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Facebook Tests New ‘Spotlight’ Conversation Option to Facilitate More Focused In-App Chats

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Facebook’s testing out a new way to host more focused public chats in the app, via a new ‘Spotlight Conversation’ post option, which, when enabled, separates replies from specific users into a new chat thread.

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As Facebook explains in these intro screens (shared by social media expert Matt Navarra), Spotlight Conversation enables you to invite specific people to respond to a post, with their responses then separates into ‘a dedicated spaces without interruptions’. Other users can still see your post and comment on the chat, but their replies are placed in another tab within the reply stream.

Facebook Spotlight conversation

As you can see here, the original post shows the invited contributors to the chat, and the discussion between the host and guest/s is then displayed in a dedicated ‘Spotlight’ chat stream, with all other replies on an ‘Other Comments’ tab.

Which is actually very similar to Twitter’s reply control options, which it added last August, enabling users to limit who can reply to their tweets to only those they @mention.

Twitter reply controls

Part of the impetus behind that update was the case of people using tweets to conduct live-stream interviews, which were often difficult to follow along with, because anyone could reply to a tweet thread. By limiting who can actually reply, that makes it much easier to stay on topic, and for viewers to read through a dedicated stream of back and forth responses between the focus profiles within a tweet thread.

Facebook looks to be honing in on similar here, which could provide more means to share real-time chats in the app for popular users, and could expand the utility of Facebook reply threads to Q and A, celebrity interviews, product info sessions, etc.

It seems like a fairly minor addition, but one that could be of specific benefit – and it may well be that by sharing one-on-one interviews and discussions within the app, that could open up new possibilities to reach a larger audience with such, and maximize response to your Facebook posts and discussions.

I mean, Facebook users, of course, generally want to reply for themselves, and participate where they can. But maybe, there’s also value in restricting your reply threads in certain cases, and facilitating more direct chats.

There could also a level of risk there. Say ‘Antivaxxer 1’ wants to interview an ‘expert’ on vaccines, and keep that reply chain separate from doubters. That could facilitate new forms of misinformation and reinforcement, which could be problematic.

It’s also somewhat similar to another Facebook test in threaded replies, which doesn’t enable participation, as such, but does add another angle to post reply threads.

Facebook threaded replies

It seems that Facebook is looking for more ways to utilize posts and replies to expand your potential options, each of which will have specific use cases and benefits, without major technical implications on Facebook’s end.

That could open up new opportunities – there’s no word on the full scope of this new test, but both Spotlight Conversations and threads are now available so some users in the app.   

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Meta Announces New Ad Options for Facebook Reels Which Could Facilitate Creator Revenue Share

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Meta Announces New Ad Options for Facebook Reels Which Could Facilitate Creator Revenue Share

Meta sees Reels as ‘the future of video’ on its platforms, with engagement with short-form content being one of the only positive growth trends across its apps at present.

Whether that’s due to more people looking to watch Reels, or Meta pumping more of them into feeds, is another question – but clearly, Meta’s keen to double-down on Reels content, which also means that it needs to offer Reels creators greater revenue share, in order to keep them posting.

On this, Meta has today outlined some new Reels ad options, which will provide more capacity for brands to tap into the format, while also, ideally, providing a pathway to revenue share for top creators.

The first new option in testing is ‘post-loop ads’ which are 4-10- second, skippable video ads that will play after a Reel has ended.

As you can see in this example, some Facebook Reels will now show an ‘Ad starting soon’ indicator as you reach the end of a Reel, which will then move into a post-loop ad. When the ad finishes playing, the original Reel will resume and loop again.

As noted, it could be a way to more directly monetize Reels content, though the interruption likely won’t be welcome for viewers, and it’ll be interesting to see what the actual view rates are on such ads. It’ll also be interesting to see if Meta looks to attribute those ad views to the original Reel, and how that could relate to revenue share for Reels creators.

The option is only in early testing, so there’s not a lot to go on at this stage.

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Meta’s also testing new image carousel ads in Facebook Reels – horizontally-scrollable ads which can include up to 10 images that are displayed at the bottom of Facebook Reels content.

Meta ads update

These promotions will be directly linked back to individual Reel performance, and could provide another monetization option for creators, while also enabling brands to tap into popular clips. TikTok offers a similar ad option in its tools.

On another front, Meta’s also giving brands access to more music options for their Reels, with new, ‘high-quality’ songs added to its Sound Collection that can be added to Carousel Ads on Reels.

Meta ads update

Note that these aren’t commercial tracks – you won’t be able to add the latest Lady Gaga song to your ad. But there are some good instrumental tracks to add atmosphere and presence to your promotions.

“Businesses can select a song from our library or allow the app to automatically choose the best music for an ad based on its content.”

I’d probably advise against letting the app automatically choose the best music, but maybe, based on its suggestions, you might be able to find the right soundtrack for your promotions.

Short-form video monetization is the next big battleground, with YouTube recently outlining its new Shorts monetization process, and TikTok still developing its live-stream commerce tools, as a means to facilitate better revenue share. Inserting ads into such brief clips is challenging, especially in a user-friendly way. But the platform that can get it right stands to win out, by providing direct creator monetization, based on content performance, which will likely, eventually see the top creators gravitate towards those platforms as they seek to maximize their opportunities.

Meta’s new options don’t seem to be a match for YouTube’s new Shorts program, which will allocate a share of total ad revenue to Shorts creators based on relative view counts. But it’s still early days, and no one has the answers yet.

As such, you can expect each platform to keep trying new things, as they work to beat out the competition.  

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