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Clubhouse Launches New ‘Wave Bar’ to Encourage More Direct Engagement in the App

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Clubhouse Launches New 'Wave Bar' to Encourage More Direct Engagement in the App


Clubhouse and is testing out a new way to encourage more direct social interaction on the app, with a new ‘Wave Bar’ at the top of your screen, which will display which of your connections are online at any given time, so you can send them a wave to let them know you’re up for a chat.

As you can see in this example, the Wave Bar looks kind of like a Stories feed, with each of your online connections displayed.

As explained by Clubhouse:

“Now, you can simply wave at friends and invite them to chat. Waves will now open social rooms instead of private rooms, so that friends of speakers can join the conversation and speakers can ping in friends. There’s also a new ping bar at the top of social rooms so you can ping friends in quickly.”

You also have the option to lock your chat if you prefer to keep it more private.

Clubhouse wave bar

As noted, it’s another way to encourage more direct interaction in the app, as opposed to a more passive listening experience. And it seems like a fairly logical and beneficial option – though that is, of course, only if you’re still using Clubhouse in the first place.

And you would expect that the wave bar won’t be overly full for a lot of users, with the Clubhouse hype now dying out, with most either losing interest in the audio rooms process, or switching to Twitter Spaces instead. But then again, Clubhouse continues to add users, mostly in developing regions, and it may well serve an important connective purpose in nations where many languages are spoken, but there’s a disparity between those that can understand what they hear, but are not textually literate.

Within this, and other use cases, Clubhouse may have found a niche, despite no longer being the cool social app of the day.

The Wave Bar could further reinforce this, and help fuel the app’s ongoing growth.

The Wave Bar is now being tested with selected users on iOS and Android



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The Most Visited Websites in the World – 2023 Edition [Infographic]

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The Most Visited Websites in the World - 2023 Edition [Infographic]

Google remains the most-visited website in the world, while Facebook is still the most frequented social platform, based on web traffic. Well, actually, YouTube is, but YouTube’s only a partial social app, right?

The findings are displayed in this new visualization from Visual Capitalist, which uses SimilarWeb data to show the most visited websites in bubble chart format, highlighting the variance in traffic.

As you can see, following Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the next most visited social platforms, which is likely in line with what most would expect – though the low numbers for TikTok probably stand out, given its dominance of modern media zeitgeist.

But there is a reason for that – this data is based on website visits, not app usage, so platforms like TikTok and Snapchat, which are primarily focused on the in-app experience, won’t fare as well in this particular overview.

In that sense, it’s interesting to see which social platforms are engaging audiences via their desktop offerings.

You can check out the full overview below, and you can read Visual Capitalist’s full explainer here.

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Cheeky branding wins (and missteps)

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Cheeky branding wins (and missteps)

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Branding and rebranding is getting more fun, here we look at some of cheekiest brands that have caught our eye – for the right and wrong reasons.



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Google Outlines Ongoing Efforts to Combat China-Based Influence Operations Targeting Social Apps

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Google Outlines Ongoing Efforts to Combat China-Based Influence Operations Targeting Social Apps

Over the past year, Google has repeatedly noted that a China-based group has been looking to use YouTube, in particular, to influence western audiences, by building various channels in the app, then seeding them with pro-China content.

There’s limited info available on the full origins or intentions of the group, but today, Google has published a new overview of its ongoing efforts to combat the initiative, called DRAGONBRIDGE.

As explained by Google:

In 2022, Google disrupted over 50,000 instances of DRAGONBRIDGE activity across YouTube, Blogger, and AdSense, reflecting our continued focus on this actor and success in scaling our detection efforts across Google products. We have terminated over 100,000 DRAGONBRIDGE accounts in the IO network’s lifetime.

As you can see in this chart, DRAGONBRIDGE is by far the most prolific source of coordinated information operations that Google has detected over the past year, while Google also notes that it’s been able to disrupt most of the project’s attempted influence, by snuffing out its content before it gets seen.

Dragonbridge

Worth noting the scale too – as Google notes, DRAGONBRIDGE has created more than 100,000 accounts, which includes tens of thousands of YouTube channels. Not individual videos, entire channels in the app, which is a huge amount of work, and content, that this group is producing.

That can’t be cheap, or easy to keep running. So they must be doing it for a reason.

The broader implication, which has been noted by various other publications and analysts, is that DRAGONBRIDGE is potentially being supported by the Chinese Government, as part of a broader effort to influence foreign policy approaches via social media apps. 

Which, at this kind of scale, is a concern, while DRAGONBRIDGE has also targeted Facebook and Twitter as well, at different times, and it could be that their efforts on those platforms are also reaching similar activity levels, and may not have been detected as yet.

Which then also relates to TikTok, a Chinese-owned app that now has massive influence over younger audiences in western nations. If programs like this are already in effect, it stands to reason that TikTok is also likely a key candidate for boosting the same, which remains a key concern among regulators and officials in many nations.

The US Government is reportedly weighing a full TikTok ban, and if that happens, you can bet that many other nations will follow suit. Many government organizations are also banning TikTok on official devices, based on advice from security experts, and with programs like DRAGONBRIDGE also running, it does seem like Chinese-based groups are actively operating influence and manipulation programs in foreign nations.

Which seems like a significant issue, and while Google is seemingly catching most of these channels before they have an impact, it also seems likely that this is only one element of a larger push.

Hopefully, through collective action, the impact of such can be limited – but for TikTok, which still reports to Chinese ownership, it’s another element that could raise further questions and scrutiny.

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