Social Web Recap 28.08.17

Social Web Recap 28.08.17


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.


WhatsApp is adding a feature for its status updates originated by Facebook—coloured backgrounds with font choice and the convenience of including a link.


Not really a platform update, but it's worth noting that CNN is trading in its Snapchat Discover channel in favour of a daily news show on the assumption that young people want news on the popular messaging app.  "The show, called 'The Update,' will run three to five minutes long and publish at 6 pm ET each day. CNN will update the show with breaking news throughout the evening and early morning before the next day’s episode airs. 

Mobile scripted content is Snapchat's future! What kind of shows might we see on the platform? In an interview with Snap's Nick Bell reported in The Hollywood Reporter (forgive me)  Bell said he loves "the idea of doing a daily soap like Coronation Street.... Or a sitcom like Friends or an animation like Simpsons"; that is,  "shows with a long run and characters that people fall in love with."

And . . . Snapchat is now offering verified account status to influencers (or 'creators' as they evidently prefer to be called) and giving them access to its 'Official Stories', formerly reserved for celebrities. It's good news for influencers trying to increase their profile on Snapchat: Official Stories " feature a emoji symbol selected by the account holder and receive customized filters for special occasions. Perhaps most importantly, Official Stories accounts will be more visible in search results". 

(It's been a good week for influencers of all kinds as Amazon announced it is now accepting sign-ups from YouTube influencers  who want to participate in its Influencer Program "a service that allows social media personalities to earn commissions on the Amazon products they promote.")


People use Facebook's Safety Check to determine the safety of friends and family whenever there is a significant natural disaster or act of terrorism affecting the public. The feature is getting "its own dedicated button in the app’s navigation menu and will be available via the Facebook website on the desktop." This follows earlier updates that allow "locals to offer assistance and supplies to affected people following a crisis or disaster (Community Help), a new crisis descriptions option that helps "people better understand the situation" and  "new sharing options that let people tell their own stories, rather than just marking themselves as “safe.”

Subscriptions are coming to Facebook's fast loading "instant Articles' feature. Publishers "will be able to have a paywall (certain number of articles per month) or have locked articles (freemium model). For either case, Facebook users will be prompted to subscribe to read more."  This follows closely Facebook's adding publisher logos next to articles, rather than simply the publisher name.  Both moves are a consequence of dissatisfaction among the likes of The New York Times and The Guardian over subscription sign-ups from Instant Articles.

Facebook launched a bunch of extensions to 'On This Day' at the end of last week. Here is the CliffsNotes (or Coles Notes for Canadian readers) summary:

  • Related recent memories will be bundled into a monthly or seasonal memory recap story visible  in the News Feed and shareable
  • Celebratory messages that will announce when a user has reached "a notable number of friends on Facebook, and when your friends have liked your posts" (eventually also shareable)
  • And the scariest update . . . filtering "negative" photos or memories out of On This Day'. Now that's one hell of an algorithm if it can figure out what might upset any individual user


Recognizing the extent to which videos have become part of our lives—as entertainment, news source and personal expression—Linkedin is making it possible to integrate video into members' update and posting streams through its mobile app. With the "share box at the top of the feed (iOS) or the post button (Android) . . . You can record a video in the app, or upload something you recorded earlier." Members will be able to access insights about the companies and the titles and locations of viewers, and how many views, likes and comments a video receives.


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