Social Web Recap 16.07.18

This post is by from Boyd Neil

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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. The post this week, like the last, is a shorter than usual since I’m writing first from a Norwegian fiord town called Flam looking at the most extraordinary rock formations and later at the Oslo airport waiting for a flight to Iceland.


Snapchat has introduced ‘Lens Explorer’, available in its pop-up carousel of lenses, that will help users “browse some of the more than 100,000 lenses created to date, as well as being able to view public stories that have been created using them”. They can them be unlocked (‘swipe up’) for personal use. This one is straight from Josh Constine at TechCrunch and it might be a bit troublesome for Snapchat users who like the platform’s more fun, personal and one-on-one functionality : “Snapchat is building a visual product search feature, codenamed ‘Eagle,’ that delivers users to Amazon’s listings. Buried inside the code of Snapchat’s Android app is an unreleased ‘Visual Search’ feature where you ‘Press and hold to identify an object, song, barcode, and more! This works by sending data to Amazon, Shazam, and other partners.’ Once an object or barcode has been scanned you can ‘See all results at Amazon.’ No thanks.


Augmented reality (AR) ads are likely coming to Facebook, at least in the U.S. for the time being. ”These AR ads . . . allows users to try on the products that are advertised through a process similar to that of a Snapchat filter.” Sephora, Wayfair, and Pottery Barn are among the first companies to sign up for the trial this summer.


In an attempt to curb the spread of misinformation and ensure forwarded messages on the app are actually from family and friends, WhatsApp will now “indicate which messages you receive have been forwarded to you.”