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7 of the Biggest Facebook Advertising Updates in 2017

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The time has come to pop the champagne! 2018 is swiftly approaching, and we have all survived yet another year of social media–consumed lifestyles. That’s right, another year of wasting hours upon hours on Facebook has passed before our very eyes.

As always, Facebook has been a part of some rather large controversies. From debates around politics and “fake news,” to discussions around privacy policies, to making some major updates for advertisers, a lot has happened with Facebook in 2017!

Perhaps your New Year’s resolution is to spend less time on social media. Regardless, as a marketer it is your duty to keep up with the trends on social, and utilize them to your advantage. In this post I’ll take a deeper dive into seven of the major Facebook updates that affect you, the advertiser (or agency!). You may just discover some new Facebook ad features or improvements that will help you advertise more effectively as we move into 2018.

#1: Power Editor and Ads Manager Merged!

From time to time Facebook would introduce some small improvements to either Ads Manager or Power Editor, whether it be a new design to Ads Manager or updated reports in Power Editor.

Well, in September of 2017, Facebook got tired of updating both and decided that it was more logical to merge the two into one platform called Ads Manager (RIP Power Editor).

facebook year in review

Luckily for Power Editor users there were no major life-altering changes aside from the name change. Ads Manager users weren’t ill effected by this change either since they actually received some shiny new features, including:

  • Options for workflows for ad creation: Advertisers now have the option to use the updated workflows from Power Editor that allow you to draft a campaign, and hop around to different ad sets and ads to work on out of order; this is typically used by more experienced advertisers. The older ad creation workflow is also still available for original Ads Manager users who prefer the guided step-by-step process.
  • The ability to review drafts outside the side panel before publishing: This is a minor feature originally part of Power Editor brought over during the merge. Advertisers still need to navigate with caution and make sure to never hit “Publish” unless absolutely ready to publish. Rather if you’re making changes outside of the side panel like importing ads, duplicating ads, or deleting ads, you’ll need to review draft items first, and then hit “confirm changes” to publish.

The merge isn’t too scary, right? In fact the majority of features have not changed and no features have been removed from either platform, so you can now enjoy a more streamlined system, and worry no more about making a choice between the two ad management options.

#2: New Ecommerce and Retail Focused Ad Formats Added

This year Facebook decided to expand the ad format options to allow for more creativity and flexibility for retailers, ecommerce businesses, and anyone selling physical items looking to take advantage of these visually intriguing ads.

These product-focused “collection” ads were announced in March of 2017, and allow marketers to tell a more visual story with their ads using an immersive video experience (with an emphasis on mobile).

Why video? According to Facebook, three in four consumers report that watching a video heavily influences their purchase decision on social media. Big brand names like Adidas have seen these new formats making a huge impact on sales, with a 5.3X return on ad spend.

facebook collection ads

So what’s the deal with these ads? How exactly do they work? I’ll let the experts from Facebook explain it in their own words: “Clicking on the ad leads a person to an immersive, fast-loading shopping experience on Facebook that can showcase up to 50 products at a time,” says Facebook. “Tapping on a product will take the most interested people to a product detail page on a business’ website or app to purchase.”

These sound complicated to configure… Well, good news: They’re not! “Collections are designed to be easy for merchants to set up, with Facebook doing the heavy lifting of choosing the right products to showcase from the merchants’ broader catalog,” says Anthony Ha from TechCrunch.

To learn more about Facebook collection ads check out this page.

#3: Facebook Adds Ability to Exclude Content Categories

Have you ever been so excited to see your ad out in the wild, until you noticed it was the ad before a controversial or inappropriate video? If you’re selling children’s toys, you might not want your ad appearing alongside a violent video game.

Facebook saw the need to allow advertisers to exclude certain content from being associated with their brand, so they addressed this issue by adding “Exclude Categories” under “Edit Placements” > “Advanced Options” in Ads Manager.

Recommended for YouWebcast, January 11th: Everything CEOs & Startup Founders Need To Know About Technical Advisors, CTOs, Agencies, and Engineers

facebook ad exclusions

There are five categories you can choose from, including dating, gambling, tragedy & conflict, mature content, and debatable social issues. You no longer need to lay awake worrying about what controversial content your ad is going to appear alongside next. Facebook will do this for you.

