Social Web Recap 31.07.17
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.
Twitter's latest effort to make itself more valuable to users is not winning fans in all quarters. Over the past year or so, Twitter has added to Notifications(for a beta group of users) new random alerts about what it considers interesting links or trends. It was recently rolled out for everyone; but there is grumbling about the additional clutter, and questions about why Twitter bothers trying to force users to see stuff with which they probably can't be bothered. Mashable writer Karissa Bell points out that "the alerts appear in the Notifications tab, which has typically been reserved for mentions and other interactions with your own tweets." So jumble and confusion pushing out interaction? The benefits aren't clear, either from a business or user engagement perspective.
Twitter is also offering advertisers an automated method of promoting tweets "without creating ads or managing campaigns." It costs $99 a month at the moment and is in beta.
With only about 70,000 monthly users, you can be forgiven for never having heard of this app even though it has something in common with Tinder. Patook is meant as a way for people to find friends for platonic relationships. It launched out of beta this month "and it has around 70,000 users at this stage, who founder Tony Daher says are sending around 15k messages per day." TechCrunch points out that "it’s using Natural Language Processing to help power a 'flirt detection feature' aimed at preventing users from straying over the platonic line and trying to hit on others by sending suggestive messages." Cool.
Here's something marketers and advertisers should know about their favourite ad platform . . . Instagram 'influencers' are consciously or inadvertently gaming the Instagram ecosystem by organizing themselves into unmistakingly self-serving 'pods'. It works like this says Shareen Pathak in Digiday: "everyone in the group (pod) is in charge of improving the engagement on the other members’ posts. Each time a person posts, that person will share it with the group via a private direct message. Everyone in the pod will then engage with the post, liking and commenting on it." However, like buying Instagram 'likes' these attempts to juice engagement artificially will eventually be discovered and undermine a so-called 'influencers' credibility.
LinkedIn now allows you to post up to nine photos in a single post, and it has updated the analytics available on both mobile and desktop versions of the platform. The new insights include information "about the companies your viewers work at, their job titles, how they found your post, and how many people reshared your post and who they are."
This isn't a platform update, but it's worth noting that messaging app WhatsApp now has about one billion users. More important according to TechCrunch, "Facebook is winning the race to bring Snapchat’s Stories format to the rest of the world before its originator. WhatsApp Status, its version of Snapchat Stories, now has 250 million daily active users" . . . about the same number as Snapchat and Instagram Stories.
To help video 'creators' encourage more re-sharing of their videos posted on Facebook, the company is redesigning the data insights it provides to offer more useful metrics and, interestingly, preventing people who do re-share the videos from accessing certain metrics about the original video—including the "retention graph, average watch time, 30 Seconds Views and detailed breakdown of views (autoplay/click to play, unique/repeat)."