Connect with us

SOCIAL

Instagram’s Efforts to Win Back Young Users Will See Video Become the Focus of the Main Feed Display

Published

on

instagrams efforts to win back young users will see video become the focus of the main feed display

Soon, your main Instagram feed will be a combined display of relevant image posts, Stories, Reels and Video content, all displayed in a full-screen, swipeable UI, ala TikTok, as the platform works to keep up with evolving usage trends, and stop to flow of users migrating to the short-form video app.

Instagram hasn’t confirmed this in any official capacity, but that’s increasingly where the app is headed, with its most recent experiment with longer videos in Stories essentially bringing all of its video formats into line, which will facilitate the next stage of its content merger.

Instagram longer videos in Stories

Why would Instagram do this?

As noted, the rise and rise of TikTok has Instagram, and parent company Meta, entirely freaked out, especially as it eyes the next big shift, and utilizing its massive reach to usher in the ‘metaverse’, a new digital platform of immersive experiences that will ideally help Meta become an even more critical utility, in regards to eCommerce, entertainment, social tools, etc.

But if Meta continues to lose favor with younger users, which statistics show is happening, then it won’t be able to maximize this new push, because it’ll harder to gain widespread adoption of, say, it’s new AR glasses or its advanced VR headsets, as all of these new elements become a harder sell if young people would prefer not to spend their time in Meta’s apps, because they’re simply not the cool place to be anymore.

Sure, Meta could still win them over with advanced tools and features that could become the next key trend. But right now, the migration away from Facebook and Instagram is significant, and as TikTok continues to rise, that poses various growth problems for Meta, both for its immediate and longer term plans.

Which is why Instagram, Meta’s key connector to youth culture, is now looking to fight back.

So how will that look in practice?

In short, I’d expect the traditional Instagram news feed of static posts and videos to be on the way out very soon.

Instagram chief Adam Mosseri has already flagged various changes in this respect. Back in January, Mosseri noted that IG was looking to merge its current video tools to better facilitate creation, and reduce confusion in the app. 

As Mosseri explained to Decoder:

We’re looking about how we can – not just with IGTV, but across all of Instagram – simplify and consolidate ideas, because last year we placed a lot of new bets. I think this year we have to go back to our focus on simplicity and craft.”

Instagram announced the merger of its video feed posts into a single format last month, along with the retirement of the IGTV brand, while the latest test of 60-second videos in Stories essentially now means that feed posts, Stories and Reels all now have the same video post length.

That means that you’ll soon be able to post full Reels in Stories, share regular video posts as Reels, etc. Essentially, all of Instagram’s video options are being brought into line, step-by-step, as the platform works to make it easier to post video content into a single stream.

Which is where this new test comes in.

Instagram Reels label

As you can see in this new notification, shared by user Hammod Oh on Twitter, now, when you record a short video in the app, Instagram will automatically post it as a Reel, while there’s also this new note on the composer screen:

“Your video may appear in Reels, it can also be seen on your profile and in your followers’ feeds.”

So all of your videos can be displayed in the same places – while again, some users can also share the same in Stories, bringing everything into a larger pool of Instagram video posts.

Which is the key aim. TikTok’s able to highlight the best content to each user because it can pull from a massive array of publicly posted clips, which it can then display in your ‘For You’ feed, in alignment with your preferences. Instagram can’t do this, because it’s confined by the people you follow in the main feed, while it also doesn’t open to the full-screen view, like TikTok.

But that could be the next big step.

Late last month, as part of Meta’s Q3 earnings announcement, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that re-establishing connection with younger audiences will be a key focus for the company moving forward.

As explained by Zuckerberg:

Historically, young adults have been a strong base, and that’s important because they are the future. But over the last decade, as the audience that uses our apps has expanded so much and we’ve focused on serving everyone, our services have gotten dialed to be best for the most people who use them rather than specifically for young adults. And during this period, competition has also gotten more intense, especially with Apple’s iMessage growing in popularity and more recently the rise of TikTok, which is one of the most effective competitors that we have ever faced.

As a result, Zuckerberg says that Meta’s teams will “make serving young adults their north star”, which will see them looking to align with younger user trends, as opposed to sticking with more traditional processes.

Instagram’s Adam Mosseri has also flagged its bigger focus on video, specifically, explaining back in July that:

“We’re also going to be experimenting with how do we embrace video more broadly – full-screen, immersive, entertaining, mobile-first video.”

Instagram, Mosseri also noted, is ‘no longer a photo-sharing app’, saying that people come to Instagram to be entertained, not to look at a digital photo album, as such.