However, they do have some cautionary text reading: “Note that Facebook will try to ensure your ad is not shown against the categories of content you choose to block, but cannot guarantee success in blocking your ad 100% of the time.” While this language may just be there to protect themselves legally, it’s good to be aware of.

#4: Updated Policies to Make Advertising More Transparent

As I mentioned at the start of this post, Facebook has dealt with a lot of controversy over the last couple years due to two little words often echoed by our president: “fake news.” Don’t worry, I am not about to get political on you, but I, like many others, do believe the proliferation of false news can be extremely detrimental to our political environment. This is why I was quite pleased to see that Facebook is taking action to protect against so called “foreign interference” or in layman’s terms “fake news.”

facebook fake news

So let’s get to the down and dirty of what Facebook is doing to improve transparency and battle spam:

  • Hiring 10,000 people to improve security: Facebook isn’t just relying on their powerful platform technology to fight spam, they’re actually hiring real live people including ad reviewers, engineers, and security experts to identify and remove content violations and fake accounts.
  • Blocking ads from pages repeatedly marked as false: Why haven’t they done this already? Well, who cares, they’re doing it now! If third-party fact checkers are continuously marking a page false, then that page won’t have much luck advertising on Facebook from now on.
  • Facebook is sharing 3,000 ads with Congress! This one might stir up some controversy, but Facebook is now partnering with the government to identify and block any common threats.
  • Fighting fake news: Facebook has (finally) announced that they’re making an active effort to shut down fake news.
  • Reducing clickbait: Who likes clickbait? Certainly not Facebook; they’re making active efforts to prevent clickbait stories in your news feed.

These are all critical updates that it’s reassuring to see taking place. “We take this issue seriously and are committed to doing our part to help prevent foreign interference in the future,” says Facebook.

#5: New Tools to Grow Facebook Communities

For many marketers, Facebook communities are their bread and butter, and Facebook is no longer putting them on the backburner. Communities allow a group of people to join together around a common topic, and many businesses have leveraged communities to fuel their business.

In fact, in June of 2017 Facebook hosted their very first Communities Summit where they announced a plethora of new tools to community admins including:

  • Groups insights: This allows admins and moderators see real-time metrics around engagement and growth.
  • Membership request filters and improved clean-up: This new feature takes the pain out of sorting through new member requests, and allows admins to set some standards around who they do and do not accept. They’ve also added features to make it easer to remove members from a group, helping ensure safety from “bad actors.”
  • The ability to schedule posts: Group admins and moderators are busy people! Now they can plan ahead and schedule posts to better manage their time
  • Group to group linking: This allows admins to recommend similar groups to their members.

facebook 2017

In October 2017, Facebook announced even more new features for communities including welcome posts, badges, member profiles, new management controls, etc.! Read more about these updates here.

#6: New Features for International Advertising

Did you know that while 88% of Facebook’s audience is outside the US and Canada, half of their ad revenue (48%) comes from ads targeted to people in the US and Canada? Crazy, right?! Facebook thinks so too, which is why they recently announced new tools to helps businesses expand their ads to international audiences.

Check out the four features Facebook added to improve the international advertising barrier:

  • Dynamic langue optimization: This will allow businesses to include multiple languages in one campaign, and Facebook will do the heavy lifting matching the correct language to the right person.
  • International lookalike audiences: If you’ve used lookalike audiences before you are aware of how powerful they can be. Well, good news, now they can be even more powerful! Businesses can now use multi-country looking audiences to find their target customers in any combination of regions.

international lookalike audiences in facebook

  • Multi-city targeting: Yay! It is now possible for advertisers to target all cities above a certain population size without needing to research and add cities one by one.
  • IQ Cross-Border Insights Finder: Want to expand internationally, but not sure where? This new Facebook tool will help you find untapped markets with high potential for your business based on past campaign performance on Facebook, Instagram, and Audience Network. Pretty cool stuff.

#7: Instant Videos Are in the Works

While this feature hasn’t been released into the wild just yet, it is in the works, and likely to be a thing in the nearby future. Instant Videos will allow you to download and cache Facebook videos to your phone while connected to WiFi for later viewing without wasting cellular data.

