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Facebook Adds New Groups Engagement Options, Including New Side Bar Access to Latest Group Updates

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Facebook Adds New Groups Engagement Options, Including New Side Bar Access to Latest Group Updates

Hey, have you noticed a sudden influx of notifications about Facebook groups in your News Feed this week?

You’re not alone, with Facebook kicking off a new push on groups, that will include a new, dedicated notifications space for groups in the sidebar of the app, and more options for smaller discussions within group spaces.

First off, on the new sidebar sorting option for groups – Facebook’s testing a new listing of the groups that you’re a member of that will be accessible by swiping right from your main News Feed.

As you can see in these images, the new listing will display all of the groups that you’re a part of, which will be displayed in order based on the latest activity.

The sidebar display will also include a range of group engagement options, including the capacity to pin your favorite groups, discover new groups, or create your own from the prompts. There’ll also be links to events, shops and more, making it easier to get involved in each groups element.

That could make it much easier to stay on top of the latest group chats, which could be a great way for Facebook to boost user engagement, and get more users sharing more often in the app.

Which has become a problem of late. Reports have suggested that Facebook engagement has dropped significantly, particularly among younger audiences, as TikTok interaction has continued to rise, with internal data from Meta showing that usage among users aged 18-24 has basically flatlined completely in the app.  

Groups, however, remains a key engagement surface, and if Facebook can find new ways to showcase groups, and prompt more users to engage with those discussions, that could be another way to maximize in-app activity, even if they don’t feel compelled to respond to what they see in their main feed.

In addition to this, Facebook’s also adding some new, smaller sub-group engagement options, with Community Chat Channels, audio rooms and topic feeds within group.

Community Chat Channels will enable group members to chat in real-time across both Facebook Groups and Messenger.

“So when you’re in your new BBQ lovers group and need real-time feedback while attempting your first brisket, an admin can create a chat for that.”

Facebook Groups update

So it’s messaging groups for Group members, adding another way to spark different types of engagement with the Groups setting.

Community Audio Channels meanwhile is Facebook’s own answer for Clubhouse, where admins and members can join real-time audio conversations in the app.

Facebook Groups update

Facebook initially launched its live audio rooms with verified public figures, creators and selected groups last year, but now, all groups will be able to host live audio rooms to facilitate topical engagement in the app.

Which is probably a little behind the times, given the declining interest in Clubhouse and other audio social options. But a big challenge for Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces has been discovery, and highlighting the most relevant rooms to each user in real time, which Facebook can improve on by only highlighting rooms to people who are already group members, ensuring more relevance for its live audio notifications.

Community Audio Channels will be available within Facebook Groups and on Messenger, providing alternate access points to tune in.

UPDATE: Facebook says that Community Audio Channels are different from Live Audio Rooms, with Community Audio Channels being an ‘always-on space’ that admins can create, in which admins and members can hop in and out of real-time conversations. Which, functionally, seems much the same, but Facebook has sought to clarify this point.

And finally, Facebook’s also adding Community Feed Channels, providing a way to highlight more specifically relevant group discussions and elements to community members.

Facebook Groups update

“Admins can organize their communities around topics within the group for members to connect around more specific interests. For example, if you’re in a BBQ lovers group, there could be a feed channel where you can post and comment on the topic of smokers.”

So rather than getting every update from every group that you’ve joined, you’ll be able to select specific discussion topics that you’re interested in, with group admins then able to categorize posts and updates to feed into these more refined channels, and ideally improve engagement.

They’re some interesting additions, none of which are likely to transform how you engage with Facebook groups, but each providing a more customizable, easy-to-access stream of groups to stay informed and interact with.

And again, if Facebook can better highlight the most engaging, most relevant groups and group content, that could be a great way to maximize the potential of its groups tools, which now arguable generate more engagement potential than the main feed.

You may not like the political content in your News Feed, or the updates from relatives and long-lost school friends. But maybe, through this, Facebook can show you more discussions within groups that you do want to see, which could help to boost time spent in the app.

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Planning for 2023: What Social Media Marketers Need to Win in 2023

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Planning for 2023: What Social Media Marketers Need to Win in 2023

January is, for many, a month of reflection, goal-setting, strategizing and planning for the year ahead. 

In line with this, we’ve kicked off the new year with a series of articles covering the latest stats, tips and strategies to help social media marketers build an effective game plan for 2023.

Below, you’ll find links to our 2023 social media planning series, which includes:

  • Content strategy guidelines to help you define your brand’s content mission and set SMART goals
  • Organic posting tips for Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Pinterest 
  • Explainers on how to research key topics of interest in your niche, understand the competitive landscape, and help you find your audience and connect with them where they’re active
  • A holiday calendar and notes on the best days and times to post to each of the major platforms

 

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Meta says Trump to be allowed back on Facebook, Instagram

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Meta wants the UK to keep some EU e-commerce rules instead of scrapping them in its planned bonfire of Brussels legislation

Meta image: — © AFP INDRANIL MUKHERJEE

Glenn CHAPMAN

Social networking giant Meta announced Tuesday it would soon reinstate former president Donald Trump’s accounts on Facebook and Instagram with “new guardrails,” two years after he was banned over the 2021 US Capitol insurrection.

“We will be reinstating Mr. Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts in the coming weeks,” Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, said in a statement, adding that the move would come with “new guardrails in place to deter repeat offenses.”

