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MUNICH (Reuters) – Facebook executives are fanning out across Europe this week to address the social media giant’s slow response to abuses on its platform, seeking to avoid further legislation along the lines of a new hate speech law in Germany it says goes too far.
Facebook’s communications and public policy chief used an annual meeting in Munich of some of Europe and Silicon Valley’s tech elite to apologize for failing to do more, earlier, to fight hate speech and foreign influence campaigns on Facebook.
“We have to demonstrate we can bring people together and build stronger communities,” the executive, Elliot Schrage, said of the world’s biggest information-sharing platform, which has more than 2 billion monthly users.
“We have over-invested in building new experiences and under-invested in preventing abuses,” he said in a keynote speech at the DLD Munich conference on Sunday.
In the United States, lawmakers have criticized Facebook for failing to stop Russian operatives using its platform to meddle in the 2016 presidential elections, while Britain’s parliament is looking again at the role such manipulation may have played in Britain’s Brexit vote to leave the European Union.
A German law that took effect at the start of the year requires social networks such as Facebook, Google and Twitter to remove online hate speech or face heavy fines. (reut.rs/2rm6AI2)
“It sets forth the right idea for the relation between government and the private sector but it also goes farther than … we think it should go,” Schrage said of the law.
”At the same time the law places the responsibility on us to be judge and jury and enforcer determining what is legally compliant and not. I think that is a bad idea.
“The challenge is how to define where the violation has been or not,” he said.
By contrast, Schrage praised the approach of the European Union in demanding that internet companies adhere to a code of conduct and respond quickly to requests to take down illegal content rather than being required to make those decisions themselves.
“That’s an example of how we can work with governments to be more responsive to their concerns,” Schrage said of the EU.
The EU has put internet companies on notice that it will legislate if they don’t do a better job self-policing their services for extremist propaganda, hate speech and other abuses. (reut.rs/2DmXGeU)
NO WILD WEST
Far from being a “Wild West of content”, Schrage argued, Facebook’s policies on policing content are far more in line with Europe’s strict boundaries governing hate speech than the anything-goes reputation it has coming from Silicon Valley.
“We are often criticised for being an American company. But our policies with respect to speech and expression are much closer to how the standards have evolved in Europe than they are in the United States,” Schrage said.
“We do not permit hate speech, we do not permit incitement. There is a tremendous amount of content we remove regularly. When we see content related to terrorism, to hate speech, to incitement, we reach out to law enforcement,” he said.
But several tech leaders in the audience said Facebook had long ignored what are effectively editorial responsibilities for policing abusive content on its platform.
Schrage said Facebook now employed thousands of people to monitor content and to work more closely with law enforcement, while automated algorithms detect and delete 99 percent of Islamic State and al Qaeda content before any Facebook users ever see it.
Paul-Bernhard Kallen, chief executive of Hubert Burda Media, one of Germany’s largest publishers, said Facebook has avoided responsibility for moderating content on its platform.
“From my perspective, Facebook is a media company. One way or the other, Facebook should accept it,” Kallen said of taking more control over content or facing regulatory demands to do so.
Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg is meeting policymakers in Paris and Brussels, while Schrage is touring Germany. Later this week they will converge on Davos, the annual policy gathering of world politicians, business chiefs, bankers and celebrities taking place in the Swiss Alps.
Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, who has declared earlier this year that his 2018 goal is to “fix” Facebook, is staying home (reut.rs/2F2w8g6).
Reporting by Eric Auchard and Douglas Busvine in Munich; Editing by Adrian Croft
In 2018, the importance of being found online is key. It’s how most people search for, well, anything. That’s step one. After you’re found, you want to hold the attention of your potential customer or client. With everything online today, that’s not easy.
It’s no secret online video is engaging and growing in popularity. That’s the reason more and more people are turning to YouTube to spread their message – whatever it may be. According to FortuneLords.com, almost 5 billion videos are watched on Youtube every single day.
Focus on SEO
Yes, YouTube is a search engine, just like Google. It’s owned by Google, so the strategies are the same.
“If you can get the video to rank in Google, then a lot of the searches that are being performed on YouTube will click on your video in the results. Then, YouTube will judge your video based on how people interact with it. User engagement is the most important YouTube ranking signal, said Christoph Seitz, the CEO of CFR Rinkens.
Time your video
When you’re creating your video, try to make it at least five minutes long.
“Similar to text-based articles, longer videos rank higher. They consistently outperform shorter videos on YouTube and Google, said Dan Roberge President of Maintenance Care.
Remember, the length of time people are engaged plays into how high you rank on the platform.
Team up with other YouTubers
In order to stand out by using video online, utilize a recognizable influencer whose audience aligns with your target demographic.
This is something I did with YouTuber Sunny Lenarduzzi a few months ago. Because we both share the same audience and work to help them achieve the same goal by doing different things, it was a great fit.