“Instant Videos could be a game-changer for advertisers in the developing countries with a slow mobile Internet connection,” says Adstage. “For places where mobile data is pricey, and the network is weak, the new feature can level the playing field — at the very least when it comes to ads.”

Instant Videos will improve the cost and accessibility of videos to users, which in turn helps advertisers. While this feature isn’t available quite yet, Facebook told TechCrunch that a few Android users are currently testing it.

Wow! A lot happened in 2017! Enjoy the new features, and stay tuned for 2018 updates.

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What Exactly Are Different Ways To Select The Right Mattress?

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We know how crucial it really is to spend your money where you spend time, and considering we invest a minimum of a 3rd of our own lives sleeping or in the mattress, cutting edges on your mattress or relaxing surface could be damaging for your health. At the exact same time, not everybody has got the budget for the top of the line, reducing-benefit mattress.

The suggestion you look for when looking for the best mattress at fourth of july mattress sale evaluation.

Do Your Research, and Share a financial budget

The first thing you must do before you go to search for mattresses is known simply how much you consent to spend. Getting into any substantial purchase having a budget and spending cover in mind will help you avoid spending extreme, and will similarly help you purchase the very best mattress you can manage whilst prevent the extra fluff and devices that mattress stores are well known for trying to pack you up with. Always keep those accessories and gadgets in mind when you visit the shop. As soon as you pick a mattress, the sales representative will attempt and then sell you on mattress covers, long guarantees, bedframes, and other gadgets that you might or might not require.

 

Comprehend What Kind of Mattress Corrects for you personally.

Mattress producers and retailers have many brands for different types of mattresses; but, there are a few standard kinds:

– Tempur-Pedic mattresses are a brand name, but many people use them to explain any mattress kind that employs “recollection foam,” or another type of foam that molds towards the shape of the body while you relaxation, and provides even support on your body. You basically the kitchen sink into it, and the mattress uses even stress to your entire body at all factors. Tempur-Pedic and memory foam mattresses possess the tendency to get warm during the period of the night, if you require an awesome resting surface area under you, they might not correct for you personally.

– Rest Number Mattresses – Rest number mattresses use to blow up atmospheric stress chambers inside the mattress that you could personalize to suit the level of firmness you desire within your resting surface area. You can get relaxation number mattresses that have various chambers on either side of the bed, so you and your partner or friend can delight in various levels of firmness. “Rest Number Mattress” is really a hallmark of Select Comfort, who can make the majority of the mattresses that fit this description. They may have the propensity to be fairly costly.

– Firm against. Luxurious – Firm and splendid, as their brands indicate, display the firmness or gentleness of the mattress in question. You will notice some mattresses called “additional firm, firm, high-class, ultra-luxurious,” to signify how challenging or smooth the mattress is. In many cases, to reach the “ultra-luxurious” end from the scale, suppliers include heavy pillow shirts and pillows to the shirts of a traditional mattress which makes it feel much softer. You can similarly find mattress enters among like “cushion firm” or “cushion top” or a firm mattress which has additional padding on the edges and top or a cushion top onto it that makes the mattress much softer when you set in it, but still is firm sufficient to supply support while your relaxation.

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Is Your Cushion the Issue? Pick the very best Cushion For Neck and back pain.

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If you are bothered by neck and back pain, unquestionably you have actually considered your mattress. You might have asked yourself if maybe adding to the issue, or probably also creating the neck and back pain to begin with. Your mattress may well be the offender, particularly if it has actually seen far better days.

 

Selecting the most effective Mattress for Back pain.

In this situation, you will be asking yourself, “Just what is the most effective mattress for back pain”? It is much from being a basic choice. A browse through to your neighborhood furnishings or specialized bed shop will present you to a virtually excessive variety of mattress from many makers, every one proclaiming to be the very best and the healthiest.

Expect to do some research study before you choose which mattress is the ideal one to remove your neck and back pain. It is constantly a great idea to begin with a standard understanding of the back and the sorts of cushions that you could pick amongst.

 

Exactly how A Mattress Could Trigger Back Troubles.

Do you awake in the early morning feeling discomfort and tightness in your back? In this instance, you could be resting on a cushion that does not allow your muscle mass to kick back as they should.

