YouTube is closing its private messages feature…and many kids are outraged – gpgmail


People love to share YouTube videos among their friends, which is why in mid-2017 YouTube launched a new in-app messaging feature that would allow YouTube users to private send their friends videos and chat within a dedicated tab in the YouTube mobile app. That feature is now being shut down, the company says. After September 18, the ability to direct message friends on YouTube itself will be removed.

The change was first spotted by 9to5Google, which noted that YouTube Messages came to the web in May of last year.

YouTube, in its announcement about the closure, doesn’t offer much insight into its decision.

While the company says that its more recent work has been focused on public conversations with updates to comments, posts, and Stories, it doesn’t explain why Messages is no longer a priority.

A likely reason, of course, is that the feature was under-utilized. Most people today are heavily invested in their own preferred messaging apps — whether that’s Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, iMessage or others.

Google, meanwhile, can’t seem to stop itself from building messaging apps and experiences. When YouTube Messages launched, Google was also invested in Allo (RIP), Duo, Hangouts, Meet, Google Voice, Android Messages/RCS, and was poised to transition users from Gchat (aka Google Talk) in Gmail to Hangouts Chat.

However, based on the nearly 500 angry comments replying to Google’s post about the closure, it seems that YouTube Messages may have been preferred by many young users.

Young…as in children.

 

Screen Shot 2019 08 21 at 9.39.23 AM

A sizable number of commenters are complaining that YouTube was the “only place” they could message their friends because they didn’t have a phone or weren’t allowed to give out their phone number.

Some said they used the feature to “talk to their mom” or because they weren’t allowed to use social media.

Screen Shot 2019 08 21 at 10.02.56 AMScreen Shot 2019 08 21 at 9.41.12 AM

It appears that many children had been using YouTube Messages as a sort of workaround to their parents’ block on messaging apps on their own phones, or as a way to communicate from their tablets or via web, likely without parents’ knowledge.

That’s not a good look for YouTube at this time, given its issues around inappropriate videos aimed at children, child exploitation, child predators, and regulatory issues.

The video platform in February came under fire for putting kids at risk of child predators. The company had to shut off comments on videos featuring minors, after the discovery of a pedophile ring that had been communicating via YouTube’s comments section.

Notably, the FTC is also now following up on complaints about YouTube’s possible violations of COPPA, a U.S. Children’s Privacy law. Child advocacy and consumers groups complain that YouTube has lured children under 13 into its digital playground, where it collects their data and targets them with ads, without parental consent.

Though some people may have used YouTube Messages to promote their channel or to share videos with family members and friends, it’s clear this usage hadn’t gone mainstream. Otherwise, YouTube wouldn’t be walking away from a popular product.

The feature also had issues with spam — much like Google+ did —  as there were unwelcome requests from strangers, at times.

YouTube says users will still be able to share videos through the “Share” feature which connects to other social networks.

 


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How does Messenger work for companies?


Everything you need to know about the Facebook messaging app and how companies can use it to reach customers and prospects using a conversational approach.

What is messaging today? It’s where conversations between people take place. Many still don’t know it, but the volume of traffic on messaging platforms had already exceeded social networks in 2015, as the following report clearly demonstrates:

The numbers
have continued to grow from 2015 to date:

  • 1.5 billion people use WhatsApp at least once a month
  • Facebook Messenger instead has 1.3 billion users active at least once a month
  • Instagram is chosen by 1 billion users for exchanging messages.

These statistics are simply to give you an overview of the messaging world, but in this post we’ll focus on Facebook Messenger; according to the numbers disclosed by Facebook, today 20 billion messages are sent between people and companies every month. Let’s look at a bit of history, the features, and how companies can use this extraordinary conversational marketing channel.

What is Messenger?

Facebook Messenger (better known as Messenger) is an application and instant messaging platform.

Founded as Facebook Chat in 2008, it was released as a stand-alone app for iOS and Android in 2011.

New versions have been released over the years, to eventually also become accessible from a normal web browser in April 2015, via the messenger.com page.

What can users do with Messenger?

  • Send messages and exchange photos, videos, stickers, and audio files
  • Interact with bots
  • Make voice calls
  • Make videos
  • Play Instant Games
  • Share locations
  • Create surveys
  • Make payments.

The Messenger Day feature was introduced in March 2017, with which people can upload photos or videos that are visible to all their contacts for up to 24 hours. This feature follows in the footsteps of what had already been done by Snapchat, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

The release of the Lite version also dates back to 2017, which was designed for users with slow connections or smartphones that don’t support the basic version of the app.

Are Facebook and Messenger connected?

As just mentioned, until only a few years ago the Messenger chat system was closely linked to Facebook: in order to chat with friends you had to use the Facebook app or be present on the website www.facebook.com.

Facebook subsequently decided to create Messenger by relying on the old chat, only replacing it with the integrated Facebook chat later, making it independent of the social network.

To recap: Messenger has effectively been a separate application from Facebook since 2015, although it still has a strong connection – both from an image and a functional point of view – with Zuckerberg’s social network.

