Facebook reveals how Oversight Board will work
Facebook has released a charter explaining how its (theoretically) independent Oversight Board will work. The board will review appeals to Facebook’s policy decisions, like content takedowns, and make recommendations for changes. Its decision will be final, even if those at Facebook aren’t happy about it. But many are skeptical, particularly as Facebook itself will choose the board’s initial members. For a rundown of how the board came about, how it will work and its potential limitations, check out TechCrunch’s summary here.
Facebook announces three new products in Portal range
Hello, hardware! Facebook has announced three new products within its Portal range of smart home gadgets. They include a redesign of the existing Portal product, a smaller version called Portal Mini as well as Portal TV - a combined camera and microphone attachment for televisions. The new Portals are getting WhatsApp support for calls and video chat devices, they include new options like picture-in-picture viewing sessions and have additional privacy features.
Facebook rolls out tools in Live, Watch Parties and Creator Studio
Facebook has released a ton of new tools and features across Facebook Live, Watch Parties and Creator Studio. Here are just a few of the highlights. A rehearsal option on Facebook Live, so that creators can get a bit of stress-free practice in before going up in front of their fans for real. Enabling Pages to tag business partners in branded content Watch Parties "so that both parties can see insights on the performance of the Watch Party". A new Distribution metric in Creator Studio which will allocate a score to each video’s performance based on the Page’s historic average across a range of metrics - including 1 Minute Views, Average Minutes Watched, and Retention. And there's more - check out this summary for details.
Facebook expands interactive ad formats
Busy week for Facebook – it’s also announced the expansion of three interactive ad formats. Poll ads are moving to the main feed of the Facebook mobile app; the augmented reality ads that Facebook has been testing are moving into open beta this autumn; and playable ads are being made available to all advertisers, not just gaming companies. The company has suggested this isn’t the last update we’ll see – the more advertisers use and experiment with them, the more they’ll evolve.
Instagram restricts weight loss posts for under 18s
Instagram has bowed to pressure and is trying to be a better place for young people, who are currently being exposed to unhealthy content from influencers on the platform. It’s announced that it will restrict those under the age of 18 from seeing posts that promote weight loss products or types of cosmetic surgery. It may even remove a post, if it “makes a miraculous claim about certain diet or weight loss products, and is linked to a commercial offer such as a discount code.” It’s part of a new policy that targets this growing and controversial area of influencer marketing – the likes of Kylie Jenner and Khloe Kardashian have been criticized for promoting weight loss products on their feeds.
Snapchat introduces “3D Camera Mode”
One for those of you who have an iPhone X or newer – Snapchat’s new camera mode makes photos more 3D-like. The “3D Camera Mode” allows users to capture a selfie and apply 3D effects, lenses, and filters to it. The 3D selfies can be shared on the Snapchat app or saved to a user’s camera roll and shared elsewhere.
YouTube (kind of) changes verification process
YouTube last week announced that it would be changing its verification process to make a bit tougher for channels to earn the all-important checkmark. Previously, anyone with more than 100,000 subscribers qualified; the company changed this to say that it will look for prominent channels with a “clear need for proof of authenticity” i.e., really famous creators who would be at risk of being imitated. Cue predictable backlash from creators who had their checkmarks taken away, with many venting their frustrations over on Twitter. The result? A new stance from YouTube - all YouTubers who are currently verified will get to keep their verification status, and YouTubers who are not yet verified will still be able to apply for it once they hit 100,000 subscribers, as creators have in the past. However, the platform has made it clear that only those with channels it deems authentic will make the cut.
Pinterest adds new options to Groups, updates Lens search tool
Facebook isn’t the only platform which has been busy making multiple updates this week. Pinterest has added a host of new tools to its group boards, including reaction buttons (such as a heart, a clap, a lightbulb); a sorting feature so that users can prioritise the most popular ideas; and a redesigned space that will let group members communicate with each other directly on the board. It’s also updated its Lens visual search tool - Pinners can now take photos or upload images from their camera rolls and use them to search via Lens. Or people on Pinterest can save photos from Lens, turn them into Pins and save them to boards.
Watch this space….
Facebook may be teaming up with Luxottica (makers of Ray-Bans) for stylish AR glasses; Google is monetizing YouTube’s TV presence with a beta test of the YouTube Masthead ad placement on the TV screen; Facebook has acquired customer service-focused bot building start up ServiceFriend in a potential move to prepare for the Libra launch; Facebook will close the short-lived Group Stories on 26th September; Twitter has rolled out its ‘hidden replies’ feature to the US and Japan.