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New Report Highlights the Decline of Facebook and IG, as TikTok Becomes the New Home of Entertainment

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TikTok is Fast Becoming a Key Search and Discovery Platform for Younger Audiences

Have you found yourself using Instagram way less of late?

The once trendsetting social platform seems to have lost its luster, in large part due to Instagram’s insistence on pumping more content from accounts that you don’t follow into your main IG feed.

The ‘inspiration’ for that approach is TikTok, which has seen great success by focusing on content, as opposed to creators, with the app opening to a ‘For You’ feed of algorithmically-selected clips, based on your viewing habits. Instagram, as usual, saw that as an opportunity, and it’s since been working to negate your direct input – i.e. the accounts that you’ve chosen to follow – by showing you more and more stuff that it thinks you’ll like.

Which is annoying, and personally, I don’t find Instagram anywhere near as engaging as it once was.

And it seems many other users agree – according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, Instagram engagement is declining, with Reels, in particular, seeing a significant drop-off in user engagement of late.

As reported by WSJ, TikTok users are spending over 10x as many hours consuming content in that app as Instagram users currently spend viewing Reels. According to a leaked internal report, Reels engagement is also in decline, dropping 13.6% in recent months – while ‘most Reels users have no engagement whatsoever.’ 

Meta has lightly refuted the claims, by stating that the usage data doesn’t provide the full picture. Though it declined to add any more context – which is Meta’s usual process when it can’t dispel such with its own insight.

Take, for example, total time spent in its apps. Back in 2016, as part of its regular performance reporting, Meta noted that people were spending more than 50 minutes per day, on average, using Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. It hasn’t reported any official stats on this ever since, which many believe is because that number has been in steady decline, and Meta sees no value in reporting that it’s losing ground, and has been for years now.

Meta, instead, is keen to talk about daily and monthly active users, where its figures are solid. But this almost feels like misdirection – Facebook and Instagram, in particular, have traditionally been based on building your social graph, and establishing a digital connection with the people that you know and want to stay connected with, and informed about.

As such, it makes sense that a lot of people log onto these apps each day just to see if their friends and family have shared anything new. That doesn’t, however, mean that they’re spending a lot of time in these apps.

Which is another reason why Meta’s trying to push more interesting content into your main feed, and in between updates from your connections – because if it can hook those people that are just checking in, then logging straight back out, that could be a key way to get its engagement stats back on track.

But it’s not working.

Again, Facebook and Instagram have spent years pushing you to establish connections with the people that you care about, even introducing an algorithm to ensure that you see the most important updates from these users and Pages every day.

At one point, Facebook noted that an average user was eligible to see over 1,500 posts every day, based on the people and Pages they were connected to – which is way more than they could ever view in a single day. So it brought in the algorithm to help maximize engagement – which also had the added benefit of squeezing Page reach, and forcing more brands to pay up.

But now, Facebook is actively working to add in even more content, cluttering your feed beyond the posts that you could already be shown, and making it harder than ever to see posts from the people you actually want to stay updated on.

Hard to see how that serves the user interests.

And again, it seems that users are understandably frustrated by this, based on these latest engagement stats, and previously reported info from Facebook which showed that young users are spending less and less time in the app.

Because it’s fundamentally going against its own ethos, purely for its own gain.

Accept it or not, people go to different apps for different purpose, which is the whole point of differentiation and finding a niche in the industry. People go to TikTok for entertainment, not for connecting with friends (worth noting that TikTok has actually labeled itself an ‘entertainment app’, as opposed to a social network), while users go to Facebook and IG to see the latest updates from people they care about.

The focus is not the same, and in this new, more entertainment-aligned paradigm, Meta’s once all-powerful, unmatched social graph is no longer the market advantage that it once was.

But Meta, desperately seeking to counter its engagement declines, keeps trying to get people to stick around, which is seemingly having the opposite effect.

Of course, Meta needs to try, it needs to seek ways to negate user losses as best it can – it makes sense that it’s testing out these new approaches.

