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Twitter Implements New Rules Banning Links to Other Social Platforms

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Elon Musk Launches Hostile Takeover Bid for Twitter

Time to review your Twitter bio, because Elon and Co. have got some new rules about what you can link out to – and if you don’t get in line, you’ll find yourself suspended real quick.

Specifically, Elon and his Twitter 2.0 team have decided that linking out to any competing social platform, in any way, is now against the rules. Because of, um, free promotion?

As explained by Twitter:

“We recognize that many of our users are active on other social media platforms. However, we will no longer allow free promotion of certain social media platforms on Twitter.”

So Twitter doesn’t want to juice its competitors by providing free reach to its audience. Not sure that’s going to provide the competitive edge that Twitter hopes, but here we are.

“Specifically, we will remove accounts created solely for the purpose of promoting other social platforms and content that contains links or usernames for the following platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, Tribel, Nostr and Post.”

To clarify, you need to remove all links in your bio, and no longer tweet links to your accounts on:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Mastodon
  • Truth Social
  • Tribel
  • Nostr
  • Post

In case you were wondering, currently, millions of accounts are falling foul of this new rule.

Many users had noted issues trying to link to their Mastdon accounts over the past week, which seemed to be Twitter’s attempt to stop a user exodus. Now, we have an official reason as to why – and that’s not all.

In the further documentation of the new rule, Twitter also notes that:

  • 3rd-party social media link aggregators such as linktr.ee, lnk.bio

These are banned to, so you need to get rid of your Linktree links, as well as any other link aggregator.

Which seems absurd, but again, here we are.

‘But hang on’, I hear you say, ‘what about official cross-posting options using Twitter’s API, like when you share a link to something using the Twitter button from the share options available?’

That, apparently, is still allowed.

“We recognize that certain social media platforms provide alternative experiences to Twitter, and allow users to post content to Twitter from these platforms. In general, any type of cross-posting to our platform is not in violation of this policy, even from the prohibited sites listed above.”

So theoretically, you could still cross-post your latest update on, say, Instagram, and that would not be in violation of the rules. But posting a direct link to your IG profile would.

Twitter also notes that:

“Posting links or usernames to social media platforms not listed above are also not in violation of this policy.”

So links to YouTube, Pinterest, Reddit, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and interestingly, TikTok, are all fine.

Evidently, Mastodon, which is slowly becoming the Twitter alternative of choice, has annoyed Elon enough to warrant attention, while Meta must also have gotten his goat somehow.

The addition of Nostr, an open source platform being promoted by former Twitter chief Jack Dorsey, also suggests that the relationship has soured between those two (remember when Jack said Elon was ‘the singular solution’ he trusted to save Twitter?), while the omission of TikTok could point to Elon’s complicated ties with China, and a need to not step on any toes on that front.

Twitter also says that any attempt to bypass the new rules – like spelling out ‘dot’ for social media platform links to avoid URL creation, or sharing screenshots of your handle on a prohibited social media platform – you best believe, that too will result in a paddlin’ from the tweet Gods.

Twitter will, however, continue to allow paid advertisement/promotion for any of the prohibited social media platforms. What a surprise.

Look, I realize there are passionate supporters of Elon who see no fault in anything that he does, and for those people, this is likely just another part of his grand master plan, that all of us common-folk are just too stupid to get. But this is bad. This is a bad policy, which will not help Twitter. And while the concept of walling people in may feel like it makes some sense, on some level, in regards to halting the use of the app for ‘free promotion’ of competitors, the impacts will, over time, significantly outweigh perceived benefits.

Take, for example, creators who cross-post to Twitter to promote their stuff on other apps, on which they can make far more revenue. Twitter benefits from this, through increased engagement, but now, those creators will have to think twice about how they use the app for this purpose – and whether it’s even worth using at all.

It’s the exact opposite of what Twitter had been working towards before Elon, with its development more creator tools and incentive programs.

