Social Web Recap 02.10.17
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.
Of course the big news from last week was Twitter's announcement it was testing 280-character tweets with a small group of users (thankfully not the U.S. megalomanic-in-chief) because they "want every person around the world to easily express themselves on Twitter." The why is confusing: The negative reactions from online pundits not surprising. And even brands picked to be among the beta testers had some fun at the 280-character Twitter's expense. But most agreed with The Verge's Casey Newton that "super-sized tweets are likely to change the nature of the network as more people gain access to them, and in unpredictable ways." Think longer tweetstorms, more complex memes, more convoluted jokes . . . or maybe more room for bullying and threats .
In an attempt to control inordinate linking to external crowdfunding campaigns or Patreon sites, YouTube users must "now join the YouTube Partner Program in order to add end cards with external links — a common way for YouTubers to point fans toward merchandise or Patreon pages. This limits the cards to channels with 10,000 total public views or more, once YouTube has approved them for the program." ('Patreon' pages refer to "a membership platform that provides business tools for creators to run a subscription content service, as well as ways for artists to build relationships and provide exclusive experiences to their subscribers, or patrons.")
Not quite in the same dramatic league as the Twitter 280-character test, but did you know you can write mathematical formulas written in LaTex on Facebook Messenger? Geeks, STEM students and math professors are licking their lips, conceptually speaking of course.
Now this is pretty cool . . . or creepy: Facebook is testing using facial recognition for identify verification if you get locked out of your account .
The poor cousin to YouTube has launched Vimeo Live and added live-streaming tools, including a chat sidebar, the ability to stream live from anywhere and automatic archiving. The catch? It will cost you $75 a month! Eventually Vimeo Live will be integrated into Livestream, a video technology company that Vimeo just bought, enabling Vimeo Live to support mobile streaming which it currently does not.
Harassment is a problem on Instagram, as it is on Twitter and other unfettered social platforms. To help fight harassment, Instagram has made some changes to help people manage comments. As of Tuesday last week, "if your account is public, you’ll see a new way to choose who can comment on your posts — from everyone to just groups of people, like people you follow or your followers. Also, whether your account is public or private, you’ll be able to block other accounts from commenting on your posts."
In another instalment of the fashionable filter wars, "Snapchat is rolling out a new feature on iOS and Android today that will transform your boring sky shots into pictures worthy of other social media platforms." Consistent with 2017's spotlight on AR and AI, "TechCrunch reports that these 'sky filters' will use augmented reality to add sunsets, starry skies, rainbows, and more to users’ pictures."
The messaging app also said it is opening to brands its World Lenses augmented reality feature. TechCrunch reports that launch partners Warner Bros and Bud Light have both made their "own 3D creations that you can add to real world scenes using the Snapchat camera." Look for the 'Spinner' car from the new Blade Runner 2049 feature flick and Bud Light's beer vendor man.