This week in social media news, Facebook is working letting Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp users message each other, YouTube will curb promoting conspiracy theory videos, multiple studies find people over 65 and conservatives tend to spread fake news, Pinterest will roll out a skin tone palette on iOS devices, Twitter shares fall after their CEO talks about harassment and works on new ‘original tweeter’ feature, Google, Facebook and Amazon spent record numbers on lobbying last year.
Facebook Is Working On Integrating Messenger, Instagram And WhatsApp
The New York Times reveals Zuckerberg wants to reconfigure the underlying infrastructure so users of each platform can communicate with one another.
Why it matters: This new feature could make the three platforms the most popular messaging service. It can also make Facebook more attractive to advertisers because of increased user engagement.
Details: Thousands of Facebook employees are working on the integration and Zuckerberg ordered all of the apps to incorporate end-to-end encryption to ensure privacy. WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram will still operate as stand-alone apps just the messaging infrastructure will be combined.
YouTube Plans To Cut Down On Promoting Conspiracy Theory Videos
The video platform said it would stop recommending “borderline content”—videos that almost break their guidelines—to curb viewers from watching videos with misinformation and conspiracy theories.
Why it matters: It’s an effort to prevent spreading “clickbaity” videos and inaccurate information to users.
Details: YouTube said the change would affect less than one percent of videos that are available on the platform. YouTube added this is not a way to control what viewers want to see stating, “To be clear, this will only affect recommendations of what videos to watch, not whether a video is available on YouTube. As always, people can still access all videos that comply with our Community Guidelines and, when relevant, these videos may appear in recommendations for channel subscribers and in search results.”
Baby Boomers Spread The Most Fake News On Twitter And Facebook
Two different studies find that people over 65 and conservatives are the biggest culprit for spreading misinformation on Twitter and Facebook.
Why it matters: We have a better idea who is sharing misinformation on social media.
Details: The study, published in the journal Science, examined over 16,000 Twitter accounts and found 16 of them tweeted out 80 percent of fake news. It’s an extremely small percentage, 99-percent of users don’t spread inaccurate information. The study’s co-author David Lazer, a Northeastern University political and computer science professor said “misinformation ‘super sharers’ flood Twitter with an average of 308 pieces of fakery each between Aug. 1 and Dec. 6 in 2016.” Another study analyzed the spread of false information on Facebook. It also found it was a small group of people sharing fake news, but those who do who did were more likely to be over 65 and conservatives.
Pinterest Adds Skin Tone Search Feature To iOS
Pinterest will launch a palette with a range of skin tones so users can find better beauty ideas.
Why it matters: This option recognizes Pinterest users’ diversity, and if the search is more personalized consumers will more likely buy more products.
Details: Pinterest began working on a way to better search for skin tone related keywords last April. The new palette will allow users to see other personalized pins and videos in the results. The company estimates around 52 million people engage with pins related to beauty content and about 63 percent of them pin and search beauty-related products on Pinterest. Additionally, about 86 percent of users made a purchase based on the pins.
Twitter Shares Fall After Dorsey Interviews On Harassment, Nazis
CNBC reports the platform’s shares fell over 4 percent after Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey spoke about white nationalists, harassment and his trip to Myanmar in interviews with Rolling Stone and The Bill Simmons Podcast.
Why it matters: It seems some are uneasy with Dorsey’s comments as he put more weight on user actions when it comes to cleaning up harassment and hate groups on Twitter.
Details: During The Bill Simmons Podcast, Dorsey was asked about harassment on Twitter. He told Simmons, “I will say that we don’t feel great about the state that we’re in. Our entire harassment and abuse framework is dependent upon people reporting harassment and abuse, and it’s completely unfair that the victim of the abuse and harassment has to report it themselves.” During the Rolling Stone interview, Dorsey talked about white nationalists and Nazis and said users who align with these groups aren’t removed more because “A lot of people don’t report. They see things, but it’s easier to tweet out ‘get rid of the Nazis’ than to report it.” He added his controversial trip to Myanmar was a meditation trip and said Twitter is very small there compared to Facebook.
Twitter Works On ‘Original Tweeter’ Tag To Find Them Easily
Twitter is testing out a new tag to indicate who was a tweet’s original creator.
Why it matters: Threads can be very, very long and this will be a simple way for users to see who initially created a tweet. It will also help in determining real and imposter tweets, especially from notable users.
Details: Twitter confirmed their new feature to TechCrunch and revealed the tag has “been rolled out to a ‘small percentage’ of iOS and Android users across markets”.
Google, Facebook And Amazon Spent Over $48 Million Lobbying In 2018
The three tech giants spent a record amount on lobbying last year because of increased pressure from Washington.
Why it matters: It shows the companies are making efforts to protect their interests and possibly worried about government intervention.
