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Twitter Tests New Tags to Indicate Engagement from Tweet Author in Replies

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Elon Musk Launches Hostile Takeover Bid for Twitter

You might think that with the Elon Musk takeover of Twitter pending, that it’s currently in a state of pause as it awaits news on what comes next.

You would be wrong.

As evidenced by current CEO Parag Agrawal’s recent management reshuffle, Twitter is still pushing ahead, even with major changes likely on the way in the Elon era.

It’s still experimenting with new features too, with the latest update in testing being new tweet labels that could be added to tweets to provide more context around certain engagements.

As you can see in this example (in the bottom reply), shared by TechCrunch, Twitter’s working on a new, in-stream label that would signify when a tweet author has liked a reply.

In a similar test, Twitter’s also now highlighting some tweet author replies, with an alternate text color and a microphone icon next to the comment.

Twitter author comment

Which Twitter’s been working on, in varying form, since 2018. Maybe it was a pet project of Agrawal in his previous role as CTO at the app.

The idea is that this will prompt more engagement by alerting users to comments that the author has found most relevant, while also giving fans more recognition in comment streams.

Recognition is a big element of the social media experience for fans, and by better highlighting such interaction, that could become a community building tool, which might even prompt more famous people to interact in the replies more often.

Because we all know that famous people aren’t using the app. That’s what Elon Musk told us a few weeks ago, among his various criticisms of the app of things that he’ll be looking to fix.

Since then, Musk has floated various vague solutions, including making people pay for embedding tweets by high profile users. Which seems utterly unworkable, while also overvaluing tweets, from anyone – but still, it’s one of the areas that Musk has in his sights for his grand Twitter revival plan.

Outside of that use case, however, I’m not sure this feature would add a lot, with the additional signifier unlikely to play a big role in… well, anything.

But any extra engagement is a positive, and with Twitter’s current projects, as Agrawal recently noted, failing to ‘hit intermediate milestones that enable confidence’ in reaching its growth goals, it needs to keep throwing things at the wall, in the hopes that, cumulatively, they provide some benefit.

Another, similar tagging project on this front is its ‘vibes’ status update experiment, which would see a custom status indicator attached to your tweets.

That also adds more context to the tweet experience, and it could come in handy for those attending events, in particular, with attendees, at present, often putting event hashtags on the end of their username to alert people to their participation.

I mean, that hasn’t been a big concern over the last couple of years, with virtually every event canceled, but that appears to be the primary use case, with all of these elements helping to provide more engagement prompts within different aspects of the app.

Again, they don’t seem like they’ll shift the needle much on engagement, but maybe, altogether, they will – and if Twitter’s working on them now, it might as well push them out, before Elon steps in and changes everyone’s focus onto incorporating more memes, or adding ‘4/20’ references into the back-end code, or eliminating algorithms altogether, to improve… something.

Essentially, everything is in flux at Twitter right now, but that might still see it push out a few more tweaks and experiments before its next stage.

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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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