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Meta Adds New ‘Calls’ Tab in Messenger, Leaning Into Evolving Connection Activity

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Meta Adds New 'Calls' Tab in Messenger, Leaning Into Evolving Connection Activity

Meta’s leaning into the rising use of Messenger to conduct audio and video calls, with a new, dedicated ‘Calls’ tab added to the lower function bar in the app.

As you can see here, now, in addition to the ‘Chats’, ‘People’ and ‘Stories’ tabs, you’ll also have a new ‘Calls’ section, where you can connect with friends via Messenger’s calling options.

Messenger says that audio and video calling has grown at a rapid rate, with over 40% more daily callers in the app now compared to early 2020, while globally, more than 300 million audio and video calls are conducted on Messenger every day. 

As such, it makes sense to put more focus on this as an option, in order to facilitate more direct engagement, while it also expands on Messenger’s usage without forcing in new elements like Games, shopping, etc.

Which Meta has done in the past. In 2016, Meta made a big push on Messenger bots, before launching a separate tab for Messenger games, among other functionalities, in an effort to build Messenger into a broader use tool.

Messenger Games

As you can see here, are one stage, that lower function bar was getting pretty crowded.

Meta acknowledged this in 2018, when then Messenger chief David Marcus vowed to get back to the app’s roots.

“Over the last two years, we built a lot of capabilities to find the features that continue to set us apart. A lot of them have found their product market fit; some haven’t. While we raced to build these new features, the app became too cluttered. Expect to see us invest in massively simplifying and streamlining Messenger this year.”

That eventually lead to the Messenger layout we have now, with simplified tab exploration and streamlined discovery. In essence, Meta conceded that most people don’t see Messenger as anything more than a messaging app, which was a blow for its broader plans to monetize messaging in a range of new ways.

Instead, it had to go back to the drawing board, and now, with new usage behaviors evolving, it’s moving more in line with usage, as opposed to trying to broaden its market fit.

The growth of calls in Messenger makes sense, given its simplified video and audio connection tools, building onto your existing chats and connections, and this new tab will help to facilitate this – though there’s not a lot of direct benefit for Meta’s business push.

Maybe, through more immediate direct calling, that will help to provide enhanced connection opportunities for brands, but the main impetus is regular users and enhancing existing activity trends.

Meta says that the new tab is intended to ‘create a space for people to deepen their relationships with their friends and communities through shared experiences’.

It likely will succeed on that front, driving more connection within the Messenger app.

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Meta Could be Exploring Paid Blue Checkmarks on Facebook and Instagram

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Meta Could be Exploring Paid Blue Checkmarks on Facebook and Instagram

It seems like Elon Musk’s chaotic management approach at Twitter is having some broader impacts, with more companies reportedly considering lay-offs in the wake of Musk culling 70% of Twitter staff (and keeping the app running), and Meta now apparently also considering charging for blue checkmarks in its apps.

Yes, the Twitter Blue approach to making people pay for verification, which hasn’t proven overly popular on Twitter itself, is now also seemingly in consideration at Meta as well.

According to a new finding by reverse engineering pro Alessandro Paluzzi, there’s a new mention in the codebase of both Facebook and Instagram of a ‘paid blue badge’.

Paluzzi also shared a screenshot of the code with TechCrunch:

That does appear to refer to a subscription service for both apps, which could well give you a blue verification badge as a result.

Mets has neither confirmed nor denied the project, but it does seem, at least on the surface, that it’s considering offering checkmarks as another paid option – which still seems strange, considering the original purpose of verification, which is to signify noteworthy people or profiles in the app.

If people can just buy that, then it’s no longer of any value, right?

Evidently, that’s not the case, and with Twitter already bringing in around $7 million per quarter from Twitter Blue subscriptions, maybe Meta’s looking for a means to supplement its own intake, and make up for lost ad dollars and/or rising costs of its metaverse development.

It seems counter-intuitive, but I guess, if people will pay, and the platforms aren’t concerned about there being confusion as to what the blue ticks actually mean.

I guess, more money is good?

Meta has, in the past, said that it won’t charge a subscription fee to access its apps. But this, of course, would be supplemental – users wouldn’t have to pay, but they could buy a blue checkmark if they wanted, and use the implied value of recognition for their own purposes.

Which seems wrong, but tough times, higher costs – maybe every app needs to start digging deeper.

Meta hasn’t provided any info or confirmation at this stage, but we’ll keep you updated on any progress.



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YouTube Shorts Exceed 50B Daily Views, Meta’s Reels Doubles Plays 02/03/2023

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YouTube Shorts Exceed 50B Daily Views, Meta's Reels Doubles Plays 02/03/2023

YouTube Shorts and Meta’s Reels are both making
headway in the intensely competitive video shorts sector.  

During Alphabet’s Q4 earnings call on Thursday, CEO Sundar Pichai reported that YouTube Shorts has surpassed 50 billion
daily views. That’s up from the 30 billion reported in Q1 2022.

However, it still …



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Podcast Marketing Statistics for Businesses [Infographic]

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Podcast Marketing Statistics for Businesses [Infographic]

Podcasts have become an increasingly popular content format, providing on-demand, topical material covering virtually any subject that you can think of.

Indeed, according to estimates, over 130 million people will listen to podcasts monthly in the US this year, which could also provide significant opportunities for marketers to tap into this captive audience, and reach them with relevant ads and offers.

If you’re considering getting into podcasting or podcast advertising, this will help. The team from Spiralytics have put together a collection of podcast consumption stats and notes, which could help guide your thinking around the format.

Check out the full infographic below.

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