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Reddit’s Reportedly Developing its Own Clubhouse-Like Audio Rooms Feature

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With audio social still gaining traction, and providing more ways for users to stay connected, it seems that almost every platform is now considering their own take on the function, and how it could be integrated into their app.

And Reddit may be the latest one joining this trend – according to new reports, Reddit’s currently testing its own take on audio social, with audio rooms within subreddits.

As reported by Mashable:

“Reddit is quietly exploring a new feature that would enable moderator-run voice chats, possibly similar to Clubhouse, according to a source familiar with the company’s plan. Development is still in the early stages, and was described as confidential.”

Mashable notes that it’s sought clarification from Reddit on the project, which we have as well, but there’s no official confirmation of the project as yet.

But it would make sense.

Reddit’s been working on more options to boost real-time engagement and interaction over the past few years, with the addition of tools like live-streaming, and in-app messaging to better connect users with similar interests.

Reddit’s even tried out random group discussions, which take a somewhat similar approach to audio social.

Last April, Reddit added a new ‘Start Chatting’ prompt within selected subreddits, which, when tapped, launched an enclosed group discussion of up to five members at a time from that same community.

Reddit group chat

The idea was inspired by the rising use of Reddit’s existing chat features amid the COVID-19 lockdowns, which pointed to demand for more options to connect with those within their favorite communities.

Audio social rooms would seemingly be a perfect avenue for the same, providing a means for Redditors to enhance their community connection and engagement by dropping into real-time chats around their favorite topics, and among Redditors whom they already know and follow in the app.

With the development of Reddit’s video live-streaming capacity, which itself is seeing steady growth, the platform already has the infrastructure to support audio streaming, similar to how Twitter has used Periscope’s back-end for its own audio Spaces feature. As such, it makes sense for Reddit to at least explore the option – and it could end up being a perfect compliment to help boost on-platform engagement.

That would make Reddit the latest to jump onto the audio social trend, which now includes Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as Slack, Discord, and many other separate apps and tools. 

That’s not great news for Clubhouse, the originator of the new trend, which is now facing a growing horde of competitors seeking to eat into its audience, many of whom have many more resources and much larger networks to promote their alternate offerings.

The addition of the functionality in subreddits and groups could actually be the worst-case scenario for Clubhouse, with these dedicated, engaged user groups already established, which could keep them more closely aligned to their current apps of choice, as opposed to seeking out a third party provider for their separate audio chats.

Still, the app says that it’s now valued at $4 billion, which seems optimistic. But value is relative to what the market will pay – and if Clubhouse can raise more funding at that price tag, more power to them. 

But its future is far from certain, and with a new competitor in the space rising up every week, I wouldn’t be counting on Clubhouse winning out just yet.      

Socialmediatoday.com

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Snap making changes to direct response advertising business

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Snap making changes to direct response advertising business

The company posted a net loss of $288.5 million, or 18 cents a share, including $34 million in charges from its workforce restructuring. That compared to a profit of $23 million, or one cent, a year earlier.

Snap ended the fourth quarter with 375 million daily users, a 17% increase. In the first three months of the year, the company estimates 382 million to 384 million people will use its platform daily.

Snap has become a bellwether for other digital advertising companies. Last year, it was the first to raise concerns about the slowdown in marketer spending online and to fire a significant number of employees—20% of its workforce—to cut costs in the face of falling revenue.

The company has spent the last two quarters refocusing the organization, cutting projects that don’t contribute to user and revenue growth.

In the first quarter, Snap expects the environment to “remain challenging as we expect the headwinds we have faced over the past year to persist.”

Investors will get additional information about the state of the digital ad market when Meta and Alphabet report earnings later this week.

—Bloomberg News

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Twitter Outlines New Platform Rules Which Emphasize Reduced Reach, as Opposed to Suspensions

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Twitter Outlines New Platform Rules Which Emphasize Reduced Reach, as Opposed to Suspensions

After reinstating thousands of previously suspended accounts, as part of new chief Elon Musk’s ‘amnesty’ initiative, Twitter has now outlined how it will be enforcing its rules from now on, which includes less restrictive measures for some violations.

