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New Strategic Overview Points to Major Changes Coming to Your Facebook Feed

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Change is coming once again to your Facebook feed, with the Meta-owned platform looking to switch up its approach in line with evolving media consumption behaviors.

According to an internal overview from Facebook App chief Tom Alison, which was obtained by The Verge, Meta’s looking to incorporate more AI-recommended content into Facebook feeds, based on overall engagement and popularity, not your personal connections. Which is similar to how TikTok sources content from a wider pool than your immediate network, while Facebook’s also working to streamline content sharing, by bringing more messaging tools back into the main interface.  

As explained by Meta:

“The Home experience will balance both connected content and unconnected content. We’re working to clean up top-of-feed and make it just as easy to see Stories from friends as it is to discover new content in Reels. We’re also exploring a Community Panel to give direct access to the communities you care about most. Finally, we’re testing a product to give you predictable access to your connected Feed, with the ability to sort in chronological order and filter by Groups, Pages, and Friends. Internally we call this “Mr. T” and I’m excited about the progress the team is making.”

Which sounds interesting – but as Mr. T himself once said, ‘I pity the fool’ who pushes too hard on major product shifts, which could risk major elements of the core app experience.

The Verge provided its own overview of how the updated Facebook feed will work:

The main tab will become a mix of Stories and Reels at the top, followed by posts its discovery engine recommends from across both Facebook and Instagram. It’ll be a more visual, video-heavy experience with clearer prompts to direct message friends a post. To make messaging even more prominent, Facebook is working on placing a user’s Messenger inbox at the top right of the app, undoing the infamous decision to separate the two apps eight years ago.

The updated strategic shift is pretty much entirely influenced by TikTok, which continues to gain more usage momentum, to the detriment of Meta’s own apps. Those trends are now too significant too ignore – and it’s not just the focus on short-form video itself, it’s the broader habitual shifts that this causes, in terms of reduced attention spans, and new user habits, informed by TikTok’s compelling ‘For You’ feed.

If it wasn’t clear already that Meta’s doing all that it can to keep up with TikTok, it’s about to become a lot more obvious, based on the proposed changes to your main feed.

In his overview of strategic priorities for the app, Alison outlines the proposed shift towards AI-fueled content discovery, based on your interests, as opposed to what’s shared by your friends.

“Historically, Facebook has taken an entity-centric approach to discovery. We help you connect with the friends, groups, and pages you care about most, then updates from those connections are ranked in Feed. Unconnected content in Feed was surfaced via reshares from the friends, groups, and pages you follow, but unconnected recommendations weren’t historically a core part of the Feed experience. However we did invest heavily in unconnected content discovery on adjacent surfaces, i.e. through search queries or recommendations-first products like Watch, News, and Marketplace.”

The shift, which Alison describes as a ‘discovery engine’ approach, will aim to highlight more interesting content in the app, ‘regardless of whether it was produced by someone you’re connected to or not’.

Meta has already been making investments on this front, with Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg noting in its Q1 earnings call that:

“While we’re experiencing an increase in short-form video, we’re also seeing a major shift in feeds from being almost exclusively curated by your social graph or follow graph to now having more of your feed recommended by AI, even if the content wasn’t posted by a friend or someone you follow. Social content from friends and people and businesses you follow will continue being a lot of the most valuable, engaging and differentiated content for our services, but now also being able to accurately recommend content from the whole universe that you don’t follow directly unlocks a large amount of interesting and useful videos and posts that you might have otherwise missed.”

That follows TikTok’s lead in surfacing more content, which is a better experience for creators (who get more views) and users (who get access to a wider breadth of content), but it’s a fundamental shift away from Facebook’s long-standing key point of differentiation – that it has the biggest user base of any platform, by far, which is why it’s so valuable as a connection tool.

TikTok has upended this, and while platforms like Reddit have capitalized on crowd-sourced recommendations for a long time, TikTok’s algorithm has effectively systemized user interests, showing you more of what you like without you having to explicitly communicate such through following certain profiles and/or communities.

That essentially dilutes Facebook’s strength, and while the app remains a key connective tool, it’s now looking to evolve its systems in line with this new paradigm shift.

A key focus in this respect, of course, is Reels, which is Meta’s fastest growing content option.

Reels already makes up more than 20% of the time that people spend on Instagram, while video overall makes up 50% of the time that people spend on Facebook. And now, as per Alison’s outline, Facebook will look to lean into this even more.

“Today’s genre of public short-form video opens up new ways for people to create and discover content. While Facebook’s discovery engine is designed to support many different formats (text, photos, video, and eventually Metaverse experiences), our biggest gap today is around short-form video and that’s why we’re focused on integrating Reels in Home, Watch, In-Feed Recommendations, and Groups.”

In other words, expect a lot more Reels, in a lot more places, in Facebook’s apps.

If you don’t like short-form video, you’re now in the minority, and again, the habitual shifts that the rise of shorter content has caused means that all video platforms need to conform to these new consumption behaviors, or risk losing audience as a result.

This will require a significant change in approach from Meta, which, again, has thus far relied on providing content recommendations based on your explicit interest signals, i.e. the people, groups, and businesses that you’ve chosen to connect to in its apps.

The switch to algorithmic recommendations is far more risky, as getting it wrong can see engagement plummet fast. But getting it right, as TikTok has shown, can have major benefits.

Another core risk for Facebook, however, will be the amplification of more controversial, sensationalized content, which might perform well in algorithms, but might not be the most savory material to be showing to its 2.9 billion users.

This is also a problem on TikTok, with users regularly being shown, for example, highly sexualized videos of young creators, who are incentivized to post such for more likes and reach. In some ways, TikTok gets away with such, because of its focus on younger audiences, but you can bet that Facebook won’t receive the same leniency if it starts algorithmically amplifying questionable clips.

Putting more faith in the algorithms could end up being a major problem for Facebook in this respect, with the platform already viewed as a key hive for conspiracy theories and misinformation, largely due to the engagement that sensationalized content sees in the app.

Right now, Facebook’s able to argue that these types of posts are largely limited by personal sharing, but a more all-encompassing algorithm will change that dynamic, and see Facebook pushing these posts out to more users.

Is that a good approach for Facebook to take? Time will tell, but I’d be willing to bet that more problems and concerns will arise as a result.

On another front, Alison also notes that helping people realize economic opportunities is another strategic focus, with commerce remaining a key long-term for Meta and Facebook.

“It’s also strategic for Meta as more on-site commerce experiences help us mitigate the ads signal loss [and] it’s one of our major products that has good market fit with YA. We will continue investing in both organic and business-driven commerce products, and there is growing opportunity to integrate delightful commerce experiences into products like Groups, Live, and more as part of our effort to democratize economic opportunity on Facebook.”

In summary, more Reels, more product listings and more content from people you’re not connected to in the app.

It makes sense, when considering broader web engagement trends, but there are some big risks for Facebook within this, which could backfire on the app.

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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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