Social Web Update 17.12.18
A weekly annotated curation of significant social web platform developments from the previous week, with links and carping marginalia as needed . . . Posted every Monday morning or thereabouts.
Love the Numbers
No argument now: “Social media’s small edge over print emerged after years of steady declines in newspaper circulation and modest increases in the portion of Americans who use social media, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted earlier this year.” Although declining as a source of news in recent years, television is still the most popular platform for news consumption, with local TV (37%) beating out cable TV news (30%) and national evening network news shows (25%).
Voice messaging is coming to Instagram Direct, allowing “users to send each other audio messages up to one minute long in private and group chats . The VergE points out that “Voice messages are quickly becoming the preferred method of communication on messaging platforms like WeChat and WhatsApp, and today’s addition may be a welcome feature for some users.”
As the debate roils about whether companies should bother with an online influencer strategy, or just dump these self-important narcissists, Instagram is looking to make the lives of top tier ‘creators’ easier. New ‘Creator Accounts’ (similar to Twitter’s verified status), will give them “the ability to filter direct messages and offer more in-depth analytics over their follower counts.”
There is a slight note of urgency, or maybe temerity, in some of Facebook’s recent new features and tweaks announcements. The latest refresh is of ‘Life Events’, which is used to announce, well, a user’s significant life events. It is “providing new options, including animated photos and videos. If you don’t have your own images, you can now choose from a wide range of art from Facebook. You can also include photos from the people or Pages you’ve tagged in the post, like your partner in a relationship or a new school or workplace. The photos and videos in your post also include subtle animations, like slowly zooming in. Just as before, when you create a new life event, you can include an icon to represent your update.”
Facebook is testing ‘search ads’ for its Marketplace feature. TechCrunch reports that: “They’ll be repurposed News Feed ads featuring a headline, image, copy text and a link in the static image or carousel format that can point users to external websites.”