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YouTube Expands Comment Guidelines and Copyright Detection, Providing More Channel Management Options

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YouTube’s testing out a range of new features, within YouTube Studio and BrandConnect, which aim to provide more capacity to manage channel engagement, and more options to help creators secure branded content deals, and monetize their efforts.

First off on Channel Guidelines – back in July, YouTube launched an initial test of its Channel Guidelines filtering tool, which enables Channel managers to set rules around the types of comments people can post beneath their clips. That test is now being expanded to more creators in the app.

As explained by YouTube:

“This feature allows creators to define up to three channel guidelines for video comments. Users must read and accept these guidelines before they make a comment, and they’re a good guide as to what conversations you want to see on your own channel.”

YouTube Channel Guidelines

As you can see here, within your YouTube Studio settings, eligible channels can set up to three guidelines on comments, which viewers then need to read before posting a response. That can provide more transparency, while also giving channel managers increased leeway to enforce these rules, given that they’ve been established up front.  

YouTube comments have long been a problematic element, which has lead to removal of comments entirely for some content categories, while YouTube also recently deactivated public dislike counts on all clips in order to lessen another potentially negative element in the process. This test aligns with the same, providing another means to guide better community interaction.

YouTube notes that the process doesn’t automatically hide or remove comments, but it does provide another means to communicate clearer parameters around what’s acceptable, and what’s not.

A broader range of creators will have access to the Channel Guidelines option in YouTube Studio from this week, while the guidelines themselves will only be presented in the mobile app.

YouTube’s also looking to improve its brand/creator partnership tools, with a new audience summary within the BrandConnect interface, which will make it easier for creators to pitch themselves for brand deals by using a tailored Media Kit, and an updated ‘Paid Product Placement’ checkbox, which will be a required step in the upload process for selected creators.

BrandConnect is YouTube’s creator marketplace, which connects brands and relevant creators for more effective video promotions. The new elements, which are being tested with ‘a small percentage of creators’, could make it easier to secure sponsored content deals, and ensure adherence to paid promotion disclosure rules.

YouTube’s also testing a new channel member avatar display, with member profiles to be highlighted on the home tab of the channel page in the mobile app.

YouTube member display

As you can see here, within the test, channel members and non-members will be shown different variations of this new display. YouTube says the aim of the feature is to ‘celebrate members and to publicly showcase your active member community’ in order to encourage more people to join up. Member avatars will be regularly rotated to ensure more members get recognition.

Finally, YouTube also notes that it’s now expanded access to a new content takedown process which enables creators to automatically take down duplicate uploads of any content that they’ve previously removed.

YouTube copyright enforcement

As per this example, now, in the takedown web form, creators will be able to tick this box, which will then enable YouTube to detect and block future uploads of the same content. So if there’s something that you’ve removed for legal or personal reasons, that should make it harder for other people to re-upload a duplicate, and keep it coming back to haunt you on the site.

YouTube’s also expanded access to its Copyright Match tool to all users who’ve submitted a valid takedown request. Copyright Match automatically scans YouTube for duplicate content to that which you’ve uploaded, and will alert you to potential matches across the platform.

A range of small, yet relevant updates, with varying levels of functionality and value, dependent on your approach.

You can learn more about YouTube’s latest updates here.

Socialmediatoday.com

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Snap making changes to direct response advertising business

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Snap making changes to direct response advertising business

The company posted a net loss of $288.5 million, or 18 cents a share, including $34 million in charges from its workforce restructuring. That compared to a profit of $23 million, or one cent, a year earlier.

Snap ended the fourth quarter with 375 million daily users, a 17% increase. In the first three months of the year, the company estimates 382 million to 384 million people will use its platform daily.

Snap has become a bellwether for other digital advertising companies. Last year, it was the first to raise concerns about the slowdown in marketer spending online and to fire a significant number of employees—20% of its workforce—to cut costs in the face of falling revenue.

The company has spent the last two quarters refocusing the organization, cutting projects that don’t contribute to user and revenue growth.

In the first quarter, Snap expects the environment to “remain challenging as we expect the headwinds we have faced over the past year to persist.”

Investors will get additional information about the state of the digital ad market when Meta and Alphabet report earnings later this week.

—Bloomberg News

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Twitter Outlines New Platform Rules Which Emphasize Reduced Reach, as Opposed to Suspensions

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Twitter Outlines New Platform Rules Which Emphasize Reduced Reach, as Opposed to Suspensions

After reinstating thousands of previously suspended accounts, as part of new chief Elon Musk’s ‘amnesty’ initiative, Twitter has now outlined how it will be enforcing its rules from now on, which includes less restrictive measures for some violations.

