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Twitter Shares New Research into the Effectiveness of its Offensive Reply Warnings

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Twitter Shares New Research into the Effectiveness of its Offensive Reply Warnings

Twitter has conducted new research into the effectiveness of its warning prompts on potentially offensive tweet replies, which it first rolled out in 2020, then re-launched last year, as a means to add a level of friction, and consideration, into the tweet process.

Twitter’s warning prompts use automated detection to pick up any likely offensive terms within tweet replies, which then triggers this alert to add a moment of hesitation in the process.

Back in February, Twitter reported that in 30% of cases where users were shown these prompts, they did in fact end up changing or deleting their replies, in order to avoid possible misinterpretation or offense.

Now, Twitter’s taken a deeper dive into the process to determine the true value of the alerts.

As per Twitter:

While it was clear that prompts cause people to reconsider their replies, we wanted to know more about what else happens after an individual sees a prompt. To understand this, we conducted a follow-up analysis to look at how prompts influence positive outcomes on Twitter over time. Today, we are publishing a peer-reviewed study of over 200,000 prompts conducted in late 2021. We found that prompts influence positive short and long-term effects on Twitter. We also found that people who are exposed to a prompt are less likely to compose future offensive replies.”

It’s amazing what a simple step added between thought and tweet can do. 

According to Twitter’s research, for every 100 instances where these prompts are displayed (on average)

  • 69 tweets were sent without revision
  • 9 tweets were not sent
  • 22 were revised
Twitter warning prompt research

Those findings are in line with the 30% figure above, but it’s interesting to note the more granular detail here, and how exactly the prompts have changed user behaviors as a result.

But more than this, Twitter also found that the prompts can have ongoing behavioral impacts in the app.

“We also found the effects of being presented with a prompt extended beyond just the moment of posting. We saw that, after just one exposure to a prompt, users were 4% less likely to compose a second offensive reply. Prompted users were also 20% less likely to compose five or more prompt-eligible Tweets”

So, while 4% may not seem overly significant (though at Twitter’s scale, the actual numbers in this context could be big), the ongoing effect is that users end up becoming more considerate in their responses.

Or they just get smarter at using terms that aren’t going to trigger Twitter’s warning.

In addition to this, the researchers also found that prompted users received fewer offensive replies themselves.

“The proportion of replies to prompt-eligible tweets that were offensive decreased by 6% for prompted users. This represents a broader and sustained change in user behavior and implies that receiving prompts may help users be more cognizant of avoiding potentially offensive content as they post future Tweets.”

Again, 6% may seem like a small fraction, but with some 500 million tweets sent every day, the raw number here could be significant.

Of course, this only relates to tweets that trigger a warning, which would only be a small amount of actual tweet activity. But it is interesting to consider the impacts of these warning prompts, and how small nudges like this can alter user behavior.

On face value, the results show that Twitter’s offensive reply warnings could serve as an educational tool in guiding more consideration, which, on a broader scale, could help to improve on-platform discourse over time.

But the bigger takeaway is that there are ways to help re-align user behaviors towards more positive engagement, which could be a key step in reducing angst and division, as it’s often unintended, or lost in translation, via text communications that lack conversational nuance.

That’s an interesting consideration for future platform updates in this respect. And while expanding such prompts into new areas, or making them more sensitive, could be difficult, it does show that misunderstandings are a common element in online debate.

The truth is, in person, many of the people you disagree with online wouldn’t be anywhere near as argumentative or confrontational. If only we could translate more of those in-person characteristics to online chatter – but in terms of immediate response and action, it’s worth taking a moment to consider that the person sending that tweet, in at least some cases, hasn’t intentionally sought to offend or confront you in this way.

In other words, Twitter isn’t real life. People love controversy, and get caught up in passionate debate. But really, it’s probably just some lonely person trying to find connection.

The less personal you take it, the better it is for your mental health.

You can read Twitter’s full study here.



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How to Successfully Use Social Media: A Small Business Guide for Beginners [Infographic]

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How to Successfully Use Social Media: A Small Business Guide for Beginners [Infographic]

Are you a small business owner or marketing manager, just getting started on building your social media strategy? Need to learn the basics before launching your first social media campaign?

