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
Gender breakdowns of social media usage are instructive, and the subject sometimes of heated dinner conversations. Debate this, for example: Why do more women than men use Pinterest? Here's Statista's May 2018 report on social media usage in Canada . . . by gender.
The photo and video-sharing platform appears to be testing more broadly allowing public account holders "to manually kick people out of their pool of followers", functionality that has always been available for private accounts.
The ubiquitous green activity ‘dot’ is coming to Instagram! Instagram announced last week that you’ll see a green dot next to your friends’ profile pictures when they are active. The dots will appear “in various spaces within the app, including the Direct inbox your friend list when you share a post from feed. You will only see status for friends who follow you or people who you have talked to in Direct. You can easily hide your own status and turn off the ability to see when your friends are active in your settings. “
Everyone's favorite hookup app is using Canada and Mexico as a testing ground for granting users the ability to send Bitmojis “to their matches within their chat conversations." Tinder product chief Brian Norgard explains that it is a "a playful new way to engage with matches." But isn't in-person 'engagement' (An odd euphemism don't you think?) — not ‘playful’ similitude — Tinder’s point?
GeekWire reported that Snap is "partnering with NewsWhip, Storyful, SAM Desk, and Seattle-area startup Tagboard to give journalists a way to quickly find publicly-shared photos and videos taken by Snapchat users, including from the geo-location Snap Map." Your Snapchat photos could just end up on the nightly news!
So what could possibly go wrong?Reddit has added native chat room functionality to subreddits aimed at keeping people chatting within the subreddit rather than going outside the platform, to Slack for example. Taylor Hatmaker reports in TechCrunch that “Chat rooms are meant as a supplement to already active subreddits, not a standalone community, so it’s basically like watching a Reddit thread unfold in real time.”
Facebook has added a feature to Messenger that will let you annex your Instagram contacts into Messenger, if you connect the two accounts: “The option appears in Messenger’s ‘People’ tab, alongside the existing option to sync your phone’s contacts with Messenger.”
In a belated but controversial move Facebook says it will start removing misinformation from the platform that leads to violence. Casey Newton writes in The Verge that “Under the new policy, Facebook will begin reviewing posts that are inaccurate or misleading, and are created or shared with the intent of causing violence or physical harm. The posts will be reviewed in partnership with local organizations including threat intelligence agencies, which Facebook says are in the best position to evaluate threats. Posts covered by the policy include manipulated imagery as well as text.”
WhatsApp will now indicate whether a message you received has been forwarded from someone else. In the hope that “This extra context will help make one-on-one and group chats easier to follow.” More importantly, from the perspective of controlling spam “It also helps you determine if your friend or relative wrote the message they sent or if it originally came from someone else.”
LinnkedIn continues to up its game by making the platform more functional as a place for reciprocal personal and business interaction. Social Media Examiner reports on some new LinkedIn features including “the option to add closed captioning to videos posted from the desktop, as well as the ability to easily highlight and share quotes from LinkedIn articles and save drafts of posts to edit and complete later on mobile.” And it’s adding a new ‘Me’ tab, “which offers a quick and easy shortcut to all of the content members have shared, written, or recorded for the site.”