Disabling Linktree and similar services also hurts Twitter’s ecosystem, and lessens its value, as opposed to increasing it, while stopping people from promoting their Mastodon and Post links will likely just make them migrate faster.

And the confusing element where you can still cross-post via official share links?

The entire update feels like rushed policy, that hasn’t been thought through.

Much like this – another coming Twitter update:

Conceptually, that should incentivize more people to pay for Twitter Blue, right? In order to get this additional ‘downvote’ benefit.

But as many have pointed out, this is actually more likely to be misused and abused to silence dissenting opinions, while also adding more incentive to block and mute – i.e. stop listening to opposing opinions.

There’s also the new ‘anti-doxxing’ rules that saw several high-profile journalists suspended last week.

It’s trigger happy policy, being developed without the industry knowledge or the sensibility required to come to the right approach.

Oh, also, it’s potentially anti-competitive, and illegal in Europe.

Elon has noted that Twitter’s going to do ‘lots of dumb things in the coming months’ as he works to right the ship. This, most definitely, is one of them.

UPDATE: Hours after releasing this policy, and amid huge backlash, Twitter quietly deleted the tweets, unpublished the rules document and posted this poll:

The results here seem to suggest that this was not a popular update – while it may also have been Elon’s last as chief.

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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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Twitter Tests Expanded Emoji Reaction Options in DMs

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Twitter Tests Expanded Emoji Reaction Options in DMs

Twitter’s looking to give users a broader set of emoji reactions for their DMs, while also, potentially, enabling personalization of your quick reactions display in the app.

As you can see in these mock-ups, shared by Twitter designer Andrea Conway, Twitter’s testing a new search option within the reaction pop-up in DMs which would enable you to use any other emoji as a reaction to a message.

An extension of this would also be the capacity to update the reactions that are immediately displayed to whatever you choose.

Twitter DM reactions

It’s not a game-changer by any means, but it could provide more ways to interact via DMs, and with more interactions switching to messaging, and more private exchanges, it could be a way for Twitter to better lean into this trend, and facilitate a broader array of response options in-stream.

Twitter’s working on a range of updates as it looks to drive more engagement and usage, including tweet view counts, updated Bookmarks, a new ‘For You’ algorithm, and more. Elon Musk has said that he can envision Twitter reaching a billion users per month by next year, but for that to happen, the platform needs to update its systems to show people more of what they like, and keep them coming back – which is what all of these smaller updates, ideally, build to in a broader approach.

But that’s a pretty steep hill to climb.

Last week, Twitter reported that it’s now up to 253 million daily active users, an increase on the 238 million that it reported in July last year. Daily and monthly active usage is not directly comparable, of course, but when Twitter was reporting monthly actives, its peak was around 330 million, back in 2019.

Twitter MAU chart

As noted in the chart, Twitter switched from reporting monthly active users to daily actives in 2019, but looking at the two measurements, it’s hard to imagine that Twitter’s monthly active usage is any more than 100m over its current DAU stats.

That means that Twitter has likely never reached more than 350 million active users – yet Musk believes that he can best that by close to 200% in a matter of months.

Seems unlikely – even at current growth rates since Musk took over at the app, Twitter would only be looking at around 500 million users, optimistically, by the end of 2024.

If it can maintain that. More recent insight from Twitter has suggested that user activity has declined since those early post-Musk purchase highs – but maybe, through a range of updates and tweaks, there could be a way for Musk and Co. to maximize usage growth, beyond what seems possible, based on the stats.

We’ll find out, and as it pushes for that next level, you can expect to see more updates and tweaks like this, with enhanced engagement in mind.  



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Tarte Influencer Marketing Criticized 01/31/2023

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Tarte Influencer Marketing Criticized 01/31/2023

With consumers obsessed over the price of a dozen eggs, could conspicuous consumption-driven influencer marketing falling out of favor? That is the question brands might be considering after the
backlash that cosmetics brand Tarte is receiving after a sponsored trip to Dubai. “Influencers were called out for appearing not …

Read the whole story at Marketing Brew »



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