Tuesday Tune-Up #346
Facebook’s privacy scandal has really left a mark on the company as shares dropped by 24%, driving its market value down by $151 billion at one point. CFO David Wehner also commented that he expects that revenue growth rates will continue to decline in the third and fourth quarters of this year. Mark Zuckerberg has attributed part of the fall in European growth to the loss of over 1 million European users since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect. The platform has stated that it will be looking to make investments in video content in an attempt to increase users and revenue. With social media giants across the board seeing huge engagement from video, it may well be the additional boost Facebook needs to make a swift recovery.
No good deed goes unpunished as Twitter’s stock takes a tumble
It looks like Facebook isn’t the only one to have been hit this quarter, as Twitter’s stock has fallen 20% in the wake of a one million user decline. The drop in users is down to the platform actioning a cull of fake and offensive Twitter accounts in an effort to clean up the site and “prioritise the health of the platform.” Experts are more optimistic about Twitter’s recovery from the fall than Facebook’s, as Markets.com Chief Market Analyst claims that Twitter is “in better shape as the efforts to monetise the platform are working.”
Facebook achieves first step into China with new ‘innovation hub’
While some of the world’s biggest social platforms including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are currently blocked in China – with residents only having access to domestic sites such as WeChat, Weibo, Renren and YouKu – Mark Zuckerberg has apparently charmed Chinese government officials to get a bite of the country’s lucrative market. Last week, he broke ground by securing a licence to set up an office in China. Clearly taking the time to learn Mandarin paid off. Facebook claims that the office will run as an “innovation hub to support Chinese developers, innovators and startups,” similar to other hubs it has set up elsewhere such as France, Brazil, India and South Korea.
Being social for antisocial people gets even easier as Facebook’s ‘Watch Party’ launches worldwide
Facebook has announced the launch of a new feature that allows people in Facebook Groups to watch both pre-recorded and live videos together, and chat, in real-time. There will be a ‘Watch Party’ button within a Facebook Group, which users can click and select the video(s) they want to watch while chatting with other Group members also watching. Watch Party is a step back to Facebook’s original ethos of connecting people anytime, anywhere, over anything. Plus, hanging with friends without ever having to leave your sofa is a pretty ideal situation if you ask me.
Instagram puts IGTV front and centre
Since the launch of IGTV last month, its videos have been somewhat hidden in a standalone app behind a button on Instagram’s home screen. The platform wants to increase IGTV viewing and make it easier for users to find videos by showcasing a carousel of IGTV content underneath the Stories tray in the main Instagram feed. IGTV needs to encourage a high viewership in order to get creators to keep making content for the platform, with immense pressure on Instagram to monetise content following parent company Facebook’s dramatic decrease in stock value.
Snapchat plays matchmaker as it pairs businesses with creators
Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube have been the go-to mediums for brands working with influences for a while now, and Snapchat had, until now, not made many strides in the Influencer arena. However, the launch of ‘Snapchat Storytellers’ – a pilot program that will introduce brands to five of the app’s most influential content makers – shows an attempt from Snapchat to corner the Influencer market. Creators will be able to work with brands to lend their expertise in creating engaging Snapchat ads. If brands can make amazing content with the help of influencers, they may be willing to spend a lot more money on putting ads out on the platform. This would be a huge boost to Snapchat, who have been struggling to keep up with other prominent social platforms in recent months, and it may see them playing in the big leagues again in the future.
Snapchat goes premium with a private marketplace for advertisers
It appears that Snapchat is determined to sell, sell, sell, announcing last week that advertisers would be able to buy ad space in specific shows and channels created by publishing partners such as Hearst, Vice, ESPN and BuzzFeed. The platform’s Discover section serves as a kind of digital magazine within Snapchat for these publishers, and by allowing brands to place their ads directly into their chosen publisher’s channels, advertisers will be able to “align themselves with high quality content,” according to Brian Madden of Hearst Magazine’s Digital Media. For publishers, it will allow them to set their own ad rates, thus giving them a lot more freedom in who they accept ads from. It looks, ultimately, to push both brands and publishers to show their audiences higher quality adverts and to strengthen Snapchat’s revenue.
YouTube makes hashtags in titles and descriptions clickable
The video-sharing website has just introduced a new discovery feature for users to try, hashtags. Going forward, any hashtags included in a video’s title or description will be clickable – making it easier for users to discover more content around popular or trending topics. Clicking on a hashtag will take users to a results page, listing the top videos with that tag. For those looking to add a hashtag to a video, the process is simple – upload as normal and enter a hashtag in the title or description. If no title hashtag is added, the platform will take the first three listed in the description and place them above the video title. Currently, the new feature is limited to the platform’s Android app and the web, with no plans announced to deliver the update for iOS.
YouTube stands up to bring audiences vertical video on desktop
Vertical videos are hugely popular on YouTube’s mobile apps, forcing the platform to acknowledge the need to support different aspect ratios. Videos originally intended for mobile will now appear on desktop in an appropriately enlarged frame, and without the oh-so-unsightly black bars users have come to dread. As more and more content is created for and on mobile, companies are going to have to continue to accommodate the formats in order to deliver a high quality user experience.
Is this thing on? LinkedIn takes the mic with new voice messages
LinkedIn is looking to drive engagement by encouraging users to record voice messages of up to one minute in its new voice messaging feature. Voice messages are already very popular on a number social platforms, especially WhatsApp and Messenger, as they allows users to send lengthier messages without laboriously having to type them out. In a capacity where members are sending professional messages, I predict a lot of ‘re-records,’ am I right?
Emoji Tracker reveals the most and least popular emojis on Twitter
Whether it’s the heart, the thumbs up, the crying with laughter face (which has been posted over two billion times since July 2013), or the face palm (my personal most used), we’ve come to depend on emojis to better express ourselves on a daily basis. But which ones wear the “most popular” crown? And which ones get a big thumbs down? Well, thanks to Matthew Rothenberg’s Emoji Tracker, we now know. The Emoji Tracker has logged over 23 billion tweets since its creation in 2013, and the programme has now revealed that the “input symbol” and “aerial tramway” are the least popular emojis on Twitter. The programme also revealed that the top five emojis on Twitter were: face with tears of joy, heart, smiling face with heart-shaped eyes, heart suit (the playing cards version), and – something to give hope to humanity – the recycling symbol. Judging by emojis alone, the wold is a pretty positive, progressive, love-filled place!
Dying for a selfie
A US man died last week after slipping off a cliff while taking selfies at a whale-watching site in Sydney’s south.
Sadly, he’s far from alone. According to Turkish clinicians who tallied up selfie-related incidents reported in the media from December 2013 to January 2017, most injuries resulted from falling, but the leading cause of death was drowning. In more unusual cases, a Russian man died after posing with a grenade, and in 2016, a tourist in China was dragged underwater by a walrus while he was snapping a selfie with the massive marine mammal.
No wonder some countries run “safer selfie” campaigns.
This post courtesy of @charliedone