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Twitter Provides a First Look at Coming Feature Which Will Enable Users to Limit Who Can Reply to their Tweets

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In October last year, as part of an interview with The Verge, Twitter’s head of product Kayvon Beykpour noted that he and his team were investigating the potential of a new capability which would enable users to restrict the audiences of their tweets.

As part of a broader discussion about the rise of ephemeral messaging, and its potential for Twitter, Beykpour, noted that:

I’m very interested in exploring how we might give customers more control. Where ephemerality is just one of those dimensions, I think there are other dimensions that, while we can get excited and talk about ephemerality because there’s lots of other standards of how other apps do this, I think other dimensions, like control around who can see or control around who can participate, is really critical.”

Twitter has now moved a step closer to making this a reality – during a presentation at CES this week, Twitter’s director of product management Suzanne Xie showed this image of a new process in development which would enable Twitter users to define the audience for each of their tweets, direct from the composer window.

Twitter audience control

As you can see in the first screenshot above, the new option – at least as its currently constructed in testing – would provide the user with four different audience settings.

Those settings are:

  • Global – Anyone can reply to the tweet
  • Group – Only people you follow or mention would be able to reply
  • Panel – Only people you directly mention within the tweet text itself would be able to reply
  • Statement – No tweet replies would be allowed 
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The new process, which is set to be rolled out later this year, could have a range of potential use-cases. Initially, in Beykpour’s original discussion of the functionality, he noted that live chats were often difficult via tweet, and defining who was allowed to reply might help.

“It’s actually quite difficult to have a fireside chat when you have a billion people screaming into your ear. Like imagine we had tens of thousands of people in the studio with us right now, talking into our ear while we were talking to each other.”

With this update, if you were to limit the respondents to only those who were tagged in the discussion, Twitter would be able to facilitate interview-style discussions, which could be great for hosting live chats, or even major celebrity interviews, which are often flooded with spam on dedicated hashtags. 

Those hosting Twitter chats could also use the new audience restrictions as a vehicle to boost their overall following – if you want to participate in the chat, the host could limit chat replies to only those who follow them. You could even separate part of a Twitter chat to an interview-style approach, only allowing the tagged interviewee to reply to the first few tweets, before opening it up to all participants in the second half.

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In some ways, this goes against the broader ‘public square’ ethos of Twitter, in which everyone gets a say. But as Beykpour notes, at times, it would be easier to facilitate and follow along with a Twitter discussion if the secondary noise could be toned down a little bit. 

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The tool will also have clear benefits for those suffering from cyberbullying or other forms of abuse – with the capacity to limit your replies to only those you choose, you could keep out unwelcome remarks, while you could also share your thoughts without concern for direct recourse via the ‘Statement’ option. 

Of course, people could still tag you in their own tweets, as opposed to replying to that one specifically, but more control is likely better in this respect.

But then again, more control could also lead to more abuse.

Various Twitter users have noted that the capability to limit who can reply to a tweet will also mean that people can lessen the exposure of those who disagree with their views. Brands could water down criticism by choosing respondents who are more likely to be positive, while political leaders could quiet dissent, giving a false perspective on a statement’s popularity.

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Twitter says that it’s looking into these potential misuse cases (for example, Twitter says that allowing quote tweets would still enable people to share their views, even if they can’t do so directly in the replies), but it could be an unintended, and problematic consequence of this update.

How much of a problem that might be, we won’t know till it’s implemented. Twitter says that it plans to begin testing of the audience restriction options in the first quarter of 2020, with a small subset of users. 

We’ll keep you updated on any progress.

Socialmediatoday.com

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LinkedIn Shares New Insights into Maximize Response to Your InMail Messages

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LinkedIn Shares New Insights into Maximize Response to Your InMail Messages

LinkedIn has published a new analysis of the best approaches to InMail, and maximizing DM opens in the app, based on ‘tens of millions of InMails’ sent between May 2021 and April 2022 in the app.

Which is primarily focused on recruiters – though really, a broad range of people use InMail to get in touch with people on LinkedIn, for different purpose, and many of the findings will apply in a more general sense.

But LinkedIn does make note of the option as a key recruitment tool.

As per LinkedIn:

More responses mean recruiters get more bang for their buck from their InMail allotment. That’s because recruiters earn an InMail credit back if their message receives a response within 90 days (even if it’s a negative one). So, response rates not only reflect candidate engagement but also recruiter efficiency. But what kind of InMails actually drive higher response rates and how can recruiters improve their own InMail response rate?”

It’s worth checking out the full report if you’re looking to use LinkedIn mail within your digital marketing approach, but in summary, LinkedIn’s key findings are:

  • Shorter InMails perform significantly better than longer ones
  • Avoid sending InMails on Saturday (and probably Friday too)
  • Personalized InMails perform about 15% better than ones sent in bulk
  • Candidates who are “Recommended Matches” or “Open to Work” are about 35% more likely to respond than others

Which is much the same as what LinkedIn recommended in response to the same report last year, which underlines the value of these notes as guide points for your InMail approach.

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Here’s a more in-depth overview of LinkedIn’s findings:

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First off, on message length – LinkedIn says that InMails under 400 characters perform best.

As you can see here, there’s essentially a sliding scale of engagement with InMails, based on length.

“The response rate for the shortest InMails is 22% higher than the average response rate for all InMails. By the same measure, the response rate for the longest InMails is 11% below the average rate.” 

Of course, this entirely depends on your message, and getting people to engage with what you’re trying to communicate. As such, there are no definitive rules, but the findings do provide some guidance as to how you can look to boost response to your in-app messages.

LinkedIn also provides an example of a great InMail under 400 characters.

LinkedIn InMail example

Though LinkedIn also notes that its data may also be slightly skewed due to the scarcity of shorter InMails in its dataset.

LinkedIn InMail study

As you can see here, only 10% of the messages sent on LinkedIn are under 400 characters, so while they do perform better, that may also be because they stand out more, due to most messages asking for more user attention.

Which would still suggest that it’s an effective approach, but it could be another element to consider.

LinkedIn also notes that sending InMails on a Friday or Saturday generally results in poorer response.

LinkedIn InMail study

Every other day is pretty even on response rate, though LinkedIn says that Mondays are the best days to send your messages.

That said, plenty of InMails are being sent on Fridays.

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LinkedIn InMail study

As LinkedIn notes:

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“If you’re about to send that InMail on a Friday afternoon, consider scheduling it for Monday morning instead.”

LinkedIn also provides some more specific stats on InMail performance, noting that messages that are sent individually see response rates roughly 15% higher than InMails sent in bulk.

LinkedIn InMail study

Which makes sense – no one wants to get a generic ‘Hi ***, I noticed that you’re interested in ***’ template email, as they mostly feel untargeted and spammy. Even the slightest personal touch can add a lot to email engagement, and entice more interest.

LinkedIn also notes that the InMail response rate for candidates who indicate that they’re “Open to Work” is 37% higher than the rate for others, while candidates found in Recommended Matches are up to 35% more likely to accept InMails than candidates found in Recruiter search alone.

LinkedIn InMail study

Which are obviously, again, more recruiter-specific data points, but it’s worth noting in the sense that you can glean from a user profile whether they’re looking to be contacted or not. That could also relate to freelance services listings, their career summary, their profile headline, etc.

Again, there’s a lot of good data here, and while it is based on analysis of recruiter InMails, it is worth noting the various trends for consideration in your LinkedIn messaging approaches.

You can read LinkedIn’s full InMail response report here.

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