“Instagram rolls back some product changes after user backlash” by Kalley Huang and Mike Isaac

“Instagram rolls back some product changes after user backlash” by Kalley Huang and Mike Isaac

Celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian were among the upset users who said the updates made the app too much like TikTok. Instagram said on Thursday that it was rolling back several recent updates to its photo-sharing app after Kylie Jenner and other celebrities joined a user backlash against the changes and criticized the platform for trying to be too much like TikTok. Instagram said it would pause tests of full-screen photo and video posts, which the app had introduced to replace its typical look of posts that take up just a portion of the screen. The app, which is owned by Meta, also said it would temporarily decrease the number of posts in user feeds that its algorithm recommended, a new feature that it had been trying out. Kalley Huang is a technology reporting fellow based in San Francisco. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. @KalleyHuang Mike Isaac is a technology correspondent and the author of “Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber,” a best-selling book on the dramatic rise and fall of the ride-hailing company. He regularly covers Facebook and Silicon Valley, and is based in San Francisco.  A version of this article appears in print on July 29, 2022, Section B, Page 5 of the New York edition with the headline: After Users Grumble, Instagram Rolls Back Product Changes.  The New York Times is dedicated to helping people understand the world through on-the-ground, expert and deeply reported independent journalism. This mission is rooted in our belief that great journalism has the power to make each reader’s life richer and more fulfilling, and all of society stronger and more just. Check...
“TikTok Live Shopping Is Booming In 2022. How Can Small Businesses Benefit?” by Catherine Erdly via Forbes Magazine

“TikTok Live Shopping Is Booming In 2022. How Can Small Businesses Benefit?” by Catherine Erdly via Forbes Magazine

Live streaming is transforming some of the small businesses who have taken advantage of it’s powerGETTY “TikTok Shop LIVE has totally changed my business,” claims Sumayah Saadi, an LSE student who first set up her online shop aiming to provide affordable, modest fashion in February 2021 whilst still at university. With over 55,000 followers, Saadi’s business has seen significant growth since embracing TikTok Shop LIVEIVE -0.5%s. “The first time we went live, just to try it, we made £500 in 30 minutes. I figured that was a great result for such a short time, so we kept going. Now, it’s not unheard of for us to generate £50,000 from UK sales only during a 2 hour live and I would love to be selling live all day every day,” she explains, speaking via a video call. “Over the past year, we’ve seen merchants of all sizes transform their businesses through TikTok Shop, making the most of features like in-feed videos and livestreams to get their products in front of TikTok’s engaged community” says Patrick Nommensen, Senior Director, E-commerce Operations at TikTok. “It has been amazing to see the range of merchants now selling through TikTok Shop, from household names to small homegrown businesses.” Keen to encourage multi-seller events, TikTok has recently launched a series of TikTok Shop LIVE events. These have been hugely successful, with their recent Summer Sale event experiencing over 276 million LIVE views, and nearly 135 million views on associated hashtags. The interactive nature of live selling makes it perfect for almost any type of products – from jewellery, accessories, luggage and an unexpected hit – football trading cards. Nommensen highlights...
“Instagram launches payment-in-chat feature for businesses” by Dani James via Retail dive

“Instagram launches payment-in-chat feature for businesses” by Dani James via Retail dive

Instagram launched the ability for U.S. businesses to complete transactions in chats with shoppers. Courtesy of Meta Dive Brief: In an effort to simplify the customer journey for small businesses, Meta on Monday launched the ability for users to pay for products within Instagram chat, according to a press release.Qualified small businesses on Instagram can directly convert customer inquiries and interests directly into purchases using Meta Pay, without users needing to leave the chat. Completed orders can also be tracked in the same chat, creating a dedicated space for follow-up questions, per the release.The feature allows small and medium-sized businesses who don’t have an Instagram Shop digital storefront to still transact with shoppers in app. Dive Insight: Buying and selling on Instagram for businesses of any size just got a lot easier. “We want to help people start conversations with businesses they care about and help them find and buy products they love in an easy, seamless experience, right from the chat thread,” said the release. The ability to pay for products in chat means that businesses can more easily convert curious shoppers’ questions and concerns into purchases and allows for a more personalized experience where businesses could give direct recommendations. This launch is a step forward in Instagram’s evolution to become a one-stop retail destination. One billion people message businesses every week across Meta’s apps, which include Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp. According to a study from NPD last year, Facebook and Instagram were both listed among the top platforms where consumers discover and learn about products.  Social commerce is expected to grow three times as fast as traditional e-commerce, according to an Accenture report...
“YouTube, Shopify Partner to Offer Creators Livestream Shopping Option” by Marie Albiges via Total Retail

