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Instagram’s Testing New Ways to Navigate Through Your Stories Feed

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Instagram is testing out some new ways to navigate through your Stories feed in the app, in order to help people find more Stories content that they’re interested in.

Reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong posted this example of one of the new tests in action, which would enable users to side the main Stories frame down to reveal the Stories tray at the top of the screen, then switch through to each.

Wong also noted that Instagram has tested another variation of the same in the past – which prompted Instagram chief Adam Mosseri to weigh in, confirming that they are in fact testing new options to help people navigate through their Stories stream.

Mosseri Stories poll

The option in itself would add a different flow to Stories, and could make them easier to sift through. But more interesting is the potential shift to the next phase of the news feed, and social media navigation more broadly.

Over the past few years, Facebook has repeatedly noted that Stories are on track to overtake the News Feed as the primary surface for social media engagement.

Facebook Stories vs Feed

This chart is from 2018, and back then it already seemed that Stories would soon dominate social engagement.

Yet, despite the increasing usage of Stories, the news feed remains the dominant presentation mode in Facebook’s apps, with the main feed taking up the vast majority of screen real estate on both Instagram and Facebook.

If Stories are seeing more usage, should that change – should Stories eventually get more focus than your regular feed? And if so, how would that work? 

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Maybe, Instagram will eventually open to a full-screen Stories view, which you can swipe through to see the latest. No doubt Instagram’s already considered this – but that would also have significant implications as to how people use the app, and would veer further from its original photography focus.

But maybe, this new experiment is the first step along that path. If Instagram were to find a presentation option that keeps people more engaged with Stories, that, eventually, could lead to it discovering that users are spending more time within this stream than they are in the main feed. At some point, given the usage trends, you’d think that Stories would outweigh the main feed, and Instagram might need to switch to Stories, logically, as the primary function. 

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The trends suggest that this will happen anyway, and this experiment could be a step along that path.

As such, while it might seem like a minor update now, and a minor debate as to how you view Stories at present, it could become more significant in the near future.

Socialmediatoday.com

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TikTok Launches New ‘Branded Mission’ Creator Monetization and UGC Promotion Process

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TikTok Launches New 'Branded Mission' Creator Monetization and UGC Promotion Process

TikTok’s looking to make it easier for creators to make money from their clips via a new program that it’s calling ‘Branded Mission’, which will enable creators to take part in what’s essentially branded content challenges, with the brand then able to select from the submitted clips for their promotional campaigns.

As explained by TikTok:

“To make it easier for brands to tap into the creative power of TikTok communities and co-create authentic branded content that resonates with users, we’re launching Branded Mission. Branded Mission is an industry-first ad solution that enables advertisers to crowdsource authentic content from creators on TikTok, turn top-performing videos into ads, and improve brand affinity with media impressions.”

As outlined in the above video, the process will enable brands to post challenges, which creators with over 1k followers will then be able to participate in.

“TikTok creators can decide what Branded Missions they’re inspired by and choose to participate in the Mission. Brands will select their favorite original creative videos and amplify them through promoted ad traffic.”

The chosen creators then get a cash payment, though the payment amounts, at least at this stage, won’t vary based on individual video performance.

Instead, each Mission will list earnings potential, based on how much the brand is willing to pay.

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Allocate more cash and you’ll pique the interest of more users, expanding the potential of tapping into a viral hit.

The option will broaden the creative options for brands, and with organic-styled content performing best on the platform, it could open up major new possibilities for marketers looking for ways to tap into the app.

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It’ll also provide TikTok with another critical revenue-share element. Clearly the app of the moment, if TikTok wants to maximize its opportunities, it needs to ensure that its top creators get paid – because with more lucrative monetization offers available on other platforms, it logically makes sense that big-name stars will follow the cash, and focus on those platforms instead.

But monetizing short-form video is harder than longer content, which is why TikTok is also rolling out 10-minute clips, and emphasizing live-streaming, as a means to drive more money-making opportunities.

Branded Mission is another step in this direction, which will ideally provide a more direct link between creating content in your own style and making money, without having to incorporate merchandise sales or arrange your own affiliate deals.

Interestingly, Meta is trying out similar on Instagram, where product tags were recently expanded to all users.

Instagram product tags

Creators don’t get paid for adding these tags, not yet at least, but you can see how Meta could eventually take a similar approach to provide creators with more revenue opportunities.

For TikTok, the process could make it much easier to bring in cash for your uploads, expanding well beyond the Creator Fund, which top creators have already been highly critical of.

You will, of course, need to create specific, themed videos, as opposed to YouTube, where you upload what you like and switch on ads. But it’s a fairly distanced relationship from the sponsor brands, which reduces management workload, while also providing new content prompts.

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It’s a good idea, and as more and more brands look to tap into the app – especially as it surges towards 1.5 billion users – you can bet that it’ll be a popular option for a range of ad partners.

See also  China 'livestream queen' accounts disappear after record fine

TikTok says that Branded Mission is now in beta testing, and is available to brands in more than a dozen markets. The option will be made available in more regions throughout the year.

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