In combination, these statements and experiments point to a major shift for Instagram, which will likely, as noted, see the platform move more towards a TikTok-like feed of all content, all in full-screen, which will give Instagram more insight into what each users’ interest are, and enable it to then refine the user experience specifically in-line with younger user behaviors.

Which will also mean major shifts in process for social media marketers – but really, given the various experiments and changes already in place, that’s happening either way.

Really, it seems obvious, even logical that this is where Instagram is headed. But it will be a big change for the app, and it won’t please everyone.

But again, as Zuckerberg explained in his reasoning for its strategic shift:

…this will involve tradeoffs in our products and it will likely mean that the rest of our community will grow more slowly than it otherwise would have. But it should also mean that our services become stronger for young adults.”

Some older users won’t like it, but Meta’s willing to take that risk to win over the critical younger user cohort.

All of this points to major change, and as Instagram’s video tools all come into line, you can likely expect it sooner rather than later.

Prepare to shift your IG strategy in 2022.

Socialmediatoday.com

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address

SOCIAL

More Generative AI Tools are Coming to Social Apps – Is That a Good Thing?

Published

on

More Generative AI Tools are Coming to Social Apps - Is That a Good Thing?

The latest developments in generative AI have opened up a range of new possibilities and potential use cases, But are we sure that there’s a value to them within social media apps?

Sure, there are some helpful, practical use cases like image editing for ad backgrounds, and creating optimized ad copy for varying purpose.

But for regular users, does generative AI really enhance the social app experience?

For years, people have complained about spam messaging polluting their DMs, and artificial engagement prompted by, say, anniversary and birthday updates. These types of posts feel disingenuous, non-engaging, and don’t really add value to the “social” experience.

But now, with Gen AI, social apps are trying to make such even more prominent, with almost every app now experimenting with different forms of generative AI, which can be used to create content that humans can then post to their profiles, cosplaying actual engagement.

LinkedIn, for example, has an AI post composer, which will write your updates for you in-stream, and Facebook’s also experimenting with the same, while X claims that, soon, you’ll be able to transfer responses from its Grok AI chatbot into your updates.

Why would people want that? Why would users want to post robot responses, and attempt to pass them off as their own thoughts and opinions?

Spammers and scammers will love it, no doubt, and engagement farmers will be keen to “optimize” their updates through these tools. But are those the types of posts that actually enhance social media interaction?

Of course, that’s seemingly an afterthought, because now you can create a profile image of yourself as an 18th century warrior. Isn’t that cool?

As a novelty, sure, that’s kind of interesting. But how many generative AI images can you create to depict yourself in different scenes before it starts to weigh on you that you’re not actually doing any of these things?

Social media, by definition, is “social”, which involves humans interacting with each other, sharing their own experiences, and the things that are filtering through their real human brain, in order to then feel more connected to the world around them. That’s been the universal value of the medium, building on books and movies in facilitating more understanding and connectedness, so we all feel less alone and more engaged with the world around us.

How do bot updates help with that?

And of course, this is all, inevitably, still going to get a lot worse.

LinkedIn says that it’s re-building its foundations around AI, in order to power “the next ten years of product development and innovation”. Which means more AI integration, and more bot-generated content, and as these tools continue to iterate on the latest trends, in order maintain relevance, they’ll also be training on more and more AI-generated updates that are flowing through their circuits.

Which means that AI tools will increasingly be powered by AI responses, diluting human input out of the process with every refresh.

The “social” aspect is becoming more automated, more stale, and less human with every such integration.

Of course, the counter is that people can already use AI tools outside of social apps anyway, so whether they’re integrated or not, they’re going to be utilized for the same purpose. Which is partly true, but still, adding them in-stream, making it easier for people to just tap a button to generate a response, seems like a step in the wrong direction either way.

That’s not to say that Gen AI tools are not useful. As noted, there are practical use cases for optimized, simplified tools that can complement human creation.

But bleaching humanity out of the source code is simply not a pathway to value.

And whether we realize it or not, the Gen AI shift is going to take far more significant turns yet.  

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

SOCIAL

3 Things You’ll Regret Not Knowing Before Buying Meta Platforms Stock Right Now

Published

on

3 Things You'll Regret Not Knowing Before Buying Meta Platforms Stock Right Now

It’s been a wonderful time to be a shareholder in Meta Platforms (META -0.43%). After hitting a low around the start of November 2022, the business has seen its shares skyrocket nearly fivefold (as of Feb. 20). Investor enthusiasm is through the roof.

