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
There wasn't much by way of new social platform refresh announcements last week, but there were two notable research studies released , each with a rather telling chart about where social and the internet may be heading . . . below.
Mary Meeker's Internet Trends Report
Watch out U.S. internet technology companies — China is again at your doorstep. From Rani Molla's analysis in Recode
of Mary Meeker's always anticipated Internet Trends Report (2018)
: "China is catching up as a hub to the world’s biggest internet companies. Currently, China is home to nine of the world’s 20 biggest internet companies by market cap while the U.S. has 11. Five years ago, China had two and the U.S. had nine.
More than that, China's mobile internet usage has gone up dramatically and, as the chart above captures, mobile video, and mobile new are growing fastest, at some expense to social networking.
Pew Researh Center Teens, Social Media and Technology 2018
I'll let the Pew Research Center team speak for itself about this next chart: "Until recently, Facebook had dominated the social media landscape among America’s youth – but it is no longer the most popular online platform among teens, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Today, roughly half (51%) of U.S. teens ages 13 to 17 say they use Facebook, notably lower than the shares who use YouTube, Instagram or Snapchat."
Now back to regular programming . . .
Snapchat has introduced sound-powered filters: Jake Krol at Mashable writes
that "The new Lens is relatively basic at first glance. It adds neon pink ears to your head, a little heart to your nose, and whiskers that hover above your cheeks . . . When the app detects sound, the ears begin to grow and glow depending on the noise levels."
Snapchat may finally be launching
a developer platform called Snapkit
"that would grant third-party app developers access to Snapchat’s login system and its augmented reality camera features, in addition to Bitmoji avatars."
Pinterest advertisers are being offered a new screen-wide promoted video format for mobile ads. (80% of Pinterest users access the platform on mobile. Digiday's Kerry Flynn explains
that: "For Pinterest, the move is a step toward offering diversified ad products and introducing motion via autoplay ads to get users’ attention in a feed of still photos. Sound will play only if the user clicks the ad."
Don't hold your breath waiting for Instagram to bring back the popular reverse chronological feed. Why? Because, as Recode's Kurt Wagner points out
Instagram believes "People spend more time in the app because the algorithmic feed means people see more important posts that they would otherwise miss. With the algorithmic feed, Instagram claims people see 90 percent of posts from their 'friends and family,' compared to around 50 percent with the reverse chronological feed."
Facebook will eliminate the controversial 'Trending News' right hand column on Facebook pages. There were questions going back to 2016 about how the trending topics were chosen. Of course, Facebook spun it as a business decision
: "We’re removing Trending soon to make way for future news experiences on Facebook . . .However, it was only available in five countries and accounted for less than 1.5% of clicks to news publishers on average. From research we found that over time people found the product to be less and less useful" . . . Well, that too.
Don't look for that Pride Day temporary reaction button, or any future reaction buttons for that matter. Company spokeswoman Lisa Stratton noted
that the company was “no longer doing custom reactions for major holidays or moments in culture.”