When your muscle mass are tensed throughout the evening, you will sleep with your spinal column bent into an unfavorable placement. While this might not trigger any type of instant breaks, over a time period you can start to experience significant back issues and pain.

 

Some Mattress Myths.

One common belief worries the firmness of the cushion. Lots of people think that a tough cushion is more effective to stop or deal with back troubles. Some also presume about rest on the flooring.

This is a blunder. Tough surface areas are not suitable. They could harm your joints, andsince there is no “offer”, a tough mattress or other surface area could require your spine into a damaging placement.

In accordance with research from a clinical research study, the very best cushions are not strong ones; rather they vary in between tool andfirm.

 

Ways to Pick the Right Cushion For You.

Begin by neglecting the many healthy and balanced claims that suppliers make use of when marketing the casper mattress. These claims abound. Few are corroborated by any means apart from showing the vendor’s wish to boost the lower line. Neglect opinions that a mattress gives any type of details health and wellness or orthopedic advantage.

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How to Get Verified on Twitter (If I can do it, you can too!)

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Update: Twitter has paused its verification program for the moment. We are keen to let you know when Twitter resumes its program and will update this note accordingly. You can also check this page, which Twitter will likely update when the program is resumed.

Have you ever felt like a celebrity on social media?

I’ve had a moment or two when someone I really like or admire reshares a post of mine, or when people from across the world happen to come across my content and like or follow.

Social media has that unique ability to take non-celebs like me and thrust us into the spotlight every now and then.

Well, now Twitter’s gone one step further. You can apply to be Twitter verifiedand receive a blue checkmark badge next to your name. To become verified on Twitter, you simply update your profile with current information, verify a phone number and email address, then fill out a form requesting consideration as a verified user.

It does provide a bit of an ego boost and celebrity moment to see the blue badge, but here’s the real kicker: There are significant business/brand advantages to being Twitter verified.

I’d love to show you how you can get your business or brand verified on Twitter and the great things that might mean!

twitter-verified-blue-check-990x510

(Nieman Lab wrote one of the best recaps of what the new Twitter verification process has meant, if you’re keen to check it out. The image above is from the great folks there.)

How to Get Verified on Twitter, Step-by-Step

  1. Fill out your profile completely with profile picture, cover photo, name, website, and bio
  2. Add a verified phone number and confirm your email address
  3. Add your birthday
  4. Set your tweets as “public”
  5. Visit the verification form on Twitter

(Note: If you’re applying for verification of a personal profile as opposed to a business profile, you’ll also need a copy of a photo ID like a passport or driver’s license.)

In Twitter’s announcement about verified accounts, they listed a few particular elements that might be a factor in which accounts they choose to verify and which they don’t. The biggest factor in getting verified on Twitter is that the profile is of public interest. 

To explain a bit further, Twitter mentions that “public interest” might include public figures and organizations in the fields of:

  • Music
  • TV
  • Film
  • Fashion
  • Government
  • Politics
  • Religion
  • Journalism
  • Media
  • Sports
  • Business
  • and other key interest areas

So long as you meet the minimum guidelines with your profile (things like having a profile photo and a verified phone number, etc.), the verification process seems to be a bit subjective in ultimately deciding what is of “public interest.”

If you go through the process once and don’t get verified, no worries. You can try again in 30 days.

In terms of the minimum guidelines, here’s a bit more about how to complete each one successfully.

Verify your phone number on Twitter.

You can add a phone number to your account here; to verify the number, enter the verification code that Twitter sends to your email. This is what it looks like if your phone number is verified:

twitter-phone-settings

Confirm your email address.

You can add your email address here; to confirm the email, click the link that Twitter sends to your email address. This is what it looks like if your email address is confirmed:

twitter-email-settings

Add a bio, profile photo, cover photo, birthday, and website.

To add or edit this information, visit your profile on Twitter (in my case, twitter.com/kevanlee). If you’re logged in, you should see an “Edit Profile” button to the right of your Twitter stats.

edit-profile-twitter

Clicking the edit button will make the various aspects of your profile editable. You can click to change your cover photo and your profile photo. You can edit the text areas directly from this screen.

twitter-settings

In editing this information, Twitter recommends that your profile name is the real name of the person or the organization, that the profile photo and cover photo accurately represent what you’re about, and that the bio mentions an area of expertise or company mission.

