Yahoo trying to stay ahead of the curve
Yahoo is making another well-planned move to stay on-trend with the Internet game. Yahoo plans to launch four of their most popular chatbots (weather, news, monkey, and finance) on a new platform. You may remember, we covered Yahoo’s recent launch of these chatbots on the popular messenger platform, Kik. They have been well-received as a way to help people learn how to use the services in a more conversational, trendy setting.
Chatbots definitely have advantages for things like immediate customer service responses (since Facebook times your responses), engaging your followers, or running special promotions (like games), but I’m not sure how long news and weather bots will remain relevant and engaging.
The greater majority of cell phone users engage with smartphones; smartphones have apps for news and weather that send notifications to the top of your screen (if enabled). However, it makes sense with so many people on Facebook Messenger, you want to keep them on the platform as long as possible, and using chatbots creates the potential to extend a user’s engagement, in my opinion.
What they’re bringing to Facebook Messenger
The news, weather, and finance bots from Yahoo are fairly self-explanatory; the monkey chatbot, or “virtual pets” chatbot, is a little bit different, however. The MonkeyPets chatbot, will give Facebookers the ability to send emojis to a virtual pet, which will then send a “selfie” back to the user as a form of two-way interaction. If you’re old enough to remember Tamagotchi’s or Gigapets, you’ll know what Yahoo is aiming for here.
The weather bot will function exactly as the Kik bot functions: it will show you the weather, temperature, and Flickr images to bring your desired forecast to life, right inside Facebook. The news bot will bring trending stories and news articles that can easily be shared with friends from inside the Messenger. The finance app is the new kid on the block. When Yahoo launched their chatbots on Kik, the finance option wasn’t included.
Exclusive to Facebook, this bot will provide stock market updates, trends, financial news, and games to help you keep an eye on your investments. As with the other bots, you can share this information with anyone you want right from Facebook Messenger.
Pretty cool, but there is some fierce competition
Currently, there are over 11,000 chatbots in the Facebook market, but Yahoo hopes launching their bots into the Facebook Messenger market will increase exposure for their services. Whether or not people will choose to interact with their bots over say, more mainstream bots like CNN and Poncho. People tend to have a preference for chat, weather, and finance tips; I’m not sure if Yahoo will be able to break the threshold and become a fan-favorite in the chatbot world or not, but one thing is clear: chatbots are the future, especially on Messenger.
Facebook has extensive developer tools for anyone interested in created a chatbot, so they obviously think they will only gain in popularity. What do you think? Will chatbots replace human responses, or are they just a cool new way to interact?
Twitter to start charging users? Here’s what you need to know
(SOCIAL MEDIA) Social media is trending toward the subscription based model, especially as the pandemic pushes ad revenue down. What does this mean for Twitter users?
In an attempt to become less dependent on advertising, Twitter Inc. announced that it will be considering developing a subscription product, as well as other paid options. Here’s the scoop:
- The ideas for paid Twitter that are being tossed around include tipping creators, the ability to pay users you follow for exclusive content, charging for use of the TweetDeck, features like “undo send”, and profile customization options and more.
- While Twitter has thought about moving towards paid for years, the pandemic has pushed them to do it – plus activist investors want to see accelerated growth.
- The majority of Twitter’s revenue comes from targeted ads, though Twitter’s ad market is significantly smaller than Facebook and other competitors.
- The platform’s user base in the U.S. is its most valuable market, and that market is plateauing – essentially, Twitter can’t depend on new American users joining to make money anymore.
- The company tried user “tips” in the past with its live video service Periscope (RIP), which has now become a popular business model for other companies – and which we will most likely see again with paid Twitter.
- And yes, they will ALWAYS take a cut of any money being poured into the app, no matter who it’s intended for.
This announcement comes at a time where other social media platforms, such as TikTok and Clubhouse, are also moving towards paid options.
My hot take: Is it important – especially during a pandemic – to make sure that creators are receiving fair compensation for the content that we as users consume? Yes, 100%. Pay people for their work. And in the realm of social media, pictures, memes, and opinions are in fact work. Don’t get it twisted.
Does this shift also symbolize a deviation from the unpaid, egalitarian social media that we’ve all learned to use, consume, and love over the last decade? It sure does.
My irritation stems not from the fact that creators will probably see more return on their work in the future. Or on the principal of free social media for all. It stems from sheer greediness of the social media giants. Facebook, Twitter, and their counterparts are already filthy rich. Like, dumb rich. And guess what: Even though Twitter has been free so far, it’s creators and users alike that have been generating wealth for the company.
So why do they want even more now?
TikTok enters the e-commerce space, ready to compete with Zuckerberg?
(SOCIAL MEDIA) Setting up social media for e-commerce isn’t an uncommon practice, but for TikTok this means the next step competing with Facebook and Instagram.
