Connect with us

SOCIAL

Instagram Tests New ‘Following’ Tab Format with Users in India

Published

on

Instagram Tests New 'Following' Tab Format with Users in India

Oh wow, Instagram Reels is trying to be even more like TikTok you say? What a surprise.

Instagram’s currently tweaking the design of the main Reels screen in the app, with users in India now seeing a new ‘Following’ tab alongside the main Reels feed.

As you can see in this example, posted by app researcher Salman Memon, Indian users now have a ‘Following’ tab a side-swipe away, providing another way to scroll through your latest Reels clips, in different categories.

Which mirrors TikTok’s ‘Following’ and ‘For You’ feed approach, with the algorithmically recommended clips in ‘For You’ enabling the app to showcase a much broader range of popular video clips.

That’s been the key to TikTok’s success. Rather than limiting your content streams to your personal network, TikTok’s able to take the best content, on an unlimited range of topics, and show them to you based on your interests. That means that the most popular clips have more chance to succeed, regardless of who each user is following, and while you can also filter through the latest uploads from people that you know and like, many users find that the main ‘For You’ feed is enough to give them their short-form video fix.

Reels has taken a similar approach with its Reels tab feed, while content from creators that you follow is now inserted into your main IG feed display. But with this alternating feed approach, you would have a more Reels-specific way to check out clips from the accounts that you follow, which could help to boost engagement, by further leaning into the short-form video trend.

Though even then, the true secret sauce for TikTok is its algorithm, which is increasingly good at learning what you like, and showing you more and more of that.

Advertisement

As outlined by Eugene Wei, TikTok’s entire UI is constructed around algorithmic optimization.

Everything you do from the moment the video begins playing is signal as to your sentiment towards that video. Do you swipe up to the next video before it has even finished playing? An implicit (though borderline explicit) signal of disinterest. Did you watch it more than once, letting it loop a few times? Did you share the video through the built-in share pane? If you tap the bottom right spinning LP icon and watch more videos with that same soundtrack, that’s additional signal as to your tastes.”

In addition to this, TikTok’s internal classifiers as to what’s actually in each video clip are very specific, and it’s this loop of direct feedback and intricate entity labeling that makes TikTok’s system so good at showing you more of what want to see.

Instagram Reels isn’t at that same level yet. Though it is working on it.

In Meta’s most recent earnings call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg made an interesting note about the company’s increasing reliance on AI recommendations, as opposed to implicit signals based on your social graph.

As per Zuckerberg:

“While we’re experiencing an increase in short-form video, we’re also seeing a major shift in feeds from being almost exclusively curated by your social graph or follow graph to now having more of your feed recommended by AI, even if the content wasn’t posted by a friend or someone you follow. Social content from friends and people and businesses you follow will continue being a lot of the most valuable, engaging and differentiated content for our services, but now also being able to accurately recommend content from the whole universe that you don’t follow directly unlocks a large amount of interesting and useful videos and posts that you might have otherwise missed.”

Which sounds like TikTok, right? Meta’s social graph has long been its key differentiator, enabling it to keep you informed as to what your friends and family are doing, and are interested in. But now, broadening that scope is more important.

Advertisement

“Overall, I think about the AI that we’re building not just as a recommendation system for short-form video, but as a Discovery Engine that can show you all of the most interesting content that people have shared across our systems. In the future, I think that people will increasingly turn to AI-based Discovery Engines to entertain them, teach them things, and connect them with people who share their interests. I believe our investments in AI, all the different types of content we support, and our work to build the best platforms for creators to make a living will increasingly set our services apart from the rest of the industry and drive our success.”

It’s an interesting shift, because as noted, Facebook, in particular, has long prioritized content from family and friends, and with more users than any other app, by a significant margin, that’s been a winning formula – while other platforms have been forced to find new and better ways to showcase the best content in their apps on a broader scale.

Reddit does this well, through crowd-sourced moderation (up and downvotes). Twitter remains horrendously bad at discovery. But TikTok has mastered it, to a large degree, which is why it’s so compelling, and has become such a time sink for people looking for quick-hit entertainment.

