Social Web Update 21.01.19
A weekly annotated curation of significant social web platform developments from the previous week, with links and carping marginalia as needed . . . Posted every Monday morning or thereabouts.
Love the Numbers
No explanation needed about the chart above from a Pew Research Center report issued last week: People who use Facebook don’t like the idea that it collects, categorizes and uses data about their interests to help with ad targeting. There is other, equally troublesome, data of interest in the report, including about our political leanings and what Facebook refers to euphemistically as racial and ethnic “affinities.”
More information is available about the Twitter beta test announced the week of January 7th, 2019. Recode’s Kurt Wagner reports that to help ease the difficulty of following Twitter conversations, and improve the 'quality’ of conversation interactions “Twitter wants to try a number of things, like different colors to help you follow different threads, or indentations to help organize replies. The company is also testing a ‘status’ update so you can let people know where you are or what you’re doing in the moment, reminiscent of the old internet chatroom days.”
YouTube is also looking to animate more user interplay, endorsements and conversation about videos by “testing a new recommendation format for both mobile and desktop users that use blue bubbles to suggest keywords, creators, and related topics to help browse through videos.”
“Starting this week, you’ll be able to navigate through (YouTube) recommended videos with a simple horizontal swipe.” Why? To help us overindulge on more videos, without having to think about it I guess. Yes, that’s just what we need: More binge watching.
Based on first hand research in social media classes I teach, I can confirm Nick Statt of The Verge’s claim “Facebook is still the best place to organize a calendar of social events, birthdays, concerts, and other real-world meetups, thanks to the existing social graph on Facebook and the fact that businesses and event organizers still largely treat it as the preeminent promotion platform.” So, it isn’t surprising that Facebook is testing whether ‘Stories’ can be a way “to share the events you’re interested in and coordinate to meet up with friends IRL.”
I always feel like a bit of a sneave when posting about Tinder. But it is a social network after all, ergo it falls within this blog’s ambition. So here’s the latest about one of the world’s most popular dating (hookup?) chat apps. Sarah Perez at TechCrunch has discovered that Tinder is testing allowing people to share music via Spotify within their chats. Tinder already allows users “to connect their Spotify accounts in order to showcase their top artists on their profile. As Tinder explained at the time of launch, music can be a powerful signal in terms of attraction, and plays an important role in terms of getting to know a new connection, as well.”