Going forward, the Republican leader — who has already declared himself a 2024 presidential candidate — could be suspended for up to two years for each violation of platform policies, Clegg said.

It was not clear when or if Trump will return to the platforms, and his representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But the 76-year-old tycoon reacted in typically bullish fashion, crowing that Facebook had lost “billions of dollars in value” in his absence.

“Such a thing should never again happen to a sitting President, or anybody else who is not deserving of retribution!” he said on his Truth Social platform.

Facebook banned Trump a day after the January 6, 2021 uprising, when a mob of his supporters seeking to halt the certification of his election defeat to Joe Biden stormed the US Capitol in Washington.

The former reality TV star had spent weeks falsely claiming that the presidential election was stolen from him and he was subsequently impeached for inciting the riot.

In a letter asking for the ban to be overturned, Trump’s lawyer Scott Gast said last week that Meta had “dramatically distorted and inhibited the public discourse.”

He asked for a meeting to discuss Trump’s “prompt reinstatement to the platform” of Facebook, where he had 34 million followers, arguing that his status as the leading contender for the Republican nomination in 2024 justified ending the ban.

American Civil Liberties Union executive director Anthony Romero said Meta was making “the right call” by allowing Trump back onto the social network.

“Like it or not, President Trump is one of the country’s leading political figures and the public has a strong interest in hearing his speech,” Romero said in a release.

“Indeed, some of Trump’s most offensive social media posts ended up being critical evidence in lawsuits filed against him and his administration.”

The ACLU has filed more than 400 legal actions against Trump, according to Romero.

– Extremism engine? –

Advocacy groups such as Media Matters for America, however, vehemently oppose allowing Trump to exploit Facebook’s social networking reach.

“Make no mistake — by allowing Donald Trump back on its platforms, Meta is refueling Trump’s misinformation and extremism engine,” said Media Matters president Angelo Carusone.

“This not only will have an impact on Instagram and Facebook users, but it also presents intensified threats to civil society and an existential threat to United States democracy as a whole.”

A US congressional committee recommended in December that Trump be prosecuted for his role in the US Capitol assault.

His Twitter account, which has 88 million followers, was also blocked after the riot, leaving him to communicate through Truth Social, where he has fewer than five million followers.

Trump’s shock victory in 2016 was credited in part to his leverage of social media and his enormous digital reach.

New Twitter owner Elon Musk reinstated Trump’s account last November, days after the brash billionaire announced a fresh White House run. He has yet to post.

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Saker kan äntligen leta efter Meta Stock

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Things May Finally Be Looking Up for Meta Stock

Last year was brutal for Meta Platforms (META 3.01%). The Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger parent’s ad revenue suffered as a weak macroeconomic environment and changes to ad tracking and measurement on Apple‘s mobile operating system combined to create a significant headwind.

This headwind wreaked havoc on the stock, with shares of the tech company declining 65% last year. But The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that there may be some signs of improvement in Meta’s business — something that could prove to be a catalyst for the stock.

Here’s a look at why 2023 could be a decent year for Meta’s business and possibly its stock, too.

Meta’s nightmare 2022

It’s not surprising that Meta’s stock took a beating last year. The bad news started early in 2022, when Meta reported its fourth-quarter 2021 results and said first-quarter revenue growth would slow dramatically due to Apple’s iOS changes, a weak macroeconomic environment, and a shift of user engagement within the company’s apps to its TikTok-like Reels format, which was monetizing at a lower rate than its more mature formats. 

These trends largely persisted throughout 2022, as revenue growth decelerated dramatically in Q1 and turned negative by Q2. Revenue growth continued to decline on a year-over-year basis in Q3, and management said it expected fourth-quarter revenue to decline between 3% and 11% year over year. The midpoint of this range would be worse than the company’s 4% revenue decline in Q3.

A turnaround may be underway

While Meta’s performance was dismal last year, management emphasized on several occasions that it was confident it could turn things around eventually. In particular, the social media company believed it would be able to build out solutions to make its ad tracking and measurement less reliant on Apple’s mobile operating system’s capabilities. Further, Meta said throughout the year that even though its Reels format may be a headwind today, it would become a tailwind as the company improved its monetization.

Based on a report from WSJ on Friday, Meta has been making progress on these fronts. Investment in artificial intelligence tools to improve ad-targeting and forecasting and a shift to ad products that are less reliant on Apple’s mobile operating system are paying off, WSJ reports. “Executives told employees in October that Meta expected to begin rebounding from Apple’s change as soon as that quarter, which ended Dec. 31,” wrote WSJ‘s Jeff Horwitz and Salvador Rodriguez, citing “internal documents” at Meta.

Of course, it’s still impossible to know what Meta’s fourth-quarter results may look like. We’ll find out when the company reports fourth-quarter results on Feb. 1. It’s worth noting that Meta’s third-quarter report was released toward the end of October — the same month WSJ said executives reported these improvements to employees, and almost a month into Q4. Management, therefore, likely attempted to conservatively bake in any improvements it was seeing into its fourth-quarter revenue guidance.

While it’s possible Meta surprises to the upside for its fourth-quarter 2022 results, the internal documents WSJ cites at least provide an encouraging backdrop for a potential turnaround in the company’s top-line trajectory in 2023.

Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Daniel Sparks has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. His clients may own shares of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Apple and Meta Platforms. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long March 2023 $120 calls on Apple and short March 2023 $130 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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