We Are Social Asia Midweek Mash-Up #218

Facebook stumbles once more on ‘safety check’ feature after Lahore blasts
On 27 March, in light of a suicide bombing at a public park in Lahore, Pakistan, which killed at least 65 people and left many injured, Facebook‘s ‘safety check’ feature came into play, but with a glitch – the social networking site asked those who were nowhere near the event to check in. Some took to Twitter to announce the trip-up in the Facebook algorithm, which prompts users to quickly notify their friends of their status after being in the vicinity of a tragedy. 

Facebook has apologised for the notifications, acknowledging that “this kind of bug is counter to the product’s intent.”

Web users in China had momentary access to YouTube and Google
Google circumvented China’s Great Firewall from 11:30pm on Sunday to 1:15am on the morning of 28 March (local time), and people with IP addresses based in mainland China could use YouTube and Google’s search facility. Traditionally, people would go through a VPN to access these services, but for 105 minutes there was no need to. Unsurprisingly, many took to social networking sites such as WeChat and Weibo to pronounce a return of free speech in China. However, it was a short-lived moment, which some claimed was due to Google bringing online a number of new IP servers for India, Japan and other countries in South-East Asia.
Instagram flooded by “Turn on post notifications” requests

Earlier this week, Instagram users might have noticed a sudden flurry of images urging them to “turn on post notifications” from their favourite accounts. This comes as a reaction to Instagram’s announcement on the upcoming algorithm changes that will replace the current chronological order of one’s timeline.

Stay stylishly up to date! Turn on notifications for #NETAPORTER and never miss a moment. Tap the three dots (•••) and select “Turn on Post Notifications” to activate.

A photo posted by NET-A-PORTER (@netaporter) on Mar 28, 2016 at 10:27am PDT

?#TurnOnPostNotification: Instagram is shaking things up in a bit! Turn on your Post Notifications to get the latest ‘grams from Mi ? #xiaomi #xiaomisg #instagram

A photo posted by Mi Singapore (@xiaomisg) on Mar 28, 2016 at 7:46am PDT

Don’t miss a thing! Turn on our post notification and stay in the loop!

A photo posted by BCBGMAXAZRIA (@bcbgmaxazria) on Mar 28, 2016 at 6:04pm PDT

But before you flip that switch, let us bust some myths around this recommendation:

1) Has my feed changed? 

Not yet! And when it does, Instagram will let us know.

2) Will turning on post notifications restore my timeline to a chronological one? 

Yes, but only if you’re willing to turn it on for all 1,385 Instagram accounts you follow.

Realistically, no one is going to do that because each time any account updates with a new post, you will receive a push notification on your phone. Only do this for the people and the accounts that you wish to receive to real-time notifications from.

3) And if I don’t, will I miss out on the posts from my favourite Instagram accounts?

Probably not. The new algorithm seeks to highlight posts that you might care about the most based on your interactions and relationship with them. If you consistently engage with an account by liking and/or commenting on their posts, you will continue to see their content.

4) Once the changes kick in, how can I continue to grow my account and gain new followers?
The short answer is: create better content.

This means understanding your brand, what you stand for, your audience, knowing what they want and like in order to create content that will resonate with them.

TV-quality live videos are coming to Facebook
Live video on Facebook is about to get a facelift. The social media giant is partnering with several publishers to start providing high-quality live videos.Previously, live video on Facebook was mostly recorded using smartphone and tablet cameras, whereas major publishers will soon be able to upload professionally recorded content straight from their control rooms.

Already, various publishers – ranging from news outlets to pro sports teams – have embraced Facebook live streaming. This change could go a long way towards helping Facebook persuade more TV networks to deliver their video content on the platform.

Facebook’s new insights tool delivers more targeted ads
With three million advertisers fighting for the attention of more than a billion Facebook users, it’s no surprise that a new tool which lets brands create more competitive campaigns has launched. Delivery Insights, a tool that will help brands understand how their promotions are performing in Facebook’s ads auction, will eliminate the guesswork and, instead pair ads with the right users based on price, intent and quality.

