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Facebook Previews the Next Stages of Digital Connection at its Connect 2021 Conference

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facebook previews the next stages of digital connection at its connect 2021 conference

Facebook is taking some big steps into the next generation of digital connection, with a corporate name change signaling its evolving focus on the expanding metaverse concept, which it believes will help people, and Facebook (or ‘Meta’), evolve their interactive processes, in virtually every way.

Which could have a big impact on how we work and play – and today, Facebook has previewed a few of those next level features at its annual Connect AR/VR conference, including new AR tools, advanced VR options and other, longer-term hardware projects that are set to become central to the new Facebook model.

Here’s a look at some of the key announcements.

Horizon Home

Facebook’s first step towards owning the metaverse – even though it’s repeatedly stated that no one company will own the space (we all know Facebook will try anyway) – will be building the essential connective layer that will link people within the digital realm. Horizon Home is Facebook’s key push on this front, with the new platform built into the foundation of the Oculus VR experience.

As explained by Facebook:

“Soon, you’ll be able to invite your friends to join you in Horizon Home, where you can hang out, watch videos, and jump into games and apps together.

As you can see in the video, users will be able to send messages, make video or audio calls, and arrange meet-ups for collaborative experiences within the digital realm. Which will soon extend even further with features like ‘Venues’, which will enable users to ‘enjoy the energy of live events from the comfort of home’, including NBA games and other sports within the space.

This is a key element of Facebook’s evolving metaverse push, and while it may not be the most sexy, nor exciting of its new announcements, without this connective layer, nothing else works.

New Games

Another major announcement is the development of a VR version of the Rockstar Games classic ‘Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas’, providing an even more immersive experience for the millions of GTA fans worldwide.

Grand Theft Auto

This is a key next step for VR, because while VR headset sales have been rising, and more developers are coming on board, thus far, there’s been no major, compelling VR titles that have been able to transform it into a bigger, mainstream consideration. The technology is one thing, and there’s an allure in that for niche gaming fans, but the real push for VR lies in attracting the masses, and getting people talking about their VR experiences on a broader scale.

GTA in VR will almost certainly do that, and while it will take some development – and Facebook had no screenshots or examples to share as yet – this could end up being the thing that massively boosts VR adoption.

For context, GTA games have cumulatively sold over 350 million copies worldwide, with the most recent GTA title selling 150 million in its own right. That’s a huge fan base that will be very keen on this next-level experience.

VR for business

Facebook’s also developing new VR tools to better enable home working, leaning into the WFH shift.

Facebook’s says that it’ll soon begin testing its new ‘Quest for Business’ platform, which will enable users to log in to their Quest VR headsets with a Work Account, and will facilitate collaborative work environments, giving you the sense of being in the same physical space as colleagues while working remote.

And that could actually be even more functional than physical desks and spaces, with the capacity to “carry your work from your monitor to Quest 2 and back again”.

“Today we announced that services like SlackDropboxFacebook and Instagram, and many more will soon work in VR as 2D panel apps in Horizon Home, and you’ll be able to download them from the Quest Store.”

Such integrations will provide more collaborative work options, that could revolutionize remote working processes, and improve productivity and engagement.

AR Development

Facebook also shared details of its upcoming AR development initiatives, including new training programs for aspiring digital creators and advanced spatial understanding in AR, which will facilitate new forms of display and engagement.

On the training front, which will help Facebook build a broader range of AR experiences, the company announced a new ‘Polar’ AR creation app, which will help people with no prior experience in art, design, or programming to build AR experiences.

Polar app screenshots

Facebook’s also launching a new certification process within its Spark AR platform, which will also see the addition of new AR creation courses on Coursera and edX.

Facebook AR certification

And finally, Facebook’s launching a new, $150 million initiative “to train the next generation of creators building immersive educational content”.

Elements like this are key in AR innovation, as they expand the pool of creativity beyond Facebook’s own development teams, which will facilitate a far broader range of AR engagement and interaction options across its apps.

World and People AR

Facebook’s also developing advanced AR capacity, with body tracking to facilitate more immersive AR features, and ‘World AR’ geo-anchored experiences.

Facebook World AR

Snap already has variations of both, with Facebook playing catch up on these tools. But each will form a key part of the company’s evolving AR glasses experience, with digital overlays to be revealed through the frames, providing a range of new utility and entertainment options.

On another front, Facebook’s also working with BMW to develop AR features that could eventually help drivers navigate their surroundings.

The race for AR supremacy will heat up over the coming months, and Facebook will be a key player, and it’ll be interesting to see where it can take its AR glasses, as it advances beyond the initial Ray Ban Stories model.

The Next Level

Facebook’s more advanced AR and VR projects include real-time 3D reconstructions of people, providing realistic depictions of themselves in a digital environment, and its ongoing work on wristbands that can detect nerve impulses and use them as a trigger for digital response.

All of these will play a part in the next stage of digital connection, and while it may still seem like a long way off, these latest advances are coming along, and will be here sooner than you think.

