Turbulent year for media reflected in consumer trust
2017 was undoubtedly a rocky one for media both online and offline. From the spreading of fake news, to skepticism of media organisations, people generally believe media should be doing a better job. In this turbulent backdrop, Edelman’s “Trust Barometer 2018" has found that Google, Facebook et al seem to have got off more lightly than perhaps one would have expected, as trust in social platforms fell by only two points last year.

For more details on social media's role in society, people's perception of media and more, check out Digiday's summary here.

Facebook news trust Survey
While we're talking about news and social media, Facebook’s latest mission to convince people they are a trustworthy platform now includes a two question survey when clicking on news links, that asks ‘Do you recognise this website’ and asks you to rank how much you trust them on a five-point scale. Some critics are suggesting it’s not an overly-robust method and just an attempt to curry favour at a time when they are accused of manipulating elections, spreading fake news and making people sad.

Instagram jazzes up Stories
As if adorning your Instagram Story image with the temperature, location, time and a guy in a white T-shirt bending backwards wasn’t enough, Instagram is now rolling out animated GIF stickers, powered by GIPHY. Scroll through the trending animations, or search their extensive catalogue and get creative.

And that’s not all… Instagram is also rolling out the ability to add a photo or video of any dimension to your Story. No more friends moaning that you cropped them out of a shot. Any spare space around the image will be colour graded based on the tones of the content.

Snapchat lets users share Stories outside of its app
Remember Snapchat Stories? Those posts with a ghost that existed before Facebook stole the idea and put it everywhere else? Well, Snapchat isn’t done yet, and it is still innovating their original offering. Now you can take a public Snap Story, hold on the tile and share it through text, email, or even other social platforms like Facebook and Twitter. To facilitate this, Snap is launching a desktop web viewer accessible over at Snapchat.com. The new sharing feature will be an option only for Official Stories, Our Stories and Search Stories and is already available to Snapchat users in Australia and Canada who already have access to the redesigned app. Have they officially given up? Admitting users' content would be better served on other social channels? Sounds like it to me...

Twitter looks to simplify video sharing
Twitter is reportedly working on a new camera product to reduce the number of steps needed for users to share video content on the platform. The new feature will help bring Twitter in line with rivals Snapchat and Instagram, who only require one swipe to access the camera feature. There is currently no release date for the feature's launch, but we have a feeling it also won't compete with Instagram.

Twitter launches smart cropping for image previews
After extending its character count last year, Twitter is now looking to bring the focus back to visual content by introducing AI software that will identify and auto-crop the best bits of a pictureResearch into eye-tracking was used to train the algorithm to predict what users will most want to look at. So from now on, previews on the platform will now be automatically cropped to their most interesting part.

Twitter opens Sponsored Moments to advertisers 
Last week, Bloomberg became the first company to take advantage of Twitter's latest ad format, Sponsored Moments, as the feature became broadly available to all publishers who participate in In-Stream Sponsorships worldwide. The new format will allow advertisers the ability to add a branded cover image to the Moment and embed their own tweets into the Moment's round-up. Currently, the partners eligible for Sponsored Moments include those with large followings, such as sports leagues and TV networks.

Apple launches Business Chat for iMessage
Apple is preparing to launch a new feature for iMessage, Business Chat, which will enable users to chat directly with businesses from the app. The new feature, which will launch this autumn in partnership with brands including Discover, Hilton, Lowe’s and Wells Fargo, will also allow customers to make payments (via Apple Pay), schedule appointments and chat to customer service reps. The move is Apple's first major push into B2C communications, taking on the big social networks like Facebook and WhatsApp who have already expanded into business messaging services.

Facebook takes down suggestive 'Did You Know?' question
We've all become accustomed to the very family-friendly 'Did You Know?' questions which now appear on our Facebook profile pages, promoting us to share more about ourselves, like our favourite food or best place to travel. But Facebook received backlash when its more intimate "I usually sleep with..." question got noticed by Twitter users (and the media). Facebook has since confirmed that the question, which was intended to be an innocent one, has been removed.

Client spotlight
Hate to #humblebrag, but had to call out this interesting bit from Netflix last week. Facebook organic reach might be in its final death throes, but we went back to basics to prove the power of the text-only organic post has not yet died completely. Community managers, rejoice!

 

This post courtesy of Matt Pearce.