Sahail Ashraf posted on 22 October 2019
Every month we take a look at what is happening in the wild and crazy word of social media. In September, it was a reasonably quiet month as the summer drew to a close.
However, some interesting things did pop up on our radar.
Remember when Instagram recently pulled off the ‘like ban’? If you don’t, it was big news. Now, apparently, the same thing may be happening on Facebook. When Instagram started reducing the presence of Likes, marketers started to complain that this resulted in a lack of engagement on the platform. Basically, some marketers and Influencers in particular thought the platform just wasn’t playing nice.
Jane Wong is often seen as a perpetual whistleblower for social media platforms, in that she often finds features that are as yet unreleased. She noticed the Instagram Like project, and now she has ‘noticed’ that Facebook seems to be flirting with the same idea.
She ‘reverse-engineered’ her Facebook Android app and found that there were clear signs it was happening there too. If it goes ahead, users will not be able to see how many Likes there are on posts from people they follow.
We can see this happening. If it does, it is further proof that Facebook wants to make social media a healthier, less pressured arena.
Reddit continues to make big waves with its communities. While many marketers feel Reddit is small in outlook, and too ‘messy’ to be a viable platform for their clients and businesses, some are turning to it as a place to try new moves in social media marketing.
Jane Wong, Reddit COO, recently blogged about what she thinks is a sea change in the current social media climate, which she thinks is becoming less friendly:
‘…we’ve noticed something different. From page views to time spent on our site and apps, over the past year we’ve seen significant growth in user engagement and conversations—demonstrating that users are deepening their relationships with each other and with Reddit communities. Our users are finding more reasons to visit Reddit, more reasons to become active members of our communities, and more reasons to share the ideas they glean with others.’
Jane Wong, on Upvoted, September 20th, 2019.
Reddit has always been a big community. At times, it has been toxic, but it still has regular and very loyal users. It continues to be a place where marketers could find value.
We don’t quite know how this change will pan out in the future, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see that Reddit has become a very powerful tool for marketers, especially when it comes to segmenting audiences.
Facebook made an announcement in September on suspending tens of thousands of apps. Back in March 2018, in the wake of Cambridge Analytica, Facebook promised to review apps that manage large amounts of user data. Since then, it has been suspending a lot of apps.
On September 20th, the platform announced:
We initially identified apps for investigation based on how many users they had and how much data they could access. Now, we also identify apps based on signals associated with an app’s potential to abuse our policies. Where we have concerns, we conduct a more intensive examination. This includes a background investigation of the developer and a technical analysis of the app’s activity on the platform. Depending on the results, a range of actions could be taken from requiring developers to submit to in-depth questioning, to conducting inspections or banning an app from the platform.
This is all about data and security. The thousands of apps that have been suspended or even removed all come from a pool of around 400 developers. Many of these have used malware after acquiring user data. So Facebook is making social media safer. There are a lot of people and agencies involved. If anything, this just confirms that Facebook is keeping to it’s word.
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