Social Media Update 01.07.19
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.
WhatsApp is testing letting users post from WhatsApp Status “directly to their Facebook story or send it to another app like Instagram, Gmail, or Google Photos. WhatsApp Status is the service’s Instagram Stories-style feature that lets you post images, text, and videos on your profile that disappear after 24 hours.”
Ivan Mehta at TNW is simply thrilled by the news that “Twitter said that it’s currently rolling out a feature for some users that allows them to swipe through their lists on the home screen . . . With this, Twitter can become a content hub on your phone.”
YouTube is updating how videos appear on a user’s homepage and in ‘Up Next’ suggestions. Three changes are targeted at giving users more control over both: A feature on the homepage and on Up Next when browsing that allows more personalized selection of additional videos; letting YouTube know which videos you don’t want to have recommended by tapping the three-dot menu next to a video on the homepage or Up Next, then tap ‘Don’t recommend channel’; and finally in a box underneath the video providing more information on why a video is being recommended.
The number of ad-free spaces on Instagram just dwindled again! Ashley Carman reports on The Verge that Instagram “announced that it’ll soon start placing ads within the Explore page, which is where users go to discover new content that lines up with their interests. The ads won’t appear on the Explore grid itself, but they’ll appear once a user taps on an Explore post and begins scrolling through that discovery feed.”
Not all advertising is bad of course. Although Facebook won’t allow advertisements for ingestible CBD, Kerry Flynn and Kristina Monllos at Digiday now report that Facebook “has relaxed its outright ban on CBD products, according to an agency source with knowledge of the matter. Advertisers are allowed to run ads for topical hemp across Facebook.”
Facebook announced it is rolling out new “transparency tools globally for advertisers wanting to place ads about social issues, elections or politics.” Authorization processes will get tougher and the ad and ‘Paid for by’ disclaimer will be “placed in the Ad Library for seven years, along with more information such as range of spend and impressions, as well as demographics of who saw it.” Further, Facebook will expand the current 50 countries monitored for proactive enforcement on social issue and political ads to include “countries where elections or regulations are approaching, starting with Ukraine, Singapore, Canada (Ed. note — hardly a hotbed of corruption and authoritarianism) and Argentina.” And it is also broadening “access to our Ad Library API globally so regulators, journalists, watchdog groups and other people can analyze ads about social issues, elections or politics and help hold advertisers and Facebook accountable.”
I can’t stand reading blog posts from social platforms, including the recent one from Twitch. They always begin with some variation of ‘we’re here to help you access the things or products you love’; it’s invariably ‘the things/products you love’. If all you love are ‘things’ or ‘products’, you’ve got problems. Having got that rant out of the way, Twitch is offering an “exciting (another tedious, dull-witted commonly employed adjective) new way for streamers to offer another benefit to some of their biggest supporters — subscribers, VIPs, and Mods . . . If a viewer subscribes to a channel at any tier, including a Twitch Prime subscription, they’ll have access to that creator’s Subscriber Streams. If they’re not a subscriber and they arrive on a channel that’s running a Subscriber Stream, they’ll see a preview of what’s going on and, if they’d like, they’ll be able to join the party immediately by subscribing.”