Social Networking

Twitter Revenue Fails to Meet Expectations

falling stock priceSince the beginning of this year, Twitter has made tons of changes to help increase the amount of users that they have on their website. So far these changes don’t seem to be making too much of a difference when it actually comes to the success of Twitter. While users coming to the site continue to go up in number slowly, their ad revenue has begun to come in far under their expected growth.

 

Stock holders are asking how Twitter plans to fix this problem since they are the ones suffer if the revenue continues to go down in the next quarter. Twitter’s response has been working on changing their ads from static text and photo ads to ones that will feature video instead. These ads can be sold at a higher price and will be more attractive to users especially those viewing Twitter on mobile platforms.

 

The problem with this is that adding video ads will make it so that their standard advertisements will not work as well. All of the video ads will distract away from the traditional sponsored tweets that many businesses have used to advertise in the past. These tweets only feature pictures and text and only show up in the users feed. They don’t have the ability to grab users’ attention as other ads can. Since Twitter added video many businesses have been going away from these ads anyway because of their decreased value comparatively.

 

If the drop in revenue is due at least partially to the decreasing value of this type of an advertisement, the hope will be that the revenue will return as Twitter adds more video elements to its social media network. With the upcoming Thursday night football games and the addition of a great deal of video content there will be more space on Twitter for this type of add. Hopefully, these changes to Twitter will help it drive up revenue in the future.

Facebook Makes Another Change to the News Feed

Facebook news feedFor a long time, Facebook has been working on perfecting the News Feed that is the heart of their website. They are set on making sure that each user has items on their News Feed that are items they will actually be interested in since this of course makes them less likely to leave the website. Facebook has made many changes to this feed over the years, so it is no surprise that they are working on another one.

 

One of the goals that Facebook has when it comes to their News Feed is making it so that people are able to see relevant articles and videos that they will be interested in. This means eliminating clickbait and content that attempts to be relevant, but then turns out to be something different. The only way for Facebook to judge how interesting a link is to these people is to take a look at how long they are on the link after they have clicked on it. If a user clicks on something and returns right away, this means the link was not a quality one.

 

While Facebook in the past has monitored how quickly users click back to Facebook, they have not previously taken into account the length of time they remain on a link beyond a few seconds. They now plan to change the way that their algorithm works to look at the time spent on each link. To ensure that longer articles won’t necessarily benefit unfairly, they will limit this to a specific range of time that a link must pass to be considered interesting.  Facebook hopes that this will help them to identify quality content and put more of this at the top of their News Feed.

 

At the same time, Facebook is working on another change that will ensure that Users are not just seeing a whole bunch of different posts from a single source. They will be adding a piece to the algorithm to ensure that diverse posts appear back to back rather than having many from the same user appearing one after the other.

 

The changes to the algorithm should benefit users overall. It should not affect businesses that are using Facebook responsibly and providing quality content in their links. As long as a business or other user makes posts at a variety of different times they will still have a good chance of having other users see everything that they post as long as what they post is relevant to these users.

Facebook’s New Chatbots Seek to Connect Customers and Businesses

social chatThis week, Facebook announced the launch of their new Chatbots among many other features that they are expecting to bring out in the future. The idea of these Chatbots is that they would be convenient ways for people to access information on Facebook in the way that Siri helps people using Apple devices. This would also allow the spread of customer service from different companies without having to use real employees.

 

The Chatbot feature is new to Facebook although many other websites have been using these for a variety of different functions. Facebook’s plan is to actually use these bots to communicate with Facebook users and make things easier. Facebook users can ask bots about the weather and for information on different things. For example, the Chatbot for CNN’s Facebook page would be able to pull up specific articles that users might be interested in seeing.

 

While the idea is good, these Chatbots still have a long way to go. Users have complained about these buggy bots citing problems with making them understand anything that they are asking. In many cases, people have been having a lot of difficulty communicating their needs in words that the bots can actually understand. The answers that bots give seem to be fairly unnatural as well.

