The clearest message coming out of the #BlackLivesMatter protests in the US is that we all need to take responsibility. Change can’t happen unless the majority of people respond to the call – but how can you do that? What can you do, within your personal or work life, that will help facilitate a shift?
Twitter has this week provided some guidance on this, listing a series of guides and pointers to help people better understand and respond to the call.
As explained by Twitter:
“The recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and George Floyd, and the victimization of Christian Cooper have left many of us angry, and with a deep sense of grief. Now is a time to take care – and take action. Now is a time for #Allyship.”
Twitter says that, in order to respond, people first need to “understand the historical and structural contexts that have led to racism and discrimination”.
To help with this, Twitter suggests these resources:
Twitter has also provided a range of additional, contextual resources and guides in this tweet thread:
Racism does not adhere to social distancing.
Amid the already growing fear and uncertainty around the pandemic, this week has again brought attention to something perhaps more pervasive: the long-standing racism and injustices faced by Black and Brown people on a daily basis. ???? pic.twitter.com/8zKPlDnacY
— Twitter Together (@TwitterTogether) May 29, 2020
Developing an understanding of the systemic processes that have lead to the current state is key in gaining true perspective on the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and the more people are educated on these elements, the better placed we’ll be to enact effective change in our systems.
Twitter also provides some practical advice for people looking to approach the situation with colleagues and friends.
- Understand that answering questions takes emotional labor – be mindful of safe spaces and make sure you’ve done your personal learning before you ask a Black person to share with you.
- Approach questions with empathy and in a way to understand people’s lived experiences. Do not approach asking questions from a place of disbelief. Some questions you could ask include:
- “If you have the time/energy, do you feel comfortable sharing your experience with me?”
- “This week is heavy. How are you feeling/coping?”
Twitter also suggests that people consider donating to organizations fighting for racial justice and police reform to help further the cause. Twitter also advises people against re-sharing pictures and videos of violence perpetrated against Black people.
“While we may want to increase awareness, such media can be triggering and retraumatizing.”
And importantly, Twitter has called on people so speak up:
“In meetings, on social media, in conference calls, in chats with friends and family. In your circle, create more allies. Address anti-Black sentiments when you see them and discuss the violence and injustice that Black communities face.”
These are some helpful notes, which can be particularly beneficial for those who are not directly impacted by racial injustice, but want to ensure that they’re helping to address the situation, where possible.
There’s no easy way to tackle such concerns, and taking the time to read and understand the context is key. That also makes it a bigger challenge to communicate the depth of such divides, as it requires effort on the part of those not affected, but as has been made clear by the protest actions across the world this week, change is needed. Everyone has the right to feel safe and equal within society, and if we can contribute to that, we should.
And you can contribute, as per Twitter’s pointers.
You can read Twitter’s full #Allyship overview here.
Meta Launches New Reels Features, Including Stories to Reels Conversion and Improved Analytics
As it works to latch onto the short-form video trend, and negate the rising influence of TikTok, Meta has announced some new updates for Reels, across both Facebook and Instagram, including additional Reels insights, the expansion of the ‘Add Yours’ sticker, and ‘auto-created’ Reels clips. Yes, automatically created Reels videos.
Here’s how the new additions work.
The main addition is the expansion of the ‘Add Yours’ sticker from Stories to Reels, providing another way to prompt engagement from other users via Reels clips.
As you can see in these example images, you’ll now be able to post ‘Add Yours’ questions via Reels clips, while you’ll also be able to view all the various video responses to any prompt in each app.
It could be another way to spark engagement, and lean into the more interactive ethos of the short form video trend. Part of the appeal of TikTok is that it invites people in, with the participatory nature of the app essentially expanding meme engagement, by making it more accessible for users to add their own take.
Meta will be hoping that the ‘Add Yours’ sticker helps to facilitate the same, prompting more engagement with Reels clips.
Next up is auto-created Facebook Reels, which, as it sounds, will enable users to automatically convert their archived Stories into Reels clips.
As you can see here, you’ll soon see a new ‘Create from Your Story Archive’ prompt in the Reels creation flow, which will then enable you to convert your Stories into Reels clips.
So it’s not exactly wholly automated Reels creation, as it’s just flipping your Stories clips into Reels as well. But it could provide another, simple way for users and brands to create Stories content, utilizing the video assets that they already have to link into the trend.
Worth noting that Meta also recently added a tool to convert your video assets into Reels within Creator Studio.
Meta’s also expanding access to its ‘Stars’ creator donations to Facebook Reels, which is now being opened up to all eligible creators.
Meta initially announced the coming expansion of Stars to Reels back in June, which will provide another critical monetization pathway for Reels creators. Short form video is not as directly monetizable as longer clips, where you can insert pre and mid-roll adds, so add-on elements like this are key to keeping creators posting, and fueling an ecosystem for such in its apps.
Stars on Reels will be available all creators that have maintained at least 1,000 followers over the last 60 days.
Meta’s also adding new Reels performance insights to Creator Studio, including Reach, Minutes Viewed, and Average Watch Time.
That’ll provide more perspective on what’s working, and what’s not, to help optimize your Reels approach – which could be especially valuable in the coming holiday push.
Lastly, Meta’s also expanding some Reels features that were previously only available in Instagram to Facebook as well.
Crossposting from Instagram to Facebook is now available to all Instagram users, while Meta’s also expanding its Remix option to Facebook Reels also.
As noted, Reels has become a key focus for Meta, as the short-form video trend continues to gain traction, and TikTok continues to rise as a potential competitor. By replicating TikTok’s main elements, Meta’s working to negate its key differentiation, which could ensure that more of its users don’t bother downloading a new app, and just stick with its platforms instead.’
Which, whether you agree with that approach or not, has proven effective. Reels content now makes up more than 20% of the time that people spend on Instagram, while video content, overall, makes up 50% of the time that people spend on Facebook.
Meta additionally notes that it’s seen a more than 30% increase in engagement time with Reels across both Facebook and Instagram.
Meta doesn’t need to ‘beat’ TikTok as such (as much as it would like to), but it does need to dilute its significance if it can, and make it less appealing for users to have to start yet another new account, and re-build their friends list.
That’s why it’ll continue to replicate TikTok at every turn, because millions of people are currently not going to TikTok because of the presence of Reels in its apps.
You can learn more about Meta’s new Reels updates here.
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