Social Web Recap 24.07.17
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.
I don't think of Amazon as a social network in the way of Facebook or Snapchat. But some do, and the more it makes moves like its latest—a standalone messaging app called Anytime still in embryo—the more it can be thought of as one. AFTV News reports that "Amazon has begun surveying customers about a new messaging service to gauge which features are most important to users. It’s unclear how far along the new service is, but one customer said the survey seemed to imply it was a ready product."
Amazon is also going after video publishers who use Facebook and YouTube as their distribution channels. Late last year, "Amazon opened up its Prime streaming platform to video publishers and creators of all sizes, allowing them to distribute individual videos, themed video collections, entire seasons of shows and even their subscription channels." The kicker is these publishers can make money almost immediately through royalties, so publisher support has continued to grow throughout early 2017.
And still with Amazon (and squarely in the category of who cares), the online shopping giant has a new app feature called Amazon Spark, which is "an Instagram-like feed of shoppable photos posted by Prime members. Users can react to the content with 'smiles' (Amazon's version of a "like") and comment or tap an icon embedded in the photo to visit the product pages of the items being discussed."
Not that I pay close attention to Tinder—and of course have never used this very social network—it is still an online community and its updates should be noted. The hookup app has come out with a redesign that makes choosing your amorous target easier to judge (bolder photos running to the screen's edge) and faster to select or dismiss ("tap on the edge of a pic to go to the next one or skip back" and tap the bottom to see the person's profile).
According to Karissa Bell at Mashable, "Snapchat just answered one of its users' biggest requests: The app will no longer limit you to single 10-second video clips at a time. Instead, Snapchat now allows you to record up to a full minute of video at once." The catch? You'll be able to record up to 60 seconds of video, but Multi-Snap as it's called will only play it in 10-second chunks (although you can edit any of the 10-second clips in your 60-second video jewel.)
Also from Snapchat via Mashable, the NBC show 'Stay Tuned' is now available for "the kids" (Mashable's characterization not mine) on the messaging platform "every morning at 7 a.m. ET, with another daily scheduled update at 4 p.m., and the potential for breaking news segments throughout the day." Will the kids care though?
It's become a regular reporting feature on this blog—Facebook efforts to root out and smoke fake news. A technique used in making fake news was to alter a link's headline, body text and image as they appeared in the News Feed so that people were fooled into looking at an article they hadn't intended. Josh Constine reports that Facebook is now disabling "the ability of all Pages to edit the previews of the links they post in the Page composer or API, with an exemption for some original publishers . . . A new tab in Page Publishing Tools for Link Ownership will let those exempted specify the web domain they own, and be authorized by Facebook to modify the previews of links to this domain." Publishers have until September to have their link ownership approved.
Paywalls are coming to Facebook Instant Articles (October?). After users have viewed 10 articles in any given month, "publishers will be able to direct users to sign up for a digital subscription or to lock out readers." The choice to throw up a paywall will be the publisher's, but that option will likely be hard to resist.
And in another step to mollify somewhat disgruntled publishers, Facebook announced last week that it was introducing "a tool that lets publishers measure how much those fast-loading mobile articles ('Instant Articles'-ed.) get viewed compared to their mobile web equivalents . . . and publishers can see how their Instant Articles perform and if the revenue value of those additional views offsets any limitations Instant Articles put on monetization and editorial formats."