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Twitter Now Enables Users to Invite Guests to Live-Streams Ahead of Time

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In these times of physical distancing, social platforms are likely to become an even more important element of our day-to-day lives, and tools which enable us to interact in real-time, simulating social elements as best as possible, will also come to the fore.

We’ve already seen Zoom take off as a virtual hangout tool, and other platforms are working to expand their live-streaming capacity and provide more ways to connect. And now, Twitter has updated its real-time video connection feature, adding a new option to add audio guests into your Twitter live-streams before you actually begin your broadcast.

As you can see in the above video, now, when you go to begin your Twitter stream, you can invite up to three people to join as audio guests.

When you invite people to your stream, they’ll get a notification via DM – Twitter says that it opted to send the invites to your DMs, as opposed to via a tweet, in order to allow for private conversation between broadcaster and invitee.

Twitter live stream DM

When the invitee taps on the ‘View’ prompt in their DM, they’ll be taken to the live broadcast, with a translucent screen. Because guests need to have something to join, you won’t actually be able to send the request to join your stream until you go live. So while you can invite people ahead of time, you’ll have to begin your stream solo, then have the invitees come in.

Twitter live join

It’s a relatively small addition, especially since you can’t actually join as a video guest. 

I noted the same when Periscope announced its audio guest functionality last year – while providing an option to add another person into your live-stream is a good move, having them as audio-only seems a little behind the times, and seems less likely to gain traction when users can access multi-participant video tools within other apps. 

You can add live video guests to your Instagram Live broadcasts (though Facebook removed the option from Facebook Live last year), while you can also stream multi-participant video chats through the aforementioned Zoom and Houseparty. The problem with the latter two options is that they don’t have the audience that Twitter does, if you were looking to showcase your stream, but you can still share relevant links to invite people to join or view. 

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Part of the challenge with live video guests, however, is that its expensive. Facilitating multi-video feeds comes with a lot of back-end costs, which is likely why Twitter has opted to stick with audio-only guests, as opposed to enabling split-screen participants. In the past, Twitter has said that it is looking into video guests in future, but right now, audio additions is the best you’ve got.

Which is still something – and again, in these socially restricted times, it could still be a big thing. But it would be better if there was video too.

The new Twitter live guests invite option is live from today.

Socialmediatoday.com

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Meta Adds Updated Congressional District Data to Location Targeting Options for Ads

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Meta Adds Updated Congressional District Data to Location Targeting Options for Ads

Meta has announced an update to its US location targeting options for ads, with US congressional districts, as defined by the 2020 census, to be added as additional geo-targeting options.

As explained by Meta:

Starting May 19, 2022, an additional set of location targeting options will be available for updated US congressional districts following the US 2020 census. These will be added to all ads interfaces (including the API) and will be denoted with “2020-census”. For example, North Carolina’s updated district 5 will be available in location targeting as “North Carolina’s 5th District-2020-Census, United States”.”

It’s a small change in the broader scheme, but could have big implications for those targeting ads based on political announcements or movements, with the more specific location qualifiers providing more considerations for your ad approach.

Meta also notes that as new congressional districts are finalized, it will make them available in its ads interfaces.

“If a state’s updated congressional map is currently in litigation, there will not be a new targeting option for it yet. If an updated congressional district isn’t available yet, we recommend using other location targeting options based on locations such as, such as targeting postal codes, cities and counties.”

So you have various options for geo-targeting your ad campaigns, but the updated districts will provide more accurate audience estimate data, and more specific focus on electoral zones.

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The current, pre-2020 census congressional district targeting options will remain available to advertisers through to the beginning of 2023.

“These districts’ names and boundaries will remain the same. For example, North Carolina’s pre-2020 census district will be available as “North Carolina’s 5th District, United States”.

Again, it’s not a major change, but it does provide more insight into how Meta’s US ad targeting regions are defined, which could have specific value for businesses looking to target ads based on political impacts, interests, regional preferences, etc.

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And with Apple’s ATT prompts taking a chunk out of Meta’s data tracking, you need all the tools you can to maximize ad performance. Up to date location and population data can only help in assessing potential impact.

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