Here’s a pro tip for adding a birthday: When you’re entering the birthday information on the web, click the lock icon to choose who can see your birthday on your profile.

Set your tweets to “public.”

Visit this page in your Twitter security and privacy settings, and make sure the checkbox for “Tweet privacy” is unchecked.

As you’re going through the verification process, Twitter will ask that you be logged in to the account you wish to verify. There will also be a paragraph section toward the end where you get to tell Twitter why you should be verified (this was the most time-intensive part of the process for me). You can share links to support your claim, too, so this might be something you want to think about or plan ahead.

Here’s what the form asks for specifically:

request-twitter-verificaton-form-fields

10 Ways to Maximize Your Chances at Getting Verified on Twitter

I was very fortunate to get the favor of the Twitter verified team on my first attempt. I’m still not sure I fully deserve it! However, I was glad to see that a bunch of the pre-work I did to ensure my profile was looking its best seems to have paid off.

twitter-verified-badge

There is no way to know for sure what factors go into the decision to verify a user or not. These are some of the things that I tried for myself and feel might be useful if you’re thinking of giving it a go.

1. Make sure your Twitter profile has been active, consistently, for the past two weeks.

There’s this cryptic bit of advice from Twitter: “Before you apply, take a look at your account to make sure it’s ready.”

What does “ready” mean exactly?

It’s hard to tell, but one possibility might be that a “ready” profile means an active profile.

When I first heard that Twitter was allowing users to request the verified badge, I wanted to do it right away. The only snag: I realized I was in a bit of a Twitter lull and hadn’t posted for a couple weeks. So did a bit of work:

  1. I hopped into Buffer and filled up the Buffer queue for my Twitter account for the next 30 days.
  2. I also made sure that I was actively engaged with my @-mentions and direct messages in the days immediately before and after I submitted the verified form.

I’m not sure to what degree it actually helped. These things tend to matter when we check out Twitter profiles for potential Buffer hires, so my sense is that the Twitter verified team would notice the same!

2. Link to other verified Twitter accounts in your bio.

shayla-price-twitter-profile

This one seems to give a bit of social proof to one’s chances of being verified. Within your Twitter bio, you can @-mention any other profile on Twitter. Bonus: It’s a good practice for writing a great Twitter bio that helps you gain more followers.

If you’re an individual, you can add your current employer, past employers, or connections you have with other members of the Twitter community (“husband to @mywife” or “building a product with @partner”).

If you’re a company, you can mention parent companies or VCs that have funded you.

I was lucky to be able to @-mention Buffer in my bio.

3. For organizations, add numbers and specifics to your Twitter bio.

state-fair-of-texas-twitter

Put your best foot forward by being a bit self-promotional about what you achieved. Here are a few ideas:

  • +3 million customers and counting
  • We’re a $10M startup …
  • Member of the INC 5000
  • celebrating 25 years in business

4. For individuals, use the biggest job title you can in your bio.

ann-mah-twitter-profile

Similar to the above tip for organizations, this one requires that you sell yourself a little. Before I reached out to Twitter, I had my profile listed as “Content @buffer.” I changed it to “Director of marketing @buffer.” Here are a few other semantic changes that might spark some ideas for you:

  • Content marketer = Published at @TNW and @Lifehacker
  • I run a blog = Founder of @ProBlogger

And here are some tips that Neil Patel shared on the Buffer blog:

  • If you started a company, welcome to the ranks of  the “entrepreneur.”
  • If you helped a company, you are a “problem solver.”
  • If you run sometimes, maybe you can be a “fitness guru.”
  • If you give to charity, perhaps you’re a “philanthropist.”

5. For people profiles, add a cover photo that shows you doing something important.

For a long time, I had used an inspiring quote as my cover photo. It looked pretty nice, I thought (thanks to Canva). But it wasn’t quite as powerful or descriptive of a person of “public interest.”

