Архив рубрики: Social

Spotify is testing new card-style user profiles focused on discovery

At Spotify’s Stream On event this month, the company introduced a redesigned app with TikTok-like discovery feeds, an AI DJ and other tools for artists and podcasters. But the app’s changes may not be stopping there. The company confirmed it’s now testing a revamp of its user profiles, which includes a card-style layout that lets users establish more of a social identity on the platform in addition to providing easy access to Spotify’s unique features — like its personalized recommendations, Blend playlists, co-listening experiences and more.
The changes were first spotted by Chris Messina, who shared screenshots of the tests on Twitter. He noted the additional cards on profiles and how the new layout was directing users to tap a button to “discover more features.”
Some Spotify users, however, said they’ve had the updated profiles for some time. But that’s only because the feature has been in live testing in multiple markets. These profiles are not fully rolled out to all users.

This is big! Spotify is previewing a new profile design!
It appears that more profile cards will be coming soon.
It recommends discovering «more features» to «get the most of your listening experience».#NewSpotify pic.twitter.com/Qcctw3PJU7
— Chris Messina (chrismessina@mastodon.xyz) (@chrismessina) March 28, 2023

Spotify did not commit it would make the feature available for everyone at any particular time. Often, the company’s new ideas are tested in public, then modified based on user engagement and feedback before a global rollout. Or, in some cases, they’re scrapped entirely. That said, it’s not as likely that this one would be dropped, given how well it fits with the new Spotify redesign which puts greater emphasis on discovery.
“We routinely conduct a number of tests,” a company spokesperson told TechCrunch when asked about the new profiles. “Some of those tests end up informing our user experience and others serve only as an important learning. We don’t have anything further to share at this time,” they added.
Image Credits: Chris Messina via Twitter (opens in a new window)
Among the notable changes in this version of the user profiles is the new heading at the top of the screen that looks more like something you’d see on a social network. Currently, Spotify user profiles are fairly bare-bones. The person’s name as well as their follower and following counts are displayed above lists of their playlists and recently played artists. The new profiles, by comparison, include other details about the person like which Spotify plan they’re subscribed to, how long they’ve been a Spotify member, their general location (like the U.S.), in addition to their follower and following counts, a button that lets you follow them and another for profile edits.
There’s also a fun feature that apparently lets you set a “vibe” above your name, to give your profile a little pizazz.
Image Credits: Chris Messina via Twitter (opens in a new window)
The new profiles still feature sections for your playlists and artists, but these now appear as cards and there are more interactive features available next to these options. For instance, you can now click a button to create a new playlist right from your profile, or use buttons beside each playlist to share them with others. Next to each artist’s name, there also are buttons that let you follow the artist on Spotify — before, you’d have to click into the artist profile to do so. This could be particularly useful if you had visited someone else’s profile and were discovering new artists through their activity.
Under the “Discover more features” section on the new profiles, users are pointed to other things they can do on Spotify — like find live events, “like” more songs to improve their recommendations, create Blends with friends, check out Spotify’s new audiobooks and more.
The profiles also include a message at the bottom that reads “View more cards,” which indicates there will be future additions coming to this space beyond the playlists and recently played artists. But this feature isn’t fully built out yet — Messina told us that, when clicked, the in-app message reads “there’s nothing to see here yet” and informs users that Spotify is “busy building more content for you — coming soon.”
(May we suggest incorporating podcast recommendations into this experience, please?)
These changes would make sense as part of Spotify’s broader focus on discovery that’s driving its most recent app updates. That is, instead of just showcasing a user’s basic information and activity, these redesigned profiles would allow people to explore more of what Spotify has to offer while also making it easier to find and enjoy new artists and music directly from someone else’s profile with fewer clicks.
Spotify is testing new card-style user profiles focused on discovery by Sarah Perez originally published on TechCrunch
Spotify is testing new card-style user profiles focused on discovery

YouTube relaxes controversial profanity and monetization rules following creator backlash

