Weekly Social Media Round-Up

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Our social media round-ups take the most intriguing of new developments, both technological and cultural, and attempt to discern the patterns that will define digital trends and influence digital marketing strategies in the months to come.

Facebook Fights Click-Bait with New Algorithm

Anyone who uses social media on a daily basis (which is pretty much everyone) is familiar with the glut of irrelevant articles and advertisements that clutter up the newsfeed. Facebook is taking concrete steps to combat this by straight-up asking users about their experience with advertisements and posts and privileging this information over regular engagement measurements such as likes or shares. As TechCrunch puts it: The result should be a feed that’s easier on the eyes, not just more clickable. If a photo or status update is entertaining or intriguing, it won’t necessarily need your touch to show up to more people. Pages and news publishers sharing glance-worthy content might gain referral traffic and reach, while those who aim to trick you into clicking could endure a drop. Read the full story here.

Impact: Facebook still offers the most advanced advertising targeting of all the social networks, but creatives will have to work twice as hard to ensure their content is shown to users…and that’s a good thing, if it means the end of click-bait.

Twitter To Update Its Timeline Algorithm

Although this hasn’t been confirmed, Twitter is supposedly close to launching a more Facebook-like newsfeed that re-orders Tweets by interest rather than chronologically. From The Verge: The algorithm that will re-order your timeline is based on the one that ranks tweets for the “while you were away” feature that Twitter introduced a year ago. The best way to think of the new timeline is as an expanded version of this feature. Spend an entire day away from Twitter, and when you open the app again, you’ll see highlights from the day. If you open it up a few times a day, you’ll see a handful of “while you were away”-style sections breaking up the chronological tweets. And whenever you pull down to refresh your stream, it’s back to the regular, reverse-chronological timeline. Read the full story here.

Impact: Twitter has always struggled with balancing the conversational nature of the network with its need to sell advertising dollars. While some are complaining that by re-ordering the newsfeed according to interest rather than chronology will ruin the service, it is likely that a more modern-style of ranking will draw new users to Twitter.

Twitter Makes It Easier to Follow Long Conversations

Following long conversations has always been a problem with Twitter, which formerly required you to click around to different accounts to find different snippets of conversation, causing you to lose your original place. Annoying! But now Twitter has made changes to their newsfeed that should make following conversations easier, even if some users are pre-emptively jumping on the hater train. Read the full story on Mashable.

Impact: For any accounts that participate in influencer conversations or Tweet-ups, this change should be quite welcome in terms of its organizational impact.

Twitter Takes Its Logged-Out Users Seriously

First of all, Twitter is now rolling out its updated homepage, which makes it easier for logged-out users to drill into interesting messages, pictures and videos on the platform without having to sign up for it, to more countries. Until now, this homepage was only available in the U.S. and Japan. It’s also bringing a better logged-out out experience to mobile users in 23 countries, the company said. Compared to Twitter’s earlier homepages, which generally left potential new users scratching their heads because it barely explained why they should use the service, this new page makes Twitter seems like a far more inviting place for newbies. Read the full story on TechCrunch.

Impact: Twitter has always touted its reach as being larger than its active user base. This development is an effort to bridge the gap.

Instagram Testing Multiple Account Switching on iOS

However, switching between accounts today is a pain – which is why a multiple account switching feature would be put to good use among this crowd, potentially increasing engagement with the Instagram app itself. And with the possibility of longer session times, Instagram has a chance to better monetize its user base – something that it’s increasingly focused on. In fact, also this week, the company extended its video ads to 60 seconds in order to attract TV ad dollars to its platform. Read the full story here.

Impact: This is most welcome news for social media coordinators managing several accounts at once.

Facebook Adds Private Message Replies

When a Page responds to a comment left on a post with a private message, a direct messaging session will be opened between the Page and the person who commented, and the message will include a link to the comment for reference. Also, the comment shows a note that the Page responded privately, so other Page visitors know that the request was handled. This provides businesses with another way to deliver great customer service on Facebook and the ability to respond to specific or personal questions in a private channel. > Read the full story here.

Impact: Account managers who use business pages for customer service queries have long bemoaned the public nature of Facebook posts. This new feature allows the manager to mitigate the conflict without airing the dirty laundry online.

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