Social Web Recap 21.08.17
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.
Responding to long standing appeals, Twitter is now allowing users to view tweets sorted by topic in the Twitter Explore tab, without having to follow anyone. According to Buzzfeed, "Twitter's algorithms will show you these topics based on what they know about your interests. Eventually, the platform will give users more control over what they see, the spokesperson said. The company will roll out controls that allow people to tell it they don't like a topic, which will inform Twitter's decisions on what to show them."
Has Facebook tired of trying to crush Snapchat? Now it seems it may be going after Kijiji and eBay with 'Marketplace' where, they say, "you can feel good about buying and selling ... because it’s easy to view the public profiles of buyers and sellers, your mutual friends, and how long they’ve been on Facebook." Introduced in 2016, Marketplace was rolled out last week to 17 European countries, from Austria to Switzerland, who join the U.S. Australia, Canada, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand and the UK. Later in the week, Facebook also announced that "Marketplace has begun showing a new Daily Deals tab on the mobile app for select users, sourcing deals from eBay."
TechCrunch thinks Facebook is trying to spark more interest in its Stories functionality by "doubling down on its full-screen Camera feature"—which allows sharing to Stories, Messaging and the News Feed—and adding "the ability to go Live, shoot two-second GIFs and share full-screen text posts on colored background."
To continue the fight against clickbait (just don't do it), Facebook declared it will significantly reduce distribution of NewsFeed stories that feature either fake video play buttons embedded in their imagery or videos of only a static image.
I'm not a fan of threaded email conversations, but I'm willing to give Instagram's new conversation comment threads the benefit of the doubt. Instagram argues that "Comment threads help you keep track of conversations and make it easy to respond to a specific thread." The threaded comments/replies will appear underneath the initial comment so that you'll be able to see which comments are replies to a specific person.
Instagram also announced two changes to how you can reply to a direct message: You can now "reply with a photo or video to specific photos, videos, and reshared posts . . . (it) will automatically include a sticker of what you’re replying to"; And users can send a split-screen reply to the sticker and draw on it.
Pinterest's dark horse, like that of many visual social platforms and messaging apps, is Instagram. So, in an effort to keep up it is conceding that users like to pinch a photo to zoom in and out . . . a la Instagram and Snapchat.
Yes, Tumblr—the microblogging and social networking website that quietly goes about its business of letting users easily post multi-media and reblogged content—has updated itself to facilitate better tag filtering. Tags can now be displayed for each post in a theme, and users can change the standard reverse chronology (latest posts on top) to earliest posts on top.
Proving that video is now the sine qua non of flourishing (and lucrative) messaging apps, Line (a messaging platform especially popular in Japan) last week "added a livestreaming feature, called Chat Live, which can be used in group or multi-person chats of up to 200 people . . . perhaps for "chatting with friends while livestreaming a sporting event or chatting with grandparents while showing them their grandchildren."