Quick Thoughts: Media Literacy Should Be Taught To Children (and Parents)

Kids (and, surprisingly, babies) nowadays have their hands on smartphones, tablets, computers, and/or gaming systems with social media sharing. They’re exposed to much more information than I ever was when I was a kid! (I’m a post-millennial, by the way.)

Continue reading “Quick Thoughts: Media Literacy Should Be Taught To Children (and Parents)”

YouTube Hypes Up Fans with “Premiere”

YouTube will introduce a new feature called “Premiere” for content creators to upload ready-made videos and set its premiere date and time for it to be playable.

Users will be able to see the premiere date and time, set a reminder (which I assume will pop-up from their bell icon on the top-right corner of their YouTube desktop page, and pop-up as a notification on the phone), and chat with each other in a chatroom.

The “Premiere” feature is similar to YouTube’s “Livestream” feature.

In fact, there are content creators who use the “Livestream” feature to broadcast video premieres; they would have an on-screen stand-by message or countdown clock for users to see when the actual livestreaming will happen. The problem with premiering videos through the “Livestream” feature is, of course, the fact that users can assume that they can instantly watch the premiere of a video when they see the livestream indicator next to the video’s thumbnail.

The “Premiere” feature has its own set of problems as well. There’s no countdown clock to excite fans who are eagerly anticipating content to be uploaded, and the total number of views for a video are hidden. The latter issue is the biggest issue of the two because there are fans who are concerned about how many views a video gets within 24-hours after its premiere. I’m assuming that YouTube hid that information so that users don’t confuse the number of total viewers with it.

One thing that isn’t specified in YouTube’s overview of the “Preview” feature is how long the chatroom will be active. Some of you probably think that the chatroom will disappear as soon as the video is playable.

The problem with the comments section is that it’s automatically set to display top comments. Because of that, it feels like there’s not much engagement going on until you switch the view to “Newest first”.

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Suppose the chatroom remains active during the video’s first 24-hours of being posted. If the chatroom and comments section are going to be available at the same time during that 24-hour window, then they can help promote engagement on YouTube. Seeing comments pouring into the chatroom makes users feel like they’re part of a large and excited fan group, which in turn makes them wanna really appreciate the content they’re gonna see. If users don’t like seeing the chatroom, then it would be cool if they can disable the chatroom so that they can enjoy reading the comments section instead for longer and more thoughtful messages.

Some content creators such as Etika (seen in the video above) switch between YouTube and Twitch.

Twitch doesn’t have a “Premiere” feature like YouTube, but it’s “Livestream” feature is much more attractive and customizable because it supports the use of extensions. Extensions come in different styles and functionalities. Anyone can make extensions. And, most importantly, they can be viewed by mobile and desktop viewers.

YouTube’s annotation buttons aren’t really attractive on videos.  In fact…

As of May 2017, the annotations editor has been discontinued. This means you can no longer add new or edit existing annotations, only delete them. You can continue to see reporting data for your existing annotations.

The reason why some content creators prefer livestreaming on Twitch instead of YouTube is because of YouTube’s unusable annotations feature and the fact that it’s mostly a place for people to watch videos, and not so much to actively engage with other users.

Small and successful content creators have learned that livestreams and chatrooms are essential to maintaining, growing, and engaging with an audience.

Promoting the chatroom and notification features may increase traffic on YouTube, but YouTube has so many unresolved issues that make the YouTube experience kinda bad.

Have you ever noticed that there are users who consistently get their comments featured? Or bots? Self-advertisers? YouTube gamer and vlogger PewDiePie has an infamous video called “Goodbye Comments.” that addresses the annoyances that those spammers bring. Despite how that video was posted in 2014, the issue continues to remain at large.

Will chatrooms be another place for people and bots to spam comments? It’s very possible to employ chatbots to create the illusion of chatroom flooding.

Will YouTube’s “Premiere” feature be successful and functional? I highly doubt that celebrities will rely on this feature to promote their channels. Content creators that have a reasonably large fanbase and/or enjoy producing episodes and skits like WongFu Productions can certainly benefit from this feature.

SnapChat Stories, Facebook Updates, … & Now YouTube Vlogs: Instagram Is More Than Just A Square Album Now

Three days ago (6/20/18), I noticed a new icon on the top-right corner of my Instagram homepage. It’s… a TV?

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Since this feature is called IGTV, I had a feeling that it’s meant for people to post long videos on the platform. And sure enough, I was right.

It’s strange for Instagram to have that feature, but not really.

