April 2016

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.