Social Web Recap 04.09.17

Social Web Recap 04.09.17

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Image courtesy of gratisography.com 

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.


A blockbuster week for YouTube saw it release a clean new design "to let content take the lead", move navigation tabs to the bottom of the app, make more room for thumbnails,  and add new Library and Account tabs. The logo was also refitted to focus on the 'play' button rather than the 'Tube' part of its old logo. Other upgrades include adding the ability on desktop to speed up and slow down video playback as happens now on the mobile app, (soon) have the video player "seamlessly change shape to match the video format you’re watching, such as vertical, square or horizontal",  and a feature that lets you view a row of suggested videos while watching in full screen.


Any Facebook page that traffics in lies, hoaxes and fakes news  is going to have a lot harder time making money in the future.  Facebook explains that "We’ve found instances of Pages using Facebook ads to build their audiences in order to distribute false news more broadly. Now, if a Page repeatedly shares stories that have been marked as false by third-party fact-checkers, they will no longer be able to buy ads on Facebook. If Pages stop sharing false news, they may be eligible to start running ads again."

According to Karissa Bell at Mashable, Facebook "is experimenting with a new feature called 'Things in Common' that highlights details you have in common with your friends' friends." A bit creepy don't you think: Can't we be left to choose the basis for our relationships with friends on social networks?


WhatsApp is piloting the notion of verified business accounts.  A green badge next to a contact's name "means that WhatsApp has confirmed that the phone number of this contact belongs to a business account." Yellow messages inside a chat will also show that you are talking to a business. (I wonder if paying for verification is next? After all this is a Facebook-owned chat service.)

Brett Williams at Mashable notes that "WhatsApp is also reportedly looking to expand its offerings with a whole new app for businesses beyond just the mega popular chat platform, which boasts over a billion active users per day." 


Instagram  announced that users can now watch 'Stories' on the web at instagram.com in addition to its app. And soon people will be able to post stories from the mobile web as well. 


Say what? Not being a gamer, and never having heard of this social video platform for them, I'll leave it to Sarah Perez at TechCrunch to explain Twitch enhancements announced last week: "Twitch today is introducing a suite of tools called Twitch Extensions that will allow its streamers to customize their channel pages with interactive features, including polls, leaderboards, tickers, schedules, overlays and even virtual pets, among other things. Beyond simply personalizing their channel to make it more engaging to fans, the extensions in some cases will help streamers generate additional revenue."

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