For one, Instagram has been and is mostly known for its square albums and images.

When Instagram implemented SnapChat’s Story feature, the platform took on a new image as a storytelling, vlogging, and lively platform. I say “lively” because videos bring liveliness to a platform that’s full of still images. And I say “vlogging” because the Story feature is essentially a feature for people to vlog.

And for those of you who don’t know this: Facebook owns Instagram and allows user to share their Instagram pictures on Facebook and Twitter posts.

So how will IGTV be used? Why was it added to Instagram?

Since Instagram has become a popular hub for bloggers and vloggers, the IGTV will allow users to upload longer vlogs – which is something that users couldn’t really do with Instagram Stories unless they upload a series of images and clips together, or compile them in a Highlights reel.

More importantly, studies show that video content tend to attract users more than still images. (There are a lot of studies on that, so you can look those up. They’re quite interesting to read.)

What makes Instagram an interesting social media platform is how it displays and organizes graphic content.

  • Users judge other users by the content in their square albums.
  • Stories can be previewed by tapping on a user’s profile image that contains a gradient ring.
  • A user’s Stories won’t be featured on another user’s homepage unless he/she is being followed by that other user.
  • Highlights of Stories can be added to a user’s profile so that profile visitors can replay Story content that are separated into topics or categories.

Yes, there are some negative thing to say about how Instagram displays content. For instance, the replacement of chronological display with curated content based on the kind of content users interact with has been heavily criticized by users who wish to see their friends’ content displayed before the content of other more popular (and sponsored) bloggers on the platform.

But overall, Instagram’s graphic platform makes it “win” over other social media platforms.

Facebook heavily relies on textual posts, the news media, and its emergency geo-location updates to make engaging content (because the news media has pretty much taken over the platform); Twitter relies on short textual posts to make engaging content (even though they increased their character limit from 140 to 280); and SnapChat relies on their disappearing feature to make engaging content (even though they added a save feature that totally goes against how some people don’t want their posts to be permanent).

Instagram doesn’t show any text unless a user wants to view the description of a post, the comments section, or a Story post that contains text. Nowadays, people are so lazy to read text that we love to rely on images and videos to receive information. And that’s exactly why Instagram is performing so well as a social media platform – because people can quickly glance over content and decide whether or not it’s worth their time.

So, is IGTV going to replace YouTube?

No. YouTube will always be the ultimate online-TV platform because of how many YouTubers, the music industry, and the movie industry rely on the platform’s popularity and accessibility through smartphones, computers, and smart TVs. Also, YouTube is known for their landscape videos and thumbnails.

Instagram promotes the portrait orientation because of how landscape content are pixelated when they’re previewed as squares. I haven’t tried the new IGTV feature yet, but I imagine that it promotes portrait videos instead of the traditional landscape videos.

Will IGTV be made available on smart TVs?

Probably. Because Instagram now allows people to upload pre-recorded videos instead of videos that are recorded through the platform’s camera, IGTV will probably have videos recorded from high-quality cameras, and edited from video-editing software. And, since phone cameras are becoming increasingly better in quality, we can expect more quality video uploads from amateur videographers on Instagram.

What’s the future of Instagram?

Instagram will continue to promote Facebook’s existence.

Maybe Instagram will have a “square magazine” (which will be different from the Carousel feature) 😂.

If Instagram becomes a news media hub… well actually, it’s HIGHLY UNLIKELY that Instagram will become a news media hub like Facebook and SnapChat. Why? Again, it’s because of how Instagram’s graphic platform doesn’t really promote textual content. The news media like to provide informational descriptions with their photographs. And because of Instagram’s layout, (negative) photographs from the news media won’t really stand out among other people’s (positive and personal) travel and selfie pictures. Facebook (Instagram’s owner) has learned from their mistakes that news content is re-postable and engaging, but not exactly appealing in a positive way.

Somehow, Instagram has maintained itself as a mostly positive (and narcissistic content) for any user to easily get addicted to the platform. A lot of YouTube vloggers who make “simple” personal videos will probably migrate to Instagram because of that, while YouTubers who make videos that make more cinematic videos will most likely stay on YouTube.

Singers and talk show hosts will most likely continue to rely on YouTube because of Vevo and how YouTube’s algorithm always favors celebrities (huge paid promotions) over small content creators.

Last, but not least, WILL MORE PEOPLE GET MONETIZED ON INSTAGRAM?

Highly doubt it. Instagram won’t shut down like Vine. I can’t come up with a reasonable explanation why though.

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