As explained by Twitter:

“We have been proactively reinstating previously suspended accounts […] We did not reinstate accounts that engaged in illegal activity, threats of harm or violence, large-scale spam and platform manipulation, or when there was no recent appeal to have the account reinstated. Going forward, we will take less severe actions, such as limiting the reach of policy-violating Tweets or asking you to remove Tweets before you can continue using your account.”

This is in line with Musk’s previously stated ‘freedom of speech, not freedom of reach’ approach, which will see Twitter leaning more towards leaving content active in the app, but reducing its impact algorithmically, if it breaks any rules.

Which means a lot of tweets that would have previously been deemed violative will now remain in the app, and while Musk notes that no ads will be displayed against such content, that could be difficult to enforce, given the way the tweet timeline functions.

But it does align with Musk’s free speech approach, and reduces the onus on Twitter, to some degree, in moderating speech. It will still need to assess each instance, case-by-case, but users themselves will be less aware of penalties – though Musk has also flagged adding more notifications and explainers to outline any reach penalties as well.

“Account suspension will be reserved for severe or ongoing, repeat violations of our policies. Severe violations include but are not limited to: engaging in illegal content or activity, inciting or threatening violence or harm, privacy violations, platform manipulation or spam, and engaging in targeted harassment of our users.

Which still means that a lot of content that these users had been suspended for previously would still result in suspension now, and it leaves a lot up to Twitter management in allocating severity of impact in certain actions.

How do you definitively measure threats of violence or harm, for example? Former President Donald Trump was sanctioned under this policy, but many, including Musk, were critical of Twitter’s decision to do so, given that Trump is an elected representative.

In other nations, too, Twitter has been pressured to remove tweets under these policies, and it’ll be interesting to see how Twitter 2.0 handles such, given its stated more lax approach to moderation, despite its rules remaining largely the same.

Already, questions have been raised on this front – Twitter recently removed links to a BBC documentary that’s critical of the Indian Government, at the request of India’s PM. Twitter hasn’t offered any official explanation for the action, but with Musk also working with the Indian Government to secure partnerships for his other business, Tesla, questions have been raised as to how he will manage both impacts concurrently.

In essence, Twitter’s approach has changed when it chooses to do so, but the rules, as such, will effectively be governed by Musk himself. And as we’ve already seen, he will make drastic rules changes based on personal agendas and experience.

Twitter says that, starting February 1st, any previously suspended users will be able to appeal their suspension, and be evaluated under its new criteria for reinstatement.

It’s also targeting February for a launch of its new account penalties notifications.



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4 new social media features you need to know about this week

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New social media features to know this week


Social media never stands still. Every week there are new features — and it’s hard for the busy comms pro to stay up-to-date on it all.

We’ve got you covered.

Here’s what you need to know about this week.

LinkedIn

Social media sleuth Matt Navarra reported on Twitter that LinkedIn will soon make the newsletters you subscribe to through the site visible to other users.

This should aid newsletter discovery by adding in an element of social proof: if it’s good enough for this person I like and respect, it’s good enough for me. It also might be anopportunity to get your toe in the water with LinkedIn’s newsletter features.

Instagram

After admitting they went a little crazy on Reels and ignored their bread and butter of photographs, Instagram continues to refine its platform and algorithm. Although there were big changes over the last few weeks, these newer changes are subtler but still significant.

 

 

First, the animated avatars will be more prominent on profiles. Users can now choose to flip between the cartoony, waving avatar and their more traditional profile picture, rather than picking one or the other, TechCrunch reported, seemingly part of a push to incorporate metaverse-esque elements into the app.

Instagram also appears to have added an option to include a lead form on business profiles. We say “appears” because, as Social Media Today reports, the feature is not yet listed as an official feature, though it has rolled out broadly.

The feature will allow businesses to use standard forms or customize their own, including multiple choice questions or short answer.

Twitter

In the chaotic world of Twitter updates, this week is fairly staid — with a useful feature for advertisers.

The platform will roll out the ability to promote tweets among search results. As Twitter’s announcement points out, someone actively searching for a term could signal stronger intent than someone merely passively scrolling a feed.

Which of these new features are you most interested in? That LinkedIn newsletter tool could be great for spreading the word — and for discovering new reads.

Allison Carter is executive editor of PR Daily. Follow her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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