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Musk’s Plans Around Verification, Moderation, and Payments on Twitter are Slowly Becoming Clear

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Musk Will Seek Evidence from Twitter’s Former Product Chief as He Looks to Exit His Takeover Deal

As we head into Thanksgiving, the various controversies and developments around Twitter continue to evolve, with new boss Elon Musk still throwing around ideas and making sweeping changes at the app.

And while there is still a question around whether Twitter will even remain online, due to reduced oversight of its systems, if it does, the next steps will see major shifts in direction at the app.

Catching you up, here’s a look at all the latest key developments at Twitter HQ, which could impact the platform moving forward.

Delayed verification

Musk’s first major move at Twitter, his $8 verification for all plan, has been delayed once again, with Musk noting that they need to establish better systems to combat impersonation before moving ahead.

The controversial program was launched to some users earlier this month, before being shut down after a couple of days due to confusion caused by impersonators in the app. Last week, Musk set a new target date of November 29th for a re-launch of the program, but now, that date seems to be off the cards too, as Twitter explores the potential ramifications of the checkmark-for-sale process.

Look, this is a confusing, misguided initiative – and that’s not to say that Musk is wrong about everything or to question his grand plan for the app (calm down, Elon fanfolk). Musk may well be able to get Twitter on a path to growth, and I would bet on his team eventually getting things together. But an $8 monthly fee for blue checkmarks isn’t it.

I suspect that Musk will eventually see this – with the concession of gray ‘Official’ ticks already a tacit acknowledgment of the flaws in this approach.

The vectors for potential manipulation are far too high – though I do think the alternative color options for checkmarks of different kinds could be a better approach towards verifying actual humans in the app, if Twitter also incorporates a form of ID checking into the process.

As I noted at the first suggestion of Musk’s checkmark/verification program, rather than selling blue ticks, Musk would be better off giving these new verified users a different color of checkmark, which would clarify that they are a real person, while also leaving the existing and established verification markers as is, limiting confusion in the app.

The problem is, people won’t pay $8 for these alternative markers – but I suspect that most users aren’t going to pay $8 for blue ticks either.

But maybe, with an improved Twitter Blue package, Elon can still make this into a more appealing offering.

We’ll find out when it eventually gets re-launched.

Content Moderation – Musk Style

Musk’s communicated vision of a Content Moderation Council, which would be made up of academics, civil rights leaders and other experts, and would rule on content decisions in the app, now appears to be in tatters – or at least, it doesn’t seem like it’s going to have the influence or power over Twitter’s moderation process as Musk implied when he first floated the concept a few weeks back.

As noted, within days of taking over at the app, and in an effort to reassure advertisers that he wasn’t going to let Twitter become a ‘free-for-all hellscape’, Musk said that Twitter would formulate a moderation council to oversee its biggest decisions.

Note the specific comment about reinstatements – with users calling on Musk to reinstate former President Donald Trump’s account, Musk tried to placate them with this stance, which meant that he no longer had to make a quick decision on the Trump case specifically.

Except, then he did.

Over the weekend, Musk decided to let the people decide, by holding a Twitter poll on whether Trump should be allowed back on the app. The poll, which garnered more than 15 million votes, narrowly went in favor of allowing the former President to return – and in contradiction of his previous stance, Musk then reactivated Trump’s account.

Which, apparently, caught Twitter’s sales team off-guard, who had been working to reassure ad partners that Musk wouldn’t just arbitrarily make such decisions.

Turns out, he will – while Musk has also now stated that the Content Moderation Council, if and when it is established, won’t have the final say over any major decisions.

As reported by The Verge’s Alex Heath, Musk has explained to Twitter staff that:

“This is an advisory council. I will hear what they have to say and I will either agree with it or I won’t.”

So it’s really Elon making the calls. If there was any confusion around who’s in charge, and who, ultimately, will decide what is and is not allowed, this is the answer

Which is probably not what ad partners wanted to hear.

Musk has also stated that Alex Jones will not be allowed back on the app, because of his personal views on Jones’ past actions.

So again, if there were any question, it’s Elon who’s writing the rules. No one else.  

Staff changes

After cutting Twitter’s staff headcount by over 64% (some reports have suggested even more), Musk has now laid down a new set of regulations for Twitter’s remaining employees, which includes the proviso that they now need to send Musk himself weekly updates of what they’re working on, along with examples of code for engineers.

The approach is emblematic of Musk’s Twitter management strategy – Musk has already told all staff that they’ll be expected to work ‘long hours at high intensity’ in order to get the app back on track, with this additional micro-management approach adding extra impetus and pressure, in order to keep things progressing.

Which may seem extreme – but then again, when you’re on the line for $44 billion, you’d imagine that there would be a strong desire for oversight.

