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Facebook Launches New Gaming Fan Groups as Part of its Broader Push into the Gaming Space

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced a new group type specifically designed for gaming creators, as Facebook continues to lean into gaming, in an effort to maximize its presence in the fast-growing space.

Facebook’s new gaming Fan Groups are being launched today with selected gaming creators, and are designed to facilitate improved connection within gaming communities.

Facebook Gaming Fan Groups

As you can see in this screenshot, Facebook’s new Fan Groups include new elements like #tags for topics to streamline navigation to relevant discussions within the community. 

Facebook Gaming Fan Groups

That will help players connect with the content most aligned to their specific interests, while Facebook’s also looking to help gamers link up for actual games within these groups via a new ‘Looking for Player’ post type.

Facebook Gaming Fan Groups

That, again, will better facilitate community engagement and growth, by establishing stronger bonds with the people that you’re already in gaming groups with.

Facebook will also begin recommending relevant gaming groups to viewers at the conclusion of some gaming streams, while it’ll also prompt users to join Fan Groups after they’ve engaged with a creators’ Page. That could be a good way to grow these communities, and enhance connection among interested users. 

As noted, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement during a test of Facebook’s new audio rooms feature, which also included a range of Facebook Gaming streamers in the audio chat, who each shared their experiences in building communities on the platform.

Facebook Gaming has seen a steady rise in interest, particularly over the last year, with StreamLabs reporting that Facebook Gaming surpassed a billion hours watched in 2020, a record for the platform. It still has a way to go in catching up to the leaders in YouTube and Twitch, but Facebook is gaining some ground in the space, which could leave it well-positioned to capitalize on the next phase of gaming content, which will be immersive gaming experiences in the VR realm.

Indeed, Facebook is already the leader in VR content, with its Oculus headsets now the leading VR unit, and as sales of its VR devices continue to rise, building communities like this, connected into Facebook’s massive network graph, could be key to broadening its horizons in the space, and establishing entrenched communities, aligned to the platform.

Which is really why today’s announcement is only the beginning. It may not seem like much, adding gaming groups into the broader Facebook ecosphere, but the idea, eventually, will be that these groups will facilitate broader connection and growth of Facebook’s VR tools, linking the two platforms together, combining scale and technology to maximize its gaming footprint.

In addition to this, Zuckerberg also noted that any badges earned during a creator’s live-stream will now carry over to the Fan Group as well, providing additional recognition for community members for their engagement during live broadcasts.

There’s a range of small, but relevant additions in here that could each have major significance in the longer term. And if you’re not paying attention to the growth of gaming, you really are missing a massive element of emerging culture, given its influence on virtually every part of the broader online sphere.

The live test of Facebook’s audio rooms got all the attention in this announcement, but the gaming tools are equally relevant to Facebook’s growth plans. 

Socialmediatoday.com

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Pinterest Focuses on Travel Inspiration and Education for Black History Month

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Pinterest Focuses on Travel Inspiration and Education for Black History Month

Pinterest is taking a unique approach to Black History Month, with a new ‘Find Your Routes’ Black Travel Hub initiative, which aims to highlight places that have strong connections to Black history, while also showcasing Black-owned businesses.

As explained by Pinterest:

“Find Your Routes” is inspired by The Negro Motorist Green Book aka “The Green Book”. The Green Book was a guidebook for Black travelers during the Jim Crow era that provided a list of accessible hotels, boarding houses, taverns, restaurants, service stations and other establishments throughout the country that served Black Americans patrons.”

The Black Travel Hub, which you can find here, will present a range of travel options, along with their history, with creators from the US, Colombia, Jamaica, Brazil and more, all taking part in presenting their city.

It could be a good way to provide education alongside inspiration in the app, while also helping people to connect, and support highlighted communities.

Pinterest will also be showcasing Black-owned businesses on Pinterest TV, while internally, it’s also hosting a company-wide event ‘to help employees gain knowledge about the history, present, and future of Black travel through the lens of Black Pinployees’.