Messenger can therefore also be used without being registered on Facebook. You can use the app for Android, iPhone, and Windows Phone, or use the desktop version at the site www.messenger.com. You can create a new account without logging in from Facebook: just select the line You’re not on Facebook and enter your phone number to register.

Messenger obviously won’t show Facebook “friends” as contacts, but will give the user the option to import the contact list from their address book, with which it will be possible to start conversations with their friends. And if this wasn’t already clear, it’s all for free.

How to use Messenger as a company

Marketing is a fragmented landscape today, where companies intensely and constantly compete to catch people’s attention. In this context, messaging is an indispensable opportunity to reach prospects and customers.

In brief,
here are the main activities that a company can manage with Facebook Messenger:

  • Deliver content and cultivate relationships with customers and prospects
  • Manage an event and engage the public
  • Enhance the profile of each contact
  • Generate quality leads and bring them to purchase
  • Provide quick assistance.

Facebook Messenger for companies: use scenarios

5 concrete use cases for building a real conversational strategy.

And what
about the benefits? Here are a few:

  • Registration is quick and easy for people (compared to landing pages and registration forms in general)
  • You only get real contact data at all times
  • Registration is instant
  • Messaging is the best combination of a simple structure which can be rich in content
  • The messaging channel lends itself to integration with bots (Facebook Messenger already has 300,000 bots developed)
  • Messaging has high engagement percentages. Statista data 2016:
    > Open rates: 80% or higher (88% average open rate for Facebook Messenger)
    > Click rates: 30% or higher
  • They are safe and familiar places for people
  • No optimization required: messages are automatically formatted for optimal layout
  • Imply a two-way relationship, as opposed to TV, email, print, radio, etc.

To transform all the potential we have just seen into everyday practice, MailUp provides companies with an entirely dedicated channel on the platform: it’s called Messaging Apps, and it offers a set of tools and functions you can use to create, send, track, and automate messages for Facebook Messenger and Telegram.

Increase your audience

Here is a set of tools and techniques for creating an audience from scratch and making it grow over time, to become the target of your campaigns on Facebook Messenger.

  • Multichannel pop-up form
  • Button on the site
  • Visual on your Facebook page
  • Button on your Facebook page
  • Messenger Code.

Set up the registration activities

Once MailUp
is connected to your messaging system account, it’s important to set up some
basic automatic messages.

  • Presentation message, which will be shown the first time the user accesses the Messenger chat.
  • Welcome message
    Sent automatically when a new user registers
  • Unsubscribe message
    In the reverse order, to notify the user of their unsubscription and say goodbye
  • Default response
    Sent automatically when a user writes you and you want to manage the contact with a triggered message (for example: Thank you for having contacted us. We will reply as soon as possible).

Create and send the message

You can create content-rich messages with just a few simple clicks. Thanks to a drag & drop editor you can choose from the following content modules:

  • Text
  • Text and button
  • Image
  • Video
  • Audio
  • File.

You can choose to send the message immediately or schedule the launch, setting the day, month, and time.

Finally, the reporting system provides detailed information on the results of the Messenger or Telegram campaign.

Set up the sending of automatic campaigns

An equally important aspect is being able to trigger an automatic process that sends campaigns for Facebook Messenger based on each new update of an e-commerce catalog or blog, or more generally of any content source.

What you can do with Messaging Apps

By choosing the content source, setting a layout for the automatic campaign, and selecting the sending frequency, you can deliver messages that are automatically composed with each new update of your blog or online store.

To sum up

We hope we have clarified everything related to Facebook Messenger, its features, and how these can be exploited by companies for marketing and communication objectives.

To start conversational marketing using Facebook Messenger right now, simply request a free trial of the MailUp platform. You’ll have 30 days to create, send, and automate your campaigns.

Try MailUp'



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Messaging Apps for e-commerce: a strategic guide


There are 5 necessary steps for online stores to launch products, collections, and catalogs on Facebook Messenger and Telegram.

We know that e-commerce is no longer a niche. Rather, it is the real engine of expansion and innovation in offline retail.

We also know that year after year mobile shopping grows in double digits. Nevertheless, the smartphone and tablet world has not been fully “tapped” by e-commerce yet. Still, too little attention is placed on the most-used channels, which is where the real conversation takes place.

So what are the channels that an e-commerce must oversee for a conversational approach to marketing? Without a doubt—Messaging Apps.

We are now going to show you how both the e-commerce and chatting spheres meet on Messaging Apps. We have identified 5 operations. These are within every companies’ reach in developing an effective e-commerce strategy tailored to Messaging Apps.

Overview: the necessary tools

Seek technology before thinking about strategy. Manually creating your campaigns on different Messaging Apps is unthinkable. We need an integrated tool, and we rely on Messaging Apps for our strategy. This involves the MailUp channel for reaching customers and prospects on Facebook Messenger and Telegram.

In short, here’s what you need to build a Messaging
Apps strategy:

✅ Your e-commerce catalog

✅ MailUp Messaging Apps

✅ Your e-commerce’s Facebook Messenger or Telegram page.

