Social Web Recap 24.09.18
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.
Last week belonged to YouTube, at least with regard to prominent announcements. Disappearing by March 2019 is the stand alone YouTube Gaming app, replaced by a gaming destination on the main YouTube site: Mashable’s description — “The Gaming page for YouTube, which is now live, features top livestreams, top videos, as well as the top games currently being livestreamed on the platform.”
The video platform has also dropped the viewer membership requirements for access to its channel membership benefits. Creators with 50,000 (rather than the previous 100,000) will now be able to offer their viewers a $4.99 membership fee. According to The Verge, “The membership feature, which was expanded from gaming channels in June, is similar to those of Patreon or Twitch; it allows creators to earn money directly from their fans, rather than relying exclusively on ads.”
Instagram also had an epic week of announcements:
It announced two updates “that make it easier to shop on Instagram, whether you stumble upon something you love or are simply in the mood to browse your favorite brands.” The first is the global roll out of Shopping in Stories (tested in June of this year). Also in June Instagram introduced topic channels in ‘Explore’, which has its own ‘Shopping tab. As of last week, unrepentant shoppers can now “browse across your interests and go deeper on any area you like in Explore. Now, when you simply want to shop for fun, you’ll see a channel dedicated to Shopping posts from the brands you follow and brands you might like.”
If you’re as fed up as I am with hashtag overload on Instagram (or any other social platform’s posts), then relief may be on the way. According to TNW, app sleuth Jane Manchung Wong (@wongmjane) has uncovered a beta version of the platform with the ability to hide hashtags from the caption: “Screenshots suggest that hashtags might appear as blocks beneath a post with separate the caption.”
TNW also says Instagram is testing geo-restriction for stories and posts that will allow “creators to post their content to selected countries, instead of being universally available.”
A new GIF button in Instagram Direct’s composer bar opens “a library of the latest trending GIFs powered by GIPHY”.
The Verge’s Casey Newton believes Instagram is testing re-sharing, something he says “company executives have long resisted for fear it would corrupt the personal nature of the app, could bring new life to the main feed at a time when it is becoming rapidly eclipsed by ephemeral stories . . . (but) it could also invite in fake news, influence campaigns, and other negative consequences.”
Not to be outdone by its rivals, Twitter is going to put “live streams and broadcasts started by accounts you follow at the top of your timeline, making it easier to see what they’re doing in realtime”, including breaking news, personalities and sports.
And . . . it is returning the option to see tweets in reverse chronological order rather than showing first what it had determined were the ‘best tweets’ for you or ‘in case you missed it” tweets. When the “Show the best Tweets first” setting is turned off “people will see tweets from people and accounts they follow, in reverse chronological order.” Hurray!
Watch out Tinder and Hinge Facebook is after you: “Facebook Dating is now a reality. Four months after announcing that it would add dating features, the social network said today that it has begun testing its new dating product in Colombia.” The goal is to make dating on Facebook easier and “more comfortable” and perhaps less hook-up tinged than the Tinder.