What’s been happening in the world of digital publishing over the last week? Here’s your weekly round-up of news, announcements, product launches, and more.
Audience engagement and growth
WhatsApp’s new Communities tab creates a way for admins to message thousands
WhatsApp has primarily been about messaging with people you know since before Facebook bought it in 2014. The experience is intentionally intimate: you need someone’s phone number to add them, and group chats are capped at 256 participants.
Now, a new tab, first rolling out to a small, select number of groups, will let thousands participate in a Community that hosts multiple sub-group chats. The idea is that various organizations, from a school to a business whose employees communicate on WhatsApp, can more easily organize discussions and have their admins message everyone across different groups. Read more
Why it matters: “While Communities may at first blush draw the comparison to Telegram channels or even Discord, there are some key differences. For one, only admins can broadcast to an entire Community in WhatsApp, while members are limited to the sub-groups they are in. Someone needs your phone number to add you to a Community, and WhatsApp won’t allow for Communities to be discoverable through search or recommended by an algorithm.”
Forbes Launches ‘Virtual Billionaires’ NFT Collection, Expands Into Metaverse
Forbes, famous for its “Richest People In The World” list, is now offering anyone the chance to become a billionaire –– a virtual billionaire, that is.
Today the business-centric media company is unveiling its first collection of non-fungible tokens (NFTs): 100 fictional billionaire investors with theoretical portfolios and virtual net worths based on real-time New York Stock Exchange pricing. Read more
Why it matters: As the authors point out, “This isn’t Forbes’ first foray into crypto or Web3. Last year, Forbes took a page from Time’s book by selling one of its magazine covers – –a photo of Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss –– as an NFT for $333,333. ”
Quartz is dropping its paywall (but hopes its 25,000 paying members will stick around for the newsletters)
In May 2019, Quartz put up a paywall. A little less than three years later, the business-focused news site is taking it back down.
With the short-lived metered paywall out of the way, the vast majority of Quartz content will now be free for all. Frequent visitors to QZ.com will be asked to register their email after reading three articles per month. The only content that’ll remain subscriber-only is a handful of premium emails, including the recently-launched Quartz Africa, The Forecast, and the Weekend Brief. Read more
Why it matters: “Quartz CEO and co-founder Zach Seward claimed the decision was made after reader surveys showed a majority of Quartz members — there are about 25,000 of them, and an annual subscription costs $100/year — didn’t subscribe for the exclusive access anyway. He believes those members will continue to pay their annual $100 subscription fee because they support the site’s mission.”
Digital Advertising Soared 35% to $189 Billion in 2021 According to the IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report
As digital media consumption continues to grow, advertising dollars are following fast. According to the newly released “IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report: Full Year 2021,” conducted by PwC, all major channels increased significantly compared with a year ago, particularly across digital video (including CTV/OTT), digital audio, social media, and search. Read more
Why it matters:“What’s underneath these numbers is a very clear narrative. We are witnessing the total and complete democratization of access afforded by ad-supported digital channels,” said David Cohen, Chief Executive Officer, IAB. “Increased consumer usage coupled with extraordinary growth of small and mid-sized businesses during the pandemic has fueled growth across all digital — but especially digital audio and video. We expect this digital migration to drive the continued growth of a healthy and competitive digital marketplace driven by innovation and entrepreneurship.”
How news publishers made $12m selling NFTs
News publishers analysed by Press Gazette have sold nearly $12m (£9m) worth of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) since March 2021.
One publisher accounts for the overwhelming majority of that figure. Read more
Why it matters: Press Gazette has taken a look at how news publishers sought to capitalise on the NFT craze. See the article for the full break-down.
Scoop: Snapchat partners with 40+ newsrooms on new automated product
Snapchat is rolling out a new product that aims to make it easier for news publishers to upload their content in real time as stories break, Axios has learned. Read more
Why it matters: “The update dramatically lowers the barrier to entry for news publishers — especially at the local level — to publish on Snapchat.”
Reddit Makes Comments Searchable
Reddit is rolling out a series of updates to its search capabilities including the ability to search comments and return more relevant results.
For the first time in Reddit’s existence, everything is searchable. You can use its on-site search bar to find users, posts, communities, and now comments. Read more
Why it matters: “
Early testing indicates users are happy with the new experience. In Q1 of 2022, Reddit saw a 20% increase from Q4 2021 in people using the search bar.”
YouTube Shorts now allows creators to splice in long-form videos
Creators making YouTube Shorts will now be able to use video clips from billions of YouTube videos in new Shorts, the company announced in a blog post.
In YouTube Shorts — the company’s TikTok clone — creators were previously only able to splice short audio clips from other videos on the platform. This most recent update will allow users to clip 1- to 5-second segments from eligible long-form videos and Shorts to use in new short-form content. Read more
Why it matters: As the article points out, “Expanding remixing on YouTube Shorts is the company’s answer to popular TikTok features like Stitch and viral audio-based trends. But opening up YouTube’s library of billions of videos for reuse is a significant step — and could allow creators to profit if their original content starts a viral trend or is remixed extensively by others.”
YouTube’s Keyword Research Tool Available To Everyone This Month
YouTube Search Insights, a tool designed to surface valuable keyword data, will be available to all channels later this month.
The launch follows a limited test period that began in November, at which time YouTube offered everyone a preview of what to expect from Search Insights. Read more
Why it matters: The article points out: “A content gap is a prime opportunity to supply your audience with content they’re not getting enough of.
Depending on your niche, you may be able to create a whole content plan around targeting keywords that have content gaps.”
Google Warns Of Low Realtime Data In Universal Analytics Reports
Google warns the Real-Time report in Google Analytics may be displaying inaccurate data for Universal Analytics properties.
If your Google Analytics account is impacted by this issue, realtime data for your Universal Analytics properties will appear lower than it actually is.
The only way to be sure your realtime data is accurate is to migrate to Google Analytics 4 (GA4), if you haven’t already. Read more
Why it matters: “Any unusual drops in your realtime metrics as of late can potentially be attributed to this issue affecting Universal Analytics properties.”