The next level of digital connection will take place in the virtual realm, and as we’ve seen with the rising popularity of NFTs and other digital-only projects, enthusiasm for that next stage is growing. And when you also consider the amount of time young people are now spending in Fortnite, Roblox, and other virtual worlds amid the pandemic, and how that will influence their interactive behaviors, it’s not hard to see the next stage evolving within the current capacity.

That will eventually change everything – and for marketers, that will mean all new opportunities to learn, adapt and develop within your approach.  

Socialmediatoday.com

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12 Proven Methods to Make Money Blogging in 2024

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Make money blogging

 

Make money bloggingThis is a contributed article.

The world of blogging continues to thrive in 2024, offering a compelling avenue for creative minds to share their knowledge, build an audience, and even turn their passion into profit. Whether you’re a seasoned blogger or just starting, there are numerous effective strategies to monetize your blog and achieve financial success. Here, we delve into 12 proven methods to make money blogging in 2024:

1. Embrace Niche Expertise:

Standing out in the vast blogosphere requires focus. Carving a niche allows you to cater to a specific audience with targeted content. This not only builds a loyal following but also positions you as an authority in your chosen field. Whether it’s gardening techniques, travel hacking tips, or the intricacies of cryptocurrency, delve deep into a subject you’re passionate and knowledgeable about. Targeted audiences are more receptive to monetization efforts, making them ideal for success.

2. Content is King (and Queen):

High-quality content remains the cornerstone of any successful blog. In 2024, readers crave informative, engaging, and well-written content that solves their problems, answers their questions, or entertains them. Invest time in crafting valuable blog posts, articles, or videos that resonate with your target audience.

  • Focus on evergreen content: Create content that remains relevant for a long time, attracting consistent traffic and boosting your earning potential.
  • Incorporate multimedia: Spice up your content with captivating images, infographics, or even videos to enhance reader engagement and improve SEO.
  • Maintain consistency: Develop a regular publishing schedule to build anticipation and keep your audience coming back for more.

3. The Power of SEO:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ensures your blog ranks high in search engine results for relevant keywords. This increases organic traffic, the lifeblood of any monetization strategy.

  • Keyword research: Use keyword research tools to identify terms your target audience searches for. Strategically incorporate these keywords into your content naturally.
  • Technical SEO: Optimize your blog’s loading speed, mobile responsiveness, and overall technical aspects to improve search engine ranking.
  • Backlink building: Encourage other websites to link back to your content, boosting your blog’s authority in the eyes of search engines.

4. Monetization Magic: Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing allows you to earn commissions by promoting other companies’ products or services. When a reader clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase, you get a commission.

  • Choose relevant affiliates: Promote products or services that align with your niche and resonate with your audience.
  • Transparency is key: Disclose your affiliate relationships clearly to your readers and build trust.
  • Integrate strategically: Don’t just bombard readers with links. Weave affiliate promotions naturally into your content, highlighting the value proposition.

5. Display Advertising: A Classic Approach

Display advertising involves placing banner ads, text ads, or other visual elements on your blog. When a reader clicks on an ad, you earn revenue.

  • Choose reputable ad networks: Partner with established ad networks that offer competitive rates and relevant ads for your audience.
  • Strategic ad placement: Place ads thoughtfully, avoiding an overwhelming experience for readers.
  • Track your performance: Monitor ad clicks and conversions to measure the effectiveness of your ad placements and optimize for better results.

6. Offer Premium Content:

Providing exclusive, in-depth content behind a paywall can generate additional income. This could be premium blog posts, ebooks, online courses, or webinars.

  • Deliver exceptional value: Ensure your premium content offers significant value that justifies the price tag.
  • Multiple pricing options: Consider offering tiered subscription plans to cater to different audience needs and budgets.
  • Promote effectively: Highlight the benefits of your premium content and encourage readers to subscribe.

7. Coaching and Consulting:

Leverage your expertise by offering coaching or consulting services related to your niche. Readers who find your content valuable may be interested in personalized guidance.

  • Position yourself as an expert: Showcase your qualifications, experience, and client testimonials to build trust and establish your credibility.
  • Offer free consultations: Provide a limited free consultation to potential clients, allowing them to experience your expertise firsthand.
  • Develop clear packages: Outline different coaching or consulting packages with varying time commitments and pricing structures.

8. The Power of Community: Online Events and Webinars

Host online events or webinars related to your niche. These events offer valuable content while also providing an opportunity to promote other monetization avenues.

  • Interactive and engaging: Structure your online events to be interactive with polls, Q&A sessions, or live chats. Click here to learn more about image marketing with Q&A sessions and live chats.

9. Embrace the Power of Email Marketing:

Building an email list allows you to foster stronger relationships with your audience and promote your content and offerings directly.

  • Offer valuable incentives: Encourage readers to subscribe by offering exclusive content, discounts, or early access to new products.
  • Segmentation is key: Segment your email list based on reader interests to send targeted campaigns that resonate more effectively.
  • Regular communication: Maintain consistent communication with your subscribers through engaging newsletters or updates.

