Social Web Recap 03.09.18
My weekly annotated summary 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
Here's what Pew Research Center has to say about its study released at the end of August on the paradoxical nature of teens' attachment to their smartphones: "Amid roiling debates about the impact of screen time on teenagers, roughly half of those ages 13 to 17 are themselves worried they spend too much time on their cellphones. Some 52% of U.S. teens report taking steps to cut back on their mobile phone use, and similar shares have tried to limit their use of social media (57%) or video games (58%), a new Pew Research Center survey finds."
Last May YouTube unveiled tools intended to help users manage their platform routines. Last week, the features were bundled together as a sort of personal time governess. Under 'Time Watched' in the account menu you'll be able to see how long you’ve watched YouTube videos today, yesterday and over the past seven days. You can then go to 'settings' and set a viewing time limit, or consolidate your video "push notifications into a single notification each day and set a specific time to receive your digest." And if you can't ignore those sound and vibration notifications before going to sleep, in true nanny fashion YouTube is now sending "all notifications without sound and vibration between 10pm and 8am."
In the spirit of either alturisma or snuggling up to profitable video originators (you decide), YouTube has introduced (still in beta) a “group of tools called YouTube Giving, and it includes options for fundraisers, community fundraisers, campaign matching, and Super Chat for Good.” Fans “can donate to campaigns started by creators through a donate button.”
Not much seems to change with venerable Tumblr, but recent updates to its community guidelines evidence a keen sense of the impact of hateful and violent uses of social by the marginal and the unbalanced. Twitter and Facebook should take notice of the laudable changes in the guidelines driven by Tumblr's belief that: "(I)n a free and open internet ... we can’t ignore that the internet is being exploited by hate groups to organize, recruit, and radicalize with horrifying efficiency."
Not only that, in an even more sweeping renewal Tumblr is changing post formatting. Says Tumblr's staff: "It used to be that a post could only be one thing . . . Now a post can be anything you want it to be (or whatever it was meant to be)." Change text styles (including a colour changer) , add a GIF, video, image, audio, link or tag . . . "This is posting the way it should be: Free from formats and constraints so you can express yourself the way you’ve always wanted (needed) to."
Digiday's Lucia Moses says it best: "Continuing its charm offensive with news publishers, Facebook has been testing a tool with five publishers including BuzzFeed to help them improve their reach on the platform. The organic content testing tool lets publishers test up to four versions of a piece of content, with variations in elements like headline, description and image, in real time — something publishers would otherwise have to pay for by boosting a post."
Slate magazine has confirmed with Twitter that it is testing "a feature that suggests accounts you might want to unfollow." The test was small scale and limited so Twitter isn't ready to confirm future plans for the 'unfollow' concept, but one can only hope. Let's take a vote :)
Also being considered by Twitter are two features “that would make it easier to engage with those you follow who are online at the moment” and another that would “allow Twitter users to follow a conversation easier than the current embed and click-through method.” This comes from a tweet from Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s head as reported in TechCrunch.
Instagram sharpened its security protocols last week to make the Insta community safer, including a feature to help evaluate account authenticity with large followings, launching a global verification form (the link explains how); and finally, "an improved form of two-factor authentication that makes it easier and safer for you to securely log into Instagram."