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TikTok’s Next Generative AI Push Could be AI Facilitated Search In-Stream

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TikTok’s Expanding Access to its Research API, Enabling More Analysis of How it Works

While social platforms are still developing optimal use cases for generative AI in their apps, TikTok may be close to launching a more practical use for the technology, with its Chinese sister app Douyin now experimenting with generative AI search, enabling users to maximize discovery both inside and outside the app.

As reported by Pandaily:

The ‘AI Search’ feature is located within the search interface of the Douyin app, alongside other search services such as products, group buying, users, and videos. Users only need to input relevant questions or information in ‘AI Search’ to obtain answers generated by intelligent search technology.”

From this overview alone, you can see how Douyin’s growth has been structured around discovery, with a range of additional search features already built into the app.

Generative AI search will expand upon this, though the most interesting element is the extent to which the new system is able to facilitate responses.

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“The answers not only come from high-quality videos within Douyin but also include information from third-party websites, with provided links for users to view more details and explanations. Additionally, based on user queries, ‘AI Search’ can suggest related questions that users may find interesting.”

So Douyin essentially has its own form of ChatGPT built in, focused on discovery, which expands the capacity for the app to fulfill a wider range of search queries, and provide more utility within the app.

Which is particularly relevant to TikTok, especially when you consider its increasing use as a discovery tool.

As you can see in this chart, based on research conducted by Adobe, TikTok is already being used as a discovery engine, especially among younger users.

The value of this for TikTok is that as more people come looking for more things in the app, it can then match those queries up with internal shops and providers, as relevant.

TikTok already offers Search Ads on this front, which enable brands to display their products font-and-center within relevant search pages.

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TikTok Search Ads

If it can incorporate AI-based search, and expand on this capacity, that could make TikTok an even more valuable discovery platform, which could lure even more of this activity into the app.

And as that search behavior expands, TikTok can also look to provide more in-app matches, by making pitches to relevant businesses, highlighting the amount of related queries that it’s seeing. If users are increasingly looking for dog toys in the app, for example, TikTok’s sales team can proactively seek more advertisers in this category, and with the system able to facilitate more searches, that’ll broaden its potential here.

Or it could look to meet any related product demands itself, via its own sourcing and facilitation, with Chinese manufacturers working in partnership with TikTok to provide custom products based on trends.

In this sense, TikTok’s really looking to integrate a Temu-style marketplace into the platform, honing in on the popularity of in-stream shopping to expand its offering.

Thus far, TikTok hasn’t cracked the code on this, but generative AI search could be another big step, while also providing another way for the platform to tap into the rising AI trend.

Which, thus far, social platforms haven’t really excelled in.

Sure, several platforms, including TikTok, are rolling out new generative AI elements, mostly related to visual creation in-stream. But most of these are a novelty, and don’t seemingly offer long-term value within the social media engagement process.

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Generative AI search could be a more valuable consideration, while TikTok’s also experimenting with song creation via AI, which could be another value add, given the platform’s connection with music trends.

On balance, I would argue that, right now, TikTok is leading the way on integrating AI into its platform, as others are still trying to figure out good use cases for AI tools in-stream. Generative AI search makes a lot of sense in this respect, and while TikTok hasn’t indicated anything about it as yet, I would suspect that this will be coming to the app, sometime soon.

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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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