Social Web Recap 15.01.18
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.
That's a lot time spent every day on social media! What Global Web Index's chart from September, 2017 doesn't say, but the accompanying article does, is that "By demographics, it’s women and younger age groups who lead, but it’s patently clear that all groups of internet users are now devoting a substantial chunk of their daily media activities to networking/messaging."
The clumsily designed messaging app announced a needed retrofit last October. But the overhaul available in Canada, the U.K and Australia this week appears to suck, at least according to early reactions reported by Mashable and TechCrunch. Josh Constine at TechCrunch reports that "83 percent of App Store reviews (1,941) for the update are negative with one or two stars". The new design features more algorithms, no more 'Stories' page, and friends' stories hanging on the left and "listed by frequency of conversation, not necessarily chronologically." Of greater import to marketers and media people, "the Discover page, once a section for a dozen media partners, now includes celebrities and sections of Snap Maps."
Depending on your perspective—publisher, brand or person—Facebook's announcement of further changes to its News Feed is good news or bad. Facebook users will now see more posts from friends and family . . . and fewer posts from publishers and brands. In a post on Facebook. CEO Mark Zuckerberg opined that it is clear posts from businesses, brands and media are overwhelming the personal stuff: "Since there's more public content than posts from your friends and family, the balance of what's in News Feed has shifted away from the most important thing Facebook can do -- help us connect with each other." Better for our personal well-being, but not so good for social web public relations people, brand and product marketers and, of course, news publishers.
Coincident with the announcement above, Facebook also said it is considering releasing (currently being tested in six U.S. cities) a "new section inside its app called 'Today In,' a feed made up entirely of local news, events and announcements," and will be using machine learning to find the content.
It's a change that falls somewhat outside the scope of my posts, but Skype is beta testing end-to-end encryption for chat, files and audio messages called “Private Conversations” — something already part of Facebooks’ Messenger, Apple’s iMessage, and WhatsApp. Private Conversations, writes The Verge, means the "contents of messages can only be read by the sender and recipient; they don’t just sit around on Microsoft’s servers."