Fortunately, I had the chance to speak at Unbounce’s CTA Conference a few months before, so I added a picture from when I was speaking on stage. John Bonini of Litmus does it really well here, too:

john-bonini-twitter-profile

6. In your “why I should be verified” paragraph, write your pitch with empathy for the Twitter community.

One of the quotes I love from Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People is this one:

You can make more friends in two months by being interested in them, than in two years by making them interested in you.

It’s spot-on advice for filling out the Twitter verification form and writing the paragraph about why you should be verified. Show an interest in how your being verified can help the Twitter community. Does it help your audience find you easier? Are you often confused with others and are keen to help improve that experience? Are you a business who wants to provide great, fast, trusted support to your Twitter audience?

I took a Dale Carnegie approach with my paragraph for Twitter verification, mentioning how I’d love to be able to connect easier with the people who follow the Buffer blog and the other places where our content is syndicated. I’m not sure how much this approach weighted things for the Twitter team, but it felt like a good step!

7. Be exact with the location in your bio

I’ve seen a lot of clever, original ways that people have used their location field in the Twitter bio. At Buffer, since we’re a fully remote team, we list our location as “Worldwide.”

Other people have chosen a humorous path. My all-time favorite is “Location: Spaceship earth.” ? ?

It’s very possible that the location field doesn’t matter much. I didn’t want to take any chances.

My location was listed as “Idaho,” which I always thought was specific enough since not too many people know specific cities within my sparsely populated state. However, just to play it safe, I went ahead and added the city: Boise, Idaho.

8. Choose a variety of links to submit

Submitting the Twitter verification form reminded me a bit of applying for a job. I wanted to give people the best, broadest sense of how I could be a fit. As a writer, this often means submitting links from a variety of sources where you’ve been published. For Twitter, I went one step further and added conference speaking engagements (both ones from the past and from the future).

Generally-speaking, share as many positive mentions of you or your business, from as many big sources as possible. This could be:

  • Bylines from major websites or publications
  • Author pages at major websites or publications
  • Press you received from major publications
  • Awards
  • Speaking engagements
  • Company profiles

9. You must submit at least two links. Be sure you submit the maximum five links.

Though Twitter lets you submit only two links, you definitely want to maximize this by filling in links for all five spots. Be creative (see the list above).

10. View the list of recently verified users for inspiration

This is one that I wished I had found earlier. The Twitter account @verified follows all the verified accounts on the network. If you click over to their “following” tab, you can see a list of everyone who has recently been verified. The full list is over 215,000 people and companies.

You can scroll this list for ideas and inspiration for what might be worth trying to get verified.

One thing you’re likely to notice: There’s a lot of variety! It seems there might not be any one right way to get verified. My best advice would be to find people or organizations that might be similar to you and take some learnings from the way they pitch themselves.

Another thing you might notice: You don’t have to have thousands of followers to get verified. There are many, many verified profiles with 2,000 or less followers. Don’t let follower count stop you from applying for verification!

Why It’s Important to be Twitter Verified

There are likely to be a lot of obvious benefits to having a verified status on Twitter.

  1. You might get more followers
  2. You’re bound to gain trust and respect from the community
  3. You have one more data point on your being an influencer/authority

There are some immediate platform benefits, too. You can opt out of group DMs, and (this one’s quite cool) you can filter your notifications to include only notifications from other verified users.

verified-users-notifications-tab

It’s this last point that might be the most important.

By being verified, you will always have a closer connection to other verified users. Your likes, replies, and retweets of other verified users can never be hidden.

And to look ahead into the future, this may be an area that Twitter moves toward for everyone. The “Verified” filter is only available to other verified users now, but it’s possible that this could be rolled out to all Twitter users in some form, perhaps even as a filter in the main Twitter stream.

Being verified ensures that your content and your interactions always remain visible for the maximum number of Twitter users possible.

 

As the Nieman Lab pointed out:

“If a significant share of Twitter users were verified, it would be easier for Twitter to make something like “Show notifications and replies only from verified users and people I follow” the Twitter default view.”

It’s a bit early to tell for sure where Twitter may head, though it never helps to get ahead of the curve if you can. Just in case. 🙂

 

Over to you

Does Twitter verification sound like something you might give a try?

If you’ve already tried it out, what was your experience? Any tips to share? Any questions to ask?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments and keep the conversation going there!

 

Image sources: WOC in TechPablo

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