16 Feb Spark Bites: Social Networks Adopt Downvoting And More
Posted on February 2, 2018 in Spark Social Report
Welcome to this week’s edition of Spark Bites! All our beloved social networks had a busy week and churned out quite a few significant and exciting updates. Read on to find out more!
- Facebook will now count viewable-only impressions to measure a Page’s organic reach. This means an impression will be counted only when a Page post actually appears on a user’s screen. Unfortunately, this change will lead to a decline in business pages’ reported reach numbers.
- Facebook is testing a Downvoting feature for comments on public page posts. The social giant intends to learn what qualifies as valuable engagement on public page posts. Downvoting does not affect comment rank, post rank or page rank on users’ news feeds. The test is currently limited to only a few users in the U.S.
- Facebook is launching a crisis-response feature on its Community Help platform in partnership with Lyft, Chase, International Medical Corps, Save the Children and other companies. Users in a crisis will be able to check if free rides or supplies are available. The initiative is intended to help communities recover from natural disasters and fires.
- Facebook launched a new status-update feature called “Lists,” which lets users create and share customizable lists. From to-dos to travel destinations and bucket lists, users can post them all through the status update box. Decorative features such as colored backgrounds and emojis are also available.
- Facebook added a new “Protect” menu item to its app this week. The button redirects users to the app store page for a VPN app called Onavo Protect. Unsurprisingly, the Virtual Private Network app is owned by Facebook. Although the app protects users’ browsing activity from ISPs, it gives Facebook access to their mobile traffic data. No wonder the feature has received widespread criticism!
- Facebook plans to enter the smart speaker market and compete with Amazon’s Alexa. The social giant has scheduled its smart speakers, codenamed “Aloha” and “Fiona,” to launch in July 2018.
- Facebook launched the Android version of Messenger Kids this week. The Android launch was long overdue after the iOS launch in December and the Amazon Fire launch last month. However, safety implications of the parent-monitored messaging app for kids are still widely debated.
- Instagram is testing Facebook-like shoppable Collection ads within its main feed. The purpose is to let brands showcase a virtual catalogue with a video above a carousel of products. The tappable ads will redirect users to the brands’ e-commerce website. Looks like Instagram is on a streak to promote brand content with its flurry of recent brand-specific updates!
- Twitter will now stream live news broadcasts during breaking news events. The social network partnered with several local news stations to facilitate the feature on its platform. The intention is to serve legitimate and credible information as a measure against misinformation and fake news.
- Snapchat aims to lure advertisers away from rival platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and others. The social app is offering free ad credits to businesses that purchased vertical video ads from other social networks. The credits will be worth several hundred dollars. Smart move, Snapchat!
- Snapchat expanded its advertising API access to all advertisers, agencies and third-party developers. The API was, thus far, accessible only to approved developers. The expanded accessibility will allow advertisers to create their own programs/software and automate purchase and targeting of Snap Ads and Sponsored Filters. This move will undoubtedly increase Snapchat’s advertising revenue.
- Snapchat launched an in-app analytics tool accessible to certain influencers. The tool will provide insights on story audience and performance. Data of this nature will help influencers sway brands to sponsor their Stories. This is seemingly another of Snapchat’s strategies to regain lost influencers.
- LinkedIn launched a new tool called “Salary Insights,” which displays estimated or expected salary ranges for job roles. The algorithm pulls the numbers from salary ranges entered by employers and information submitted by members. The feature is expected to save time for both employers and candidates.
- LinkedIn launched “Scheduler,” a new tool that automates interview scheduling within the InMail feature. The tool will integrate the recruiter’s and candidate’s calendar availability so that open time slots can be reserved for interviews.
- LinkedIn updated Sales Navigator, its sales management tool, to make it easier to access existing and prospective client information. The professional network made improvements to account pages, its search function and email alerts.
- Pinterest rolled out an update which allows users to move and rearrange pins around their boards. Although small, this was a highly awaited improvement. The update came with other improvements which allow users to archive boards, rearrange sections and sort pin boards.
- Pinterest updated its Lens feature to augment text searches into visual. Lens will now allow users to run text-based searches with images attached to the queries. This combination of text and images will allow Pinterest to improve its visual search results. The update will first roll out to iOS users, with the Android version following later.
- Google is all set to expand its “Smart Reply” technology (used in Gmail, Allo and Android Messages) to external chat apps such as Slack, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and others. The feature offers quick, automated responses based on the context of the conversation. It also integrates advanced features such as calendar availability and scheduling. It will be interesting to see it in action on all other chat apps!
That’s a wrap for this week’s edition of Spark Bites. We’ll be back soon with more enticing updates to satisfy your social palate. Until then, check out our work or contact us for everything digital marketing!