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Twitter Tests New Option to Start a Space About a Chosen Tweet

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I still don’t know about Twitter Spaces.

Sure, it’s got its own tab in the app, and definitely there are some interesting use cases for live audio. But I’m not sure that Twitter has really tapped into them as yet – or at least, I’m not seeing enough active, engaging Spaces come up in my own feeds to pique my interest.

And I’m not sure this would add a heap – according to a new finding by app research superstar Jane Manchun Wong, Twitter‘s working on a new option that would enable you to start a new Space about any given tweet, direct from the options menu.

As Wong notes, depending on how it works, that could spark a whole new trend of dumping on people’s rubbish takes, by launching into an immediate, in-the-moment monologue of your grievances, then and there, which others could then join to rub further salt into the wound.

Or maybe, it could be a good way to spark more real-time tweet engagement. Now, when a story breaks, you can launch a Space straight away, triggered by that event, with the topic already referenced in the context link.

Twitter’s been trying to work out how to capitalize on its position as the place to be for real-time chatter for years, with TV show and sports discussion being the top examples of its leadership in this space.

Several years back, Twitter was working on various apps that would enable you to tweet in real-time while watching live sports on the same screen, which was part of the platform’s bigger push into live-stream broadcasting. That seemed like the ideal way to marry these elements.

Obviously, that never took off, but Twitter remains the place to be for real-time discussion, with many trends and breaking news stories coming on the back of the latest tweets.

This was perfectly exemplified in the Trump era, where Trump would announce policy stances (and everything else) via tweet. Yet, even so, Twitter has never been able to truly harness this element, and make the app a more critical connective tool for more people, with its user counts still trailing well behind Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and potentially even LinkedIn and Pinterest (who both report monthly active user counts, not daily).

Yet, somehow, Elon Musk believes that he can spark 200% usage growth in the next three years. Not sure how, but maybe Spaces is a part of it, and maybe, by providing more ways to start and engage in Spaces – or even just improving discovery – Spaces could still become a more attractive lure for more users, and could help to make Twitter a more essential platform for more people.

It just seems like it’s become a typical Twitter project – launched with a degree of hype, presented as a major opportunity. Then left behind with limited development focus, and little opportunity to fully succeed.

Maybe, then, Musk’s focus is what Twitter needs, and that alone will help bring more of its features into line. We’ll have to wait and see – but right now, Spaces feels like an afterthought, a remnant from the Clubhouse hype cycle that’s just tacked on to the Twitter experience.

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Pinterest Focuses on Travel Inspiration and Education for Black History Month

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Pinterest Focuses on Travel Inspiration and Education for Black History Month

Pinterest is taking a unique approach to Black History Month, with a new ‘Find Your Routes’ Black Travel Hub initiative, which aims to highlight places that have strong connections to Black history, while also showcasing Black-owned businesses.

As explained by Pinterest:

“Find Your Routes” is inspired by The Negro Motorist Green Book aka “The Green Book”. The Green Book was a guidebook for Black travelers during the Jim Crow era that provided a list of accessible hotels, boarding houses, taverns, restaurants, service stations and other establishments throughout the country that served Black Americans patrons.”

The Black Travel Hub, which you can find here, will present a range of travel options, along with their history, with creators from the US, Colombia, Jamaica, Brazil and more, all taking part in presenting their city.

It could be a good way to provide education alongside inspiration in the app, while also helping people to connect, and support highlighted communities.

Pinterest will also be showcasing Black-owned businesses on Pinterest TV, while internally, it’s also hosting a company-wide event ‘to help employees gain knowledge about the history, present, and future of Black travel through the lens of Black Pinployees’.

As noted, it could be a good way to both spark important conversations, and inspire new travel journeys, which include an extra level of cultural understanding and education, along with a leisure break.

It’s an interesting take on the celebration either way, and it’ll be worth noting what sort of reaction the initiative gets, and whether it inspires more travel as a result.

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Snap Tumbles On Weak Revenue, Gloomy Outlook

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Snap Tumbles On Weak Revenue, Gloomy Outlook

Snap shares plunged after missing analyst expectations in Q4, while forecasting a year-over-year revenue decline.

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Snapchat Adds 12 Million Users in Q4, Posts Lower Than Expected Revenue Result

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Snapchat Adds 12 Million Users in Q4, Posts Lower Than Expected Revenue Result

Snapchat added 12 million more active users in Q4 2022, and Snapchat+ subscriptions continue to rise, but company revenue missed market estimates, in another mixed result for the private social app.

First off, on users – as noted, Snap added 12 million more actives, taking it to 375 million DAU.

As you can see, North American user growth is still flat, while European users saw a slight uptick. But it’s the ‘Rest of the World’, specifically India, which is driving Snap growth.

Which is helping to boost the overall usage numbers, and expand opportunity. But on the revenue side, it’s not pushing things forward in a significant way.

Snap Q4 2022

As you can see in this chart, Snapchat’s revenue has increased, but a key problem here is that it’s still reliant on the US and Canada for the majority of that spend, with other markets trailing well behind on the revenue front.

Snap Q4 2022

In this chart, you can see that Snap’s Revenue Per User has actually declined year-on-year – so while it is growing, it’s not bringing in revenue at equivalent scale, and it’s even going backwards in some respects.

Which is why its stagnant growth in North America is a problem – though Snap has also seen take-up of its Snapchat+ subscription service increase.

“In Q4, our subscription service Snapchat+ reached over 2.0 million paying subscribers. Snapchat+ offers exclusive, experimental, and pre-release features, and in Q4 we launched new features such as Custom Story Expiration and Custom Notification Sounds, providing subscribers with over 12 exclusive features.”

That’s a handy additional revenue stream, but as with all social media subscription services (including Twitter Blue), take-up is generally limited, and at 2 million subscribers, that’s still only 0.5% of Snapchat’s active user base that’s been willing to pay extra for these add-on elements.

Snap has also faced challenges in rebuilding its ad business, in the wake of Apple’s iOS 14 update, which has impacted data collection, and Snap CEO Evan Spiegel says they still have some way to go on this yet:

“We continue to face significant headwinds as we look to accelerate revenue growth, and we are making progress driving improved return on investment for advertisers and innovating to deepen the engagement of our community.”

Snap has seen improvement in its commerce integrations, which includes digital items for Bitmoji avatars which Snap is eventually looking to translate into real-world item sales as well. Snap also says that it’s facilitated over than 161 million product trials by over 35 million Snapchatters for Walmart, leveraging its Catalog-Powered Shopping Lenses at-scale.

Snapchat AR shopping

Those point to bigger opportunities, but right now, amid the broader economic downturn, and restrictions on data collection and targeting, Snapchat is in a tough spot, and will be for some time yet.

Essentially, then, you’re banking on Snap’s future, and its advanced tools that could help it better align with expanded AR and VR use. And Snap is seemingly in a good position on this front – though again, the impacts of the last year, which also forced Snap into lay-offs, will also have some effect.

Really, then, the results here are relative to your perspective.

For advertisers, more Snap users means more potential reach – but most of Snap’s growth is coming from outside the US. More advanced AR activations could become a bigger deal in future, but it depends on how you’re looking to connect, and product fit.

Investors won’t be overly happy with the numbers, but there are positive signs on the horizon. It’s just that the horizon, in this respect, remains well in the distance at this stage.

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