Nick Carolan

Social media users are growing at the fastest rates we’ve seen: The latest Digital Statshot is out now
Our new Digital 2020 October Global Statshot Report – produced in partnership with Hootsuite – is live, and it shows that, now more than ever, connected tech continues to play an important role in various aspects of people’s everyday lives.

Included amongst the findings contained within the report is that more than 4 billion people around the world now use social media each month, and an average of nearly 2 million new users are joining them every day. The world is spending more time on social media too, with the typical user now spending roughly 15 percent of their waking life using social platforms. That’s the equivalent of 10 billion hours a day spent using social media. However, social media isn’t the only aspect of digital that’s delivering impressive numbers.

You’ll find the complete October Statshot here, alongside in-depth analysis of this quarter’s key stories from founder and CEO of Kepios, Simon Kemp.

Twitter takes a U-turn on blocking controversial New York Post story
Earlier last week, we witnessed the latest moves in the war on misinformation from Facebook and Twitter, who had limited the spread of a controversial New York Post article critical of Joe Biden. Both platforms questioned the validity of the article and the origins of the materials featured, which are thought to have been pulled from a computer that had been left by Biden’s son in a computer repair shop. However, it now appears that Twitter has done a U-turn and these links are now able to be shared. Twitter states this is because its original intention was to ‘prevent the spread of private information’, but as the story is now so widespread, the information can no longer be considered private.

Over 35 million have visited Instagram’s Voting Information Centre
With the battle for the White House soon to reach its climax on November 3, Instagram’s Voting Information Centre revealed that it received 35 million visits in August, demonstrating how users are turning to their social channels to receive voting information prior to Election Day. The Centre gives users one place to register to vote, confirm their registration status and make plans to vote. Instagram also rolled out stickers in both English and Spanish, with the ‘Register to Vote’ sticker having been tapped more than 17 million times and used in Stories over 2.4 million times.

Facebook will now ban Holocaust denial content
Following years of critique for not taking down offensive Holocaust denial content, Facebook is now reversing its position by updating its hate-speech policy to ‘prohibit any content that denies or distorts the Holocaust.’ Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had previously used this type of content as an example of where he thought that Facebook should not intervene, creating conflict amongst company employees. The reversal of this decision comes as part of the platform’s efforts to fight the spread of hate speech amid a growing number of online attacks across the channel.

Snapchat lets all iOS users put music in their snaps
With the rise of TikTok and the introduction of Instagram Reels, it’s hard to believe that it has taken Snapchat this long to bring music to its platform. With ‘Sounds on Snapchat’ iOS users can now include popular music in their snaps, a smart move from the app to hold on to its Gen Z audience. When a user receives a snap with sounds, they can swipe to view the album art, song title and name of artist, with a “Play This Song’ feature inviting users to listen to the full song on other streaming platforms.

Snapchat among first to leverage iPhone 12 Pro’s LiDAR Scanner for AR
For weeks, the impending release of the latest iPhone models has kept tech enthusiasts on the edge of their seats. One platform paying attention to Apple’s updates was Snapchat, who has confirmed that it will be among the first to put the new LiDAR Scanner to use in its iOS app for a lidar-powered Lens. This new technology will allow for new AR experiences that Snapchat is prepared to introduce, with rumours of a Lens currently in the works. This is another big development in Snapchat’s move to AR, enabling a new level of creativity for augmented reality. 

New WordPress tool turns blog posts into Twitter threads
We all love a shortcut and now WordPress is allowing bloggers to make the most of their time online with its new feature that automatically posts entire blogs as Twitter threads, complete with all text, images, videos and embeds.

This edition of the Wednesday Wrap-Up features additional reporting by Hannah Currey.