Twitter confirms character limit and introduces stickers
Despite murmurs around the water cooler of a 10,000-character limit on Twitter, Jack Dorsey, CEO, squashed rumours once and for all:
“It’s staying. It’s a good constraint for us. It allows for of-the-moment brevity.” Good. At least that’ll keep Kanye on a short leash… for now.”

Elsewhere in the Twittersphere, the company are asking whether or not you like stickers. Burning question, I know. Twitter is considering a new product it’s calling “Stickers” that would let you add images to photos before tweeting them out.Perhaps more interestingly, Twitter says the feature will let you “see how other users from around the world have edited the same photo” and will also “suggest photos that you can edit and post to participate in trending conversations and breaking news.”

Periscope broadcasts 200 million streams in its first year
This weekend, Periscope celebrated its one-year anniversary by revisiting some of its favourite broadcasts that have been on the service. And what a year it’s been.Periscope has gone from being a little-known startup, to rising to prominence within Twitter’s ranks. In addition to reaching 200 million broadcasts, it was also revealed that 110 years’ worth of live video is watched per day, which represents a 91 percent increase from last August. Periscope’s launch in March 2015 came just as its main competitor at the time, Meerkat, (who?) started to gain traction at SxSW. Fast forward to a year later: Meerkat has pivoted, and the live video market is starting to get busy with the introduction of Facebook Live and, soon, YouTube Connect. Stay strong, Periscope.

YouTube Connect livestreaming app to take on Periscope
It’s all heating up in the world of livestreaming, hey? Google has quietly been building a new livestreaming app called YouTube Connect in an effort to take on Twitter’s Periscope and Facebook Live. YouTube Connect has much of the same functionality that you’d expect; there are chat and tagging features, and a news feed that features the latest clips from your friends or those that you’ve subscribed to on YouTube. No doubt YouTube connect comes around after talk of the platform losing a bit of its luster against growing competitors. It’s hardly ground-breaking stuff, but always good to have a healthy bit of competition.

Snapchat buys Bitstrips for $100 million
Snapchat has purchased Bitstrips, the service behind those funny DIY comic strips.Bitstrips let users create comics starring themselves and their friends, with almost every aspect from clothing to facial hair personalisable.

You can put yourself into all sorts of unusual comic strip situations, along with the avatars of any friends who also use the service. Whilst it is currently not known what Snapchat may have planned for Bitstrips, I believe it can only end in world domination, one selfie at a time.

Tumblr is finally bringing comments back
Tumblr users are rejoicing as it has been announced they are restoring one of their most-missed features, reinstating replies to posts. The company scrapped the reply feature in November and users were not happy, but in a bid to heal the wounds, Tumblr have not only brought back the feature, but upgraded it. Now, the feature is more conversational than ever, with authors able to reply to their own post, unlike the previous version which was essentially a straightforward comments section. The upgraded feature now allows the author to be more involved, whether it be fending-off negative comments or joining in on the ‘bants’.

FTC announces settlement with Lord & Taylor after accusing them of deceptive advertising
No doubt you’re familiar with influencers; the ridiculously good-looking and cool kids who get paid to be themselves. However, their job isn’t as simple as uploading a #selfie every now and again. There are rules and regulations around it, as retailer Lord & Taylor found out the hard way.

The Federal Trade Commission alleged that the fashion retailer was deceiving their customers by paying for advertisements on blogs and websites without revealing that the posts were paid promotions. Tut tut guys, social media 101.

Authorities crack down on manipulative online reviews
We use online reviews for almost everything, whether it be hotels or puppies, if you can name it you can probably rate it. However, manipulative review practices are becoming more regular and the ASA and the CMA have begun to crack down. The investigation started in 2015 to ensure that those posting reviews online were doing so in a way that was in the best interests of consumers. It was then discovered that there are millions of reviewers fabricating positive product and service appraisals. When will the lies end?