Many marketers believe influencer marketing helps them raise brand awareness on social media.
Use other platforms to drive people to YouTube
In 2018, many people will not want to waste time. They simply want to get the information they need that they catch on their social feed.
“What organizations are doing to stand out is posting fun, informed content on YouTube, then distributing soundbites of that video through social media,” said Vijay Koduri, the Co-Founder of HashCut.
Koduri suggests teasing them with a five-second soundbite on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or over email and drive them to your YouTube channel to see more.
Michael Freeby, a model and photographer who has randomly amassed nearly half a million views on YouTube said, “Don’t try too hard. Always be yourself and stay the best representation of your brand.”
That doesn’t mean don’t create high-quality content that people will go out of their way to enjoy. You should do that, but remember your brand’s core message. Make the content less about yourself, and more about presenting something of value for your audience.
The business of e-commerce is booming. And considering how easy it is to build a website, starting an online business has become very competitive. Right from identifying a product with the right target audience, then analyzing its potential, and making a strategic business plan, it involves making many decisions.
A recent report on e-commerce trends revealed more about the growth of e-commerce sales, and insights into the behavior of online shoppers, including:
- E-commerce is growing at a rate of 23 percent every year. Still, 46 percent of small businesses in America do not have a website
51 percent of Americans shop online, while 49 percent prefer to shop at physical stores
Online orders increased 8.9 percent in the third quarter of 2016, while the average order value increased only 0.2 percent.
Of all online shoppers, only 23 percent are swayed by social media references.
Do you notice anything here? Although online sales are increasing, there are many people who still rely on offline shopping. And of those who do shop online, very few are influenced by social media.
So what does it take to convert your website into a highly profitable e-commerce business?
There is no denying the fact that starting an e-commerce business is easy. But scaling up, and making it more profitable than your competitors can be difficult. Here’s a multiple choice question: What do you think is needed to set up a highly profitable e-commerce store?
Directing more traffic to your site,
Improving your conversion rate,
Increasing customer loyalty.
An effective growth strategy actually includes all three of these. And so, that one thing you need to build a more profitable e-commerce business is an effective growth strategy. Let’s take a closer look.
Increase traffic to your website to get noticed.
In the ever-growing space of e-commerce, it can be difficult to get noticed. But there are a number of ways organic traffic techniques that can help drive traffic to your website, including:
Search engine optimization (SEO) – increase your ranking in search engines like Google for more visibility.
Social media marketing – post on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and create YouTube tutorials to reach a wider audience.
Email marketing – drive traffic to your website with email newsletters to keep your subscribers informed about new products and promotions.
Another option is paid ads, which may include:
- Buying ads on Facebook
- Marketing with influencers
- Advertising on Instagram
Improve the conversion rate of your website to increase sales.
If you’ve used the above two techniques effectively, your conversion rate will automatically improve. However, there are some other easy things that you need to take care of in order to increase your e-commerce conversion rate, like:
Make your website mobile friendly and ensuring minimal loading time.
Stop making assumptions about your customer’s needs. Instead use A/B testing to know what they actually need.
Use high quality product images to attract more and more customers to convert them.
Build a user-friendly interface which should include an easy checkout and navigation system.
Use customer retention tools to boost your customer loyalty.
Building a positive user experience isn’t enough. You also need to retain your customers. Acquiring new customers is always a priority for brands. And yes, it is important. But can you afford to lose your existing customer base? No, right?
So once you have customers who have shopped on your website, concentrate on retaining them. No matter how awesome your product or service is, it is your job to make sure your customers are happy and satisfied so that they continue to choose you over your competitors.
A few customer retention strategies that can work for your e-commerce business include:
Introduce loyalty programs and give reward points for repeated sales.
Offer support systems to resolve customer issues and handle their grievances.
Use a customer relationship management (CRM) tool to keep a track of the entire journey of your customers.
An effective growth strategy is key to building a more profitable e-commerce business. In addition to the three main components above, you should keep a track of your performance data to help you make improvements when needed.
Reading all the news from Google I/O may have kept you too busy to keep up with this week’s app news. We’ve kept up for you.
Each week we round up the most important app news along with some of the coolest new and updated apps to help you stay in the loop with everything you need on your phone.Here’s what caught our eye this week. If you’re looking for more, make sure to check out last week’s roundup of top apps.
Google Assistant comes to iOS
Cheap Kindle ebooks, noise-cancelling Bluetooth headphones, and backyard sports equipment lead off Sunday’s best deals.
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Google is bringing the powerful natural language processing (NLP) technology that underlies its search engine to Google Drive. In a blog post announcing the move this week, Josh Smith, product manager at Google Drive, described NLP as a fancy way of saying “search like you talk.