New tools released to help combat fake ads on Facebook
Look out those trying to scam UK Facebook users, the platform's new fake ad busting tools are coming to get you. MoneySavingExpert’s Martin Lewis agreed to drop a fake ad-focused lawsuit against Facebook in exchange for a pot of cash to help combat the problem. The £3m ‘donated’ by Facebook was handed over to Citizens Advice, which has now revealed a new service to help spot fraud and support its victims. Facebook also agreed to create a scam ads reporting tool, unique to Facebook in the UK. When users click the three dots in the top corner of an advert to 'see more', now there will be an option to "send a detailed scam report" after choosing to "report ad" and selecting "misleading or scam ad" as the reason.

Facebook changes ad layout on mobile News Feed
Copywriters take note – those first three lines are going to be even more crucial on Facebook ads. The platform has announced that from 19th August, mobile News Feed ads will be compressed in order to "match the look and feel of the new Facebook design introduced earlier this year" –ie its FB5 app update. This means that, on the mobile News Feed, fewer lines of primary text will show, and the maximum media height for photos and videos will reduce to 4:5. The new format will also help brands maximise cross-promotional potential across Facebook and Instagram.

Instagram rolls out hidden likes test to more markets
Instagram wants its users to focus on the content in photos and videos shared, not how many likes they get. To encourage this, the platform has been testing hiding likes amongst users for some time. Initially rolled out in Canada, the test has now been released in six more markets: Ireland, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand. Whether this will remove the issue of ‘vanity’ posting or simply shift behaviour to seeking comments, remains to be seen.

Twitter tests ‘Hide Replies’ feature
Hiding stuff seems to be the method de jour for social media platforms, as Twitter has started testing a new “Hide Replies” feature. Aimed at making conversations on the platform a bit more civilised, it will allow users to take control over a conversation they’ve started by hiding any replies they feel aren’t worthy contributions. This could include spam, abuse, rude or hateful remarks. Of course, more controversially, it could allow the suppression of comments that the user simply doesn’t agree with. Hidden replies are not removed from Twitter entirely - they are just placed behind an icon that people can click on to see them.

Twitter refreshes desktop website
Seven years may feel like a lifetime in social media terms, but that was the last time Twitter streamlined its desktop website – until now. Refreshingly, one of the key motivations for the revamp was to make finding and reading tweets ‘just a bit more fun’ and it will better marry the desktop experience with that of other devices. Changes include bringing over the Explore tool from its apps, putting direct messages together in one location, an improved login interface for switching between accounts and more ways to personalise the Twitter experience with different themes. Thanks Twitter – it’s about time!