YouTube announced today that it’s relaxing the controversial profanity rules that it introduced toward the end of last year. The company says the new rules ended up creating a “stricter approach” than it had intended. The new update to the policy allows creators to use moderate and strong profanity without risking demonetization.
The original policy that was introduced back in November would flag any video that used profanity in the first 15 seconds of the video and make it ineligible for monetization, which meant that YouTube wouldn’t run ads on such videos. The change was retroactive and some creators said they had lost their monetization status as a result.
YouTube said back in January that it planned to modify the new rules.
Although the new relaxed rules don’t revert these changes back to the platform’s old policy, YouTube is making some changes that will allow creators to be eligible for limited ads if they use strong profanity within the first few seconds of a video. Under the November update, such videos would have received no ad revenue. The company also notes that video content using profanity, moderate or strong, after the first 7 seconds will be eligible for monetization, unless used repetitively throughout the majority of the video. Once again, such videos would have received no ad revenue under the November update.
YouTube said that it will re-review videos from creators who had their monetization affected by the November policy.
The company also clarified how profanity in music is treated, and noted that moderate or strong profanity used in background music, backing tracks, intro/outro music can now earn full ad revenue. Previously, such content would have received no ad revenue. In addition, the use of any profanity in titles and thumbnails will still be demonetized and cannot run ads, as was the case before the update in November.
The new policy goes into effect starting today. It’s worth noting that although the new policy doesn’t address all of the concerns that creators had and is still somewhat vague, it should make it easier for a big chunk of creators to continue monetizing their videos without having to make major changes.
It’s clear that YouTube is trying to make its massive trove of videos more age appropriate and advertiser friendly, but retrofitting new monetization rules onto a platform like YouTube is a delicate balance, as the past few months have shown.

YouTube plans to modify profanity rules that prompted creator backlash

YouTube relaxes controversial profanity and monetization rules following creator backlash by Aisha Malik originally published on TechCrunch
YouTube relaxes controversial profanity and monetization rules following creator backlash

OnlyFans CEO says adult content will still have a home on the site in 5 years

OnlyFans has been putting a lot of effort into upcycling its image from an adult content subscription platform to a Patreon-like home for all kinds of creators, but it’s far from moving away from them as users. Today CEO Ami Gan of the platform confirmed that adult content will still have a home on the site in five years, and those creators can continue to make a living on it.
The confirmation, made today on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt, is notable because of the rocky relationship OnlyFans has had with adult creators. Last year, the company announced it would ban adult content on the site after pressure from card payment companies and efforts it reportedly was making to raise outside funding. Then it abruptly suspended the decision less than a week later after an outcry from users.
Now it’s also starting to see some new fronts of potentially formidable competition: TikTok earlier this week announced that it would be introducing adult-only livestreams as it raised the age requirement for TikTok Live.
OnlyFans has at the same time been making an effort to position itself as more than just a platform for NSFW content and that NSFW is being ring-fenced in a more responsible way. Its top execs like to use the more general euphemism of “spicy” these days to refer to the work you find on there, and they like to talk about emerging categories on the platform like cooking and fitness. Gan also noted that it’s working with the wider community of lawmakers and others to ensure that adult content is only being viewed by those who are legally allowed to do so.
Yet it hasn’t made a firm assurance in how it plans to serve the adult market longer term. Today’s comments quietly confirm that it will.
The area remains a sensitive subject though. Execs at the company remain guarded on any specifics that speak to how lucrative that business is. On stage today, Gan and strategy head Keily Blair skirted questions on just how much the company makes from adult content creators.
“We’d have to look at every single transaction on the platform and assign it,” explained Gan, “and we’re not collecting [that] data.” Gan was previously the company’s CMO.
“Like, the better question is, why is that important to people?” snapped Blair, who joined the company in January 2022 and comes from working in “contentious data privacy law” and related legal areas.
The company operates on an 80/20 revenue share model, where creators get 80% and OnlyFans takes a 20% cut. In any case, it’s not clear it needs to worry about outside funding.
OnlyFans is based out of the U.K., and earlier this year, it reported that usage of the platform exploded in 2021. Creators on its platform now number 2.1 billion while “fans” number 188 million. The audience of fans is growing at a faster rate, 128% versus 34% for creators. Those creators earned $4 billion in that year, and OnlyFans’ profit was $433 million, up from just $61 million the year before. Revenues were $932 million, up 160%, over the year.
Figures (via PitchBook) estimate that the company is on track to make $2.5 billion in revenues this year.
Update, 10/19/22, 6:20 pm et. There are 2.1 million creators, not billion. 
OnlyFans CEO says adult content will still have a home on the site in 5 years by Ingrid Lunden originally published on TechCrunch
OnlyFans CEO says adult content will still have a home on the site in 5 years

