Social Web Recap 18.09.17
A weekly annotated short summary of significant social web platform developments from the previous week, with links and carping marginalia as needed . . . Posted every Monday morning or thereabouts.
Recode and TechCrunch both report that Twitter is testing an embedded feature that would allow people to draft and publish a 'tweetstorm'. "Hidden inside the current Android app is a way to write out a tweetstorm and see it broken into distinct tweets, then tweet them all at once." Let's hope the puerile U.S. national leader never gets his hands on it, but social activists do.
Instant Articles, the junior article format available on the main app, will no longer show up in Messenger. Instant Articles improves load time but never took off as part of the mobile Messenger platform. A Facebook spokesperson confirmed that "“As we continue to refine and improve Instant Articles . . . we’re focusing our investment in Instant Articles in the Facebook core app and are no longer offering Instant Articles in Messenger."
Another instance of 'instant', though, is high on Facebook's agenda. Jacob Kastrenakes at The Verge (also reported by TechCrunch and The Next Web) says Facebook is testing a feature that "appears to download various Facebook videos while you’re connected to Wi-Fi so that they’ll be able to start playing immediately on your phone when you’re inside the app."
In the midst of a number of announcements meant to please advertisers (see 'Canvas' below), Facebook also released new policies banning monetization of a whole flock of questionable practices including, porn, a ban on depictions of death, the use of children’s characters engaged in “violent, sexualized, or otherwise inappropriate behavior, depictions of violence , tragedy and conflict or promoting attacks on people and groups.
More on video (Do you detect a trend here?): "Facebook has been quietly testing a new standalone group video chat app, called Bonfire, which allows up to eight friends to engage in conversation as well as use special effects, similar to those you’d find in apps like Instagram and Snapchat."
Instagram will now let you share stories in Direct. When you have something to share with friends or groups now you simply tap the Direct icon in the bottom right corner and select who you want to see it.
Facebook's Canvas is now available on Instagram Stories, which is apparently a big deal for advertisers and media buyers. Canvas is a full-screen, fast-loading video mobile format that is intended to engage people more than a regular video ad. With Canvas for Instagram, Digiday reports that advertisers can "promote their products and services to 250 million Stories users with a carousel of images and text-based posts contained in a single ad."
Instagram confirmed to TechCrunch that when you open Instagram, videos will still autoplay with the sound off . . . "But if you tap to turn one video’s sound on, indicated with a speaker icon in the bottom left, all other videos will autoplay with sound too for the rest of your Instagram session." This turns off when you close the app.