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Instagram Adds Reels Replies, Providing Another Way to Tap Into Short-Form Video

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It’s been in testing for a while, but today, Instagram has officially announced that users can now reply to post comments with Reels, providing another way to integrate Reels into the Instagram process.

As you can see in this example, now, when you reply to a comment on a post, you’ll also have the option to tap on the blue Reels button to create a video reply, which will then appear as a sticker that you can send to the commentor.

Here’s another look at the process in action (via @TheBKH):

It’s another way to help Instagram boost engagement, while also leaning into the short-form video trend. It’s also, unsurprisingly, almost identical to the same feature that TikTok added in June last year.

@tiktok

Want to reply to a comment with a video? Now you can! Available now for all users!

♬ original sound – TikTok

Instagram’s added some new color options to the sticker, but essentially it’s the same thing. Which, given Instagram’s more recent history, is pretty much par for the course – though you will be able to reply to comments on regular posts and videos with Reels too, which expands the function a little.

On one hand, as with all of Instagram’s copycat functions, it feels a little cheap, a little stale maybe to see it simply re-create what TikTok already does.

On the other hand, it’s working – Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted in the company’s most recent earnings announcement that Reels is now “the primary driver of engagement growth” on the platform, with millions of users now interacting with Reels clips every day. If Meta can keep a few more short video fans on its apps, instead of seeing them drift off to TikTok, that’s a win, and that, in itself, is likely enough to justify its continued copying of TikTok’s features.

But I maintain that if Meta really wants to win back younger users, it needs to come out with new, unique features, and lead the way with the latest trends. A side-effect of replication is that you are inherently following someone else, and if you’re not seen as the leader in the latest shifts, you’re unlikely to be the cool app, and the place where younger users are primarily interacting.

Meta, of course, knows this. In fact, it’s a key part of Facebook’s growth story – once Facebook overtook MySpace as the primary social app of choice among mong users back in 2005, MySpace tried to copy Facebook’s key tools, in a last-ditch effort to stem the user migration.

That clearly didn’t work, and Facebook eventually became the place to be, which then propelled the company to bigger and better things.

TikTok is on a similar trajectory, and while Meta’s family of apps is far bigger than MySpace ever was, it’s not unfeasible to imagine TikTok becoming the top social app at some stage in the near future.

Meta has already said that it’s making young users a focus, and as part of that, it really needs to re-establish itself as the leader, not the follower of the latest trends.

Original Post: socialmediatoday.com

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Free Annual Whitepaper on the 2021 Global Edtech Investment Available…

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There was a Staggering Spike in Investments Across the Globe in 2021 According to a New Whitepaper by Metariverse (formerly Metaari)

(PRWeb January 14, 2022)

Read the full story at https://www.prweb.com/releases/free_annual_whitepaper_on_the_2021_global_edtech_investment_available_now/prweb18434853.htm

Source Here: prweb.com

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YouTube Moves Away From Original Programming to Focus on Creator Funding Initiatives

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YouTube has announced that it will shut down its YouTube Originals program, which at one stage was a key value add for its YouTube Premium service, and a focus in its broader effort to challenge rising video-on-demand rivals like Netflix and Disney+.

As announced by YouTube’s Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl, YouTube has made the decision to wind down its original programming due to the departure of long-time Originals lead Susanne Daniels, who’s moving on after a raft of changes to her role. Daniels, an industry veteran who has previously worked for The WB, Lifetime and MTV, was initially brought in to lead YouTube’s Originals program in 2015, where she was tasked with developing original series’ for the app.

Daniels’ initial work saw the creation of series like ‘Cobra Kai’ and program partnerships with big-name stars like Ellen DeGeneres, Kevin Hart, Demi Lovato and Katy Perry. Those programs were initially made available to ‘YouTube Red’ subscribers only, who paid $9.99 to access this higher tier of YouTube content.

YouTube Red gained some early traction, but was split into YouTube Premium and YouTube Music in 2018 to provide more subscription options for users. Later in 2018, YouTube also made the strategic decision to make its Premium content available for free, instead of gated for paying subscribers, moving more into line with YouTube’s general ad-supported model for viewing, and tapping into the platform’s main strength in audience and reach.

But over time, YouTube has gradually moved away from original programming.

