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Spark Bites: Just Notifying You

Spark Bites: Just Notifying You

Howdy! Welcome⁠—or welcome back⁠—to your weekly edition of social media updates on Spark Bites. This week’s theme is all about notifications and the algorithms of our most-used platforms. Love them or hate them, they keep us updated and connected to our network of friends, acquaintances and the world around us. 

Instagram is slowly introducing ads onto the explore page, Facebook is working on hiding push notifications, YouTube is testing a new recommendation feature tailored for your homepage, Twitter is working on customizable timelines, and Linkedin is changing up its algorithm. 

Instagram 

Now that we know that, contrary to popular belief, Instagram is NOT listening in on our conversations to show us paid advertising, a new update will slowly introduce ads on the explore page.

In this day and age, brands cherish social media for advertisements, especially since we are straying further and further away from the age of tacky infomercials. 

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In its announcement of the update, Instagram has named this as an opportunity for advertisers to be “part of what’s culturally relevant and trending, while reaching new audiences who are looking to discover something new.”

Facebook

Sometimes, the constant hum of notifications in the background of social media apps can get overwhelming. Do we really care that Suzy got an iced caramel latte after spin class today? Why are we even getting a notification for this?! 

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Facebook is working on a new update that plans to allow users to easily mute push notifications, as well as getting rid of those little red notification dots you see on your screen that are permanent unless you manually view each notification individually. 

The toggle switch will be available under settings. 

YouTube 

If anyone has ever been on the “weird side” of YouTube, you never know what kind of video recommendations to expect the next time you log on (we can appreciate a good ASMR video though). 

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By default, YouTube’s algorithm is designed to display the most relevant content to the individual user. This could be based on a number of factors including subscriptions, recently watched, and trending. 

A new update to YouTube’s layout is making it easier to flick between the different types of video recommendations based on categories. Instead of the traditional list-style recommendation list, the new layout will have tabs on the top part of the homepage. Examples of categories include “DIY” or “Baking.” 

Twitter 

Twitter is home to viral brand campaigns, memes, and pop culture. But sometimes when you’re pressed for time, you just want to see some wholesome memes, have a discussion about the latest hip-hop music, or check out a new food spot without having to scroll through your entire timeline searching for it.

Now, with this new update in the works, filtering content is easier than ever before! Introducing swipeable timelines, which will allow users to switch from their regular timeline to customizable timelines with tailored content. 

Users will be given the choice to add followed accounts to separate timelines. In this example from Twitter, timelines are named “Food Talk,” “Travel Dreams,” and “Music Convos.”

We imagine this will also strengthen community bonds and fan clubs in the Twitterverse, as you are able to directly interact with users of the same interests as yours.

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LinkedIn

The last update we have for you this week is from Linkedin. This one’s focused all on algorithms and the way we interact with our networks. 

The way Linkedin traditionally works is by scoring tens of thousands of posts and ranking the most relevant at the top of the feed. We won’t get into all the nitty-gritty details, but just know that Linkedin has globally refreshed their machine learning software which collects all this data to focus on prioritizing the people who share, comment, or react to other people’s content. This means that personal accounts’ activity (sharing, liking, commenting etc.) on Linkedin will be prioritized on your feed. 

Those are all the updates we have for you this week Spark Biters. Happy early Fourth of July from the Americans on our team, and happy Canada Day from our Toronto team at Spark Growth! 

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Sophie Peralta
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