But they’re not the solution.

How, then, can Instagram and Facebook actually re-engage users and stem the tide of people drifting across to TikTok?

There are no easy answers, but I’m tipping the next phase will involve exclusive contracts with popular creators, as they become the key pawns in the new platform wars.

TikTok’s monetization systems are not as evolved, and YouTube and Meta could theoretically blow it out of the water if they could rope in the top stars from across the digital ecosphere.

That could keep people coming to their apps instead, which could see TikTok engagement wither, like Vine before it.

But other than forcing people to spend more time on Facebook, by hijacking their favorite stars, there’s not a lot of compelling reasons for people to spend more time in Meta’s apps. At least, not right now, as they increasingly dilute any form of differentiation.  

But essentially, it comes down to a major shift in user behaviors, away from following your friends, and seeing all the random stuff that they post, to following trends, and engaging with the most popular, most engaging content from across the platform, as opposed to walling off your own little space.

At one stage, the allure of social media was that it gave everyone their own soapbox, a means to share their voice, their opinion, to be their own celebrity in their own right, at least among their own networks. But over time, we’ve seen the negatives of that too. Over-sharing can lead to problems when it’s saved in the internet’s perfect memory for all time, while increasing division around political movements has also made people less inclined to share their own thoughts, for fear of unwanted criticism or misunderstanding.

Which is why entertainment has now become the focus of the next generation – it’s less about personal insights and more about engaging in cultural trends.

That’s why TikTok is winning, and why Facebook and Instagram are losing out, despite their frantic efforts.

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How I Landed Job Interviews Without Experience

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Working 9 to 5 Emily In Paris?width=398&height=256&fit=crop&auto=webp

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wilfrid Laurier chapter.

As a university student, entering the workplace can be a difficult transition for more than one reason. For starters, simply finding a job to get experience on your resume and begin your career can be one of the most difficult parts. Most jobs want you to have experience, but you can’t get experience without experience in the first place! In previous years, I was unsuccessful in landing summer internships in hopes to kickstart my career. This year, I decided to do my research and do everything possible to land interviews because I knew once I got to that point, I could sell myself into the position. Here are my tips on how to at least get to the interview portion of the stressful job search process.

Finding Jobs

First off, you need to be able to find jobs in your field. As a communication studies student, I was searching for public relations, marketing and social media focused jobs. I used a few search engines in order to find them. I began on Indeed, making my job search varied by using “Summer 2024 student internship” as a starter, and going more specific into marketing, social media and public relations after. Indeed was helpful, however, it seemed very limited. I then went to Google with the same searches. This led to a few more job search websites that gave me a few more job postings. My final place to search was LinkedIn. Prior to this year, I wasn’t using the platform for my job search. Getting a 30-day free trial of LinkedIn Premium helped tremendously, as they give more specific job postings based on your profile as well as tips and tricks to updating your profile to match with those hiring. One thing to remember if you’re looking for a summer job is to start looking early. I applied from January through February, searching for new postings almost daily. I also kept a spreadsheet in Notion to keep track of jobs I’d applied to, the status of if I’d heard back and links to the company websites for future reference once an interview was in place. Keeping this organized will allow you to not only know which jobs you apply to, but how long it’s been and whether you’ve heard back or not.

Resume and Cover Letter

Your resume and cover letter are extremely important because with many applicants, hiring managers may only glance or skim through both. You want your resume to look clean upon first sight, nothing too flashy or dramatic and preferably on a single page. Highlight your education, job experience and skills and abilities without writing too much or too little. I found that once I summarized my roles to two or three points each, I became more successful in landing interviews. If you have stellar grades, adding your transcript to applications is always something to consider, as even if you have little to no experience, your dedication to school may assist you in this. As someone with only retail experience wishing to enter a whole new field, making sure my roles reflected leadership skills, collaboration and possibly marketing skills was important. Any extracurriculars that may highlight the field you wish to enter and apply to is also a key feature to reflect in a resume. As for a cover letter, there are so many templates online as to how to make your cover letter look clean and professional by adding the company’s address, hiring manager’s name and your signature at the bottom. If you’re someone with no experience, talk about personal projects. I ran a TikTok account for years where I discussed books and collaborated with publishing companies and I found that when I had put that information in my cover letter, more companies reached out to me for interviews. The way you shape your interests and extracurriculars is a make it or break for a cover letter.