 

The eventual goal would be that these bots would be unidentifiable as bots so that companies could use them for general customer service needs. Already, people can use these bots to make purchases and complete orders. This can save companies money in the long run since they won’t have to waste a real customer service agent’s time with simple questions. The bots could easily answer simple customer service questions once they learn a little more about human language.

 

Before anything more happens with these bots, they’re going to need a bit more development. Hopefully as the bots learn and start to echo normal conversation better, they will be able to interact on a much different level. Facebook will be working on their Chatbots in the future to make these bots into a convenient way of getting the service you need.

Twitter to Bring Live NFL Games to Social Media

iePlexus blog 1 4-07-16With all of the recent problems that we have been hearing about Twitter’s social media platform, it came as a huge surprise that the NFL chose them over Facebook, Amazon, Verizon, and Yahoo to host Thursday night football games live. This new deal suggests a huge advantage for Twitter’s live streaming future just when it was looking like Facebook might dominate this specific area of social media. It leaves many people wondering what is next for Twitter.

 

One of the main things that people initially wondered was how Twitter outbid their competitors to secure this deal. The truth is that they didn’t. While Twitter was not the highest bidder, the NFL claims it decided to go with this platform because of its experience with live video.  There are certainly different features such as Twitter’s moments and Periscope that could make the experience more interesting. Facebook would be the only other site to have somewhat similar features and they backed out of the bidding after seeing the advertising agreement that came with the contract.

 

Twitter is hoping that this deal will be a big boost for them because of the popularity of the NFL. Streaming these games on Twitter will be a big benefit for those people who have dropped their cable plans and rely completely on streaming for all of their TV content.  With the new deal in place Twitter would be able to establish a new identity and attract new users.

 

While many are looking at the new deal as a great thing, others are pointing out possible flaws in the plan. Since Twitter has always been a great place for live interaction on a secondary screen during live events, streaming and tweeting on the same device seems like a problem. If Twitter is expecting users to look at the live stream, then how will they interact live on their own Twitter pages? This is a question that Twitter has yet to answer.

 

Others are wondering about the deal itself and whether the games will even be worth what Twitter paid for them. The only thing that the NFL is giving to Twitter is Thursday night games, which notoriously feature the worst matchups out of any of the NFL games. Those fans who want to watch these games are unlikely to be the kind of people who are dropping their cable subscriptions. Some wonder about the value of this type of deal at all and whether the NFL just made this partnership in order to wield a greater influence over Twitter.

Instagram Faces Backlash From Users After Announcing New Changes

instagram appInstagram is doing what it can to catch up to others and better compete within the world of social media. There have been some pretty substantial changes with social media sites as a whole over the first quarter of the year so far. Instagram is the next site announcing substantial changes to its website which focuses on distributing small bits of visual content including short videos and pictures.

 

The main change that is going to be hitting Instagram users after a few weeks or months of testing is a complete overhaul of the way that posts display within the Instagram App. Instead of the chronological order that Instagram has been using since it started, they are now going to change to a smarter listing allowing users to see posts that they may have a greater amount of interest in. This would be similar to the Top News setting that Facebook uses.

 

Instagram users have been worrying about the change since they heard about it, concerned that Instagram will use their new algorithm to alienate specific accounts and make some posts less visible to users. Many of those worrying about these changes are companies and celebrities that have used Instagram as free advertising. Instagram has been receiving a great deal of backlash from some of these users who seem worried about what this will do to the way their posts are seen. Many of these users have taken to Instagram asking other users to turn on their notifications if they wish to see their posts.

 

Although some users are concerned that they will lose their ability to advertise for free as they did when Facebook altered its algorithm and asked that people who wanted more visibility paid to sponsor their posts, there is no proof that this will be happening again on Instagram. They claim that the algorithm is only intended to show people the content that they want to see including content that they see from businesses they like. Brands and big name users are still concerned that the new changes may mean they’ll eventually be effected after experiencing the same problems in the past.

