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X Improves Tagging Process for Videos That Have Received a Community Note

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X Improves Tagging Process for Videos That Have Received a Community Note

X has added another valuable element to its Community Notes user-led moderation process, with all instances of any video that gets a Community Note now set to display the message, in any re-shares and posts.

As you can see in this example, now, when a Community Notes contributor adds a note to a video in the app, they’ll have the option to specify that the note is about the video clip, not the specific post.

As explained by X:

Notes written on videos will automatically show on other posts containing matching videos. A highly-scalable way of adding context to edited clips, AI-generated videos, and more.”

That’s an efficient and effective way to provide more advisory notes to more users, with X’s system able to now match both re-shared images and videos in the app, and tag them with any corresponding contextual notes.

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Community Notes, which had been in development under the name “Birdwatch” for years before Elon Musk took over the app, has become a much bigger focus under Musk’s leadership, with the billionaire hoping to use community-led moderation as a means to combat more types of platform misuse, without the X team having to impose its own rules around what’s allowed, and what’s not, leaning more into his own free speech ethos.

Which has merit. As previous Twitter management explained:

We believe that a transparent, community-driven approach to identifying misleading information and elevating helpful context can help us all create a better-informed world.

This, in large part, is how Reddit has operated for years, with volunteer moderators helping to weed out junk, and up and downvotes better reflecting community sentiment on such, as opposed to Reddit management stepping in.

But there are limits to this as well.

As per analysis by Poynter Institute, the vast majority of the Community Notes that are created are never actually seen by users in the app, due to the way in which the Community Notes review system is structured, which requires consensus from users of opposing perspectives in order to be displayed.

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As explained by Poynter’s Alex Mahadevan:

Essentially, [Community Notes] requires a cross-ideological agreement on truth, and in an increasingly partisan environment, achieving that consensus is almost impossible.”

X determines a Notes contributor’s political leaning based on past behavior in the app, which is also not always the best proxy, but based on this, the system then requires responses from both sides in order to approve a note.

Based on Poynter’s research, it found that this is useful for highlighting low-stakes content, like clarifying satire, or highlighting AI-generated images (again, a good use of this new, blanket tagging), things that everybody is generally in agreement on. But some of the most harmful misinformation, along more divisive lines (e.g. COVID vaccine impacts, election interference, gender debate), is never likely to get that critical consensus.

Thus, the majority of Community Notes, where they’re most needed, are never displayed.

Yet, despite this, Musk seems confident that Community Notes is the way forward, which will essentially enable the X community to govern itself on moderation concerns.

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That’s a lot of trust being placed on a system with known flaws that are still being worked through, so while it is an interesting concept, with a lot of potential in a range of key areas, the reliance that Musk and Co. are placing on Community Notes could be too much, as it’s unlikely to catch out all instances of misinformation and misuse.

Though it has proven particularly effective in one area: Policing misleading claims in ads:

Community Notes example

Which Elon has admitted is not “super helpful” for X’s revenue intake, and with the company’s ad revenue down 60% YoY in the U.S., that’s probably not the ideal use of the function, from a business perspective.

But Elon seems willing to take the good with the bad, with the good in this case being a more hands-off moderation approach, which relies on hope, and ideological consensus, to police false claims.

There is a lot to like about the project, but X may also be putting too much reliance, too early, on a still-in-development system.

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And amid broader reports of X allowing more harmful content to be shared in the app under Musk’s leadership, this will remain a key area of focus for the platform, and ad partners, moving forward.



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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

In a recent announcement, Snapchat revealed a groundbreaking update that challenges its traditional design ethos. The platform is experimenting with an option that allows users to defy the 24-hour auto-delete rule, a feature synonymous with Snapchat’s ephemeral messaging model.

The proposed change aims to introduce a “Never delete” option in messaging retention settings, aligning Snapchat more closely with conventional messaging apps. While this move may blur Snapchat’s distinctive selling point, Snap appears convinced of its necessity.