Keep On Trying

Landing an interview is a long process sometimes. It can become disheartening seeing friends around you land interviews and jobs in their fields as you continuously apply. I’d nearly given up a few weeks in, with no emails or updates on jobs I applied to. But I kept trying, getting feedback on my cover letters, resume and profiles throughout the process and ended up receiving interviews for multiple companies within the same week. The job market is a combination of experience, how you shape yourself through a resume and connections you may have. Don’t be too hard on yourself if it’s taken longer than you wished to land an interview. With a few hours a week dedicated to the search and writing of cover letters, you’ll have interview requests in no time.

Whether you’ve just graduated, are currently in school or just want to kickstart your career, job searching can be a scary thing. With dedication and constant feedback, you’ll become more and more sure of yourself and ability to get the jobs you want. Good luck on the job search and remember all good things come with time.

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LinkedIn Shares New Insights into How Public Group Posts are Distributed

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LinkedIn Shares New Insights into How Public Group Posts are Distributed

Could LinkedIn groups be making a comeback?

I mean, probably not. Long gone are the Halcyon days of robust LinkedIn groups, most of which have since been overrun by spammers and scammers looking to get attention at all costs, which has rendered most groups, and group notifications, as spam themselves.

But maybe, there is a way for LinkedIn to get at least some groups back on track.

Maybe.

Today, LinkedIn has published a new overview of the work that it’s put into building public groups, which is an option that LinkedIn’s still in the process of rolling out to all users.

Public groups, as the name suggests, are wholly viewable by members and non-members, as opposed to having to join a group to see what’s happening within it. Up till a year ago, LinkedIn users could only create “listed” or “unlisted” groups, with listed communities showing up in relevant searches, and unlisted ones hidden from non-member view. So you could find a listed group, but you’d still have to join it to get a view of the discussions happening within. But with public groups, they’re both listed and the content is viewable.

Which, according to LinkedIn, has been a positive:

Over the last few years, the Groups product has evolved significantly across feed, notifications, creators, group discovery, content moderation, and other domains of organizer tooling. In continuation of these improvements, we launched public groups to help non-group members see valuable conversations happening in groups, and to help group organizers and creators foster more engagement and a stronger community. This has led to a 35% increase in daily group contributors and a more than 10% incremental increase in joins in these groups.

Which makes sense. Enabling users to view what’s happening within groups, especially highly active, well-moderated ones, is going to attract more members. But it is also interesting to consider whether there might be value in switching your group to public, and making it more of a focus.

Within the new technical overview, LinkedIn explains that public group posts are eligible to be distributed in member timelines, as well as their expanded networks.

“For posts created inside public group, we set the distribution to MAIN_FEED to allow for distribution on the home feed to group members, first degree connections of the author, and first degree connections of any members who react/comment/repost on the post. This helps increase distribution of public group posts.”

That could facilitate good distribution for public feed posts, and could help to increase engagement within your LinkedIn group.

As you can see in this example, another strong lure is that only group members can comment on a public group post. Anyone can react to a public group update, but you have to actually join the community, which you can do via the CTA, to participate in the discussion.

In combination, this could be a powerful way to maximize group engagement, and depending on where that fits into your strategy, it could put more emphasis on LinkedIn groups as a means to broaden connection and community.

Though, as noted, many soured on LinkedIn groups long ago, once the spammers settled in. Back in 2018, LinkedIn actually tried to initiate a groups refresh, with new regulations around spam, and limits on notifications about groups activity, to discourage misuse.