Twitter Stickers May Be the Next Change to the Twitter Platform

social mediaOver the ten years that Twitter has been in business, there have been a wide range of changes that have completely transformed the social media site. The latest feature that Twitter is testing is a stickers feature that will allow customers to add cartoon images over the top of pictures before posting them. This new feature is just one more way that Twitter is turning their social media platform into a site with more visual components.

 

This newest feature, if released, would follow several other features that Twitter has released in its attempt to make the Twitter world a bit more visual. Previous features have allowed users to add videos to their tweets and even introduced live streaming. The new feature suggests that Twitter is searching for a way to make standard pictures on Twitter into something that is more exciting. It seems all of the recent changes are focused around the idea of creating a new version of Twitter that will attract a greater number of users.

 

The new stickers feature would introduce a feature previously extended only to celebrities through the secret Twitter Camera app. The feature mirrors ones available on other social media sites such as Facebook which allow customers to add cartoon images over standard pictures.  This would allow users to add cute or funny elements to the different pictures that they posted. While the feature is in the early testing stages, it is likely to become a permanent feature to the social media website.

 

To differentiate this feature from similar ones, Twitter has plans to add a social element. The idea would be to display the way that other users have decorated a popular picture and to suggest pictures for users to decorate. Decorating trending pictures would allow users to share opinions and interact in an entirely new way. Twitter’s unique twist on a standard feature could help to make it more competitive with other social media sites.

Twitter Transfers All Users to Their Algorithmic Feed Automatically

social mediaWhen Twitter recently started testing a new way of organizing the way that users see tweets, they received instant backlash from many Twitter users who were not interested in seeing a change. Many of these people were pleased by Twitter’s early requirement to opt into the new system. They were dismayed to discover when Twitter began slowly shifting all users into the new way of displaying posts.

Twitter was initially requiring customers to opt in with the new way of organizing posts because they were still in the testing phase of this new system. They were working to build a way of displaying posts that were not in reverse chronological order and instead in order of what a user might find most interesting or more important. The idea was to make Twitter more attractive for users who only came on the site infrequently. They would be able to more easily see what important news they had missed, instead of being informed only of the most recent information.

Twitter isn’t the only social media site shifting its formatting from displaying posts chronologically to shifting posts to the most relevant and interesting. In the past, other social media sites have offered different ways of displaying posts. Facebook has had top posts and most recent as options for displaying your news feed for a long time. Instagram has recently announced that they will also be switching.

For those who are annoyed with the new change on Twitter, the good news is that the change is not required. Anyone who wishes to have their feed go back to the chronological display, simply has to change a setting within their account. In most cases, Twitter is notifying users of the switch and giving the option to change their settings right away. This means that those who want the new organization can have it while those who prefer the traditional display can stick with this.

Meerkat Seeks a Place in the Social Media World After Losing the Battle for Live Streaming

iePlexus blog 1 3-09-16After creating the concept of live streaming from a cell phone to a social media network, Meerkat should be at the top of the live stream market. Unfortunately, with Facebook and Twitter recently jumping on the live streaming concept, Meerkat has become less appealing to users. Many people just don’t see the point of adding an additional social media network to live stream from.

After being heralded as the next big thing last summer, Meerkat took some serious hits to their competitive edge. Just because they were the first on the scene of live streaming, did not mean that they were able to maintain their edge when it came to competing with other streaming companies. Once Twitter purchased Periscope and turned this into their own live streaming application, Meerkat started to see problems in their own growth. Now with Facebook’s newly launched live streaming tool, they’re ready to give up on the idea of becoming a leading live streaming network.

The problem that Meerkat is currently experiencing is that their market has been flooded by products that are better and more convenient to customers. Rather than trying to continue to compete with Facebook and Twitter, the company has decided to shift their focus. The company recently announced that they will be changing their focus with the idea of making their social media network more private. They are hinting at the idea of live streaming toward more select groups of people such as friends and family members.

