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YouTube Launches Expanded Test of Channel Gifting to Help Creators Grow Their Audience

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YouTube Launches Expanded Test of Channel Gifting to Help Creators Grow Their Audience

YouTube has announced that it’s expanding its test of membership gifting to more users, after launching an initial trial of the option in Japan earlier in the year.

Just as it sounds, membership gifting enables users to buy channel memberships for others who may be interested in a certain creator or channel, but are not yet paying subscribers.

Though you don’t get any control over who actually gets your donated memberships.

As explained by YouTube:

With Memberships Gifting, your channel members can buy a set number of channel memberships [5, 10, 20] in a single purchase, that YouTube will “gift” out to other viewers in your live stream. Viewers who receive a gift membership, get 1 month of access to your channel membership perks like loyalty badges, custom emoji and more. Viewers who receive gift memberships do not pay any charges and as the creator, you receive your usual revenue share from each transaction.

So YouTube’s system chooses who gets a donated membership, which is based on how non-subscribers interact with a channel. 

“For example, loyal viewers who are always watching and interacting with your content are more likely to receive gift memberships.”

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Which may seem a little strange, but it’s designed to be a support measure for creators, not a gift for friends, as such.

When chosen to receive a donated membership, the viewers will be notified via a personal live chat message, as well as a follow-up email.

YouTube Channel Memberships

So you get to support a creator, and help them grow their channel, while it also introduces more people into that creators’ broader community, and encourages them to keep coming back.

Indeed, in its initial tests, YouTube says that membership gifting contributed to community building:

Since February, we have been testing Memberships Gifting with a small subset of creators in Japan. We’ve seen that viewers who receive a gift show appreciation and gratitude, both in text and in other monetization options. Additionally, we have seen that many users who receive a gift and try out memberships perks decide to stay and become a paying member.”

It seems like a good option for creators to encourage, as a means to contribute to their channel, helping them to reach even more people with their content.

Though I get a sense that Japanese audiences may have a stronger sense of community spirit than those in western markets, who are likely less inclined to buy something for a stranger. But we’ll see.

YouTube says that a beta version of Channel Memberships Gifting is being launched with a small group of creators from today, with all creators to get access to the option ‘over the next several months’.

It’s worth noting that users need to opt-in on a stream to be eligible to receive a gifted membership, which you do by tapping the ‘Allow Gifts’ prompt in the chat on an eligible broadcast. Then you just hope you get lucky.

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For creators, if you want to get early access, you can fill out this form to register your interest. 

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LinkedIn Adds New Features for Company Pages, Including Post Templates and Link Stickers

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LinkedIn has outlined its latest batch of updates for Company Pages, most of which had already been previewed in some capacity, but are now being rolled out on a broader basis.

First off, LinkedIn’s making its new post templates available to all company pages.

LinkedIn post templates

As you can see in these examples, LinkedIn’s post templates, as they sound, provide a range of visual enhancements for your LinkedIn updates, which could help to make them stand out in feeds.

LinkedIn originally launched post templates for individual users last month, but now, it’s making them available for Company Page updates as well.

As per LinkedIn:

Create engaging, actionable LinkedIn content easier than ever with customizable templates, available directly in the LinkedIn app, with no third-party tools required.”

I mean, I don’t know that these types of posts really fit with LinkedIn’s professional approach. But then again, as many have noted, LinkedIn is increasingly becoming more like Facebook anyway, with more personal posts and updates that are less focused on professional aspects.

And that seems to be working – LinkedIn’s parent company Microsoft keeps reporting ‘record levels of engagement’ in the app every quarter, so maybe this is actually a good, valuable addition.

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We’ll see how people feel about it when every other LinkedIn ‘thinkfluencer’ is posting using these templates. You can access post templates in the mobile app by tapping the ‘use template’ option in the post composer menu.

As an addition to this, LinkedIn’s also making its new link stickers available for Company Pages too, which could help to drive more direct response to your updates.

LinkedIn link sticker

On another front, LinkedIn will also now enable all Company Pages to pin comments beneath their brand posts.

LinkedIn Pinned Comments

The rollout for this feature also started last month, with some users seeing the option to pin comments in the app.

That could be a good way to spark more focused engagement, and highlight top fans, while you could also use this to simply boost interactions by pinning the comment with the most engagement at the top of the reply chain.  

As a reminder, LinkedIn Company Pages can also pin an update for similar purpose.

Finally, LinkedIn has also added a new Our featured commitments’ section for Company Pages, where brands will be able to showcase their most important values.

“Increasingly in today’s market, job seekers are evaluating potential employers based on their values. They’re interested in knowing where companies stand on issues that are important to them, such as DEI, work-life balance, sustainability, etc. To provide greater insight and connections, LinkedIn is enabling employers to highlight these commitments on their LinkedIn company page to define their talent brand and values.” 

Brands will be able to include up to five commitments in their featured commitments section, while you’ll also be able to host content that demonstrates the same, all of which will be displayed in a sub-panel in the ‘About’ section of your Page.

These are some potentially handy updates, with the link stickers and pinned comments standing out as likely the most valuable additions for LinkedIn page managers.

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Post templates I’m not as sold on, especially for brands – but then again, there may be ways to use these templates to improve the presentation of your posts, and maybe, that’ll increase overall engagement.

You can read about all of LinkedIn’s latest company page updates here.

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