January 3, 2023 MDG

Metrics for long term success

Impact > Engagement

I spent a long time setting up engagement as the key performance indicator in social media. Advocating for the importance of engagement, publishing papers and creating tools to make the case.  It as wrong to prioritize engagement above all else.

Net positive impact matters more in the long run. While engagement may have been a useful metric in the past, it is not the most important factor in achieving long-term success.  News media companies and social media products should focus away from engagement and towards the real-world impact of their offerings and product.

Specifically news and media sectors, social products and networks. The goal should be to create impact rather than just generating clicks or short term viewership.

By prioritizing  impact and working towards long-term success to a more meaningful difference is the right path.  In the end companies and products will need to operate short term in active users + engagement metrics but at the same time orient towards impact.