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Facebook Outlines How to Make Best Use of Organic Video Testing in Creator Studio

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Here’s a helpful overview of a tool that many users are likely not aware exists.

Last September, Facebook began rolling out a new organic video post testing tool in Creator Studio, in order to help creators A/B test aspects of their video posts. And late last week, Facebook published a new overview on how to make best use of the new tool to maximize your Facebook video performance.

As outlined by product marketing manager Prab Kumar, organic post testing enables you to test different variations of a video post against one another, in order to find a ‘winner’ which you then publish to your Page.

As explained by Kumar:

“We know that video creators and publishers have a lot of creative decisions that they make. There’s creative decisions you make about the actual video, like what’s in the video, things like aspect ratio and other production-related creative decisions. And then there’s creative decisions around the actual posts, like what goes into the post description, what’s the title of the video, do you use emojis in your post description, what’s the thumbnail.”

The post testing option is designed to help answer some of these questions, by enabling you to try out different variations of your video posts, which are then shared with a sampling of your audience, based on the time allotted for each test. You’ll then get insights into which post saw the most response, and you can publish that post to your full audience.

Within the post testing option – which is available in the ‘Content Library’ section in Creator Studio – you can create up to four variations of a video post, which, as noted, will then be ‘tested’ with a portion of your audience. Then, based on the parameters you set (i.e. impressions or time), Facebook will give the ‘winning’ post further distribution beyond its initial test audience.

Facebook post testing

As you can see on the left, within the post testing fields, you can select the key metric/s you want to test for, and the test duration. Once that test period is over, Facebook will publish the winning post to your Page, based on the metrics you’ve selected. The other test variants will remain in your content library but will not be published to your Page.

Currently, Facebook has five duration options for your video tests:

  • 10 minutes
  • 30 minutes
  • 1 hour
  • 3 hours
  • 24 hours

Kumar says that the system will default to 30 minutes for a test, which is generally a pretty good amount of time, “but you need to work out what works best for you”. Kumar advises that Page managers run tests for the shortest amount of time to see results, as this will limit the amount of people who are seeing your ‘losing’ posts, which will vary based on audience size.

Interestingly, Kumar also notes that you can schedule a test for a video you want to publish at a certain time.

“If you want a video to drop at around noon tomorrow, and you want to run a test for about an hour prior, you can schedule a test and the scheduling options will allow you to choose when the winner will drop to your Page, and we will backward calculate when we need to get the test running, including processing times, etc., so that the test will have results, and a winner will be posted to your Page at the time you want it.”

Kumar notes that the testing tool can be a valuable way to learn what works in video content, and can help Pages maximize reach and resonance with their audience. 

Kumar also provides some additional pointers, noting that users should: 

  • Avoid make long-term creative strategy choices based on one test
  • Analyze the full results of their tests, not just their focus metrics
  • Analyze your retention curves over time to ensure you’re maximizing your optimization recommendations

Given the focus on video content, organic post testing could be a valuable tool in your Facebook arsenal, and considering that it’s freely accessible within Creator Studio, it makes sense to try it out in order to ensure you’re maximizing your video efforts.

Kumar says that post testing is being rolled out, and should be available to most Creator Studio users.

Socialmediatoday.com

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Meta Soars by Most in Decade, Adding $100 Billion in Value

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Meta Soars by Most in Decade, Adding $100 Billion in Value

Correction: February 2, 2023 This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: An earlier version of this article misstated how much Meta expected to spend on its deal with the virtual reality start-up Within. It is $400 million, not $400 billion. Meta’s stock surged on Thursday …

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Twitter’s Cancelling Free Access to its API, Which Will Shut Down Hundreds of Apps

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Twitter’s Cancelling Free Access to its API, Which Will Shut Down Hundreds of Apps

Well, this is certainly problematic.

Twitter has announced that, as of February 9th, it’s cutting off free access to its API, which is the access point that many, many apps, bot accounts, and other tools use to function.

That means that a heap of Twitter analytics apps, management tools, schedulers, automated updates – a range of key info and insight options will soon cease to function. Which seems like the sort of thing that, if you were Twitter, you’d want to keep on your app.

But that’s not really how Twitter 2.0 is looking to operate – in a bid to rake in as much revenue as absolutely possible, in any way that it can, Twitter will now look to charge all of these apps and tools. But most, I’d hazard a guess, will simply cease to function.

The bigger business apps already pay for full API access – your Hootsuite’s and your Sprout Social’s – so they’ll likely be unaffected. But it could stop them from offering free plans, which would have a big impact on their business models.

The announcement follows Twitter’s recent API change which cut off a heap of Twitter posting tools, in order, seemingly, to stop users accessing the platform through a third-party UI. 

Now, even more Twitter tools will go extinct, a broad spread of apps and functions that contribute to the real-time ecosystem that Twitter has become. Their loss, if that’s what happens, will have big impacts on overall Twitter activity.

