Social Web Recap 30.04.18
(My 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. )
Chart of the Week
For those feeling badly about all the trouble Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook have been facing recently, be comforted by this chart that testifies to the dramatic growth of Facebook's ad revenue over the last three years. Moreover, both it and Google "recently announced video ad expansions to drive continued ad revenue growth and ensure that both advertisers and publishers continue to see the value in using their platforms either to advertise or distribute content." This in the context of research that suggests "78% of marketers say they plan to increase their video ad production in 2018."
More tweaks to Snapchat's redesign. (When will someone at Snap finally admit: Oops we blew it?) This time they are testing "taking user-generated Stories and putting them on the Discover page, where they’ll exist alongside stuff from brands, celebrities and publishers — similar to how they did before the redesign was rolled out." It's assumed the original redesign was intended to make the 'Discover' section more prominent . . . and paying publishers happy. But it has met with mixed results as some publishers are seeing an uptick in traffic, and others a decline.
In its ongoing effort to make money, Snapchat will soon start testing unskippable six-second ads in select Snapchat Shows (thankfully not in Discover or users' stories). Lucia Moses at Digiday reporting on the story comments "this would be a new experience on Snapchat, and the key to whether people will be turned off will be whether the content and the ads themselves are good enough to hold their attention."
Instagram is making it "faster and easier" to upload multiple photos and videos to stories all at once. Users can select up to ten photos or videos from their gallery, edit each one individually with stickers, text and other creative tools, then upload them from the preview — all at once and in the order they were selected.
Instagram has added new tool that lets users download their data from the social media photo site. Instagram has confirmed to TechCrunch that the tool "lets users export their photos, videos, archived Stories, profile, info, comments, and non-ephemeral messages, though it can take a few hours to days for your download to be ready."
A computer science student (Jane Wong) looking into Instagram's code has caught a glimpse of some platform changes Instagram may be testing — reactions to stories, slow-motion video recording, a mute button for profiles and a calendar view of archived Instagram stories.
If you've noticed more posts in your news feed pushing Facebook's Watch shows, be prepared for them to become a more intrusive feature of your Facebook experience. Facebook is planning on pushing more running trailers "that preview Watch shows, hoping to make people more interested in the shows."
In the battle against fake news, Facebook is extending its previous brass knuckle approach to include more subtle tools. Now "When Facebook’s third-party fact-checkers verify an article is inaccurate, Facebook will shrink the size of the link post in the News Feed." Machine learning will also be added to the arsenal "to look at newly published articles and scan them for signs of falsehood."
Nonprofits and fundraising organizations stand to profit from a number changes Facebook has made in its handling of fees and personal causes:
- In Canada and the U.S. it will eliminate its previous fees "charged to cover a review process and vetting for each fundraiser", although payment processing fees of 2.6 percent plus 30 cents will remain.
- People can now "pledge to match donations to their nonprofit fundraiser."
- And it has added "new categories for fundraisers for personal causes so people can raise funds for more social good causes across family, faith, travel, and volunteering."