UK reports examine Facebook's practices
The results are in from the UK Government's Cairncross Review, a report examining the health of U.K. news media and digital advertising. It recommends the creation of new official “codes of conduct” for news publishers that deal with Facebook and Google. It also called for the creation of a regulatory body to make sure the platforms were actually delivering on promises to clamp down on the spread of fake news.
This was followed by another report from the UK Parliament's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee, which is the result of an 18 month of investigation into Facebook and its privacy practices. It said that social media companies be required to remove “harmful” or “illegal” content on their platforms - and that they should be held liable by a compulsory code of ethics. Bad times for Facebook.
Instagram tests direct messages for the web
Instagram is privately testing a direct messaging feature for the web on mobile and desktop devices, according to reports. The user experience of the web version of the app has been kept minimal to date, but the introduction of direct messages for the web-based app would be a step forward for the platform.
Instagram is testing Direct on Web pic.twitter.com/bpdY9bep24
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) February 12, 2019
WhatsApp plans changes to Status updates
WhatsApp is experimenting with a new algorithm for Status Updates (its version of Stories) that will sort updates by relevance, rather than in reverse chronological order. The new feature will take into account several factors when ordering Statuses - including whose Statuses you frequently view and who you message with the most often. Currently being tested with a small number of iPhone users in Brazil, Spain, and India; but there are plans to roll it out more widely in the future.
Facebook pushes Watch to media partners with new initiatives
Over the next few months, Facebook will be reaching out to publishers and studio production partners to source pitches for Facebook Watch shows which could be funded by Facebook (as many as six to eight per publisher) and would star influencers with a huge number of followers on Facebook, Instagram and other social platforms.
In the new programme launched by the social network, publishers could receive up to $200,000 for an eight-part series. Despite the funding, the shows would not be Facebook-owned “originals” and would instead be licensed on a limited window of exclusive distribution.
Facebook is also working on new ways to connect content publishers' ad technology directly into Watch so they can sell and serve ads programmatically for their shows. The service draws 75 million viewers a day, according to Facebook.
Twitter develops an enhanced camera feature
Twitter has confirmed that it is working on a new 'Snapchat-style' camera update which will allow you to overlay captions onto photos, videos and Live broadcasts before sharing them to the timeline. The new feature is accessible by swiping left from the home screen and offers several options to jazz up the media - such as coloured backgrounds for captions and a location overlay card - before posting. There is currently no set timeline for the feature to be rolled out.
Twitter tests pop-up mini-profiles to make threads easier to read
Long conversation threads on Twitter can be notoriously hard to follow. So, to help fix this, Twiter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey has said the company is testing a new profile preview overlay feature on iOS mobile devices so that you can see a replier’s full twitter bio, follower counts, and when they joined the service without leaving the page. The preview works in both conversation threads and the main timeline, and will also be coming to Android users in the near future.
We’re testing an easier way to check out profiles on iOS without leaving your timeline! Simply tap any @ handle in a Tweet, take a peek, follow, and get right back to it. Let us know what you think! pic.twitter.com/dIUFxI2r4C
— Twitter (@Twitter) February 13, 2019
Twitter considers 'clarification' feature
Despite being a highly requested feature, Twitter doesn't have an edit button. However, this could be about to change (kinda) after CEO Jack Dorsey said that the company is thinking about a 'clarification' feature that would allow users to include additional context for old tweets. Unlike an edit feature, 'clarification' could work "kind of like retweet with a comment.. to add some context and some colour on what they might have tweeted, or what they might have meant", said Dorsey.
LinkedIn finally rolls out video live streaming service, LinkedIn Live
LinkedIn is finally joining the live streaming game as it last week announced the initial launch of LinkedIn Live. The platform has said that it is aiming to put the focus on interactive and timely live video streams - giving Reddit's AMA (Ask Me Anything) events as an example - and is set to announce a wave of new partnerships to help bring a high level of production to the live streaming service. The new feature is currently running as an invite-only beta test in the US.
LinkedIn prepares to debut its Intelligent Hiring Experience
The professional social network has announced that it will rebuild its core hiring tools into a single platform, Intelligent Hiring Experience, later this year. The new platform will come complete with 15+ new product enhancements, giving recruiters plenty of access to talent. The updates will include a Recommended Candidates tab, Shared InMails, a Talent Pool tab, as well as mobile push notifications to job-seekers on the platform.
Reddit adds more performance tools
Following the launch of its cost-per-click buying last month, Reddit has launched app install as a campaign objective for CPC and has improved its conversion pixel. The updated pixel can now track eight conversion events (previously only one), break out view-through and click-through conversions, and allows for attribution windows of 1, 7 or 28 days. The move comes as Reddit looks to boost its ad offering, as it continues to seek additional financial investment in the platform.
TikTok tests new ad features and adds verified account badges
TikTok could be testing its latest ad offering, sponsored video posts which drive users back to the brand's website. A video labelled 'sponsored' was spotted on the main feed of US version of the app, complete with a 'Learn more' button. In addition to the post, a banner ad was also spotted at the bottom of Specialized Bikes' profile page; as well as what appeared to be a tweaked version of the verified account badge. TikTok and Specialized Bikes have both declined to comment.
LEGO creates an AR fashion boutique on Snapchat
Ahead of Fashion Week in London, last week LEGO launched a London pop-up store called 'The Missing Piece', to sell its exclusive range of streetwear clothes for adults. However, the store contained nothing more than a Snapcode on a giant plinth which allowed visitors to access a Snapchat augmented reality fashion boutique. The virtual shop featured an interactive DJ booth, an arcade machine, and customers could buy online through an integrated "Shop Now" feature. We Are Social worked with LEGO on the campaign, and you can visit 'The Missing Piece' on Snapchat via the Code below until Wednesday.