Social Media Update 22.04.19
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
Distil Networks published its 2019 Bad Bot Report last week that looks at the current state of automated web traffic, both good and bad. “Legitimate bot traffic (like, for example, the scrapers travel sites use to identify flight deals) as well as ill-intentioned bots (like those used to conduct denial-of-service attacks)” are compared in the report. One of the most startling findings, from my perspective anyway, is that most bad bot traffic originates in the United States not Russia as most people assume.
The Verge is reporting that app researcher Jane Manchun Wong has discovered Facebook testing “a radically redesigned interface for its app, which sees the News Feed and Stories feature combined into a single feed that you tap through like an (sic) Instagram or Snapchat Stories . . . In this new design, Stories and News Feed posts — including text posts, pictures, videos, and sponsored posts — appear as part of the same interface.”
Watch out Alexa and Siri . . . Facebook is coming for you! Facebook’s augmented reality and virtual reality group is apparently building its own voice assistant. For what purpose, though, is unclear.
This change to Facebook’s advertising options has me scratching my head. But those who manage Facebook advertising accounts on a daily basis may better grasp its meaning. From Social Media Examiner: “In addition to introducing a new Ads Manager interface with simplified navigation features, cleaner design, and new campaign management experience, Facebook also introduced a new Cost Cap bidding strategy for advertisers. A third bidding option along with Bid Cap and Target Cost strategies, Cost Cap focuses on conversion volume and cost predictability, which maximizes both cost efficiency and results.”
Instagram is testing a small change that could have far reaching implications for the mental health of people using the photo sharing platform. It is considering hiding ‘Like’ counts so they are only visible to the original poster. Josh Constine at TechCrunch sees in the change a chance to “reduce herd mentality, where people just Like what’s already got tons of Likes . . .reduce the sense of competition on Instagram . . . and encourage creators to post what feels most authentic rather than trying to rack of Likes for everyone to see.”
Coming to Twitter in June is functionality that will let users better moderate conversation content in their feeds. Chaim Gartenberg at The Verge reports that the change will “let users collapse replies to their tweets, hiding them from immediate view (although the tweets would still be there, visible to anyone who wishes to manually expand them).”