“Social Media Roundup” is a weekly roundup of news pertaining to all of your favorite websites and applications used for social networking. Published on Sundays, “Social Media Roundup” will help you stay up-to-date on all the important social media news you need to know.
Facebook is going to make it easier to see how your personal information is being used for ad targeting, according to TechCrunch. On February 28th, Facebook is adding a feature that will allow you to see information about it when you tap on the “Why am I seeing this ad?” button. Previously, this button just showed details about the brand that purchased the ads along with the demographic targeting details.
And it will also show when your contact information was uploaded and when access was shared between partners. So it means that you will see the date that a brand or agency uploaded your contact information to Facebook’s ad management system.
Chainspace Team Hired
This past week, Cheddar reported that Facebook has hired several key team members from blockchain company Chainspace. Chainspace was founded by researchers at University College London — who were developing a decentralized payments system using smart contracts. The Chainspace team that was hired at Facebook includes co-founders George Danezis, Shehar Bano and Alberto Sonnino.
Going forward, Chainspace’s code and documentation will continue to be open source. And the company’s previously published academic work will continue to be available.
Ability To Remove Messages In Messenger
Facebook has added the option to remove messages from the Messenger app whether it is to one person or a group. You can delete a message through Messenger by pressing down on a message and tapping on the “Remove” > “Remove for Everyone” button.
This feature has already started rolling out to the Messenger app on Android and iOS. But you will have to remove the messages within ten minutes of it being sent.
Interestingly, TechCrunch reported in April 2018 that some of Mark Zuckerberg’s messages were removed from the inbox of several Messenger users. Facebook said it was “limiting the retention period” for Zuckerberg’s messages for security reasons.
Then Facebook decided it was going to make the broader delete message feature available in the future for all users. WhatsApp received the ability to “unsend” messages in October 2017.
Announcements At Facebook Communities Summit
This past week, more than 400 small businesses and community leaders attended the Facebook Communities Summit at the company’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California. At the event, two new product updates were announced that could potentially help small businesses.
About 150 million people on Instagram have a conversation with a business every month. And on Messenger, 10 billion messages are sent between people and businesses every month. And in the coming weeks, businesses in the U.S. and Brazil will be able to receive and respond to Instagram Direct messages from their Facebook Page Inbox on desktop and mobile devices through the Pages Manager app. So this will make it easier for businesses to respond faster and never miss a customer.
“Unified messaging is a great help for customer service since I can work from a single application. It speeds up my work and has facilitated communication with my clients, especially during busy periods such as Christmas, when I receive a large influx of messages from Facebook Messenger and Instagram,” said Pavos Extreme owner Anibal Fuentes Perez.
There are more than 90 million businesses and non-profits using the platforms to connect with customers and their communities. And people who manage Pages find that posting and share stories are looking for more personal ways to engage with the community. So Pages will be able to participate in Facebook Groups and join community discussions in a way that is representative of their organization in the coming weeks.
“Direct Relief has seen time and again, from Gulf Coast hurricanes to California wildfires, how Facebook Groups serve as a critical source of information and connection in times of disaster. Groups also have the potential to greatly enhance relief efforts by offering humanitarian response organizations ground-level insights into the specific needs of those affected,” added Direct Relief communications manager Bryn Blanks.
Main Account Feature
Instagram is reportedly working on a new feature that would make it easier to manage multiple accounts using one login. Ishan Agarwal, a 16-year-old developer, discovered the code within an alpha version of Instagram and tipped it to TechCrunch.
With this feature, Instagram users would be able to link multiple accounts and make one the Main Account. “Quickly and securely log in to all of your Instagram accounts with one ID and password . . . Make one of your accounts your main account and use it to log in to all of your other accounts at once . . . Your accounts will remain separate but logging in will be fast and simple . . . Anyone who has the password for your main account will have access to the accounts connected to it,” says an explanation of the code.
This feature could also further push the “Login with Instagram” feature. This feature allows you to use your Instagram credentials to log in to third-party websites.
Massive Series D
Reddit is reportedly raising a massive round of Series D funding at somewhere between $150 million and $300 million from China-based technology company Tencent. The round is reportedly being raised at a pre-money valuation of $2.7 billion reported TechCrunch.
Tencent’s investment in Reddit is unusual because the social news aggregation site is blocked in China. But Tencent is also an investor in Snap, which is also blocked in China.
Enterprise chat company has filed to go public as evidenced by the S-1 submitted to the SEC via Crunchbase. Slack raised more than $1.2 billion in funding. Recently, Slack announced that it hit 10 million daily active users (DAUs) and 85,000 paid customers.
This past week, Snap has reported its fourth-quarter earnings and the results were positives. The company said that its daily average user count was now 186 million. And the revenue per user is now $2.09, up from $1.53 in the same period a year ago.