“YouTube, Shopify Partner to Offer Creators Livestream Shopping Option” by Marie Albiges via Total Retail

Photo Credit: Courtesy of YouTube Creators and merchants on the Shopify e-commerce platform can now feature their products across their YouTube channels, thanks to a new partnership between the two businesses. The new collaboration allows creators to link their Shopify stores to their YouTube channel, offer livestream shopping, and enable viewers to purchase their products without leaving YouTube. Shopify users can get started by visiting the “Shopping” tab in their YouTube Studio. In a press release Tuesday, Shopify said merchants would reach over 2 billion monthly logged-in users on YouTube through this partnership. Total Retail’s Take: Shopify is used by millions of merchants across 175 countries who will now have another way to sell their products, provided they have a YouTube channel. That, combined with the millions of people who go on YouTube every day, means more eyeballs than ever on businesses that have a Shopify account. As Shopify’s Vice President of Merchant Services Kaz Nejatian told Fast Company, “Hopefully what we’re doing is creating a new venue for entrepreneurship in a way that didn’t exist before.” Google, which owns YouTube, has been expanding access to shopping features for some time now. It has streamed live events like Coachella and Brazil’s Paulistão soccer tournament and made them shoppable for viewers, Variety reports. With this latest update, the company is also introducing a new shopping destination in “Explore” for viewers in the United States, India and Brazil, which features relevant shoppable content. It plans to expand this feature into other countries later this year. About Marie Albiges Marie Albiges is a senior editor for NAPCO Media’s Retail & Travel Group, including Total Retail, Women in Retail, and...
“3 Tips to Grow Your Business With Short-Form Video” by  Melissa Oppenheim Lano via Total Retail

“3 Tips to Grow Your Business With Short-Form Video” by Melissa Oppenheim Lano via Total Retail

Credit: Getty Images by fizkes The average person’s attention span has decreased over the years — with some experts saying it’s now under 10 seconds — due to the large amount of information constantly vying for their attention. Not only is it harder to keep people engaged, but it’s now also harder to retain their loyalty, as pandemic constraints have increased people’s willingness to experiment with new brands. This shifting landscape can present challenges for businesses’ marketing efforts, but companies are investing and finding value in short-form video as a tool to gain attention, build community, and differentiate their brand in an increasingly saturated marketplace. Video has now become a critical part of any modern marketing strategy. More importantly, customers are asking for it. Nine out of 10 people said that they wanted to see more videos from brands and businesses. As short-from video continues to grow in importance, here are some best practices on how to create engaging video content to grow your business and create value for your customers: 1. Engage your customers in a conversation around your content. You can invite your community to get to know your brand by filming behind-the-scenes content and interact with them by asking for their opinion and responding to the conversation in the comments. When brainstorming, put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think of what content you’d love to see or learn about from your favorite business. Related story: Reels vs. TikTok in the Fight for Video Commerce Market Share 2. Use audio to excite your customers and inject some personality into your brand. Select a trending song, try a new sound effect, or...
“TikTok creates program for small businesses” by Tatiana Walk-Morris via Retail Dive

“TikTok creates program for small businesses” by Tatiana Walk-Morris via Retail Dive

Mario Tama / Staff via Getty Images Dive Brief: Joining other social platforms in releasing tools for small businesses, TikTok has created Follow Me, a six-week educational program from July 11 to Aug. 19 for small and midsize companies seeking to increase sales using the platform, according to a Monday announcement. The Follow Me guide will outline how businesses can set up a business account, use the Creative Center to generate content ideas and learn how to use the app’s ads manager and promotion tools for rolling out TikTok campaigns, per the announcement.The company has chosen Cassie Sorensen, owner and founder of Tassel Amor and Jacob Zander, owner and founder of Feel Your Soul, to serve as its small-business ambassadors and share tips with program participants for using TikTok to increase sales.  Dive Insight: In its announcement, TikTok said it wanted to shepherd more small businesses onto the platform to reach more consumers and, in turn, achieve their goals. Last summer, the platform hosted its Small Biz Block Party virtual workshop series, which aimed to help small businesses reach consumers and grow their businesses. It cited a report from Hello Alice indicating that 81% of small businesses say that TikTok is fun, and 73% say it is easy to use. TikTok is looking to prove its worth to businesses of all sizes based on its consumer data. The company cited a study from Material noting that TikTok users are twice as likely as users on other platforms to recommend a product or service they found on TikTok. They are also 1.5 times more likely to influence consumers to purchase that product or service, Material found....