Social Web Update 28.01.19
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.
In reality this announcement is a Netflix update. You can now share movies and shows to your Instagram Story directly from the Netflix mobile app. TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez writes that “The feature will add the title’s custom art to a users’ Instagram Story, where it remains visible for 24 hours. The Story can also be customized with other options, like a user poll, for example . . . If the viewer has the Netflix app installed on their iPhone, they’ll see a “watch on Netflix” link in the Story that takes them to the show’s or movie’s page in the Netflix app when tapped.”
This could be big . . . The New York Times reported last week that “Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, plans to integrate the social network’s messaging services — WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger — and to incorporate end-to-end encryption in that new unified infrastructure. According to thee MYT report, “After the changes take effect, a Facebook user could send an encrypted message to someone who has only a WhatsApp account”, something not possible at the moment.
Facebook has added a petition feature called ‘Community Actions’. Focused primarily on facilitating local interest group mobilization, activists can use it to create, support and share petitions. To manage its inevitable misuse by right-wing fringe and hate groups, Facebook will moderate the petitions “using algorithms, human staff, and user flagging.”
Among the more cringe-worthy tests underway at Facebook, it is now hard at work on LOL, “a meme hub . . . that would bridge the gap of a traditional News Feed with meme-focused content that Facebook hopes will attract teen attention.” Good luck with that. TNW’s Bryan Clark comments that at first blush it “rings hollow, like a thinly-veiled attempt to replicate the successes of Snapchat and TikTok, all rolled into one.”
Responding to concerns that the app’s features have enabled the dangerous spread of false information and fake news (sometimes leading to violence and political manipulation) , WhatsApp will limit to five the number of times a message can be forwarded. (Previously a message could be forwarded to 20 individuals or groups.) According to Reuters, “The app’s end-to-end encryption allows groups of hundreds of users to exchange texts, photos and video beyond the oversight of independent fact checkers or even the platform itself.”
Some Twitter desktop users have started seeing a new interface for the venerable social platform. The Verge reports that “The most important changes are tiny shortcuts to make tweeting easier. A large, dedicated button in the tweet box makes it easier to add an emoji, an updated trending section appears on the right-hand side of the page, and little aesthetic updates make it easier to see who’s involved in a conversation.”
Twitter is testing an ‘Original Tweeter’ tab “that will make it easier to parse who started a thread. The new feature, which is starting to pop up for some users, makes it easier to find posts from the original tweeter within a thread, but may also help curb (some types of) abuse on the platform, making it easier to distinguish accounts that are masquerading as other tweeters, for instance”, says Lucas Matney at TechCrunch.
As of last week, LinkedIn advertisers “will be able to target members with relevant ads that match their professional interests, which are determined by the content they share and engage with on the professional network.” At the moment, there are about 200 interest categories grouped under such broad classes as ‘arts and entertainment’, ‘business and management’, ‘technology’ and ‘marketing and advertising’.