Social Media Update 12.08.19
A weekly annotated curation of significant social media platform developments from the previous week, with links and carping marginalia as needed . . . Posted every Monday morning or thereabouts.
Love the Numbers
To demonstrate just how sensible Canadians are, Pollara surveyed 2000 of them on some truly important matters. Not only do nearly half of Canadians believe that alien life exists elsewhere in the galaxy (They’re right about that.), more than a quarter believe in ghosts (although only 3.0% in zombies). Nearly half also believe that artificial intelligence “will eventually equal and surpass the capabilities of human intelligence.” Thankfully, 85% believe climate change is real, with 81% attributing it to human activity and fossil fuels, only 6.0% believe vaccinations cause more harm than good, and 22% realize there is no god or higher spiritual power. Thank you Pollara!
Tumblr doesn’t change much, but when it does it’s usually for the better . . . and for the social good. Its latest tweak lets users add alt text to photos and GIFs uploaded with the Tumblr app. (‘Alt text’, as Tumblr explains, is a textual alternative to a photo or GIF for those who are visually impaired.)
Jon Porter at The Verge says Twitter is testing “a new feature that lets you snooze notifications from its app for a short period of time” for one, three, or 12 hours at a time, although he goes on to caution that Twitter tests don’t always result in actual platform updates.
Between the ages of 18-25 years old and a fluent in meme language? There may be a job for you at Instagram. Morgan Sung at Mashable reports that “After facing massive backlash for deactivating a number of popular meme accounts, Instagram is trying to smooth things over by hiring a meme liaison who's in touch with youth culture.” Memes have such a natural home on Instagram one wonders why it purged 142 meme accounts in late July in the first place.
By the way, Instagram and WhatsApp owner Facebook will now make its ownership relationship with the two apps clear by changing their names ‘Instagram from Facebook‘ and ‘WhatsApp from Facebook.’
YouTube Premium will now allow you to download videos for offline viewing in 1080p instead of the current limit of 720p, “a significant upgrade for mobile devices with high-resolution displays”.
A ‘news’ tab is coming to Facebook in the fall. Facebook has been negotiating with such news publishers as Bloomberg and The Washington Post to license their content. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, “the licensing deals would run for three years and would give significant freedom to the news outlets, who could choose how their content appears in the news tab, as well as choose whether they want to host the full content on Facebook or have a headline/excerpt link back to their site.”
Twitch is making it easier for novice video game streamers to start using the platform by launching its own broadcasting software called ‘Twitch Studio’: “Before this, to start streaming on Twitch, you had to download one of a few different pieces of broadcasting software, like OBS, and then configure it so that it works with your camera, microphone, and, if you’re trying to stream console gameplay, your capture card. ”