“We are substantially closer to achieving profitability, with our Q4 adjusted EBITDA loss of $50 million representing a 68 percent improvement when compared to Q4 of last year. We have maintained a relatively flat cost structure across the past five quarters while growing full‐year revenue 43 percent year‐over‐year, with 100 percent of our incremental Q4 revenue flowing through to our bottom line,” said Snap CEO and co-founder Evan Spiegel in a statement. “This limited our Q4 losses to just 13 percent of our revenue, compared to just one year ago when our Q4 losses totaled more than 50 percent of revenue. We are proud of the progress we have made as we enter 2019 focused on growing our business and driving towards profitability.”
Profitability And Acquisition Of Podcast Companies
Spotify recently announced its fourth-quarter earnings. In the earnings release, Spotify reported that it now has 207 million monthly active users — which is up from 191 million in the last quarter. And the company’s premium subscribers increased from 87 million to 96 million.
In terms of revenue, Spotify reported €1.5 billion and a quarterly operating profit of €94 million. This is Spotify’s first time it reported a quarterly operating profit. During the same period a year ago, Spotify reported a loss of €87 million.
And Spotify also revealed this month it acquired two podcast companies including Gimlet Media and Anchor. Gimlet Media runs several popular podcasts like Crimetown, Reply All and StartUp. And Anchor helps podcast creators record and manage their shows.
“These acquisitions will meaningfully accelerate our path to becoming the world’s leading audio platform, give users around the world access to the best podcast content, and improve the quality of our listening experience as well as enhance the Spotify brand,” said Spotify co-founder and CEO Daniel Ek. “We are proud to welcome Gimlet and Anchor to the Spotify team, and we look forward to what we will accomplish together.”
Ad Blockers Are Getting Banned
Spotify has updated its Terms of Service with details about how it is going to start banning ad blockers. The updated rules said that “circumventing or blocking advertisements in the Spotify Service, or creating or distributing tools designed to block advertisements in the Spotify Service” will lead to termination or suspension, according to The Verge.
Viber has updated its mobile app to version 10 with several new features. Viber 10 includes a new design that facilitates two times faster sending and there are new tabs like “Calls.” And there are hidden-number chats in Communities so you can safely connect with people who have similar passions as you.
Viber plans to add Group Calls soon. This will allow you to set up voice calls with up to 5 people at the same time.
In terms of security, Viber has applied end-to-end encryption by default. This applies to all private chats, group chats, Viber voice and video calls.
2 Million Accounts Getting Deleted Per Month
To combat its fake news problem, messaging app company WhatsApp is deleting 2 million accounts per month. WhatsApp published this information in a white paper about stopping abuse.
This past week, WhatsApp said it was relying on users to report accounts that were sending messages in bulk. And the company also utilizes machine learning to determine which accounts should be flagged. Around 95% of WhatsApp accounts are deleted if abnormal activity is detected.
“As with any communications platform, sometimes people attempt to exploit our service. Some may want to distribute click-bait links designed to capture personal information, while others want to promote an idea. Regardless of the intent, automated and bulk messaging violates our terms of service, and one of our priorities is to prevent and stop this kind of abuse,” said a WhatsApp spokesperson via VentureBeat.
Channels With 1+ Million Subscribers Doubled In 2018
Recently, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki revealed a number of 2018 milestones. According to Adweek, One of the biggest milestones is the number of channels with more than 1 million subscribers doubled in 2018. And the number of creators making at least five figures through YouTube increased by more than 40%.
Another milestone is that Ariana Grande’s video for “Thank U, Next” became the most successful YouTube Premiere video to date as it hit 829,000 unique viewers watching and interacting simultaneously.
But Wojcicki acknowledged that one of the biggest misses for 2018 was the Rewind video. “One record we definitely didn’t set out to break was the most disliked video on the internet. Even at home, my kids told me that our 2018 Rewind was ‘cringey.’ We hear you that it didn’t accurately show the year’s key moments, nor did it reflect the YouTube you know. We’ll do better to tell our story in 2019,” said Wojcicki via Adweek.
Last year, YouTube held over 480 events with over 18,000 creators such as Creator Summits and Fanfests. And the accuracy of YouTube’s monetization icon improved by 40% last year.
Additional Social Media News
Sprout Social Releases Report About What Consumers Want From Brands On Social Media
Social media management solutions company Sprout Social has released a new report about what consumers want from brands in a divided society on social media.
Since heated discussions tend to dominate social media about politics, race and sexual orientation, four out of five consumers believe society is more divided today than before. Despite the flaws of social media, a majority of consumers believe that it can also heal society’s divisions and reconnect people. And brands are the driving force of those connections between people online.
Some of the key findings in Sprout Social’s report include:
– Consumers see social media as a cause and solution for societal division. About half of consumers (55%) believe social media is a cause for societal fractures, but 91% of consumers believe social media connects people.
– Consumers are looking to brands to facilitate connection on social media. About four out of five (78%) consumers want brands to use social media to bring them together and 81% say brands can be good connectors as they can carry products and services that appeal to a diverse range of customers.
– As consumers crave human to human connection, brands are able to help. More than half of consumers (55%) are turning to brands to use social media to help connect like-minded people to each other. And 52% want to meet people different while 36% are looking for communities that they belong to.
– When people feel connected to brands, 57% will increase spending with that brand and 76% of them will buy that brand over a competitors.