Musk has also cut staff benefits, in order to reduce costs, though he has also reassured those remaining that the staff cuts are done for now, with the company actively hiring new engineering and sales staff.

On that front, Musk has also tasked his team with setting up engineering teams in lower cost markets, like Indonesia, which could be another way to maintain momentum, and get the app back on track.

Crypto payments

Another aspect of Musk’s Twitter takeover which is far less clear at this stage, but potentially far more significant, is his push to facilitate payments via tweet.

Musk, who co-founded PayPal back in 2000, has a long-held interest in improving the ACH transfer process, while Musk has also been a big supporter of certain crypto projects, including his favored Dogecoin currency.

Some have speculated that, given Musk’s history, and the fact that Binance is an equity investor in Musk’s Twitter, Musk will be looking to build streamlined payments into Twitter, in order to convert the platform into a key transfer portal, and then expand that into in-stream shopping, bill payments, remittance, etc.

Again, it’s still early, but this week, Musk reportedly informed Twitter employees that he is indeed looking to build crypto payments into the app, and that he expects payments to eventually be ‘more valuable than all the rest of Twitter combined’.

This is a difficult area, and one which all social platforms have explored at different times. Meta’s likely best-placed to make payments work, and it’s been trying to integrate Meta Pay into developing markets, like India and Indonesia, for years, in order to establish Facebook and WhatsApp as the equivalent of China’s WeChat in those regions.

WeChat, of course, has become a key utility in China, and is used by over a billion people to do everything online, from buying train tickets, to grocery shopping, to booking doctors appointments.

In the past, Meta’s also attempted to convert Messenger into the western version of WeChat, with the integration of various expanded functionalities, but it’s never caught on in the same way, but in developing regions, there is still a chance that WhatsApp, for example, could act as its equivalent platform in India.

But getting local approval for payments has proven challenging, and it’s taking time to expand habitual behaviors in the app.

Interestingly, Musk has also flagged his intent to build his own, western version of WeChat, with an app concept that he calls ‘X’, which, in his view, will be ‘the everything app’. Musk has said that he views Twitter as ‘an accelerant to X’, and while the full blueprint is not yet clear, it does seem that introducing payments on Twitter would be a key step towards that broader goal.  

But again, western audiences haven’t shown any real interest in a localized version of WeChat, so he will have a task ahead of him. But big-picture thinking is what he does, so…

There’s a lot going on at Twitter HQ, and most of it is still in flux, but over time, we’re starting to get some more solid frameworks emerging as to where Musk and his new team will be headed with the app.

All of this will take time to develop, especially with such a significant reduction in headcount, but I do expect that Twitter will stabilize at some point, as Musk settles onto some more viable, concrete directions for the app.

So long as it doesn’t crash entirely before then.



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12 Proven Methods to Make Money Blogging in 2024

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Make money blogging

 

Make money bloggingThis is a contributed article.

The world of blogging continues to thrive in 2024, offering a compelling avenue for creative minds to share their knowledge, build an audience, and even turn their passion into profit. Whether you’re a seasoned blogger or just starting, there are numerous effective strategies to monetize your blog and achieve financial success. Here, we delve into 12 proven methods to make money blogging in 2024:

1. Embrace Niche Expertise:

Standing out in the vast blogosphere requires focus. Carving a niche allows you to cater to a specific audience with targeted content. This not only builds a loyal following but also positions you as an authority in your chosen field. Whether it’s gardening techniques, travel hacking tips, or the intricacies of cryptocurrency, delve deep into a subject you’re passionate and knowledgeable about. Targeted audiences are more receptive to monetization efforts, making them ideal for success.

2. Content is King (and Queen):

High-quality content remains the cornerstone of any successful blog. In 2024, readers crave informative, engaging, and well-written content that solves their problems, answers their questions, or entertains them. Invest time in crafting valuable blog posts, articles, or videos that resonate with your target audience.

  • Focus on evergreen content: Create content that remains relevant for a long time, attracting consistent traffic and boosting your earning potential.
  • Incorporate multimedia: Spice up your content with captivating images, infographics, or even videos to enhance reader engagement and improve SEO.
  • Maintain consistency: Develop a regular publishing schedule to build anticipation and keep your audience coming back for more.

3. The Power of SEO:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ensures your blog ranks high in search engine results for relevant keywords. This increases organic traffic, the lifeblood of any monetization strategy.

  • Keyword research: Use keyword research tools to identify terms your target audience searches for. Strategically incorporate these keywords into your content naturally.
  • Technical SEO: Optimize your blog’s loading speed, mobile responsiveness, and overall technical aspects to improve search engine ranking.
  • Backlink building: Encourage other websites to link back to your content, boosting your blog’s authority in the eyes of search engines.

