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Instagram Chief Adam Mosseri Offers Insights on How to Grow Reach, Algorithms, TikTok and More

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This week, Instagram is hosting its Creator Week panel series, in which a range of internal experts and platform influencers share their insights into how to make best use of the platform, how to connect with audiences, how Instagram’s algorithms actually work and more.

Today, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri took the stage for a live Q and A session in which he answered a range of the most commonly asked questions from Instagram users.

Mosseri provides a range of insights, including:

  • Instagram can’t guarantee stable reach due to constant changes in the algorithm. Mosseri notes that as more people join Instagram, competition for reach is always changing, which means that users will see fluctuations in their reach stats.
  • In terms of best practices, Mosseri says that leaning into video is good, with the first two seconds being crucial to hook viewers in. Mosseri also notes that hashtags are still valuable for discovery, while posting consistently (Mosseri notes two feed posts per week, two stories per day) will help to build your following. In another Creator Week session on working with the platform’s algorithms, Instagram also noted that while posting to newer surfaces like Reels won’t boost your reach, as such, utilizing all of the available surfaces will mean that you’re increasing your chances of getting your content discovered in the app.
  • Mosseri says that the global rollout of Reels has been delayed due to music licensing in some regions
  • Mosseri explains that verification on Instagram is about providing identification for people who are more likely to deal with impersonation, and verification is normally assessed based on press mentions of the applicant.
  • Instagram is looking to do more on direct payments for creators (gated content, subscriptions, badges and tips), which Mosseri is keen to explore, as it gives creators a more direct relationship with their fans.
  • The platform is also looking into new revenue share models for video, including monetization of Reels
  • Don’t buy fake followers. Mosseri says that Instagram’s detection systems are improving, based on a range of factors, and purchasing followers can put your account at significant risk.
  • Mosseri also provides an update on the steps its taking to address systemic bias and abuse on its platform.
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Interestingly, Mosseri also addresses a question on what, in his opinion, TikTok is currently doing better than Instagram. Mosseri says that TikTok is better, right now, at breaking new and young talent, which Instagram is looking to improve on, while TikTok is also better at providing reliable entertainment.

As per Mosseri:

“You know that you can tap on TikTok and you’re going to immediately smile and be entertained.”

Which is an interesting point – Mosseri says that Instagram is working to improve its Reels algorithm to provide a similar, or ideally, better experience, but he does think that TikTok, which has been doing short-form video for longer, is leading the way on entertainment.

TikTok’s algorithm is highly attuned to the specific features of each clip that will get you to stick around, which is why it’s so easy to find yourself scrolling through the endless TikTok stream for hours on end. Where TikTok really wins out is that it’s trained its algorithms on just the right elements to hold user interest, with the full-screen presentation of TikTok clips providing it with more insight into exactly what engages you, based on how long you watch, Likes/follows, what other videos people view in relation, etc.

I suspect most people would agree with Mosseri that TikTok is more entertaining, but it’s an interesting admission from the platform either way. 

That said, Mosseri says that Instagram is focused on delivering value for creators in the long run – “and to help millions of creators, over the next five to ten years, to make a living”.

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This could be how Instagram ends up holding back the TikTok wave – while TikTok is still growing fast, it hasn’t established a solid framework for creator monetization just yet. Monetizing short-form content is difficult, because you can’t slip in mid or pre-roll ads on seconds-long clips. But on Instagram, creators can monetize their content and presence more broadly, in more ways, while also adopting new trends like short-form content, to a wide audience.

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If Instagram can provide more revenue potential, maybe that will prove to be enough of a lure to steal some of those stars from TikTok, and eventually show younger, rising creators that it provides more pathways to revenue for their work.

There are some interesting points of note here for Instagram creators and marketers, and along with this week’s earlier session on the ‘Algorithm Mythbusting‘, and Instagram’s explainer post on the internal workings of its systems, they provide a good overview of the aims of Instagram’s processes, and what types of content it’s looking to promote.