Businesses should pay close attention to the way that Meerkat is changing its focus as it relates to niche selection. Originally, the company was focused on a unique niche with no competition. Now as the market has been flooded to the point where they cannot compete, they have decided to further narrow their niche in an attempt to gain a unique audience. In many cases, narrowing a niche can be just what a business needs to succeed when they find that a larger niche is flooded with challenging competitors.

Apple Launches Apple Support Twitter Account to Field Questions About Products

iePlexus Blog 1 3-03-16Today, Apple joined the number of companies that are using Twitter as a way to field customer questions about products. Many companies have found that it is very useful to use Twitter as a place where questions can be asked and answered since customers seem to see this as much more convenient than having to call or email. Twitter users can ask all of their important questions to companies whose products they purchase to get answers without any hassle.

Of course, Apple hasn’t been devoid of any type of customer service account on Twitter prior to this. In the past, it has had some specific accounts that focused on Apple Music and iTunes which offered customer support for these specific Apple products. Their new account is different because it is the first time that Apple has had any kind of general customer service account where customers can ask questions about all types of Apple products.

The main benefit of such an account is of course the way that this improves Apple’s image in general. Apple has long portrayed themselves as a company that is willing to provide superior customer service. The new Twitter account helps with this by making it easier for customers to interact directly with the Apple customer service team on an easy to use platform. Customers should see this as marked increase in the level of service and support that Apple provides.

Apple began its Twitter presence with a brief welcome and a handy step by step picture slideshow that showed customers how to turn lists into checklists within the Notes app. The account has also invited customers to come forward with any questions that they might have about a variety of Apple products. The hope is to provide more tips and tutorials to make it so that customers can more easily work with the products they’ve purchased.

Other businesses should look to the way that Apple is using Twitter as a guide for what they can be doing in their own businesses. This new account shows the versatility of Twitter in the ways that it can be used by a business. Business owners don’t just have to use Twitter as a place to talk about their products, they can be like Apple and offer customer service within their Twitter pages.

Facebook’s Reactions Go Way Beyond Like

ieplexus blog 1 2-25-16For a long time, Facebook users have campaigned for completely new ways to express their feelings about a post. Many have been hoping for a long awaited dislike button so that they can express their feelings about a post without having to comment on it. This week Facebook rolled out their new reactions, which allow users to do more than just like a post.

Facebook has left the traditional like button as part of its reactions icon but when you hold down the like button on Facebook you will now see a range of new emoji reactions that can help to express how you feel about the post in a new way. For now, you can only select one of these at a time, but you can change what the reaction is after you have already picked on if you decide another is better. The top three reactions to a given post are the only ones that end up displayed but a more detailed breakdown of how people reacted to each other is available if you click to see.

After the new reactions rolled out, there were complaints about them straight away. One of the main criticisms for the new reactions is that there just aren’t enough of them. The majority of the reaction are positive with only two reactions showing negative emotion. Many people would like to have a wider selection of emotions so that they might be able to more easily describe how more complicated posts make them feel. Other complaints focused on the fact that the reactions themselves can be confusing. Some people feel that the anger reaction could be especially confusing since it is hard to say if the reaction is anger targeted at the poster or what the post is about.

Facebook has also fallen under critique from advertisers who see the new reactions as something that they could benefit from, if Facebook would just allow them access to the information. For now, Facebook is not using the reactions to differentiate between what types of advertising would be good for the customers. To advertisers this makes it seem like they are missing out since people’s opinions of different things may make it so that they respond differently to advertising.

It seems that Facebook has taken a good step toward allowing users to respond in unique new ways, but many users would like to be able to see these reactions expand even further. This step may be only a first step, but Facebook users are at least able to get a bit more control over how they are expressing themselves on Facebook. Users can keep crossing their fingers waiting for that dislike button that they’ve been waiting for.