As explained by Variety, Daniels and her team shifted their focus to unscripted content in three different areas: music, celebrity and creator-focused originals, as well as educational programming. That eventually saw YouTube merging back into its regular content approach, and with over 2 million creators now taking part in the YouTube partner program, forming a much more significant revenue and retention model for the platform, the need for a dedicated originals division has been diminished to the point where YouTube feels that focusing elsewhere will be more beneficial.

As explained by Kyncl:

“Going forward, we will only be funding programs that are part of Black Voices and YouTube Kids funds. We will honor our commitment for already contracted shows in progress and creators who are involved in those shows should expect to hear from us in the coming days.”

Given its regular push to add more users to YouTube Premium, and the regular resistance from most, it makes sense for YouTube to instead focus on other areas, while building its offering for creators is also key in maximizing its audience reach and resonance by tapping into the latest trends and shifts.

Essentially, YouTube doesn’t need to create its own original content, and it’s fairly clear now that it couldn’t compete on this front anyway, given the amount of original properties and programs that Disney, Netflix and Amazon now control.

By re-focusing on creators, YouTube can maximize its appeal, in variance to its real rivals, in Meta and TikTok. And while YouTube would love to dominate all forms of digital media consumption, scripted dramas are clearly not what YouTube users are looking for from the app, at least not in the way that this has become an accepted behavior for other VOD providers.

Given the gradual wind down of its originals, the impact on YouTube will likely be minimal, though you can expect to see some ramp up in focus on creators as a result of the re-allocation of its resources.

Does that mean YouTube will stop pushing YouTube Premium? No, it does not.

Just recently, YouTube launched a new annual payment option for YouTube Premium with the lure of eradicating annoying ads from your YouTube experience. Which is really the only lure for Premium now – no exclusive content, but the ability to get rid of ads.

Which has always seemed like a slightly conflicted offering – “we know our ads are so annoying that some people will pay to shut them off”.

Still, platforms have to make money somehow.

Original Post: socialmediatoday.com

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Twitter Finally Brings Communities to Its Android App

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Almost five months after the initial launch of its Communities option, which enables users to share tweets with topic-aligned groups of users in the app, Twitter has today announced that Android users can also now engage in Communities, expanding access to these more dedicated discussion spaces.

Communities is essentially Twitter’s answer to Facebook groups or Reddit subreddits, moving away from the traditional ‘public square’ approach of tweeting and providing another way to form community around specific subjects in the app.

Though how successful Communities have been thus far is questionable. Most Communities, based on anecdotal evidence, are not highly active, with a part of the problem being that they’re largely obsolete, and restrictive, which goes against the established incentive devices of the app.

On the first point, given that most regular Twitter users have already curated a list of people they want to hear from in their feeds, Communities doesn’t really serve any significant purpose in keeping up to date with your key topics of interest.

It could, of course, enable you to find new tweet discussions to join, which could expand your tweeting activity, but with Communities currently being either ‘invite-only’ or ‘open to all’, that means that you either need to know somebody already in an interest area to gain access (and community discovery is not overly intuitive), while ‘open to all’ groups are generally filled with spam – which even the invited groups are as well, to a degree, due to flaws in the joining process (each new member can invite five of their own connections).

Twitter is working to address this, with a new ‘request to join’ option, where community admins will be able to approve or deny requests. That could help to improve the situation, but right now, the existing process is problematic in some respects.

On the second note, prolific tweeters already have far more followers on their personal handles than they can reach within a Community, so tweeting exclusively to Communities, only to see less engagement on their comments, isn’t an overly appealing prospect.

Sure, you could share your opinion direct to a community, and get no likes or replies, but why do that when you could share the same with your own, established audience who are more likely to respond. And because Twitter has already engrained Likes and replies as social currency on the platform, the incentive to tweet drives more users to the biggest response surface, which reduces the motivation to share to Communities.

As noted, Twitter is working on some of these elements, including discoverability, which could improve the Communities experience.

Maybe. No doubt some Twitter Communities are already highly active, but right now, as it stands, it doesn’t look like Communities is set to become a major element of tweet engagement, unless Twitter can refine the offering, and re-ignite interest.

Maybe Android access will change this – and ultimately, Twitter has the engagement data, it knows how active people are in Communities, and whether it’s worth pursuing further in future.

Will it go the way of Fleets, or can Communities become a bigger part of the tweet experience?

We’ll know more later in the year, now that all users can access the option.

Original Source: socialmediatoday.com

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