social media advertising Tag

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.

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.

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.

Tumblr Struggles to Compete in the Social Media Market As Growth Falters

ieplexus blog 1 2-18-16In that battle for the social media industry, some companies are gaining users while others are having difficulties. Recent articles have highlighted Tumblr and looked at the way its numbers have lagged behind competitors. Many have speculated what Tumblr might be doing wrong and what might be able to turn things around.

Ever since Tumblr was launched in 2007, business owners and personal users have discovered the site and have used it to share images with friends or customers. While the site no doubt has its benefits, many worry that the website is not gaining users as quickly as its direct competitors. When you look at the rate in which the company has gained new users, it is easy to see that the number of new users is starting to slow significantly. This plateau signals problems for the social media website.

The clear focus of Tumblr and the owners of the company is on finding the problem and fixing it. For many, it seems that the flexibility of other websites may be part of the problem. Since Tumblr has a very limited way in which users are able to share content, it is possible that users may be less interested in this website. Tumblr is attempting to fix the potential problem by allowing users to start sharing videos and GIFs as well as adding a messaging aspect to the website.

Another problem many point to is the fact that this social media site does not cater to mobile users in the same way as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. These social media sites have constructed applications that not only make the sites easy to use on a mobile phone, but actually encourage mobile users to participate and share in unique ways. Facebook extended their own mobile app recently by allowing live videos broadcasted via cell phone.

What Tumblr must do from here is find a way in which they can change the company in meaningful ways to make it more attractive. With a low number of new users currently, they should be looking at options to attract more business owners and personal users to the website to communicate in unique ways. It is possible that Tumblr, like Twitter, can expand the way that people use their social media site to help make it more relevant to a larger number of people.

Facebook Will Have to Learn from Facebook Sports Stadium Failures During the Super Bowl

ieplexus blog 1 2-11-16Facebook Sports Stadium met its first real test in making it easy to live stream important sports events last Sunday. When the Super Bowl came on, many were ready to test out the newly launched Sports Stadium portion of Facebook. These same people were soon disappointed as the new feature lagged on live updates and wasn’t able to keep up with the game at all.

When Facebook launched Sports Stadium in January, the plan was to use this feature as something that would compete well with Twitter during live events. For their first match up, Twitter emerged the clear winner since Facebook’s new feature was unable to keep up with the level of people using it. In some cases, updates were delayed by several minutes or didn’t show up at all. Some people complained, on Twitter no less, about Facebook’s problems with their Sports Stadium feature.

With the numbers in after the game, it was clear that an overwhelmingly larger number of people took to Twitter to discuss the game rather than Facebook. Numbers showed that Facebook had even lower numbers of people talking about the Super Bowl than they had the previous year dropping from 65 million people to 60 million people. From this alone, it is clear that Facebook’s Sports Stadium was underwhelming. The numbers are problematic to Facebook, especially as they try to attract advertisers for Super Bowl LI.

Despite all of the problems that Facebook’s Sports Stadium had initially, they were able to turn things around during the second half of the football game so that updates actually started flowing as they were meant to. Of course, this was too late for many of the people who had already given up in favor of Twitter as their second screen to watch for information about the game.

It is clear from the initial problems that Facebook experienced with their new feature that there are still some tweaks that need to be made to it. No doubt, they will work to repair these problems before the next big game. Hopefully, they will be able to figure out how to handle the levels of visitors heading for the site to prevent the same issues from happening again. Once the feature actually works, it will be easier to see if it can be used to beat out Twitter for live streaming.

Is it Possible There Are Too Many Changes Being Made to Twitter?

ieplexus blog 1 1-28-16Recently Twitter has seen a whole host of changes both inside the company structure and on the website as a result of a massive drop in stock value. Investors started bailing because they were not seeing the level of growth that has been going on in other social media sites. With all of the changes being made to the platform and the people in charge of Twitter, one of the problems that many users are now experiencing is confusion due to way too many changes being made all at once.

In the last few months, there have been several major changes to Twitter as the social media site has been trying to redefine themselves. One main change was the order of the timeline with Twitter’s new Moments which shows tweets tied to specific events and news stories. Another shift was from favorited tweets to “likes” much like Facebook. Rumor has it that the newest change will alter the character limit from the 140 character limit to a much higher number.

