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Threads Tests Post Drafts and Integrated Camera In-Stream

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Threads Tests Post Drafts and Integrated Camera In-Stream

After testing out post drafts internally over the past few weeks, the Threads team has now launched a live test of the option with selected users, while it’s also added an integrated camera function, and a new pathway to challenge its moderation rulings.

First off, on drafts, one of the most-requested Threads features. Today, some users have noticed a new “Drafts” option appearing in-stream, which enables them to save their unposted Threads.

Threads has confirmed that this is now in testing with selected users. For those in the test pool, you’ll see a new option when you go to exit out of an in-progress post to “Save Draft”. Your draft post will then be accessible via the bottom compose button.

Though it is limited. Users can currently only save one draft post, so it’s not exactly like the draft options available in other apps.

But it is a start, which should help to provide more opportunity to compose your best content in the app, while it is also worth noting that all of your posts within a Thread will be saved together if you exit.

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Threads has also added a new camera integration, which will enable users to take photos in-stream (not video as yet).

Threads camera

Though that’s also limited, with users currently only able to take one photo per post.

But again, it’s a starting point, and another development in the continued expansion of the app.

Which is still trailing X, despite many former Twitter users now migrating across to the alternative app. Certain communities have shifted away from Elon’s social platform experiment, which has helped to establish a foundation for Threads’ growth. But still, many others remain embedded on X, and seem unlikely to be shifting from their established home.

Sports communities, in particular, remain active on X, while live commentary is still better facilitated by X’s systems, and both seem unlikely to be usurped by Threads, which has opted not to make real-time content a priority as yet.

Threads is now testing Trending Topics, which is a step in this direction. But the overt push to demote news and politics in the app is likely to impede take-up, and ensure many discussions remain wired to X, as opposed to shifting across.

The question then is: “Is that actually a better approach?”

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Meta’s view is that it can build a better version of what Twitter was by focusing on positivity, and if it can, the impact of that could be significant, both for Threads itself and for broader online engagement.

But I don’t know. Human nature is drawn to controversy, and content that sparks the biggest emotional reaction, and X currently hosts a lot more of that, and more of the real-time discussion surrounding such. And I’m not sure that Meta’s approach will work in unseating it.

But if you do happen to post semi-controversial content on Threads, and it gets removed as a result, you will also now have a new avenue of appeal, with the Oversight Board now accepting appeals against Meta’s decisions relating to Threads content, in addition to its other apps.

Threads Oversight Board

Which is a good update, which will provide additional avenues for those who feel that Meta has acted incorrectly in its moderation.

But as noted, that’s a smaller consideration in Threads’ broader growth push, which has already slowed significantly from its initial interest.

The variance here seems to be that many users want a Twitter alternative, while Meta itself is not interested in building that. Somewhere in the middle, these two will meet, but whether that’s more to Meta’s side, or the users, could ultimately dictate the app’s fate.

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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.

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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.

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“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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Instagram Tests Live-Stream Games to Enhance Engagement

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Instagram Tests Live-Stream Games to Enhance Engagement

Instagram’s testing out some new options to help spice up your live-streams in the app, with some live broadcasters now able to select a game that they can play with viewers in-stream.

As you can see in these example screens, posted by Ahmed Ghanem, some creators now have the option to play either “This or That”, a question and answer prompt that you can share with your viewers, or “Trivia”, to generate more engagement within your IG live-streams.

That could be a simple way to spark more conversation and interaction, which could then lead into further engagement opportunities from your live audience.

Meta’s been exploring more ways to make live-streaming a bigger consideration for IG creators, with a view to live-streams potentially catching on with more users.

That includes the gradual expansion of its “Stars” live-stream donation program, giving more creators in more regions a means to accept donations from live-stream viewers, while back in December, Instagram also added some new options to make it easier to go live using third-party tools via desktop PCs.

Live streaming has been a major shift in China, where shopping live-streams, in particular, have led to massive opportunities for streaming platforms. They haven’t caught on in the same way in Western regions, but as TikTok and YouTube look to push live-stream adoption, there is still a chance that they will become a much bigger element in future.

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Which is why IG is also trying to stay in touch, and add more ways for its creators to engage via streams. Live-stream games is another element within this, which could make this a better community-building, and potentially sales-driving option.

We’ve asked Instagram for more information on this test, and we’ll update this post if/when we hear back.

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