Adding e-commerce offerings to social media platforms isn’t anything new. However, TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese firm ByteDance, is rolling out some new e-commerce features that will place the social video app in direct competition with Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook and Instagram.
According to a Financial Times report, TikTok’s new features will allow the platform to create and expand its e-commerce service in the U.S. The new features will allow TikTok’s popular users to monetize their content. These users will be able to promote and sell products by sharing product links in their content. In return, TikTok will profit from the sales by earning a commission.
Among the features included is “live-streamed” shopping. In this mobile phone shopping channel, users can purchase products by tapping on products during a user’s live demo. Also, TikTok plans on releasing a feature that will allow brands to display their product catalogs.
Currently, Facebook has expanded into the e-commerce space through its Facebook Marketplace. In May 2020, it launched Facebook Shops that allows businesses to turn their Facebook and Instagram stories into online stores.
But, Facebook hasn’t had too much luck in keeping up with the video platform in other areas. In 2018, the social media giant launched Lasso, its short-form video app. But the company’s TikTok clone didn’t last too long. Last year, Facebook said bye-bye to Lasso and shut it down.
Instagram is trying to compete with TikTok by launching Instagram Reels. This feature allows users to share short videos just like TikTok, but the future of Reels isn’t set in stone yet. By the looks of it, videos on Reels are mainly reposts of video content posted on TikTok.
There is no word on when the features will roll out to influencers on TikTok, but according to the Financial Times report, the social media app’s new features have already been viewed by some people.
TikTok has a large audience that continues to grow. By providing monetization tools in its platform, TikTok believes its new tools will put it ahead of Facebook in the e-commerce game, and help maintain that audience.
Your favorite Clubhouse creators can now ask for your financial support
(SOCIAL MEDIA) Clubhouse just secured new funding – what it means for creators and users of the latest quarantine-based social media darling.
Clubhouse – the live-voice chat app that has been taking the quarantined world by storm – has recently announced that it has raised new funding in a Series B round, led by Andreessen Horowitz, the venture capital firm in Silicon Valley.
The app confirms that new funding means compensation for creators; much like the influencers on TikTok and YouTube, now Clubhouse creators will be able to utilize features such as subscriptions, tipping, and ticket sales to monetize their content.
To encourage emerging Clubhouse creators and invite new voices, funding round will also support a promising “Creator Grant Program”.
On the surface, Clubhouse is undoubtedly cool. The invite-only, celebrity-filled niche chatrooms feel utopic for any opinionated individual – or anyone that just likes to listen. At its best, Clubhouse brings to mind collaborative campfire chats, heated lecture-hall debates or informative PD sessions. I’ll be the first to admit, I’m actually obsessed.
And now with its new round, the video chatroom app will not only appear cool but also act as a helpful steppingstone to popular and emerging creators alike. “Creators are the lifeblood of Clubhouse,” said Paul & Rohan, the app’s creators, “and we want to make sure that all of the amazing people who host conversations for others are getting recognized for their contributions.”
Helping creators get paid for their labor in 2021 is a cause that we should 100% get behind, especially if we’re consuming their content.
Over the next few months, Clubhouse will be prototyping their tipping, tickets and subscriptions – think a system akin to Patreon, but built directly into the app.
A feature unique to the app – tickets – will offer individuals and organizations the chance to hold formal discussions and events while charging an admission. Elite Clubhouse rooms? I wonder if I can get a Clubhouse press pass.
Additionally, Clubhouse has announced plans for Android development (the app has only been available to Apple users so far). They are also working on moderation policies after a recent controversial chat sparked uproar. To date, the app has been relying heavily on community moderation, the power of which I’ve witnessed countless times whilst in rooms.
So: Is the golden age of Clubhouse – only possible for a short period while everyone was stuck at home and before the app gained real mainstream traction – now over? Or will this new round of funding and subsequent development give the app a new beginning?
For now, I think it’s safe to say that the culture of Clubhouse will certainly be changing – what we don’t know is if the changes will make this cream-of-the-crop app even better, or if it’ll join the ranks of Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook in being another big-time social media staple.
Opinion Editorials1 week ago
Declutter your quarantine workspace (and brain)
Opinion Editorials1 week ago
Minimalism doesn’t have to happen overnight
Business News2 days ago
Everyone should have an interview escape plan
Opinion Editorials1 week ago
Online dating is evolving and maybe networking will too
Business Entrepreneur3 days ago
Small businesses must go digital to survive (and thrive)
Tech News2 days ago
How to personalize your site for every visitor without learning code
Tech News2 weeks ago
4 ways startups prove their investment in upcoming technology trends
Business News1 day ago
You should apply to be on a board – why and how