All of these changes have come as major shocks to experienced Twitter users who are accustomed to the old way that Twitter was organized. Some users have become less fond of the site since they suddenly find it confusing and difficult to use. The changes that have been made to Twitter thus far seem to be causing Twitter to lose some of what makes it Twitter. There isn’t the same easy to use system as can be seen in other social media sites since Twitter keeps changing multiple parts of the website.

One of the big problems with this is that new users have trouble distinguishing between all of the different features. When they go on Twitter, it takes time to slowly learn how you are supposed to do almost anything. When they do something the wrong way, they receive corrections from other users that may further complicate the whole thing. Without being able to easily just use the site without looking up how to do every little thing, new users stop wanting to be users at all.

With the drop in stock prices it is clear that Twitter needs big changes and it has been getting them. The problem is that these changes are coming so fast and in such a confusing way that old users and new users are being dissuaded from being users at all. The many changes to at the executive level and within the website itself seems to be resulting in a confusing mess that is just too difficult for your average internet user to decipher. If Twitter can’t get its social network on par with others like Facebook, there is no hope for the future of this social media network.

Facebook Changes “Year in Review” Feature to Make it a Bit More Positive

ieplexus blog 1 12-23-15One of the great features of Facebook has always been the way that you can look back on the past year and reflect on the different things that have happened. Their “Year in Review” feature selects some of the different photos that a user has posted over the last year to compile a review of the entire year individual to each user. This feature allows users to easily put together a review of their year and display it for all of their friends to see.

In the past, Facebook received complaints about the pictures that were selected for the “Year in Review” since many of these pictures brought back unhappy memories for those who looked at them. People who were using the feature to put together a fun review of the year, felt that these pictures really ruined the experience for them. They didn’t want to remember some of the memories that Facebook brought up for them.

One father even wrote about the feature in a blog, speaking out about the “inadvertent algorithmic cruelty.” His main complaint was that there was no way to opt out of making a review and each time he went on his Facebook page, there would be a message that popped up asking him to make one. He had experienced a challenging year after losing his daughter and was frustrated that pictures of her kept popping up each time he went on Facebook as part of the message asking him to create a “Year in Review”.

In a response to the critique of the 2014 “Year in Review”, Facebook decided to change the way that the “Year in Review” for 2015 is put together. This year there are new filters that have been applied to the system to help it chose 10 photos that captured the year in a happier light. These filter out any pictures that your exes or people with memorialized accounts are tagged in to avoid bringing up bad memories. If you still don’t like the way that the “Year in Review” looks, there are easy features that allow you to edit out pictures that you don’t want and to select new photos.

How Do Social Networks Seem Like They’re Psychic?

Picture 2-26-2015Occasionally, when you glance at the sidebar on Facebook, you might wonder how exactly it is that Facebook seems to know exactly how to cater to what you’re interested in. What you might not know is that Facebook has algorithms intended to help find the ads that suit you best. Since mid-2014, Facebook began using app and website data from your browsing habits, effectively going through your search history in order to determine which ads to target to you. While Facebook provides the ability to opt out of this, the default setting allows this sort of ad targeting to occur.

More recently, Facebook revealed that they were rolling out a new advertisement option called Product Ads, which are dynamically optimized to ensure that the products you see in the advertisements are based specifically on your interests and activities, as well as your location and whether or not you have already visited the advertiser’s website or used their application. These will be particularly useful for showing different types of products that come from the same company, such as Target and Shutterfly.

You may not realize how much information social networks can gather just from the things you have ‘liked’, the things you have posted and shared, and your general search history. One long-term study had subjects take personality tests and then used an algorithm based on their Facebook profile to see how closely their personality could be predicted alongside the test. The algorithm was able to produce a more accurate description of their personality than that subject’s friends and family.

Facebook is not the only social network that has been used to predict things. One study took a look at the emotional language used on Twitter, comparing the amount of angry tweets to mortality rates for atherosclerotic heart disease in particular counties. The researchers in this study determined that Twitter was actually a more effective means of predicting heart disease than conventional methods that look at smoking, diet, or obesity. This is evidence that a lot can be learned from social networks and these sorts of studies could wind up serving greater purposes than just targeting advertisements.