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Twitter Launches New Promotional Campaign for Spaces and Live Audio Chats

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Twitter Launches New Promotional Campaign for Spaces and Live Audio Chats

While the audio social hype cycle has died down significantly, Twitter is determined to continue pushing Spaces as a key connection tool, in an effort to make it a bigger part of the Twitter experience.

The latest on this front is a new ad campaign for Spaces – which I’m not sure really sells the option as it would hope.

As you can see, Twitter’s trying to showcase the value of Spaces and audio discussion in the app. And certainly, the Spaces topics that it highlights here are fairly dominant – tap over to the Spaces tab right now and you’ll find any number of Spaces on NFTs, ‘shower thoughts’ and the like.

The problem is, that’s also part of the reason why Spaces isn’t catching on, because most of these discussions are fairly niche, and Twitter’s algorithm is still not great at highlighting the most valuable and interesting discussions to each individual user.

Which, of course, is hard to do. With the discussions happening live, they essentially can’t be moderated and categorized ahead of time – though Twitter has added topic tags to help in this respect.

But a bigger challenge could be that Twitter doesn’t want to recommend Spaces that could be problematic. If you were to go to the Spaces tab and find a top Space that Twitter had highlighted, and that Spaced ended up being, say, a disguised chat about QAnon, the backlash could be significant.

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This is just one of the many challenges of live-stream content, which was once again underlined earlier this week when a Twitch user streamed himself on a shooting spree in Buffalo.

Facebook found the same with its live map feature, which it eventually shut down – when you’re promoting live-stream content, you’re also running the risk that you’ll be promoting harmful material as well, which, again, is an unavoidable element of the live experience.

Though in Twitter’s case, I suspect its algorithms are just not great at showing you the most relevant stuff, at any given time.

Despite its broad social graph, and insights into user interests, Twitter’s never been great at personalization, something that TikTok has got down to a tee, with its ever-evolving ‘For You’ algorithm that sucks you into a vortex of topical, relevant content, faster than you even realize. Hours fly by as you flick through TikTok clips, and that compulsive viewing experience is why it’s become so popular, and is now leading the next wave of social connection, with all other apps playing catch-up.

Twitter, again, has never been great at this. It was never able to integrate top Vine clips into Twitter, for example, while its focus on live-streaming, via Periscope, eventually faded because it couldn’t boost engagement.

Spaces, unfortunately, seems to suffer from the same affliction, and unless Twitter can make that Spaces tab more compelling, by highlighting the best, most personally relevant, most valuable in-progress streams at any given time, I don’t see it becoming a key companion piece for the common Twitter experience.

Still, as a reader recently pointed out to me, many users are seeing benefit from Spaces, and there is indeed value in the option. But unless it sees wider adoption, I don’t see how Twitter itself will glean significantly value from supporting live audio into the future.

Maybe another one for Elon to sort out when he takes the reigns of the app.

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Instagram Expands Access to Reels Templates, Adds New Music Recommendations for Reels Clips

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Instagram's Working on a New Option That Would Simplify Reels Monetization for Creators

Looking to get into Instagram Reels, but not sure what to post?

This could help – over the last week, Instagram has been giving more users access to its Reels ‘Templates’ option, which enables you to create Reels based on popular content formats in the app.

As you can see in this example, shared by user Ahmed Ghanem, some people are now seeing the new ‘Templates’ option within the Reels camera, which enables you to select a format for your Reel based on popular trends.

Instagram initially launched its Templates option back in April, which takes users through a frame-by-frame process to create a similar-looking Reels clip.

Instagram Reels templates

So if you lack creativity, now Instagram will do the creative framing for you, which could be handy, as a means to create more engaging clips.

But it could also make a lot more of your Reels feed look familiar, due to replication of the same types of clips over and over again, while it also leans on the talents of trendsetters within the app. Which TikTok has come under scrutiny for in the past, and it’ll be interesting to see whether creators start to question the re-use of their formats in this way.

But if you do need help, maybe it’ll come in handy – and that’s not the only way that IG is looking to lend a guiding hand in the Reels creation process.

According to another discovery by Ghanem, Instagram will also now recommend songs for your content, based on your upload.

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Instagram Reels music recommendations

How, exactly, Instagram recommends different songs for different clips is not clear, but based on these tools, you could essentially extricate yourself of almost all your creative content decisions – you just come up with what you want to film and Instagram’s recommendation tools and templates will do the rest.

Which seems to run counter to the whole ethos of the short-form video trend, which enables users to contribute to the latest trends and memes with their own, simple, creative takes. Indeed, what people like most about short-form content is that it provides more avenues for creativity, which makes these new features feel less genuine, and less interesting, even if they do help you get a few more Likes as a result.

Which they probably will, and for brands that are short on time, and are unable to keep up with the latest formats and tracks, they could be a big help (note: business accounts are limited in terms of what songs they can use in their clips).

But I don’t know. It feels a bit artificial, doesn’t it? Like, Meta is so keen to get as many people as possible posting short-form clips that it’s taking all of your own input and personality out of the process.

Maybe I’m over-thinking it – and really, what I am thinking is that someone should create an account that only posts videos using templates and song recommendations to see what sort of engagement it gets.

It could be massive – but it also feels like another step towards killing off the short-form video trend entirely by doing it to death.

Much like Stories before it – and, ultimately, that could be another way for Meta to negate competition.



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