As noted, it could be a good way to both spark important conversations, and inspire new travel journeys, which include an extra level of cultural understanding and education, along with a leisure break.

It’s an interesting take on the celebration either way, and it’ll be worth noting what sort of reaction the initiative gets, and whether it inspires more travel as a result.

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Snap Tumbles On Weak Revenue, Gloomy Outlook

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Snap Tumbles On Weak Revenue, Gloomy Outlook

Snap shares plunged after missing analyst expectations in Q4, while forecasting a year-over-year revenue decline.

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Snapchat Adds 12 Million Users in Q4, Posts Lower Than Expected Revenue Result

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Snapchat Adds 12 Million Users in Q4, Posts Lower Than Expected Revenue Result

Snapchat added 12 million more active users in Q4 2022, and Snapchat+ subscriptions continue to rise, but company revenue missed market estimates, in another mixed result for the private social app.

First off, on users – as noted, Snap added 12 million more actives, taking it to 375 million DAU.

As you can see, North American user growth is still flat, while European users saw a slight uptick. But it’s the ‘Rest of the World’, specifically India, which is driving Snap growth.

Which is helping to boost the overall usage numbers, and expand opportunity. But on the revenue side, it’s not pushing things forward in a significant way.

Snap Q4 2022

As you can see in this chart, Snapchat’s revenue has increased, but a key problem here is that it’s still reliant on the US and Canada for the majority of that spend, with other markets trailing well behind on the revenue front.

Snap Q4 2022

In this chart, you can see that Snap’s Revenue Per User has actually declined year-on-year – so while it is growing, it’s not bringing in revenue at equivalent scale, and it’s even going backwards in some respects.

Which is why its stagnant growth in North America is a problem – though Snap has also seen take-up of its Snapchat+ subscription service increase.

“In Q4, our subscription service Snapchat+ reached over 2.0 million paying subscribers. Snapchat+ offers exclusive, experimental, and pre-release features, and in Q4 we launched new features such as Custom Story Expiration and Custom Notification Sounds, providing subscribers with over 12 exclusive features.”

That’s a handy additional revenue stream, but as with all social media subscription services (including Twitter Blue), take-up is generally limited, and at 2 million subscribers, that’s still only 0.5% of Snapchat’s active user base that’s been willing to pay extra for these add-on elements.

Snap has also faced challenges in rebuilding its ad business, in the wake of Apple’s iOS 14 update, which has impacted data collection, and Snap CEO Evan Spiegel says they still have some way to go on this yet:

“We continue to face significant headwinds as we look to accelerate revenue growth, and we are making progress driving improved return on investment for advertisers and innovating to deepen the engagement of our community.”

Snap has seen improvement in its commerce integrations, which includes digital items for Bitmoji avatars which Snap is eventually looking to translate into real-world item sales as well. Snap also says that it’s facilitated over than 161 million product trials by over 35 million Snapchatters for Walmart, leveraging its Catalog-Powered Shopping Lenses at-scale.

Snapchat AR shopping

Those point to bigger opportunities, but right now, amid the broader economic downturn, and restrictions on data collection and targeting, Snapchat is in a tough spot, and will be for some time yet.

Essentially, then, you’re banking on Snap’s future, and its advanced tools that could help it better align with expanded AR and VR use. And Snap is seemingly in a good position on this front – though again, the impacts of the last year, which also forced Snap into lay-offs, will also have some effect.

Really, then, the results here are relative to your perspective.

For advertisers, more Snap users means more potential reach – but most of Snap’s growth is coming from outside the US. More advanced AR activations could become a bigger deal in future, but it depends on how you’re looking to connect, and product fit.

Investors won’t be overly happy with the numbers, but there are positive signs on the horizon. It’s just that the horizon, in this respect, remains well in the distance at this stage.

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