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Meta Begins Testing Fact Check Markers on Threads

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Meta Begins Testing Fact Check Markers on Threads

While it doesn’t particularly want political discussion on Threads, Meta also knows that it’s going to happen either way, which is why it’s now expanding its fact-checks to Threads as well, with the first fact-check alerts spotted in-stream late last week.

As you can see in this example, Threads is now displaying fact-checks in some regions, with the current notes mirroring the work done on Facebook and Instagram, and not unique to Threads itself.

Meta’s confirmed to TechCrunch that more fact check markers are coming to Threads, but right now, it’s in limited form, with the Threads alerts matching similar content that’s been fact-checked in its other apps.

Meta will however be adding specific Threads tags, which will be important given the various polls happening around the world this year, and the expected impact of AI-generated deepfakes in particular in the process.

Fact-checking has become a point of contention in some circles, with X owner Elon Musk looking to reduce the impact of outside interference on what’s shared in his app, with Musk suggesting that these types of processes are merely designed to help maintain certain narratives, as opposed to being used as informational markers.

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Which would be some feat, considering the array of third-party fact-checking partners involved in the process. But even so, Musk’s preference, instead, is to rely on Community Notes crowd-sourced fact-checking, which, in his view, will enable “the people” to decide what’s true and what’s not, as opposed to professional organizations.

Which, as various reports have shown, is largely unworkable at scale, and easily infiltrated by biased operatives. As such, it does seem like X could be particularly vulnerable to manipulation in the coming election period, while other platforms work to ramp up their confirmation and validation efforts through more cooperative means.

And as noted, Threads too will eventually have dedicated fact-checks in-stream, which could be a key tool in helping to dispel false narratives and reports, and keeping voters informed.

Previous research has shown that fact-check labels have a significant effect on reducing false news sharing intentions, and clearly, Meta sees high value in employing this as a misinformation deterrent.

Politics, ideally, won’t gain significant traction on Threads, due to the platform opting users out of political content by default, which will make it harder for those topics to gain mass momentum in the app. But it’s important for Meta to still consider the influence of such, and to counter harmful impacts where it can.   

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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

In a recent announcement, Snapchat revealed a groundbreaking update that challenges its traditional design ethos. The platform is experimenting with an option that allows users to defy the 24-hour auto-delete rule, a feature synonymous with Snapchat’s ephemeral messaging model.

The proposed change aims to introduce a “Never delete” option in messaging retention settings, aligning Snapchat more closely with conventional messaging apps. While this move may blur Snapchat’s distinctive selling point, Snap appears convinced of its necessity.

According to Snap, the decision stems from user feedback and a commitment to innovation based on user needs. The company aims to provide greater flexibility and control over conversations, catering to the preferences of its community.

Currently undergoing trials in select markets, the new feature empowers users to adjust retention settings on a conversation-by-conversation basis. Flexibility remains paramount, with participants able to modify settings within chats and receive in-chat notifications to ensure transparency.

Snapchat underscores that the default auto-delete feature will persist, reinforcing its design philosophy centered on ephemerality. However, with the app gaining traction as a primary messaging platform, the option offers users a means to preserve longer chat histories.

The update marks a pivotal moment for Snapchat, renowned for its disappearing message premise, especially popular among younger demographics. Retaining this focus has been pivotal to Snapchat’s identity, but the shift suggests a broader strategy aimed at diversifying its user base.

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This strategy may appeal particularly to older demographics, potentially extending Snapchat’s relevance as users age. By emulating features of conventional messaging platforms, Snapchat seeks to enhance its appeal and broaden its reach.

Yet, the introduction of message retention poses questions about Snapchat’s uniqueness. While addressing user demands, the risk of diluting Snapchat’s distinctiveness looms large.

As Snapchat ventures into uncharted territory, the outcome of this experiment remains uncertain. Will message retention propel Snapchat to new heights, or will it compromise the platform’s uniqueness?

Only time will tell.

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

While it is tempting to try to appeal to a broad audience, the founder of alcohol-free coaching service Just the Tonic, Sandra Parker, believes the best thing you can do for your business is focus on your niche. Here’s how she did just that.

When running a business, reaching out to as many clients as possible can be tempting. But it also risks making your marketing “too generic,” warns Sandra Parker, the founder of Just The Tonic Coaching.

“From the very start of my business, I knew exactly who I could help and who I couldn’t,” Parker told My Biggest Lessons.

Parker struggled with alcohol dependence as a young professional. Today, her business targets high-achieving individuals who face challenges similar to those she had early in her career.

“I understand their frustrations, I understand their fears, and I understand their coping mechanisms and the stories they’re telling themselves,” Parker said. “Because of that, I’m able to market very effectively, to speak in a language that they understand, and am able to reach them.” 

“I believe that it’s really important that you know exactly who your customer or your client is, and you target them, and you resist the temptation to make your marketing too generic to try and reach everyone,” she explained.

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“If you speak specifically to your target clients, you will reach them, and I believe that’s the way that you’re going to be more successful.

Watch the video for more of Sandra Parker’s biggest lessons.

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Instagram Tests Live-Stream Games to Enhance Engagement

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Instagram Tests Live-Stream Games to Enhance Engagement

Instagram’s testing out some new options to help spice up your live-streams in the app, with some live broadcasters now able to select a game that they can play with viewers in-stream.

As you can see in these example screens, posted by Ahmed Ghanem, some creators now have the option to play either “This or That”, a question and answer prompt that you can share with your viewers, or “Trivia”, to generate more engagement within your IG live-streams.

That could be a simple way to spark more conversation and interaction, which could then lead into further engagement opportunities from your live audience.

Meta’s been exploring more ways to make live-streaming a bigger consideration for IG creators, with a view to live-streams potentially catching on with more users.

That includes the gradual expansion of its “Stars” live-stream donation program, giving more creators in more regions a means to accept donations from live-stream viewers, while back in December, Instagram also added some new options to make it easier to go live using third-party tools via desktop PCs.

Live streaming has been a major shift in China, where shopping live-streams, in particular, have led to massive opportunities for streaming platforms. They haven’t caught on in the same way in Western regions, but as TikTok and YouTube look to push live-stream adoption, there is still a chance that they will become a much bigger element in future.

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Which is why IG is also trying to stay in touch, and add more ways for its creators to engage via streams. Live-stream games is another element within this, which could make this a better community-building, and potentially sales-driving option.

We’ve asked Instagram for more information on this test, and we’ll update this post if/when we hear back.

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