That, seemingly, didn’t have a huge impact, but as LinkedIn notes, it has continued to update its group rules and processes, in order to make it a more compelling product.

Could it be worthy of consideration once again?

There are definitely things to like here, and for those who already have active LinkedIn groups, making the switch to “Public” could have some benefit.

I do think that LinkedIn groups require strong moderation to maximize their value, and establishing a core focus statement for your group, and what it’s for, is also essential to help to guide your direction.

But maybe, they’re worth a look once again.

Maybe.

You can read more about LinkedIn’s latest public groups updates here.

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X Raises Questions on Content Moderation After Navalny’s Wife Allegedly Banned

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Screenshot from Yulia Navalnaya on X

Amidst speculation surrounding the banning of Navalny’s wife from X, questions arise over the platform’s content moderation policies in Europe. 

(Photo : Yulia Navalnaya )
Screenshot from Yulia Navalnaya on X

Continuing Alexei Navalny’s Fight

Alexei Navalny, a prominent Russian anti-corruption activist, died under mysterious circumstances in a Siberian penal colony on Feb. 16. While the exact cause of Navalny’s death remains unclear, Western officials have pointed fingers at Russian President Vladimir Putin

Navalny’s wife, Yulia Navalnaya, fueled speculation further with claims in a video statement. She alleged that Russian authorities may be withholding her husband’s corpse to eliminate evidence of a deadly nerve agent, Novichok.

The video accused Putin of orchestrating her husband’s demise and pledged to continue his work. This development raises concerns about X’s content moderation practices and its implications for freedom of speech in Europe.

In a video shared in Russian language, she conveyed her aspiration for a liberated Russia, emphasizing her desire to live and contribute to its freedom. Following this, Navalnaya rapidly amassed a significant online following, receiving an outpouring of support from thousands of sympathetic messages. 

According to a report from The Guardian, Navalnaya currently resides in a location undisclosed to the public outside of Russia. She established her X account in February and made her inaugural post on the 19th while in Brussels, engaging with EU officials regarding her husband’s passing. 

Facing X Suspension

However, her presence on X encountered a brief suspension on Tuesday, triggering widespread user concern. During the suspension period, allegations circulated, suggesting a connection between owner Elon Musk and sympathies toward Putin.

X’s Safety team later clarified that the account suspension resulted from an error in the platform’s spam detection system, which erroneously flagged @yulia_navalnaya’s account. 

As per Daily Dot, the suspension was promptly lifted upon the team’s realization of the mistake, with assurances of enhancements to the platform’s defense mechanism. X’s announcement does not explicitly indicate whether Navalnaya’s account suspension resulted from an automated system. 

Also read: China, Russia Agree to Coordinate AI Use in Military Technology

However, attributing the suspension to a “defense mechanism” and the pledge to “update the defense” led some information analysts to infer that human intervention was not involved in the initial account shutdown.

This interpretation prompted swift scrutiny from researchers, who questioned the accuracy of attributing the suspension, even implicitly, to an automated decision.

Responding to the statement, Michael Veale, an associate professor of Digital Rights & Regulation at University College London’s Faculty of Laws, expressed skepticism. He noted the irony, given X’s previous claims under the Digital Services Act, that they refrain from automated content moderation.

Implemented by the EU in October 2022, the Digital Services Act (DSA) aims to combat illegal content, ensure advertising transparency, and counter disinformation. 

Among its mandates, the act necessitates platforms to disclose moderation determinations in the DSA Transparency Database, detailing factors like the rationale behind the decision, the content type in question, and whether automation was involved in the decision-making process.

2023 study by the University of Bremen researchers scrutinizing moderation verdicts uploaded to the database for a single day revealed that X exclusively relied on human moderation for its decisions.

Consequently, X reported significantly fewer moderation determinations than other platforms during the observed period.

Related Article: Vladimir Putin’s Unusual New Year’s Message Sparks Death Rumors: Is ‘AI Putin’ Behind the Speech?

Written by Inno Flores

ⓒ 2024 TECHTIMES.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.



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