On the other hand, some will see this as another element in Twitter’s crackdown on bots, which Twitter chief Elon Musk has made a personal mission to eradicate. Musk has taken some drastic measures to kill off bots, some of which are having an impact, but Musk himself has also admitted that such efforts are reducing overall platform engagement

This, too, could be a killer in this respect

It’ll also open the door to Twitter competitors, as many automated update apps will switch to other platforms. This relates to things like updates on downtime from video games, weather apps, and more. There are also tools like GIF generators and auto responders – there’s a range of tools that could now look for a new home on Mastodon, or some other Twitter replicant. 

In this respect, it seems like a flawed move, which is also largely ignorant of how the developer community has facilitated Twitter’s growth. 

But Elon and Co. are going to do things their own way, whether outside commentators agree or not – and maybe this is actually a path to gaining new Twitter data customers, and boosting the company’s income. 

But I doubt it.

If there are any third-party Twitter apps that you use, it’ll be worth checking in to see if they’re impacted before next week.



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Meta ‘Year of Efficiency’ call from Zuckerberg was what Street needed

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Meta 'Year of Efficiency' call from Zuckerberg was what Street needed

Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Meta Platforms Inc., center, departs from federal court in San Jose, Calif., on Dec. 20, 2022.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

With one simple slogan, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg temporarily quelled investor discontent with his company’s multibillion-dollar investment into the futuristic metaverse.

“Our management theme for 2023 is the ‘Year of Efficiency’ and we’re focused on becoming a stronger and more nimble organization,” Zuckerberg said as part of the release of Meta’s fourth-quarter earnings report.

Following a 64% plunge in Meta’s share price in 2022, Wall Street cheered the report, sending the stock up almost 20%, extending a rally that began late last year. Based on after-hours pricing, Meta is trading at its highest since July.

Growth is not what’s getting investors excited. Meta reported better-than-expected revenue in the fourth quarter, but sales still sank 4% from a year earlier, marking the third straight quarterly decline. And the forecast range for the first quarter suggests that year-over-year revenue could increase, but it could also fall again.

Rather, Zuckerberg’s commitment to cost cuts and efficiency is a sign that increasing profitability is important to Meta, which was known as a growth machine prior to last year’s slump.

“The first 18 years I think we grew it 20%, 30% compound or a lot more every year,” Zuckerberg said on the earnings call. “And then obviously that changed very dramatically in 2022, where our revenue was negative for growth, for the first time in the company’s history.”

In looking to the future, Zuckerberg struck a realistic tone.

“We don’t anticipate that that’s going to continue,” he said, regarding the recent drop in revenue. “But I also don’t think it’s going to go back to the way it was before.”

Meta lowered its estimates for total expenses in 2023 to be in the range of $89 billion to $95 billion, down from its prior outlook of $94 billion to $100 billion. In November, the company announced it would lay off over 11,000 workers, or 13% of its staff.

Zuckerberg said Meta will be more “proactive on cutting projects that aren’t performing or may no longer be crucial” and that it will emphasize “removing layers of middle management to make decisions faster.”

Meta is also reducing spending as it builds new data centers that are intended to be more efficient while still able to power the company’s various artificial intelligence technologies. Capital expenditures are now expected to be in the range of $30 billion to $33 billion for 2023 instead of $34 billion to $37 billion.

Zuckerberg is selling investors on a story they want to hear, acknowledging that the company got bloated and needed more financial discipline. One of Zuckerberg’s top deputies, technology chief Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, wrote a personal essay just a few days ago echoing that sentiment.

Still, Meta has plenty of challenges ahead, in terms of both costs and reviving its core ad business.

Meta’s Reality Labs unit, which is responsible for developing the nascent metaverse, lost $13.7 billion in 2022. Finance chief Susan Li told analysts that the company isn’t planning for any reduction in that unit anytime soon. Zuckerberg still sees it as the company’s future.

Digital advertising, meanwhile, is suffering from a struggling economy, and Li gave no indication that companies are planning to dramatically increase their spending in 2023.

Meta has also yet to recover from Apple’s 2021 iOS privacy update that made it harder to target users with ads. Li said the company has been improving its online advertising system, but Apple’s update is “still certainly an absolute headwind to our revenue number.”

During the question and answer part of the call, Zuckerberg was asked about Meta’s progress in generative artificial intelligence, which has become the latest hot thing in Silicon Valley. His answer indicated that Meta is pursuing opportunities there, but will be cautious in how quickly it proceeds. Running these programs is expensive, and Meta needs to ensure it can develop them affordably, he said.

Zuckerberg said that while Meta is researching how best to incorporate the new technology, he wants “to be careful not to get too ahead of the development of it.”

Correction: Meta’s earnings report and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s comments occurred after the market close on Wednesday. An earlier version misstated the day.

WATCH: Meta grows in daily active users, shares pop on revenue beat

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