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Meta Outlines Key Areas of Focus, and Business Opportunity, Following Downbeat Earnings Repor

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Meta Outlines Key Areas of Focus, and Business Opportunity, Following Downbeat Earnings Repor

After a disastrous earnings report, in which Meta informed the market that its net income was at its lowest levels since 2019 in the most recent quarter, largely due to ongoing, and rising investment in its metaverse vision, Meta has sought to reassure investors that it has a plan to get its financial performance back on track, despite rising challenges in the digital ads space.

In the accompanying earnings call, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg outlined the company’s four key areas of focus moving forward.

Those are:

  • Improving its AI discovery tools to maximize engagement in its apps
  • Adding new business messaging features to monetize the user shift towards messaging, and away from social apps
  • Re-building its ad tools to reduce reliance on user data
  • Continued development of AR, VR and the metaverse, with a focus on the future

Improving its AI discovery tools

The first point has already proven contentious, with users pushing back against Meta increasingly looking to pump more content from profiles that you don’t follow into news feeds.

This approach, which was guided by TikTok, aims to maximize the value of the content available in each app, by highlighting the best, most engaging posts, regardless of who posted them, to more users. In the past, both apps have pushed users to curate their own streams, based on their interests, but now, Meta’s confident that its AI tools will be able to show you more of what you like in its apps, even if you don’t know that it exists.

And in variance to TikTok, Meta says that it can actually provide a better experience on this front, because it can also apply its AI content matching across a wider range of content types, including photos, text, links, communities, and all kinds of videos.

“We can also mix this content alongside posts from your family and friends, which can’t be generated by AI alone.” 

The assumption here is that users actually want all of these different types of content on a single platform, as opposed to TikTok, where you just get a constant stream of video clips. Whether that’s true or not is unclear, but TikTok continues to engage more users for longer, so it doesn’t seem to be a problem impeding its growth.

Which, in turn, may mean that it’s not a competitive advantage for Meta either.

Either way, the amount of AI-recommended content is only going to increase in Meta’s apps.

Right now, about 15% of content in a person’s Facebook feed and a little more than that of their Instagram feed is recommended by our AI from people, groups, or accounts that you don’t follow. We expect these numbers to more than double by the end of next year.”

Shortly after Zuckerberg said this, Instagram announced that it was scaling back its AI recommendations due to negative feedback, but over time, you can indeed expect Meta to show you more and more stuff, from all different types of users and profiles – whether you’ve chosen to see it or not.

Which is a big shift, especially given Meta’s past insistence that it needs an algorithm to sort through all the posts it could show you, because people simply follow too many people and Pages to show you everything from all of them, every day.

Now, it seems, the opposite is true. Which leads into the second element.

Monetizing the user shift towards messaging

More people are now sharing more content with smaller groups of people in their DMs, as opposed to posting public updates to Facebook or Instagram.

This shift is actually present across all social apps, with a new report published this week also showing that usage among Twitter’s most active users has been in steady decline since the beginning of the pandemic.

The reasons for this are varied. One contention is that, due to the ongoing polarizing impacts of political commentary on social networks, mare users are now increasingly inclined to keep their opinions to themselves, or to share them with a smaller group of trusted friends, rather than broadcasting them for everyone to see, criticize and attack them over.

Meta highlighted this as a key concern among its users last year, with Zuckerberg noting:

“One of the top pieces of feedback we’re hearing from our community right now is that people don’t want politics and fighting to take over their experience on our services.”

There have also been various high-profile cases of celebrities being brought down when their past, offensive tweets have been uncovered, while the shift towards more entertaining content – again driven by TikTok – has also made regular updates feel more stale and less engaging.

The result, then, is that people just aren’t posting as many feed updates as they once did. And with that, Meta’s looking to tap into the resulting growth in messaging as a potential revenue opportunity.

Even though it’s never been able to effectively monetize messaging in the past.

But it, possibly, has a plan:

“As more social interactions move to messaging, we’re developing a flywheel between discovery and messaging that will make all these apps stronger. On Instagram alone, people already reshare Reels nearly 1 billion times daily through DMs.”

Meta’s also working to monetize WhatsApp, with Zuckerberg specifically noting that ‘paid messaging is going to be ‘a big opportunity’ moving forward.

On this front, Meta points to opportunities like:

  • Click-to-Messaging ads, which let businesses run ads on Facebook and Instagram that start a thread on Messenger, WhatsApp or Instagram Direct so they can communicate with customers directly. This is one of our fastest growing ads products, with a $9 billion annual run rate. 
  • Click-to-WhatsApp also just passed a $1.5 billion run rate, growing more than 80% year-over-year.

Whether Meta is able to effectively monetize messaging is a big question, but you can expect it to keep highlighting the potential tapping into the growth of messaging as a means to maximize your marketing and brand-building efforts.

I remain unconvinced that users are super keen to message with businesses, but there may be new ways for Meta to tap into this shift.

Re-building its ad tools to reduce reliance on user data

Meta’s also losing out on ad dollars due to Apple’s iOS 14 privacy updates, which got even worse this week when Apple announced a new App Store tariff on post ‘boosting’ on social platforms.

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How to Ensure Customer Retention During an Economic Downturn

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How to Ensure Customer Retention During an Economic Downturn

Are you worried that an economic recession is on the horizon? You can bet every business owner is.

Certainly, the last two years haven’t been easy on the economy. The COVID-19 pandemic took almost every business to the cleaners. The Russia-Ukraine conflict is adding salt to an already wounded economy.

Officially, the economy is not in a recession, but there are signs of a downturn. During economic turmoil, consumers reduce their spending. This directly affects businesses.

To ensure your business stays afloat, it’s important to focus on customer retention. In this article, we’re sharing some of the strategies you can use to retain customers during an economic downturn.

