This subsection of the Need to Know newsletter offers news and ideas from unusual sources or other industries beyond journalism.

How to correctly and effectively use ‘likes’ as a metric

Measuring value on social media can be challenging, Neil T. Bendle and Charan K. Bagga write. Bendle and Bagga explain how digital marketers can correctly use “like” as a metric across social media platforms and what situations call for using “like” as a metric. Among their advice: Don’t use “likes” as a metric if you’re […]

Twitter changes its category in the App Store from ‘social networking’ to ‘news’

After a quarter of slow user growth, Twitter changed its categorization in the Apple App Store from “social networking” to “news.” Instead of being in the same category as Facebook and Instagram where it was ranked in the top 10, Twitter is now the number one app in the “news” category, boosting its visibility to […]

What global leaders say makes an effective leader: High ethical standards and providing goals

In a survey of global leaders, Sunny Giles asked what makes a good leader? The respondents ranked high ethical and moral standards (67 percent), providing goals (59 percent), communicating expectations (56 percent) and flexibility (52 percent) as among the most important qualities. Giles says that when a leader holds a combination of these traits, it […]

Though Twitter is making changes, its first quarter earnings show those changes aren’t driving revenue growth

Twitter reported underwhelming first-quarter earnings on Tuesday: It reported $595 million, below the $607.8 million that analysts expected. And even though Twitter added 5 million users in the first quarter, The Verge’s Casey Newton writes that’s well below what Twitter needs to be adding to take ad money away from Facebook and Google. Twitter has […]

5 tips for how to keep small teams efficient

Smaller teams are more likely to build relationships and make it harder for team members to slack off, but that doesn’t mean they’re without their own potential problems, startup founder John Rampton writes. Rampton shares his advice for keeping small teams efficient, including: Make regular check-ins with all members of the team, outsource tasks when […]

‘Bots won’t replace apps. Better apps will replace apps’

Bots provide the promise of better user experiences and, some predict, the end of the app as we know it. But Dan Grover writes that apps just aren’t that good right now, and the technology being developed around artificial intelligence will lead to better apps. Grover’s vision for what those better apps will look like: […]

The communication tool isn’t the problem, it’s how your organization chooses to use it

Whether your team chooses to use Slack, Hipchat or another tool for communication, Pickcrew’s Jory MacKay writes that those tools can only be successful if expectations are set correctly from the start. MacKay writes: “If you hit your thumb with a hammer, you’re not going to go back to using a rock, are you? You’re […]

Virtual reality is steadily becoming more popular, but it’s still several years away from mainstream adoption, a new report says

According Greenlight VR and Road to VR’s 2016 Virtual Reality Industry Report, consumers will own 2 million (non-Google Cardboard) virtual reality headsets by the end of 2016. But despite that growth, the report says that virtual reality is still 6 to 8 years away from “hypergrowth” and mainstream adoption. The report says that a “killer […]

The tablet market is falling short of forecasts, mostly thanks to smartphones

In 2011, research firm Gartner predicted that 300 million tablets would be sold annually by 2015. But reality is falling short of that forecast: Research firm IDC estimates that 207 million tablets were sold in 2015. Arik Hesseldahl writes that one of the causes is likely smartphones: Screens on smartphones are growing larger, reducing the […]

How publishers should deal with mass layoffs

Mass layoffs are bad for everyone involved, but they’re a reality most publishers have to be prepared to deal with, Lucia Moses writes. Taking a look at recent layoffs at Mashable, IBT Media and Yahoo, Moses rounds up some of the best ways to handle layoffs and move forward, including why companies should embrace social […]