Digital Trends

What’s MGHappening in Social Media: Feb. 24, 2020

industry news

The Verge – The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), led by Commissioner Rohit Chopra, has called for tougher penalties for companies that disguise influencer advertising as authentic reviews. The statement came after the FTC voted 5-0 to approve a federal register notice that would seek public comment on whether endorsement guides for advertising (which haven’t been updated since 2009) need to be reviewed. The FTC is not looking to crackdown on smaller creators, nor companies that disclosure partnerships, but rather the companies that encourage creators to hide the fact that they are being compensated for discussing a product on their platform. (Full Story)

Facebook Logo

The Verge – Facebook’s New Product Experimentation (NPE) team has released a new app called Hobbi that looks to be aimed at taking on Pinterest. Hobbi is a photo-sharing app that allows users to capture and organize their creative process, like cooking, baking, arts and crafts, fitness or home décor, according to its page in the App Store. The app organizes photos of a project into collections so users can track their progress over time. As this new app comes from the NPE team, it is still being developed but could be shut down if it doesn’t provide value or resonate with users. (Full Story)

Recode – Facebook has officially launched its new Off-Facebook Activity tool, which the company announced last August. This tool can show users the companies that are supplying Facebook with information about consumer activities (via pixel data) and gives users the option to see what information has been collected and prevent future tracking from a specific site. There is also a more extreme option where users can prevent all future off-Facebook activity from being associated with their account (it will still be collected), though this will remove Facebook’s ability to “personalize your experience.” The new tool can be found in Settings > Your Facebook Information > Off-Facebook Activity. (Full Story)

Instagram Logo

TechCrunch – Instagram has started testing a new feature that aims to give users a taste of the reverse-chronological feed that the platform once utilized. The new feature shows users a pop-up upon entering the app, giving the option to see the latest posts from a list of users. If a user elects to tap through the pop-up, they will be taken to a separate section of the app to see the posts they may have missed since their last time opening Instagram. At present, Instagram has confirmed the feature to be the result of a recent hackathon that is now being prototyped internally. The public does not yet have access nor has an official rollout been announced. (Full Story)

instagram latest posts

TechCrunch – Instagram and parent company Facebook are adding a new regulation for political advertising following a series of content partnerships between the Mike Bloomberg election committee and several top Instagram influencers. The enhanced policy will require that all sponsored political posts from influencers use branded content tools, which add the “Paid Partnership with…” disclosure to the top of a post or Story. Many of the influencers that were included in Bloomberg’s campaign did disclose the sponsored nature of the posts, however because this was done as a caption and did not use branded content tools, the posts did not show up in Facebook’s ad library, which was initially created with political ads in mind. (Full Story)

TechCrunch – Instagram has started prototyping a new addition that will allow IGTV creators to monetize their content via ads. IGTV was launched 18 months ago, but so far, creators on the platform have not had a monetization option. Video producers for Facebook Watch can be eligible for an ad revenue split program where they make 55% of total revenue for a given video. A lack of monetization at initial launch may have contributed to IGTV’s slow adoption, but the company hopes that as this new program is released, more creators will take advantage of the video sharing platform. (Full Story)

IGTV monetize option screenshot

Twitter Logo

The Verge – Twitter has announced that its platform had 152 million daily active users in Q4 of 2019, up from 145 million in the quarter prior and 126 million during the same period a year earlier. The company says this latest spike is largely attributed to product enhancements, including improved machine learning models that put “more relevant” tweets in people’s timelines and notifications. The impressive numbers for Twitter also indicate room for the platform to grow, as Snapchat reported 218 million daily users during Q4, and Facebook reported 1.66 billion daily users. (Full Story)

The Verge – Twitter has announced a subtle change to the iOS version of its app, specifically the new display for threaded replies. The new layout draws a concrete line between the parent tweet and any replies, with replies being slightly indented to further differentiate them. Threaded replies will only be shown for people a user follows, helping to keep down on timeline clutter. This new change was tested in Twitter’s twttr beta app last year and is now being rolled out to all users. (Full Story)

WhasApp Logo

CNBC – Facebook-owned WhatsApp has just hit 2 billion users, a tremendous milestone that also marks the first time the company has shared user numbers in two years. As the app’s popularity brings it closer to Facebook’s user count (2.5 billion), questions have been raised over ads being placed in the app, however WhatsApp leadership continues to spotlight privacy. (Full Story)

Byte Logo

Social Media Today – Byte, the new short-form video sharing app from the co-founder of Vine, has surpassed 1.3 million downloads in its first week following its launch. For comparison sake, Vine achieved 775,000 downloads in its first week in 2013. While the initial popularity brings excitement with it, it has also resulted in spam comments as users try to quickly build a following in hopes of eventual monetization – a trend Byte is actively looking to change. (Full Story)

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