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Threads Plans to Deprioritize Political Discussion Through New Recommendations Approach

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Threads Plans to Deprioritize Political Discussion Through New Recommendations Approach

Yeah, I’m not sure that this aligns with the key strengths of a real-time social discussion app.

Today, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri has announced that both Instagram and Threads are ramping up their systems to avoid recommending political content, in order to limit topical exposure to users who’ve had enough of constant, divisive political debates.

As explained by Mosseri:

If you follow political accounts on Threads or Instagram, we want to avoid getting between you and their content. That said, we also don’t want to proactively amplify political content from accounts you don’t follow. To that end, we’re extending our existing approach to how we avoid recommending political content to additional surfaces. Over the next few weeks we will be improving how we avoid recommending content about politics on recommendation surfaces – like Explore, Reels, and Suggested Users – across both Instagram and Threads. If you want political recommendations, you will have a control to opt into getting them. These recommendations updates apply to public accounts and only in places where we recommend content. They don’t change how we show people content from accounts they choose to follow.”

So, to clarify, on both Instagram and Threads, the recommendation systems powering Explore, Reels, and within its Suggested Users display, will now more actively avoid highlighting content and users related to political topics.

Which is a viable approach on Instagram, and Facebook incidentally, which has actually been borne out in experience.

For example, back in January 2021, in the wake of the Capitol Riots, Meta began a broader push to reduce political content exposure in its apps, in order to avoid the harm and angst caused by such, while also addressing direct user feedback.

As Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted in a Facebook earnings call on January 27th, 2021:

“One of the top pieces of feedback we’re hearing from our community right now is that people don’t want politics and fighting to take over their experience on our services.”

That sparked the beginning of Meta’s AI recommendations push, in which it sought to follow the lead of TikTok by showcasing top-performing video content from across the app within user feeds, whether users followed the creators of such content or not.

And that has been effective. 40% of the content that people see on Instagram now comes via AI recommendations, with a slightly lesser amount on FB, and in the past year, that approach has driven a 7% increase in time spent on Facebook, and a 6% increase in the same on IG.

This has been a critical win, because at one time, it did seem that both Facebook and Instagram were on the way out as key connective surfaces, amid TikTok’s rise. But switching to a more entertainment-focused approach, centered on Reels recommendations, now has both of its core apps back on the right track.

It’s less “social”, as it’s more about showing people the most entertaining content from across its network, in order to maximize engagement in each app. But it’s working, while it’s also enabled both platforms to veer away from political discussion, which the metrics would indicate has been a big winner. Whether users say that they like it or not.

Which is seemingly why it’s now looking to expand the same to Threads, where it’s repeatedly noted that it’s taking a different approach to real-time discussion.

However, from a Threads perspective, I don’t think that this will be effective.

Why is that?

Because Threads is, at least in perception, seeking to usurp X as the real-time discussion platform of choice, and Twitter succeeded for years, almost despite itself, because it offered a means to tap into the pulse of whatever was happening, at any given time.

Which not only involves political content, it’s actually central to this approach.

Sure, political content can be divisive and harmful, and annoying to many users. But it’s a key element of day-to-day discussion, and if Threads wants to play a role within that space, politics-related chatter will be critical to its existence.

There’s also a question of what contributes “political” content, and how that impacts posting behaviors. If I want to get more followers on Threads, this will now mean that I should avoid sharing opinions on any potentially political topic, because that’ll exclude my account from follow recommendations. Is Elon Musk a political topic? I don’t post about politics, but I do post about social platforms. Do I now need to modify my approach?

At the same time, not even Meta seems to be sure what constitutes political/offensive material, given its more recent debate around the term “Zionist”. Also, if it’s using AI to determine this, do you need to be careful about the specific terms that you use in any debate? And how much can you post about politics without being restricted?  

It’s pretty opaque at this stage. And while this new approach will include an opt-in if you do want to see content related to politics, Meta also knows that most people won’t use it, the same as how it offers a “Following” feed, but won’t make it the default, because it knows that most users won’t bother to switch over. Which then enables it to squeeze more engagement out of its AI content recommendations, by showing people a wider range of content types from users that they don’t follow in the main “For You” feed.

Essentially, Meta’s looking to take the same approach that it has on Facebook and IG within Threads as well. But I suspect, in large part, that misses the point.

Really, over time, I’m actually starting to lose faith in the prospect Meta building Threads into a viable Twitter alternative at all, based on such moves.

Originally, when Meta launched Threads in July last year, I presumed that Threads would eventually unseat Twitter (before it became X) as the home of real-time engagement, due to Elon’s radical and unpopular moves at the app, and Meta’s experience in building social platforms.

Nobody knows what works in driving engagement more than Meta, right? Facebook and IG are the two biggest social platforms in the world, and if anyone can see what trends are driving interest, it’s definitely the Meta team.

Right?

I still think that’s true, but as time goes on, we’re also seeing a variance in perception based on this, because what works on Facebook/Instagram is unlikely to be what also drives engagement in a real-time social app.

For example:

  • Mosseri has repeatedly noted, from the beginning, that Threads will not be a place for discussion news and politics. Just after the app launched, Mosseri noted that “there are more than enough amazing communities – sports, music, fashion, beauty, entertainment, etc. – to make a vibrant platform without needing to get into politics or hard news.” Which sounds a lot more like Instagram than a real-time social app. Tweets about the latest beauty trends aren’t what drove engagement in that app.
  • Back in December, Mosseri ruled out launching chronological search sorting tools in the app, due to concerns that it would quickly be flooded with spam. Yet, being able to sort chronologically, and track trending topics, is a key value proposition of Twitter, now X, and you definitely can’t keep up with real-time discussion on Threads the same as you can in X. Interestingly, the Threads team did actually release a prototype of this functionality a few weeks later, before rolling it back, which would suggest that there is some debate among the Threads team on this element.
  • Earlier this month, Mosseri said that, in his view, features like trending topics won’t have a big impact on Threads’ growth. Mosseri’s perspective is that while tools like this may be important to “power users”, they’re not to everybody else, and if Threads wants to grow its community, it’s better off focusing on other elements. Which would be true for IG, again, where topical communities are the focus, but for a real-time discussion platform?

Essentially, Mosseri seems to be missing the point of the key value proposition of a real-time discussion app, in that you need to be able to tap into real-time discussions as they’re happening, as opposed to an Instagram-like system, where users are more looking to browse and be engaged by different content.

What it seems like is that Meta is trying to make Threads into what it wants it to be, a complementary community-building tool for Instagram creators, in order to facilitate real-time engagement, leaning into broader trends around private group engagement, but in public instead.

Maybe, that’s ultimately the value proposition for Threads, but that’s not what most Threads users, I would suggest, have been seeking.

Though that is, at least in part, what Mosseri has outlined for the app from the beginning.

On launch, Mosseri explained that:

Obviously, Twitter pioneered the space, and there are a lot of good offerings out there for public conversations. But just given everything that was going on, we thought there was an opportunity to build something that was open and something that was good for the community that was already using Instagram.”

Note that last point, “the community that was already using Instagram.”

In Mosseri’s view, it seems that Threads is more of an IG add-on, as opposed to a standalone Twitter alternative, while Zuckerberg has also reiterated that they want to make Threads different to what Twitter had been, and X now is.

The goal is to keep it friendly as it expands. I think it’s possible and will ultimately be the key to its success. That’s one reason why Twitter never succeeded as much as I think it should have, and we want to do it differently.”

The question now is: “Do people really want a nice, friendly platform for discussion?”

Or instead, is Threads set to lose interest because it’s not a Twitter replacement?

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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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