There are some questionable elements within this, in that TikTok feeds into more concerning interests by showing users more and more of the same. But it’s effectively shown that AI recommendations can be an effective way to maximize engagement, without the need for a social graph, opening up more competition in the social media space.

Now Meta’s trying to catch up – though including a ‘Following’ tab will also help to maintain that more close social connection aspect, something that TikTok is now also working to better incorporate as it looks to move into broader social connection.

TikTok Friends tab

Really, the ultimate social app would incorporate the two, facilitating optimal content discovery to maximize user engagement, as well as social connection to make it a more sticky, more universal experience. Social elements remain a critical component, while integrating such also means that users can conduct more of their sharing and engagement activity within a single app. If your friends are all sharing updates in TikTok, you don’t need to go to Facebook, while if you can keep finding the best, latest memes and trending content, Instagram becomes less relevant.

The same goes for Snapchat, or Pinterest as TikTok adds more in-app shopping. Broadening the use case is key, and while TikTok is working to incorporate such into its process, Instagram’s also seeking ways to build the same into the Reels experience.

Source link

Advertisement

SOCIAL

LinkedIn Adds New Features for Company Pages, Including Post Templates and Link Stickers

Published

on

LinkedIn has outlined its latest batch of updates for Company Pages, most of which had already been previewed in some capacity, but are now being rolled out on a broader basis.

First off, LinkedIn’s making its new post templates available to all company pages.

LinkedIn post templates

As you can see in these examples, LinkedIn’s post templates, as they sound, provide a range of visual enhancements for your LinkedIn updates, which could help to make them stand out in feeds.

LinkedIn originally launched post templates for individual users last month, but now, it’s making them available for Company Page updates as well.

As per LinkedIn:

Create engaging, actionable LinkedIn content easier than ever with customizable templates, available directly in the LinkedIn app, with no third-party tools required.”

I mean, I don’t know that these types of posts really fit with LinkedIn’s professional approach. But then again, as many have noted, LinkedIn is increasingly becoming more like Facebook anyway, with more personal posts and updates that are less focused on professional aspects.

And that seems to be working – LinkedIn’s parent company Microsoft keeps reporting ‘record levels of engagement’ in the app every quarter, so maybe this is actually a good, valuable addition.

Advertisement

We’ll see how people feel about it when every other LinkedIn ‘thinkfluencer’ is posting using these templates. You can access post templates in the mobile app by tapping the ‘use template’ option in the post composer menu.

As an addition to this, LinkedIn’s also making its new link stickers available for Company Pages too, which could help to drive more direct response to your updates.

LinkedIn link sticker

On another front, LinkedIn will also now enable all Company Pages to pin comments beneath their brand posts.

LinkedIn Pinned Comments

The rollout for this feature also started last month, with some users seeing the option to pin comments in the app.

That could be a good way to spark more focused engagement, and highlight top fans, while you could also use this to simply boost interactions by pinning the comment with the most engagement at the top of the reply chain.  

As a reminder, LinkedIn Company Pages can also pin an update for similar purpose.

Finally, LinkedIn has also added a new Our featured commitments’ section for Company Pages, where brands will be able to showcase their most important values.

“Increasingly in today’s market, job seekers are evaluating potential employers based on their values. They’re interested in knowing where companies stand on issues that are important to them, such as DEI, work-life balance, sustainability, etc. To provide greater insight and connections, LinkedIn is enabling employers to highlight these commitments on their LinkedIn company page to define their talent brand and values.” 

Brands will be able to include up to five commitments in their featured commitments section, while you’ll also be able to host content that demonstrates the same, all of which will be displayed in a sub-panel in the ‘About’ section of your Page.

These are some potentially handy updates, with the link stickers and pinned comments standing out as likely the most valuable additions for LinkedIn page managers.

Advertisement

Post templates I’m not as sold on, especially for brands – but then again, there may be ways to use these templates to improve the presentation of your posts, and maybe, that’ll increase overall engagement.

You can read about all of LinkedIn’s latest company page updates here.

Source link

Continue Reading

DON'T MISS ANY IMPORTANT NEWS!
Subscribe To our Newsletter
We promise not to spam you. Unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address

Trending

en_USEnglish