Details: A lobbying disclosure report revealed Google spent $21.2 million on topics such as “online privacy and data security issues, general online consumer protection issues, mobile location privacy issues and policies on online controversial content.” Facebook spent $12.6 million and most of the money was spent on data privacy and cybersecurity. Amazon spent $14.2 million—a record number for the company—on postal reform, but also data privacy like the other two.
YouTube TV is Going Nationwide Just In Time For The Super Bowl
YouTube announced its cable-free live TV is expanding nationwide just in time for the big game.
Why it matters: YouTube TV scales its competition with Sling, PS Vue and Hulu TV for cord-cutters.
Details: YouTube’s statement revealed YouTube TV will now be available in 95 markets, “covering over 98 percent of households in the United States. When it launched two years ago, YouTube TV’s subscribers grew supposedly from around 300,000 in January 2018 to 800,000 in July. Users can watch over 60 networks including ABC, NBC, TNT and ESPN. Also, each YouTube TV account is only $40 a month and each membership comes with six accounts.
Instagram Says It’s Not Limiting Post Reach To 7 Percent
Why it matters: If your content is only seen by seven percent of your followers then the reach isn’t as wide as previously thought and no one likes Big Brother controlling how many people see your photos.
Details: On their Twitter page, the platform explains what you see is all about engagement and the ones you engage with more you’ll see first on your feed. In an effort to clarify any more rumors, Instagram stated don’t hide posts from people you’re following.
FTC Plans To Place ‘Record-Setting’ Fine to Facebook
The FTC has been investigating the social media platform’s privacy practices since the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Why it matters: Facebook has already been fined multiple times in Europe due to GDPR, but not yet in the U.S.
Details: The Washington Posts reports the penalty is expected to be over $22.5 million fine the FTC gave Google. Off the record, three people told the paper that U.S. regulators have discussed the fine against Facebook, but details have not been finalized yet. However, the government shut down has slowed things down.
iPhone Users Can Share Netflix Content On Instagram
Netflix just gave iPhone users the ability to share links to shows and movies on Instagram Stories.
Why it matters: Given that Facebook probably considers Facebook Watch a “competitor” of Netflix, it’s interesting that they are allowing Instagram to share Netflix content in Stories.
Details: This will only work if you have the Netflix app on your phone. If you have it, tap “share” on the show you wish to share on Stories. Then you tap “Instagram Stories” and proceed like you usually do before you post to Stories. Android users will get the option later.
LinkedIn Allows Target Ads Based On Interest
LinkedIn announced marketers can now target their advertisement based on user interest.
Why it matters: Marketers can have a better idea on the way Linkedin users interact with content and their search activity, making their ads more attractive to the consumer.
Details: Under the campaign manager, there is a list of about 200 targeted “interests.” According to Media Post, Abhishek Kumar, Linkedin’s product strategy and operations, stated the process is “not based on search targeting, as with Google’s strategy, but rather by the interests that are reflected in users’ engagement and search activity.”
Twitter Tweets Video About “New Twitter”
Looks like Twitter is updating the user interface.
Why it matters: It may seem like just an update, but chances are Twitter is trying to move past the “filter bubble” it helped to create. They’ve referenced it previously.
Details: Twitter tweeted out a short video explaining some of the new update features and mentioned some users may already be able to opt-in to the new user interface.
A new https://t.co/fHiPXozBdO is coming.
Some of you got an opt-in to try it now. Check out the emoji button, quick keyboard shortcuts, upgraded trends, advanced search, and more. Let us know your thoughts! pic.twitter.com/G8gWvdHnzB
— Twitter (@Twitter) January 22, 2019
Instagram Predicted To Be A $14 Billion Business This Year
Analysts anticipate Instagram will produce $14 billion in revenue as it continues to drive growth to Facebook.
Why it matters: Facebook’s core business is slowing down, but Instagram just keeps on expanding and improving its advertising efforts.
Details: Business Insider reports analysts predict Instagram will be Facebook’s “material driver for growth in  and can grow 60 percent+ supporting core FB which FB which could decelerate below 20 percent+ growth for the first time.” They also predict Facebook Messenger and Whats App will be growth opportunities for Facebook.
European Snapchat Users Can Unlock Oreo-Themed AR Lens
Oreo’s new European campaign ‘Oreo People’ will let users scan codes on special Oreo packaging to unlock a cookie-themed AR lens, filters and ‘Oreoji’ digital stickers.
Why it matters: Mondelez-owned Oreo is attempting to reach a younger demographic through Snapchat over traditional platforms like TV.
Details: Oreo is placing Snapcodes on 134 million packages in Europe. In the UK fans can unlock a video game where players can roll downhill inside a transparent ball and avoid obstacles.
Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, January 25. Have a news tip? We’re looking for changes to and news surrounding social media platforms as they relate to marketing. Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.