We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #385

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.

Instagram jazzes up Stories
Instagram has introduced some new features that will give users new ways to jazz up their stories. Users can now open up a library of hundreds of stickers with just one tap, and add them to both photos or videos in Stories. The platform will also be rolling out an additional update which will allow users to upload photos and videos of any size to their Stories, by simply pinching the image to share it in its original dimensions. Any extra room will be filled with a custom colour gradient that matches the content.

Snapchat lets users share Stories outside of its app
Over the next few weeks, Snapchat will be rolling out a new feature – along with its wider mobile app redesign – which will allow users to share Stories from the platform with other web-based apps. 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.

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 to 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.

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 picture. Research 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 spring 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.