As Mosseri notes, there’s no magic trick that will help you boost every post to millions of people, but by taking note of the signals that Instagram’s team highlights, and the specific explanations provided, you can get a better understanding of the key elements required for an effective platform strategy. 

Socialmediatoday.com

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Elon Musk’s Team Asks for More Data to Complete Assessment of Twitter Bots

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Elon Musk's Team Asks for More Data to Complete Assessment of Twitter Bots

Okay, let’s just check in on the latest with the Twitter/Elon Musk takeover saga, and where things are placed to close out the week.

According to the latest reports, Musk’s team recently asked Twitter for more tweet info, in order to help it make an accurate assessment of bot activity in the app. This comes after Musk questioned Twitter’s claim that bots and fake accounts make up only 5% of its active user base, and said that his Twitter takeover deal could not go ahead unless Twitter could produce more evidence to support this figure.

Which Twitter did, by providing Musk with access to its ‘full firehose’ of tweets over a given period, which it shared with Musk’s team back on June 8th. Musk’s group has now had that data for a couple of weeks, but this week, it said that this info is not enough to go on, and that it needs even more insight from Twitter to make its judgment.

And after initially resisting calls for more data access, Twitter has now reportedly relented and handed over more tweet data access to Musk’s team.

Which may or may not be a concern, depending on how you see it.

In its initial data dump, Twitter reportedly gave Musk’s team info on:

  • Total user tweets (within a given time period)
  • Data on which devices were used

As noted, Musk’s team says that this has not provided it with the insight that it needs to conduct an accurate analysis of potential bot activity, so Twitter has now provided Musk with more ‘real-time API data’.

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It’s not clear whether that means that Twitter has provided everything that its API systems can provide, but that could mean that Musk’s team can now access:

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  • Real-time info on tweet text and visual elements/attachments
  • Data on retweets, replies, and quote Tweets for each
  • Data on tweet author, mentioned users, tagged locations, hashtag and cashtag symbols, etc
  • Date, time, location, device info

That should satisfy any analytical needs to uncover potential bot trends, and get a better handle on Twitter’s bot problem, though it also means that Musk has all your tweet info – which, again, it’s worth noting, Twitter up till now had been hesitant to provide.

I’m sure it’s fine. Musk’s team is beholden to disclosure laws around such, so it’s not like they can do anything much with that info anyway, in a legal sense. But the idea that the sometimes erratic Elon Musk now has all the tweets could be a little concerning for some.

But Twitter likely had to provide what it can, and if Musk is going to become CEO of the app soon anyway, he’s going to have access to all of that data either way.

But still, given Musk and Co’s past history of undermining and attacking critics, sacking trouble maker employees and digging up potential dirt on rivals, it sits a little uneasy.

Should be fine. No problems – no need to go deleting all your DMs (which are likely not included in the data that Twitter has provided at this stage).

According to reports, Musk’s team says that it now has the info it needs to make its assessment of bot activity, which should see the deal move forward (or not) sometime soon.

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Of course, no one knows what exactly is going to happen next, and whether Musk’s team will look to renegotiate, or even back out of the deal entirely as a result of its bot analysis. But it does seem like, one way or another, Musk will be forced to go ahead with the $44 billion transaction, with Twitter’s past bot reporting methodology already accepted by the SEC, giving it legal grounding to argue that it’s acted in good faith, regardless of what Musk’s team finds.

The next steps then, according to Musk, would be securing debt financing and gaining Twitter shareholder approval, clearing the last hurdles for Musk to change the app’s name to ‘Telsla Social’, and add a million references to ‘420’ into the platforms various terms and conditions.

Because of the memes, because weed jokes are still funny to the richest man in the world – because he vacillates between inspired genius and a massive nerd who now gets to play out some fantasy of being cool.

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Or something. Who knows what goes on in Elon Musk’s head – which is also why most are hesitant to bet against him, as nobody knows if and how he might be able to fix Twitter, and whether this is a great investment or a massive disaster.

It seems like we may soon find out. Maybe. Who knows. Either way, the memes should be great.



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