As explained by Twitter:

“We have been proactively reinstating previously suspended accounts […] We did not reinstate accounts that engaged in illegal activity, threats of harm or violence, large-scale spam and platform manipulation, or when there was no recent appeal to have the account reinstated. Going forward, we will take less severe actions, such as limiting the reach of policy-violating Tweets or asking you to remove Tweets before you can continue using your account.”

This is in line with Musk’s previously stated ‘freedom of speech, not freedom of reach’ approach, which will see Twitter leaning more towards leaving content active in the app, but reducing its impact algorithmically, if it breaks any rules.

Which means a lot of tweets that would have previously been deemed violative will now remain in the app, and while Musk notes that no ads will be displayed against such content, that could be difficult to enforce, given the way the tweet timeline functions.

But it does align with Musk’s free speech approach, and reduces the onus on Twitter, to some degree, in moderating speech. It will still need to assess each instance, case-by-case, but users themselves will be less aware of penalties – though Musk has also flagged adding more notifications and explainers to outline any reach penalties as well.

“Account suspension will be reserved for severe or ongoing, repeat violations of our policies. Severe violations include but are not limited to: engaging in illegal content or activity, inciting or threatening violence or harm, privacy violations, platform manipulation or spam, and engaging in targeted harassment of our users.

Which still means that a lot of content that these users had been suspended for previously would still result in suspension now, and it leaves a lot up to Twitter management in allocating severity of impact in certain actions.

How do you definitively measure threats of violence or harm, for example? Former President Donald Trump was sanctioned under this policy, but many, including Musk, were critical of Twitter’s decision to do so, given that Trump is an elected representative.

In other nations, too, Twitter has been pressured to remove tweets under these policies, and it’ll be interesting to see how Twitter 2.0 handles such, given its stated more lax approach to moderation, despite its rules remaining largely the same.

Already, questions have been raised on this front – Twitter recently removed links to a BBC documentary that’s critical of the Indian Government, at the request of India’s PM. Twitter hasn’t offered any official explanation for the action, but with Musk also working with the Indian Government to secure partnerships for his other business, Tesla, questions have been raised as to how he will manage both impacts concurrently.

In essence, Twitter’s approach has changed when it chooses to do so, but the rules, as such, will effectively be governed by Musk himself. And as we’ve already seen, he will make drastic rules changes based on personal agendas and experience.

Twitter says that, starting February 1st, any previously suspended users will be able to appeal their suspension, and be evaluated under its new criteria for reinstatement.

It’s also targeting February for a launch of its new account penalties notifications.



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4 new social media features you need to know about this week

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New social media features to know this week


Social media never stands still. Every week there are new features — and it’s hard for the busy comms pro to stay up-to-date on it all.

We’ve got you covered.

Here’s what you need to know about this week.

LinkedIn

Social media sleuth Matt Navarra reported on Twitter that LinkedIn will soon make the newsletters you subscribe to through the site visible to other users.

This should aid newsletter discovery by adding in an element of social proof: if it’s good enough for this person I like and respect, it’s good enough for me. It also might be anopportunity to get your toe in the water with LinkedIn’s newsletter features.

Instagram

After admitting they went a little crazy on Reels and ignored their bread and butter of photographs, Instagram continues to refine its platform and algorithm. Although there were big changes over the last few weeks, these newer changes are subtler but still significant.

 

 

First, the animated avatars will be more prominent on profiles. Users can now choose to flip between the cartoony, waving avatar and their more traditional profile picture, rather than picking one or the other, TechCrunch reported, seemingly part of a push to incorporate metaverse-esque elements into the app.

Instagram also appears to have added an option to include a lead form on business profiles. We say “appears” because, as Social Media Today reports, the feature is not yet listed as an official feature, though it has rolled out broadly.

The feature will allow businesses to use standard forms or customize their own, including multiple choice questions or short answer.

Twitter

In the chaotic world of Twitter updates, this week is fairly staid — with a useful feature for advertisers.

The platform will roll out the ability to promote tweets among search results. As Twitter’s announcement points out, someone actively searching for a term could signal stronger intent than someone merely passively scrolling a feed.

Which of these new features are you most interested in? That LinkedIn newsletter tool could be great for spreading the word — and for discovering new reads.

Allison Carter is executive editor of PR Daily. Follow her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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