Social Web Update 26.11.18
My weekly annotated summary 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
A poll conducted by SurveyMonkey for "Axios on HBO” concludes that U.S. adults still prefer to communicate in person rather than in digital formats. Maybe that’s what they say when asked. But reported preference and actual behavior are two different matters. And a preference for in-person communication doesn’t mean a choice favoring human interaction . Just take a look at people traveling on transit or walking down the street and notice how many even look up from their smartphones at the world around them.
Facebook appears to have added a “tool that prompts users to comment on live video using algorithmically-generated text or emoji. The text, similar to that used in Google’s Gmail, attempts to match common replies to the context of a stream, and the sentiment surrounding it.”
Desperate to become relevant to young people you say? LinkedIn has confirmed that “it plans to build Stories for more sets of users, but first it’s launching ‘Student Voices’ just for university students in the U.S. The feature appears atop the LinkedIn home screen and lets students post short videos to their Campus Playlist.” TechCrunch’s Josh Constine is not impressed.
Be warned PR and marketing firms who tell clients they can juice their reputation and reach without investing in engaging and shareable content. (Yes, it happens.) Instagram has begun using machine learning tools to remove “inauthentic likes, follows and comments from accounts that use third-party apps to boost their popularity.”
Don’t be surprised if your Instagram profile does some shape-shifting in the next few weeks. Instagram is testing “changes to icons, buttons and the way you navigate between tabs, which we hope will make profiles easier and cleaner to use.”
YouTube has started free streaming of about 100 feature-length films, supported by advertising. The Verge’s Andrew Liptak believes that “YouTube’s foray into this field makes sense — AdAge notes that more people are accessing the site on smart TVs, and distributing ad-supported free films could be a huge new audience for the site’s extensive ad network.”
YouTube has discovered through research that we are apparently “quite sensitive to the frequency of ad breaks, especially during longer (video) viewing sessions.” (Surprised?) So, they are testing what they’re cutely calling ‘ad pods’; that is, “two ads stacked back to back, where viewers have the option to skip directly to the content if it’s not the right ad for them.” The ostensible benefit is that “when users see two ads in a break, they’re less likely to be interrupted by ads later.” Is that a promise?