In this infographic, Sprout Social shares social media tips broken down as follows:

  • Who uses social media?
  • What does social media do for you?
  • Define your goals
  • Targeting your audience
  • Choosing a platform
  • Social media metrics

Check out the infographic below to learn more.

How to Successfully Use Social Media: A Small Business Guide for Beginners

Sprout Social

 

 

 

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Moore Digital Names Two Executives To Serve Nonprofit Fundraisers 02/07/2023

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Moore Digital Names Two Executives To Serve Nonprofit Fundraisers 02/07/2023

Moore Digital, which assists nonprofit clients with fundraising, has named Adva Priso as chief strategy officer and Bonnie Huey as senior vice president of
digital media.

They are joining a team of “more than 70 top digital experts from across the for-profit and nonprofit industries, including strategists,
media planners and …



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Pinterest Now up to 450 Million Active Users, Posts Solid Numbers in Latest Performance Report

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Pinterest Now up to 450 Million Active Users, Posts Solid Numbers in Latest Performance Report

Pinterest has posted its Q4 and full-year earnings for 2022, showing steady increases in both users and revenue, as it continues to build out its various offerings.

First off, on users, Pinterest added five million more active users – most of them coming from Europe – within the final measurement period of last year.

That’s a good sign for Pinterest, which actually lost users in early 2021, after the COVID-induced boom in eCommerce activity of the previous year, which saw the platform post record high usage numbers.

Many analysts and businesses seemed convinced that the COVID boost to online shopping would hold, even after the pandemic ended. That lead to companies like Meta, Google, Amazon and Twitter investing big into commerce solutions – but many of the staff they put on were eventually culled in the most recent round of lay-offs, because once physical stores re-opened, people actually did go back to shopping as normal, as opposed to continuing to rely on online options.

Pinterest felt that the most, but now, it’s steadily building back up again, as it continues to refine its solutions around evolving shopping behaviors. Which includes video content.

Pinterest’s big winner on this front has been Idea Pins, its Stories-like option which presents uploaded video in a swipeable, full-screen display.

Pinterest Ideas Festival updates

The emphasis on this format has helped boost the platform’s appeal with younger audiences, with Pinterest reporting that Gen Z was the fastest-growing demographic on the platform, increasing double digits year over year.

“Gen Z sessions grew much faster year over year than sessions from older demographics, while nearly half of all new videos pinned in Q4 were from Gen Z users.”

Pinterest also says that sessions continued to grow faster than MAUs, an indicator that it’s driving better engagement overall, while it also increased its overall video supply by 30%, another marker of the popularity of Idea Pins.

Because you can’t post video as a native pin anymore, only in Idea Pins (or paid ads), underlining the focus on the format, and Pinterest’s evolving usage.  

On the revenue front, Pinterest posted a 4% year-over-year increase, after bringing in $877 million Q4.

Pinterest Q4 2022

As you can see in this chart, Pinterest’s revenue is climbing steadily, though its revenue splits remain concerning:

Pinterest Q4 2022

Or maybe you see this as an opportunity, with Pinterest still able to potentially eek out a lot more revenue from regions outside of the North American market. Definitely, it’s got some work to do in that ‘Rest of World’ bracket.

But Pinterest is still developing, and is still expanding its ad and business offerings into new regions. So there is, indeed, potential there – yet the size of the gap here is a concern.

Still, there is growth, slowly but surely, and maybe, if you’re a believer, you can see more ways for Pinterest to generate much bigger revenues moving forward.

Pinterest remains focused on shopping, and highlighting relevant products to users, with its ever-evolving recommendation engine providing better content matches to more users every day. It’s also investing in live-stream shopping, a trend that all platforms hope will catch on in western markets, while it’s developing more presentation tools for Idea Pins to capitalize on that engagement.

In combination, these approaches are working – but at the same time, usage growth in your local market may have stalled, going on these charts.

And of course, while overall growth is interesting, what marketers want to know is whether their customers are there.

For this, you can use Pinterest Trends, which enables you to search for the most popular Pin trends by region.

Pinterest Trends

Tap into these with Idea Pins and you’ll likely be on the right path, based on these latest insights from the app.

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