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Musk skär ner personal, avlistar Twitter från börsen dag 1 som chef

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Musk Will Seek Evidence from Twitter’s Former Product Chief as He Looks to Exit His Takeover Deal

So, Elon Musk is now the ‘Chief Twit’ as he says, with the billionaire taking ownership of the platform late Thursday, and for now at least, appointing himself as interim CEO. Whether he stays on as chief, or appoints somebody else to that role, remains to be seen, but thus far, it does appear as though Musk plans to take a hands-on role in re-aligning the app in his vision.

Though what exactly that vision is remains unclear.

Musk’s first order of business was to fire several top execs, including CEO Parag Agrawal, clearing house of those whom he clearly didn’t get along with throughout the takeover process. Among them was also the platform’s head of policy Vijaya Gadde, who’s played a key role in many of Twitter’s biggest moderation and safety decisions over the past 10 years – it was Gadde, for example, who made the call to ban former US President Donald Trump from the app.

The loss of so much experience will hurt the company, no doubt. But Musk, of course, has an alternative view on what Twitter should be, so they were unlikely to ever see eye-to-eye anyway. And the departing execs will take home millions in payouts, which should soften the blow, before they’re re-appointed at another tech firm in similar roles.

Musk’s second key order of business, however, following those initial exec cuts, was to take Twitter private.

As reported by The New York Times:

“As part of buying Twitter, Mr. Musk is merging the social media company with X Holdings, a corporate entity that he established in Delaware to handle the deal. X is buying out all of Twitter’s stock and will control the service, and Mr. Musk will control the holding company. Twitter will be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange and its shares will no longer trade on public markets as of Nov. 8, according to a securities filing.”

Thus, Twitter will no longer be a listed entity, and will no longer have to provide performance updates, so we won’t know exactly how many users Twitter has, how its latest subscription tools are performing, how its costs and expenses are rising. Some of these details will still be available, but they won’t be officially reported every quarter, which will reduce insight into the Musk Era at the app.

De-listing will also see the dissolution of Twitter’s current board of directors, with Musk to appoint a new board at some stage. Who he appoints here could also point to his future plans, which, again, remain relatively vague, outside of a few key hints.

To recap, Musk has said, or at least implied, that his priorities will be:

  • Eliminating bots
  • Expanding the rules around what users can say in the app (within the law)
  • Open sourcing feed algorithms
  • Increasing paying subscribers

Each of these elements will have variable impacts, though more recently, Musk has also sought to reassure advertisers that there won’t be any major changes to how they operate, as a means to keep that income stream flowing.

But eventually, Musk wants to reduce the platform’s reliance on ads, and make subscriptions a bigger part of Twitter’s income.

In one exchange with Twitter employees this week, Musk reiterated his plan to boost subscription intake to 50% of the platform’s revenue, which he also views as a potential solution to the app’s bot problem.

Musk has floated this concept in the past, that by lowering the price of Twitter’s subscription offering Twitter Blue to $2 per month, and giving every paying subscriber a blue checkmark (or similar marker), that would make it less tenable for bot companies to keep making more profiles, because eventually, all the real human accounts would be verified, making the bots easier to spot.

But as with almost everything that he says, Musk has switched his thinking on this too:

Maybe, then, Musk simply plans to start charging businesses to use the app – though that could also be a hard sell if, as expected, he starts bringing back previously banned users, like Trump, with a range of advertisers already planning to boycott the app if that happens.

It’s impossible to know the direction that Musk will take things, because I don’t think he knows, while Musk habitually revises his thinking, then denies that he ever suggested anything else.

In any event, we’ll likely have to wait for a little bit longer to see what’s coming, because Twitter has paused all site changes till November 1st due to the Musk takeover, and the potential for rogue employees to make changes on the way out the door.

But some staff are already being let go, and Musk could reinstate any user at any time. Right now, Musk says that he’s ‘digging into’ Twitter’s bans and shadowbans, to get the bottom of what’s happening on this front.

After that, nobody knows what will come next for the app.

UPDATE: Musk says that Twitter will form a new ‘content moderation council’ to decide on what can and can’t be posted to the app.

Which sounds a lot like Meta’s Oversight Board, which provides alternative means to review the decisions of Meta’s moderation team. The Oversight Board even reviewed the company’s decision to ban former US President Donald Trump (and found it to be the right one), which, seemingly, will be one of the first tasks allocated to Musk’s similar council, which will be established, presumably, soon.

Again, it seems like a bit of a back-track from Musk, now that the reality of dealing with proper content moderation is in his lap. Musk has loudly and repeatedly criticized Twitter’s past moderation efforts, and while the council approach is likely the right way to go, in ensuring independent experts are consulted to advise on such, as opposed to just going free for all, it’s still a shift from his gung-ho approach from the peanut gallery.

I’m also not sure that it bodes well for Musk’s future plans for the app. Most of the ideas that Musk has touted for reforming Twitter, and building it into a social media powerhouse, have been tried and tested many times before, by every other app in the space. Musk has suggested making Twitter more of a utility tool, like Chinese messaging apps, he’s suggested replicating the addictiveness of TikTok by updating Twitter’s algorithms, he’s talking about getting more people to pay to use the platform.

Like, yeah, every social app has considered these ideas, every platform has tried these things at different times. They haven’t worked.