Despite this monster performance, the FAANG stock, which is near its all-time highs, trades at a forward price-to-earnings ratio of just 23.5 right now. This might prompt you to rush to buy shares.

But before you do, here are three things you must know about this dominant tech giant.

Massive, but growing

Meta Platforms owns and operates some of the most popular social media services on the face of the planet.

Between its various platforms — like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Threads — the business counted a whopping 4 billion monthly active users (MAUs) as of the end of last year. This means that almost half of the world’s 8.1 billion people interact with a Meta digital property once a month. That’s hard to wrap your head around.

While it’s reasonable to assume the company can’t get any larger, it’s worth pointing out that MAUs were up 6% year over year in the fourth quarter. Because the U.S., Canada, and European markets are much more mature, Meta is finding success posting better growth in other geographies, like the Asia-Pacific region.

This massive scale has resulted in powerful network effects. The more users on a particular social media platform, the more valuable it is to users. Anyone can start a new app tomorrow, but it would be almost impossible to expand the way Meta’s services have, which protects its competitive standing.

Digital advertising is key

Providing free services to billions of users means that Meta, unsurprisingly, is a digital advertising powerhouse. Of the $135 billion in revenue it brought in in 2023, 98% came from selling ads. This puts it behind Alphabet in the global rankings when it comes to digital ad revenue.

Because of the valuable data Meta is able to extract from its gigantic user base, it’s no wonder that businesses of all sizes find it extremely effective to target audiences using the company’s platforms. The ongoing integration of artificial intelligence (AI) features will only improve this for marketers.

The downside is that the digital advertising market has shown itself to be somewhat cyclical. When interest rates rise, inflationary pressures persist, consumer spending gets pressured, and everyone is uncertain where the economy is headed, it makes sense that ad spending will be among the first thing that executives cut. Meta reported a 1% decline in revenue in 2022 thanks to these headwinds. However, things picked up in a huge way last year: Sales jumped 16%.

It also helps that digital ad revenue drove a fantastic 54% operating margin for the family of apps segment in Q4. Add this to Meta’s net cash position of $47 billion, and there should be zero concern about the business being able to navigate any unfavorable macro conditions.

Meta’s metaverse ambitions

Love him or hate him, credit goes to Meta’s founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, for building one of the world’s most valuable and dominant enterprises in just two decades. By being a forward-thinking innovator, he’s always trying to position the business for whatever tech shifts that might come.

Zuckerberg thinks that next shift could be the metaverse. As a result, he’s focused heavily on creating new hardware and software products in the hopes of attracting 1 billion users to spend and interact in virtual worlds.

He’s putting his money where his mouth is. Meta’s Reality Labs division posted an operating loss of $16 billion in 2023, and more losses are expected. And it doesn’t make much money, producing $4 billion in revenue combined in the last two years.

But given a proven track record of success, as well as vast financial resources from the company’s thriving social media apps, investors should doubt Zuckerberg at their own risk.

If you’re looking to scoop up shares of Meta, you now know three very important aspects of the business that can lead to a more informed decision.

Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Neil Patel has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Alphabet and Meta Platforms. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

SOCIAL

X Expands Audio and Video Calls to Non-Paying Users

Published

on

New Report Finds That X May Be Inflating its Ad Performance Results

Look, I don’t know why this would be considered revolutionary or an advance, or even a significant step in any direction really. But for some reason, Elon Musk and his team believe that facilitating audio and video calls in X is a really big deal.

And now, it’s expanding its audio and video calling features to all non-Premium subscribers in the app, so you don’t even have to be a paying user to access the new connection options.

X launched audio and video calls with X Premium subscribers on iOS last October, then brought them to paying users on Android last month. And now, it’s expanding access once again.

But, like, you can already make audio and video calls on your phone, on WhatsApp, in Messenger, etc. Like, nobody is hanging out waiting to be able to make calls on X.

But Elon says that he’s getting rid of his phone number, because X will now replace his telecommunications, and given the reflexive head-nodding among his most dedicated disciples in response to his every utterance, no doubt many of them will also follow suit.

But I’m guessing not many other people will actually care.

But, if you do, soon, you’ll be able to kick off an audio or video call with your X connections, and there could be some value within that for brands that are looking to use the platform for customer service.

I suspect most X users won’t even notice, but for those who are conducting a lot of connection activity in the app, it is worth considering as a strategic expansion.



Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

Trending

Follow by Email
RSS