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X is Testing Variable Upload Quality Options for Video Creators

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X is Testing Variable Upload Quality Options for Video Creators

Another element of X’s pivot to video is coming, with creators soon set to be able to select the video quality that they want to upload in.  

As shown in this example, posted by X designer Andrea Conway, along with a toggle to allow or disallow downloads of their content, creators will also be able to select variable upload quality, which could make it easier for people looking to get their videos up on the platform quickly, or in low data situations.

Which could be a rare consideration of users outside the U.S., with many X users in developing markets still not in situations that enable them to upload full HD content, due to network capacity, data plans, etc.

Though according to X owner Elon Musk users in these markets aren’t the main motivation.

Well, maybe, but the main motivation is to hasten video upload time, as required, in order to keep X users updated on the latest info.

It could be a handy option to have, and with X looking to put more emphasis on video content, in line with broader content consumption trends, providing more options is another way to drive more usage, and ideally enhance X’s appeal to video creators.

You’ll note, also, the content warning option at the bottom. That’s already active, and X has been trying to push users to add their own labels on this front, particularly on violent and disturbing content.

Which has become more of a focus in recent days, as video content from various war zones flows into the X system. With fewer moderation staff to manage such, X is increasingly looking to put the onus on users to mitigate the risks, both by adding labels to uploads, as well as providing tools that enable users to manage their experience in the app.

The problem with this approach is that a lot of people, especially new users, are likely unaware that they should be following the “Safety” account for official updates like this, or that such settings even exist. Which is why past Twitter management implemented more restrictions on such, but under Musk, X is seeking to take a more hands-off approach, again saving on labor costs, while also aligning with his own free speech ethos.

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That could lead to some harmful situations, with users inadvertently exposed to especially confronting war footage. From one perspective, that might make sense, in that people should be aware of what’s happening, but it could also make users more hesitant to use X to follow such events, depending on their tolerance for graphic material.

But Elon is determined to make X the best source of truth on what’s happening, at any given time, which will involve allowing certain content to remain up, even if some users find it disturbing.

Is that a better approach?

The real challenge on this front is not so much that previous Twitter management implemented more moderation control over such, but why they did. In Musk’s view, this was all in the name of selective censorship, but over time, I suspect he’s going to find out that there was more to their decision-making process than acting in self-interest.



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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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