4. Monetization Magic: Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing allows you to earn commissions by promoting other companies’ products or services. When a reader clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase, you get a commission.

  • Choose relevant affiliates: Promote products or services that align with your niche and resonate with your audience.
  • Transparency is key: Disclose your affiliate relationships clearly to your readers and build trust.
  • Integrate strategically: Don’t just bombard readers with links. Weave affiliate promotions naturally into your content, highlighting the value proposition.

5. Display Advertising: A Classic Approach

Display advertising involves placing banner ads, text ads, or other visual elements on your blog. When a reader clicks on an ad, you earn revenue.

  • Choose reputable ad networks: Partner with established ad networks that offer competitive rates and relevant ads for your audience.
  • Strategic ad placement: Place ads thoughtfully, avoiding an overwhelming experience for readers.
  • Track your performance: Monitor ad clicks and conversions to measure the effectiveness of your ad placements and optimize for better results.

6. Offer Premium Content:

Providing exclusive, in-depth content behind a paywall can generate additional income. This could be premium blog posts, ebooks, online courses, or webinars.

  • Deliver exceptional value: Ensure your premium content offers significant value that justifies the price tag.
  • Multiple pricing options: Consider offering tiered subscription plans to cater to different audience needs and budgets.
  • Promote effectively: Highlight the benefits of your premium content and encourage readers to subscribe.

7. Coaching and Consulting:

Leverage your expertise by offering coaching or consulting services related to your niche. Readers who find your content valuable may be interested in personalized guidance.

  • Position yourself as an expert: Showcase your qualifications, experience, and client testimonials to build trust and establish your credibility.
  • Offer free consultations: Provide a limited free consultation to potential clients, allowing them to experience your expertise firsthand.
  • Develop clear packages: Outline different coaching or consulting packages with varying time commitments and pricing structures.

8. The Power of Community: Online Events and Webinars

Host online events or webinars related to your niche. These events offer valuable content while also providing an opportunity to promote other monetization avenues.

  • Interactive and engaging: Structure your online events to be interactive with polls, Q&A sessions, or live chats. Click here to learn more about image marketing with Q&A sessions and live chats.

9. Embrace the Power of Email Marketing:

Building an email list allows you to foster stronger relationships with your audience and promote your content and offerings directly.

  • Offer valuable incentives: Encourage readers to subscribe by offering exclusive content, discounts, or early access to new products.
  • Segmentation is key: Segment your email list based on reader interests to send targeted campaigns that resonate more effectively.
  • Regular communication: Maintain consistent communication with your subscribers through engaging newsletters or updates.

10. Sell Your Own Products:

Take your expertise to the next level by creating and selling your own products. This could be physical merchandise, digital downloads, or even printables related to your niche.

  • Identify audience needs: Develop products that address the specific needs and desires of your target audience.
  • High-quality offerings: Invest in creating high-quality products that offer exceptional value and user experience.
  • Utilize multiple platforms: Sell your products through your blog, online marketplaces, or even social media platforms.

11. Sponsorships and Brand Collaborations:

Partner with brands or businesses relevant to your niche for sponsored content or collaborations. This can be a lucrative way to leverage your audience and generate income.

  • Maintain editorial control: While working with sponsors, ensure you retain editorial control to maintain your blog’s authenticity and audience trust.
  • Disclosures are essential: Clearly disclose sponsored content to readers, upholding transparency and ethical practices.
  • Align with your niche: Partner with brands that complement your content and resonate with your audience.

12. Freelancing and Paid Writing Opportunities:

Your blog can serve as a springboard for freelance writing opportunities. Showcase your writing skills and expertise through your blog content, attracting potential clients.

  • Target relevant publications: Identify online publications, websites, or magazines related to your niche and pitch your writing services.
  • High-quality samples: Include high-quality blog posts from your site as writing samples when pitching to potential clients.
  • Develop strong writing skills: Continuously hone your writing skills and stay updated on current trends in your niche to deliver exceptional work.

Conclusion:

Building a successful blog that generates income requires dedication, strategic planning, and high-quality content. In today’s digital age, there are numerous opportunities to make money online through blogging. By utilizing a combination of methods such as affiliate marketing, sponsored content, and selling digital products or services, you can leverage your blog’s potential and achieve financial success.

Remember, consistency in posting, engaging with your audience, and staying adaptable to trends are key to thriving in the ever-evolving blogosphere. Embrace new strategies, refine your approaches, and always keep your readers at the forefront of your content creation journey. With dedication and the right approach, your blog has the potential to become a valuable source of income and a platform for sharing your knowledge and passion with the world, making money online while doing what you love.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos



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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.

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.

“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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