33% of US TikTok users say they regularly get their news on the app, up from 22% in 2020

Earlier this summer, a Google exec admitted that TikTok was eating into its core Search business, particularly among younger users. But that’s not all TikTok is now being used for, a new Pew Research Center study indicates. According to the findings from a report that examined Americans’ use of social media for news consumption, 33% of TikTok users now say they regularly get their news on the social video app, up from just 22% in 2020.
Meanwhile, nearly every other social media site saw declines across that same metric — including, in particular, Facebook, where now only 44% of its users report regularly getting their news there, down from 54% just two years ago.
Image Credits: Pew Research
This data suggests TikTok has grown from being just an entertainment platform for lip syncs, dances, and comedy to one that many of its users turn to in order to learn about what’s happening in their world.
That may raise concerns, given TikTok’s connections to China — a topic it was recently pressed to clarify in a Senate hearing focused on national security. The hearing had followed the release of a BuzzFeed News report that had discovered how China-based ByteDance employees had been regularly accessing TikTok’s U.S. users’ private data.
If TikTok were to become one of the primary ways younger people in the U.S. learned about news and current events, then the app could potentially provide a channel for a foreign power to influence those users’ beliefs with subtle tweaks to its algorithm.

Meta, TikTok, YouTube and Twitter dodge questions on social media and national security

For the time being, however, TikTok is not a primary source of news consumption across social media — that honor still resides with Facebook.
Pew found that 31% of U.S. adults report regularly getting their news from Facebook, which is higher than the 25% who get their news from YouTube, the 14% who get it from Twitter, or the13% who get it from Instagram.
TikTok was in fifth place by this ranking, as only 10% of U.S. adults said they regularly get their news on the video app. (Of course, when TikTok’s sizable user base of those under the age of 18 grows up, these metrics could quickly change.)
LinkedIn (4%), Snapchat (4%), Nextdoor (4%), WhatsApp (3%) and Twitch (1%) were much smaller sources of news among Americans, the study also found.
Image Credits: Pew Research
In addition, Pew somewhat backed up Google’s assertion that it was losing traction to TikTok and other social media apps, as it noted that the percentage of U.S. adults who got their news via web search had dropped from 23% in 2020 to 18% in 2022.
But it didn’t necessarily point to TikTok or any other social platform as gaining, as the percentage of adults using social media of any sort for news consumption dropped from 23% to 17% between 2020 and 2022, as did other forms of news consumption like news websites and apps.
Image Credits: Pew Research
It’s not clear that any single platform is benefiting from these declines, as Pew didn’t uncover a shift from digital news sources to others, such as TV, print or radio — all those saw declines in news consumption as well.
Image Credits: Pew Research
Still, digital devices continue to outpace TV, Pew said, as the latter has seen its usage drop as a source for news consumption from 40% in 2020 to 31% in 2022.
Plus, when asked about preferences, more Americans (53%) said they would rather get their news digitally than on TV (33%), radio (7%), or print (5%) — an answer that’s stayed consistent since 2020.

Google exec suggests Instagram and TikTok are eating into Google’s core products, Search and Maps

33% of US TikTok users say they regularly get their news on the app, up from 22% in 2020 by Sarah Perez originally published on TechCrunch
33% of US TikTok users say they regularly get their news on the app, up from 22% in 2020