Read on!

Reach Out to Your Customers

The first practical step is to establish communication with your customers about the economic situation.

Let them know that you’re worried about the economic downturn, and acknowledge that it will likely influence their future spending on your business. Most importantly, reassure your customers that your business is open to making changes to accommodate their budgets.

Also, use this as an opportunity to ask for feedback on how they would want your business to meet their needs during this time.

Take a Flexible Approach with Payments

Every business owner wants customers to make payments on time, or once an order is delivered. Some will even require customers to make upfront payments.

Regardless of whatever billing strategy you use, during an economic downturn it’s wise to be flexible; otherwise, you will lose loyal customers.

A flexible approach could mean giving customers more time to make payments or developing personalized payment plans. For example, if you’re a subscription-based business, don’t cancel a customer subscription on the renewal date. Extending the service by a few days is a show of goodwill and can make a big difference in your quest to retain your customer base.

Revamp Your Loyalty Program

Roughly 90 percent of businesses have a loyalty program in some form. If yours has worked great over the years, you might be tempted to keep it unchanged. 

However, during harsh economic times, consumers want the greatest value for their money, so your loyalty program might not be enticing enough. This is why you need to revamp it.

Some of the most successful loyalty programs embrace personalization, which is what you should do when refreshing your program for customer retention during a recession. Know the kinds of rewards your customers want and redesign the program with their needs in mind instead of offering the same rewards to everyone.

Increase Customer Retention to Beat an Economic Downturn

Shaky cash flow is a leading cause of small business failure. Yet, it’s exactly what’s bound to happen to most businesses when consumers cut their spending during an economic downturn. But if you’re able to maintain a high rate of customer retention, you will be in a good position to achieve cash flow stability and save your business.

Do you need more small business advice? Stay tuned to the business section of the blog.

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What are your top business ideas that you think would be successful?

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What are your top business ideas that you think would be successful?

Introduction

A successful business idea is any concept that has the potential to generate profits and become a successful venture. Starting a business can be an exciting and rewarding experience, as it can provide both financial and personal satisfaction. With the right business idea and the right attitude, anyone can make it happen.

In this article, we will discuss ten business ideas that have the chance to be successful. From online coaching to pet care services, these ideas can provide the necessary foundation for starting your own business.

Business Ideas

1. Online Coaching: With the help of the internet, anyone can become an online coach and offer their services to a wide audience. Whether it’s career advice, health and fitness tips, or financial advice, there’s always a demand for those who can provide guidance and support in any field.

2. Online Personal Shopping Service: With the rise of online shopping, more people are turning to personal shopping services to purchase items they don’t have the time or energy to buy themselves. Becoming an online personal shopper can be a great way to make money while helping others.

3. Virtual Event Planning: The coronavirus pandemic has made it difficult for people to host large events, but virtual events are becoming increasingly popular. As a virtual event planner, you can help clients plan and organize everything from weddings to corporate events.

4. Food Delivery Service: With the rise of food delivery apps, this is an ideal time to start a food delivery business. You can partner with local restaurants and deliver their food to customers in your area.

5. Tutoring Service: If you’re an expert in a particular subject, you can offer tutoring services online or in person. Whether it’s for school, college, or test prep, there’s always a demand for tutors who can help students learn.

6. Home Cleaning Service: Cleaning is a chore that many people don’t enjoy, making it an ideal opportunity for a business. You can offer home cleaning services to busy professionals and busy parents who don’t have the time to clean their own homes.

7. Social Media Consulting: As more businesses realize the importance of having a strong presence on social media, social media consulting is becoming a popular business opportunity. You can help businesses create and manage their social media accounts, create content, and increase their reach.

8. Online Course Creation: If you have expertise in a particular field, you can create online courses that teach others about it. From cooking courses to coding courses, there’s always a demand for online courses that can help people learn new skills.

9. Freelance Writing: Freelance writing is a great way to make a living while writing about topics you’re passionate about. Whether it’s writing blog posts, creating web content, or writing books, there’s always a demand for writers.

10. Pet Care Service: Pet owners are always looking for reliable and trustworthy pet care services. Whether it’s pet sitting, dog walking, or grooming, you can start a business that helps take care of people’s pets.

Conclusion

These are just some of the business ideas that have the potential to be successful. With the right business idea and the right attitude, anyone can make it happen. Starting your own business can be an exciting and rewarding experience, as it can provide both financial and personal satisfaction.

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Digital Fashion Week New York reveals a three-day schedule alongside NYFW

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Digital Fashion Week New York reveals a three-day schedule alongside NYFW

The organisers behind Digital Fashion Week New York have unveiled a jam-packed three-day schedule for its upcoming edition, set to run alongside the physical New York Fashion Week.

From February 9 to 11, the event will feature both physical and digital aspects, each designed to offer insights, vision and strategies for adapting to a digital future.

A Networking and Speaker Summit will be held in person on the first, during which industry figures will take part in panel discussions covering key topics from digital fashion, such as protecting models’ identities in the future and how artificial intelligence (AI) could change design.

The following day will see the opening of the event’s Metaverse Fashion Experience, where visitors can explore a virtual world using a Ready Player Me avatar that can be dressed in special garments from digital fashion week design winners.

During the event, it will be possible to attend virtual panel discussions that address critical issues and offer solutions to questions surrounding fashion’s future.

On the final day, both in person and online, visitors can view an animation screening followed by a performance by Mariah the Scientist with a layered phygital fashion show, as well as various other immersive experiences.

Designers involved include Ilona Song, RightDirection, Lorena Bello and Zero10, which has also worked on creating augmented reality (AR) iterations of designs by five digital creators, two of which will have physical representations at the shows in New York on February 11 and London on

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