Discover in detail what you can do with Messaging Apps »

1. Gather your contacts

Horror vacui in front of an empty database? Fear not. Let’s look at a set of tools and techniques for creating an audience from scratch and make it grow over time. This will be the target of your Messaging Apps campaigns.

Multi-channel pop-up form

Create one in just a few steps with MailUp. Choose the style, location, viewing times, and subscription channels (e-mail, SMS, Facebook Messenger, Telegram). You will receive the HTML code to enter into your site’s most strategic points.

Button on the site

When clicked, this HTML-written button relates to the Facebook Messenger or Telegram conversation.

How do I obtain the link
to the conversation?

  • Facebook Messenger
    Go to your Facebook page. Click on Settings > Messenger Platform > Your Messenger Link > Copy the Link
  • Telegram
    The reference link is as follows: t.me/botname_bot where the botname is the one chosen upon creation of the Telegram account.

Your Facebook page button

Go to your Facebook page home. Select Add a button > Send a message. Last, select Messenger as a location to redirect the user.

Remember

Always set the triggered message Invite to subscribe, so that when the user opens the conversation for the first time, he/she will find a triggered message with an invitation to register via keyword. Need an example? “Type START to receive news and offers on Messenger”.

A Facebook page visual

Unleash your creativity to design a visual where you can promote your Messenger and Telegram channels. Insert them as a cover image for your Facebook page, as a post, or on any of your site pages.

Messenger Code

People can point the camera at your QR code. A conversation will start instantly where your triggered message invites the user to register by code.

2. Create an automation

On one side is your product catalog, whereas on the other is Messaging Apps. Creating an automation is the best way to optimize operations. Automatically send campaigns based on each new arrival in your e-commerce catalog.

First step: Create the content source where the products of your catalog are kept and updated. You can choose between two types of sources:

  • URL, i.e., the link to an RSS or ATOM feed;
  • File (csv, json, zip) where your products are loaded.

Each campaign is automatically composed and launched when the source is updated with new products.

Remember

Always set the frequency of content updates. You can choose to trigger the sending:
» When new content is available;
» After a precise time interval (e.g. every 24 hours, once a week, etc.).

3. Define the campaign layout

Give the campaign a featured layout once the automation has been created. You have different possibilities but they all share a kernel—the capability of combining the incisiveness of an SMS with the richness of an e-mail.

Remember

Always check that text and images are loaded into your feed or file as you want them to appear in your campaigns.

4. Launch special campaigns

What’s the other side of a strategy for Messaging Apps? Key events, such as summer sales, January sales, the Christmas holiday season, and Black Friday. These hot shopping moments are indispensable for any e-commerce.

The editor lets you create a message in just a
few clicks. Choose from a wide range of graphics and content modules:

  • Text
  • Text and button
  • Image
  • Video
  • Audio
  • File

5. Create a Telegram channel for loyal customers

Telegram is the perfect outlet for creating a differentiated cluster of recipients. Few things gratify the customer more than the sense of exclusivity. Why not create a group entirely dedicated to offers, collections, and promotions for gold customers?

1. Select customers who report the highest levels of spending and purchasing frequency over the last 12 months

2. Send them an e-mail demonstrating the loyalty project of the Telegram channel with a URL-linked call to action for registering to the channel (as previously seen: t.me/nomebot_bot). Here is an example for the email copy:

The best catalog discounts
Only for you, only on Telegram

We want to reward you for your loyalty (but don’t tell anyone…)
Wardrobe Prime was born as a preferred channel on Telegram for getting the best discounts on our product collection.
SUBSCRIBE TO THE CHANNEL

3. Create a plan for special campaigns dedicated to a selection of products with related discounts and promotions.

Find out how to implement your Telegram channel with 7 inspirational usage scenarios »s

5 best practices for Messaging Apps

Always set the triggered welcome message
Sent automatically as soon as the recipient opens the first conversation with your brand. What should the message contain?

  • A written welcome message
  • The invitation to join the channel
  • The keyword (e.g. START) that triggers the subscription

Upload images and product descriptions to the source
Here are some guidelines for a better result:

  • Title: 70 characters including spaces
  • Description: 80 characters including spaces
  • Images: 600 x 360 pixels

Find the right sending frequencyDon’t go too far with sending too often (avoid
being spammy) or too low (avoid making the conversation too lax and
occasional). What’s a good middle ground? One posting per week.

Send around meal times
Recent research has shown the tendency to dialogue and read messages via Messaging Apps during meal times. It’s no news that we keep the phone in our hands, even while eating.

Set a message for support requests
Automatically notify the receipt of the request so that the customer care team will handle it. Don’t forget that you can integrate Messaging Apps with Zendesk and other customer care platforms.

Was this guide helpful? Now all you have to do is put in practice what you’ve seen. Request a free trial of the MailUp platform. Take advantage of not only the Messaging Apps but also e-mail and SMS.

Give MailUp a go!


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