creators to shift their thinking. Rather than focusing on the algorithm, they should focus on the audience. Replace the word “algorithm” in their questions with the word “audience.” We design the algorithm to serve the audience, so understanding audience preferences will help the algorithm favor their content.”

The Satisfaction Metric: A Holistic View Of Engagement

Q: Can you explain the significance of the satisfaction metric in the YouTube algorithm?

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Beaupre addresses an essential aspect of YouTube’s algorithm: audience satisfaction.

While watch time is a commonly known factor the algorithm considers, Beaupre says that not all watch time is equal:

“Everyone knows that watch time is one of the factors we look at. But we’ve realized that not all watch time is equal. We also need to understand the value an audience derives from a video. To do this, we run surveys about recommendations and specific videos, feeding those responses into the recommendation system. This helps the algorithm identify patterns of satisfying content, looking at various signals like likes, dislikes, watch time, and survey responses.”

A Long-term Strategy: The Key To Creator Success

Q: What kind of strategy should creators adopt for success on YouTube?

Beaupre says creators who prioritize long-term audience value over immediate views stand to benefit more long-term.

He explains that a video’s potential to leave a lasting impression and foster a long-term relationship with the audience would correlate well with satisfaction.

“I would advise creators to think about the long-term value for their audience. Rather than focusing on getting a lot of views in a week, think about creating a lasting impression with your audience. This could mean they’ll want to return to your channel in the future.”

Supporting Smaller Channels

Q: How does YouTube support new or smaller creators who don’t have a large audience?

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For creators with smaller audiences, Beaupre reveals that YouTube has a team focused on helping them identify their audience, using various approaches like assessing video titles and descriptions.

“We have a team that focuses on this exact challenge. They use different approaches, like assessing video titles and descriptions, to help these creators identify their audience. We track the success of new creators on the platform, and we’re committed to helping them succeed.”

Multi-format, Multi-language Content:

Q: How should creators manage their channels with the rise of multi-format, multi-language content?

Beaupre touches on the evolving content landscape, including long-form videos, Live, Shorts, and podcasts.

His advice to creators navigating this space is:

“My advice to creators is simple: “Same audience, same channel, different audience, different channel.” We’re looking for ways to make it easier for creators to manage their channels in this multi-format, multi-language world. We encourage creators to experiment with different formats on the same channel and see how their audience reacts.”

The Future Of Discovery On YouTube

Q: What’s the future of discovery on YouTube?

Speaking about the challenges and opportunities ahead, Beaupre highlights several focus areas.

These include leveraging emerging technology, such as large language models, and making the discovery experience more enjoyable.

“We have several areas of focus. We’re excited about emerging technology like large language models, which could improve recommendation quality. We’re also working on enabling seamless user journeys across various formats. Another challenge is to make the discovery experience more enjoyable for users. We’re exploring opportunities to make the interface more entertaining and less overwhelming.”

Final Words

Beaupre signs off with the message that YouTube’s algorithm prioritizes the audience’s satisfaction.

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By creating long-term value for your audience, understanding their needs, and experimenting with different formats, you can better align with the platform’s goals and succeed.


Source: YouTube

Featured image generated by the author using Midjourney. 



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TikTok Dominates Short-Form Content, Instagram Reels Not Far Behind

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TikTok Dominates Short-Form Content, Instagram Reels Not Far Behind

Three platforms dominate short-form video content: TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts.

A recent study conducted by Social Insider dives into the performance stats of these platforms, analyzing key metrics to determine which comes out on top.

In this article, we’ll examine these key insights:

  • TikTok holds the crown for the most engagement.
  • Comments pour in twice as much on TikTok as on Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts.
  • Brands post twice as much content on TikTok as on Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts.
  • Instagram Reels leads the highest watch rate, while YouTube Shorts lags.
  • Each platform’s algorithm plays a role in how content performs.
  • Each platform caters to specific audiences and marketing objectives.

Keep reading as we unpack these findings and explore what they mean for users and marketers alike.

TikTok Reigns Supreme In Engagement

TikTok, widely recognized as the forerunner of the short-form video trend, claims the engagement rate crown.

The study finds TikTok outperforms Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts in interaction, scoring double the comments of its competitors.

“From an engagement rate perspective, in this TikTok vs. Reels vs. Shorts performance comparison, TikTok sets itself apart as the undisputable winner,” the study notes.

The study compares engagement rates, revealing that YouTube Shorts averages around 3.80%, Reels hits an average of 4.36%, and TikTok boasts a significantly higher rate of 5.53%.

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The Power Of TikTok’s Virality

TikTok’s success is partly due to users’ ability to harness viral trends, enabling explosive follower growth.

The study mentions that a social media strategy focusing on authenticity and humanized approaches can lead to rapid success.

Brands post twice as much content on TikTok as they do on Reels and Shorts, further emphasizing TikTok’s dominance in this space.

Reels & Shorts: Not To Be Overlooked

While TikTok may lead in engagement and content volume, Instagram’s Reels and YouTube’s Shorts have their strengths.

Reels, for instance, records the highest watch rate among the three platforms.

This could be credited to Instagram’s follower-based model, with Reels serving as a potent content type for brands with a large audience.

On the other hand, YouTube Shorts functions more as a discovery tool.

Most Shorts’ views originate from the homepage. From there, YouTube starts recommending long-form content.

This recommendation system can increase a channel’s subscribers, views, and traction on long-form videos.

A Multifaceted Approach for Marketers

Given each platform’s different strengths and audiences, the study suggests a diversified approach for brands.

“Using TikTok, Reels, and Shorts complementarily and creating unique content for each, aligned with the individual’s platform audience and design, is the best approach marketers and brands alike could have,” the study concludes.

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Ultimately, TikTok leads in engagement and content volume, Instagram’s Reels has the highest watch rate, and YouTube’s Shorts is the most effective discovery tool.

Each platform has a unique role in the short-form video landscape. The key for brands and marketers is understanding these roles and crafting strategies around them.


Featured image generated by the author using Midjourney. 



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