10. Sell Your Own Products:

Take your expertise to the next level by creating and selling your own products. This could be physical merchandise, digital downloads, or even printables related to your niche.

  • Identify audience needs: Develop products that address the specific needs and desires of your target audience.
  • High-quality offerings: Invest in creating high-quality products that offer exceptional value and user experience.
  • Utilize multiple platforms: Sell your products through your blog, online marketplaces, or even social media platforms.

11. Sponsorships and Brand Collaborations:

Partner with brands or businesses relevant to your niche for sponsored content or collaborations. This can be a lucrative way to leverage your audience and generate income.

  • Maintain editorial control: While working with sponsors, ensure you retain editorial control to maintain your blog’s authenticity and audience trust.
  • Disclosures are essential: Clearly disclose sponsored content to readers, upholding transparency and ethical practices.
  • Align with your niche: Partner with brands that complement your content and resonate with your audience.

12. Freelancing and Paid Writing Opportunities:

Your blog can serve as a springboard for freelance writing opportunities. Showcase your writing skills and expertise through your blog content, attracting potential clients.

  • Target relevant publications: Identify online publications, websites, or magazines related to your niche and pitch your writing services.
  • High-quality samples: Include high-quality blog posts from your site as writing samples when pitching to potential clients.
  • Develop strong writing skills: Continuously hone your writing skills and stay updated on current trends in your niche to deliver exceptional work.

Conclusion:

Building a successful blog that generates income requires dedication, strategic planning, and high-quality content. In today’s digital age, there are numerous opportunities to make money online through blogging. By utilizing a combination of methods such as affiliate marketing, sponsored content, and selling digital products or services, you can leverage your blog’s potential and achieve financial success.

Remember, consistency in posting, engaging with your audience, and staying adaptable to trends are key to thriving in the ever-evolving blogosphere. Embrace new strategies, refine your approaches, and always keep your readers at the forefront of your content creation journey. With dedication and the right approach, your blog has the potential to become a valuable source of income and a platform for sharing your knowledge and passion with the world, making money online while doing what you love.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos



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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

In a recent announcement, Snapchat revealed a groundbreaking update that challenges its traditional design ethos. The platform is experimenting with an option that allows users to defy the 24-hour auto-delete rule, a feature synonymous with Snapchat’s ephemeral messaging model.

The proposed change aims to introduce a “Never delete” option in messaging retention settings, aligning Snapchat more closely with conventional messaging apps. While this move may blur Snapchat’s distinctive selling point, Snap appears convinced of its necessity.

According to Snap, the decision stems from user feedback and a commitment to innovation based on user needs. The company aims to provide greater flexibility and control over conversations, catering to the preferences of its community.

Currently undergoing trials in select markets, the new feature empowers users to adjust retention settings on a conversation-by-conversation basis. Flexibility remains paramount, with participants able to modify settings within chats and receive in-chat notifications to ensure transparency.

Snapchat underscores that the default auto-delete feature will persist, reinforcing its design philosophy centered on ephemerality. However, with the app gaining traction as a primary messaging platform, the option offers users a means to preserve longer chat histories.

The update marks a pivotal moment for Snapchat, renowned for its disappearing message premise, especially popular among younger demographics. Retaining this focus has been pivotal to Snapchat’s identity, but the shift suggests a broader strategy aimed at diversifying its user base.

This strategy may appeal particularly to older demographics, potentially extending Snapchat’s relevance as users age. By emulating features of conventional messaging platforms, Snapchat seeks to enhance its appeal and broaden its reach.

Yet, the introduction of message retention poses questions about Snapchat’s uniqueness. While addressing user demands, the risk of diluting Snapchat’s distinctiveness looms large.

As Snapchat ventures into uncharted territory, the outcome of this experiment remains uncertain. Will message retention propel Snapchat to new heights, or will it compromise the platform’s uniqueness?

Only time will tell.

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

While it is tempting to try to appeal to a broad audience, the founder of alcohol-free coaching service Just the Tonic, Sandra Parker, believes the best thing you can do for your business is focus on your niche. Here’s how she did just that.

When running a business, reaching out to as many clients as possible can be tempting. But it also risks making your marketing “too generic,” warns Sandra Parker, the founder of Just The Tonic Coaching.

“From the very start of my business, I knew exactly who I could help and who I couldn’t,” Parker told My Biggest Lessons.

Parker struggled with alcohol dependence as a young professional. Today, her business targets high-achieving individuals who face challenges similar to those she had early in her career.

“I understand their frustrations, I understand their fears, and I understand their coping mechanisms and the stories they’re telling themselves,” Parker said. “Because of that, I’m able to market very effectively, to speak in a language that they understand, and am able to reach them.” 

“I believe that it’s really important that you know exactly who your customer or your client is, and you target them, and you resist the temptation to make your marketing too generic to try and reach everyone,” she explained.

“If you speak specifically to your target clients, you will reach them, and I believe that’s the way that you’re going to be more successful.

Watch the video for more of Sandra Parker’s biggest lessons.

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