Social Web Recap 29.01.18
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.
Looks like good news for the social platforms that benefit from those digital advertising dollars. BUT some numbers from Hootsuite's AdEspresso, albeit from 2016, are cause to be circumspect about the return from that advertising spend: "Banner blindness affects 86% of consumers today. Ad blocking software usage has quadrupled in the past three years, according to the MIT Technology Review. Only 20% of Facebook posts generated an emotional response, while ZERO ads did, according to a study from Havas Media. Which, for an inherently emotional medium, is not good."
Continuing to add heft (note the sarcasm) to its 'Stories' feature, Instagram has added GIF support and will (soon)allow users to upload photos and videos of any size to Stories. Thuy Ong of The Verge, comments: "You can now plaster dancing cats and flying cheeseburgers over your photos and videos. The options are endless with hundreds of thousands of moving stickers to choose from thanks to GIPHY integration."
Recode reports that Snapchat users "can now send some Snapchat Stories — collections of videos and photos stitched together into a montage — to friends outside the app using email or text. Snapchat will create a link for each Story, and that link will redirect users to a video player at Snapchat.com, where they can watch the Story without logging in." Friends aren't the only ones to 'benefit': Publishers can now embed Snapchat videos and photos into their websites . . . should they find anything worthwhile of course.
Because this seems to be the year for experimentation with, and speculation about, artificial intelligence (otherwise known as AI, machine learning or neural networks), it's worth noting that Twitter is using " neural networks to automatically crop picture previews to their most interesting part." I'll let James Vincent at The Verge—channeling machine learning experts—explain how it's done: "Their solution was 'cropping using saliency' (saliency here meaning whatever’s most interesting in a picture — faces or not). To define this they used data from academic studies into eye-tracking, which record what areas of images people look at first. 'This data can be used to train neural networks and other algorithms to predict what people might want to look at," writes Theis and Wang." Got it?
Social platforms are at their most creative when trying to find new ways to assault us with ads. So, just in time for the Oscars and the Olympics Twitter has begun "selling a new type of ad: Sponsored Moments, which are collections of tweets packaged around a specific event or theme, like the Oscars. Paying to 'sponsor' a moment means advertisers can add promoted tweets to the collection, and even add their branding on a title page for the Moment."
Bloomberg reports that "Twitter Inc. is working on a new Snapchat-style feature that makes it easier to post videos on the social-media company’s app, according to people familiar with the matter, aiming to attract more users and cement a nascent turnaround."