According to Snap, the decision stems from user feedback and a commitment to innovation based on user needs. The company aims to provide greater flexibility and control over conversations, catering to the preferences of its community.

Currently undergoing trials in select markets, the new feature empowers users to adjust retention settings on a conversation-by-conversation basis. Flexibility remains paramount, with participants able to modify settings within chats and receive in-chat notifications to ensure transparency.

Snapchat underscores that the default auto-delete feature will persist, reinforcing its design philosophy centered on ephemerality. However, with the app gaining traction as a primary messaging platform, the option offers users a means to preserve longer chat histories.

The update marks a pivotal moment for Snapchat, renowned for its disappearing message premise, especially popular among younger demographics. Retaining this focus has been pivotal to Snapchat’s identity, but the shift suggests a broader strategy aimed at diversifying its user base.

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This strategy may appeal particularly to older demographics, potentially extending Snapchat’s relevance as users age. By emulating features of conventional messaging platforms, Snapchat seeks to enhance its appeal and broaden its reach.

Yet, the introduction of message retention poses questions about Snapchat’s uniqueness. While addressing user demands, the risk of diluting Snapchat’s distinctiveness looms large.

As Snapchat ventures into uncharted territory, the outcome of this experiment remains uncertain. Will message retention propel Snapchat to new heights, or will it compromise the platform’s uniqueness?

Only time will tell.

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

While it is tempting to try to appeal to a broad audience, the founder of alcohol-free coaching service Just the Tonic, Sandra Parker, believes the best thing you can do for your business is focus on your niche. Here’s how she did just that.

When running a business, reaching out to as many clients as possible can be tempting. But it also risks making your marketing “too generic,” warns Sandra Parker, the founder of Just The Tonic Coaching.

“From the very start of my business, I knew exactly who I could help and who I couldn’t,” Parker told My Biggest Lessons.

Parker struggled with alcohol dependence as a young professional. Today, her business targets high-achieving individuals who face challenges similar to those she had early in her career.

“I understand their frustrations, I understand their fears, and I understand their coping mechanisms and the stories they’re telling themselves,” Parker said. “Because of that, I’m able to market very effectively, to speak in a language that they understand, and am able to reach them.” 

“I believe that it’s really important that you know exactly who your customer or your client is, and you target them, and you resist the temptation to make your marketing too generic to try and reach everyone,” she explained.

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“If you speak specifically to your target clients, you will reach them, and I believe that’s the way that you’re going to be more successful.

Watch the video for more of Sandra Parker’s biggest lessons.

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Instagram Tests Live-Stream Games to Enhance Engagement

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Instagram Tests Live-Stream Games to Enhance Engagement

Instagram’s testing out some new options to help spice up your live-streams in the app, with some live broadcasters now able to select a game that they can play with viewers in-stream.

As you can see in these example screens, posted by Ahmed Ghanem, some creators now have the option to play either “This or That”, a question and answer prompt that you can share with your viewers, or “Trivia”, to generate more engagement within your IG live-streams.

That could be a simple way to spark more conversation and interaction, which could then lead into further engagement opportunities from your live audience.

Meta’s been exploring more ways to make live-streaming a bigger consideration for IG creators, with a view to live-streams potentially catching on with more users.

That includes the gradual expansion of its “Stars” live-stream donation program, giving more creators in more regions a means to accept donations from live-stream viewers, while back in December, Instagram also added some new options to make it easier to go live using third-party tools via desktop PCs.

Live streaming has been a major shift in China, where shopping live-streams, in particular, have led to massive opportunities for streaming platforms. They haven’t caught on in the same way in Western regions, but as TikTok and YouTube look to push live-stream adoption, there is still a chance that they will become a much bigger element in future.

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Which is why IG is also trying to stay in touch, and add more ways for its creators to engage via streams. Live-stream games is another element within this, which could make this a better community-building, and potentially sales-driving option.

We’ve asked Instagram for more information on this test, and we’ll update this post if/when we hear back.

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