The fact that Musk, once again, is falling back on concepts that have been already been tried doesn’t seem to suggest that he’s going to be bringing a lot of fresh takes to the app.

As per Musk, no major decisions on reinstatements, like the unbanning of Donald Trump, will happen before the council is established. So you’ll have to wait a little longer for the next stage.



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Effective Ways To Personalize Your Customer Touch Points Even More In 2023

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Effective Ways To Personalize Your Customer Touch Points Even More In 2023

Will 2023 be the year of personalization? Consumers hope so. For the past two years, shoppers have been craving the personal touch: In 2021, McKinsey & Company noted that 71% of customers expected companies to deliver personalization. In 2022, a Salesforce survey found that 73% of people expected brands to understand their needs and expectations. So, this year is looking like one where personalization can no longer be seen as a “nice to have.”

The problem, of course, is how to get more personalized. Many companies have already started to dabble in this. They greet shoppers by name on landing pages. They rely on CRMs and other tools to use historical information to send shoppers customized recommendations. They offer personalized, real-time discounts to help buyers convert their abandoned shopping cart items to actual purchases.

These are all great ideas. The only problem is that they’ve become widespread. They don’t move the needle on the customer experience anymore. Instead, they’re standard, expected, and kind of forgettable. That doesn’t mean you can afford to stop doing them. It just means you must devise other ways to pepper personalization throughout your consumer interactions.

If you are scratching your head on how to outdo 2022’s personalization in 2023, try implementing the following strategies:

1. Go for full-blown engagement on social media.

One easy way to give the personal touch is through your social media business pages. Social media use just keeps growing. In 2022, there were about 266 million monthly active users (or MUAs) on Facebook, one billion on Instagram, and 755 million on TikTok. Not all these active users will fall into your target audiences, but plenty of them will.

Make engaging with your social followers one of this year’s goals. People spend a lot of time on social media. It’s where many of them “live,” so it only makes sense that it should be a place to drive personalization.

One quick way to ratchet up your company’s personal touch on social media is to personalize all your retargeted ads. Quizzes can also offer a chance for personalization. Simply set up an engaging quiz and allow people to share their results. It’s a fun way to build brand recognition and bond with consumers. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with going very personal and answering all comments. Depending on your team’s size and the number of comments you receive, this might be a viable option.

2. Leverage AI to go beyond basic demographics.

Most companies rely on customer demographic information to bolster personalization efforts. The only trouble with this tactic is that demographics can’t tell the whole story. It’s impossible to get a lot of context about individual users (such as their lifestyles, personal preferences, and motivators) just from knowing their age, gender, or location. Though demographic data is beneficial, it can cause some significant misses.

Michael Scharff, CEO and cofounder of Evolv AI, explains the workaround for this problem: “The most natural, and therefore productive, personalization efforts use demographics as a foundation and then layer in user likes, dislikes, behaviors, and values.”

You can leverage AI’s predictive and insightful capabilities to uncover real-time user insights. Scharff recommends this technique because it allows you to stay in sync with the fast-moving pace of consumer behavior changes. He adds that AI can be particularly beneficial with the coming limits to third-party cookie access because it can be a first-party data source, allowing you to maintain customer knowledge and connection.

To flesh out your organization’s strategy, look to other companies that have gone beyond demographics. Take Netflix, for example, which constantly tweaks its AI algorithm to help improve personalized content recommendations. Bottom line? Going deeper than surface information makes all the sense in the world if you want to show customers you know them well.

3. Keep your data spotless.

The better your data, the better your personalization efforts. Period. Unfortunately, you are probably sitting on a lot of unstructured or otherwise tricky-to-use (or impossible-to-use) data. One recent Great Expectations survey revealed that 77% of data practitioners have data quality problems, and 91% say that this is wreaking havoc on their companies’ performance.

You can’t personalize anything with corrupt or questionable data. So, do your best to find ways to clean your data promptly and routinely. For example, you might want to invest in a more centralized data system, particularly if the personalization data you rely on is scattered in various places. Having one repository of data truth makes it easier to know if the information on hand is ready to use.

Another way to tame your data is to automate as many data processes as possible. Reducing manual manipulation of data lessens the chance of human error. And you’ll feel more confident with all your personalization efforts if you can trust the reliability and health of your data.

4. Go for nontechnical personalization.

It’s the digital age, but that doesn’t mean every touchpoint has to be digitized. Consumers often react with delight and positivity when they receive personalization in decidedly nontech forms. (Yes, you can use tech to keep track of everything. Just don’t make it part of the actual personalized exchange!)

Consider writing handwritten thank-you notes to customers after they’ve called in for support or emailed your team, for instance. Or send an extra personalized gift to buyers who make a specific number of purchases. These interactions aren’t technical but can differentiate your customer experience from your competitors’ experiences.

A groundbreaking Deloitte snapshot taken right before the pandemic showed that people were hungry for connection. By folding nondigital experiences into your personalization with customers, you’re showing them that you see them first as valued humans. That’s compelling and appealing, making them more apt to give you their loyalty in return.

Putting a personal spin on all your consumer interactions takes a little time. It’s worth your energy, though. You’ll wind up with stronger brand-buyer connections, helping you edge ahead of your competitors even more.

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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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