Social Web Update 18.03.19
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
The year 2018 belonged to podcasting, with all the variables in this survey from Edison Research called ‘‘The Infinite Dial 2019’ evidencing significant growth. “This is a watershed moment for podcasting—a true milestone. With over half of Americans 12+ saying that they have ever listened to a podcast, the medium has firmly crossed into the mainstream,” noted Tom Webster, Senior Vice President at Edison Research.
Facebook pushed out a ’Gaming’ tab in the mobile app’s main navigation last week. “The goal with the new addition”, says TechCrunch’s Sara Perez, “ is to help people more easily find games, streamers and gaming groups they follow, as well as discover new content, based on their interests.” That, and take a swing at Twitch.
Facebook also announced a new tool that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to proactively detect revenge porn — “near-nude images or videos that are shared without permission across Facebook and Instagram.”
(As a sidebar to the porn theme, reports last week are that Tumblr lost almost a third of its users after banning porn from the site.)
Twitter is boosting its photo quality and livestreaming capabilities as it continues to battle with Instagram for users. Recently it “introduced a revamped version of its camera that’s designed to promote more sharing of photos and videos”, and according to Casey Newton at The Verge is more aggressively promoting its livestreaming capabilities, “using a foundation built by Periscope” which it owns.
A ‘search image’ feature is coming to WhatsApp, in a revived effort to eliminate fakes news. Still in beta, it lets a WhatsApp user send an image directly to Google, and then “direct users to a Google search results page that shows ‘similar or equal images’ elsewhere on the web.” This lets you compare the image to others to see if it has been photoshopped or taken out of context.
And this interview in Digiday with Snap’s global head of creative strategy, Jeff Miller, says that we’ll see Snap making even more investments augmented reality, already a popular feature of the app.
The slugfest between Snap, Facebook and Instagram continues with speculation that Snap is about to introduce a gaming platform (see Facebook above). According to Alex Heath at The Cheddar, “The mobile game platform, internally codenamed ‘Project Cognac,’ will feature a handful of games from outside developers designed to work specifically in the Snapchat app, according to a person familiar with the matter.”