As April kicked off Q2, there were pivotal changes in social media to make the platforms healthier outlets and reduce the anxiety that many users feel as a result of the various channels and content seen daily. Instagram revealed a future update that may hide the number of likes a post receives while Twitter articulated the changes it has made in the last year to contribute to the overall digital well-being of its users. LinkedIn continued to add to its expanding features with a new “Teammate” option to promote engagement on the professional networking site. Facebook introduced a new tool for marketers contributing to the existing safety controls already available for advertisers. Amazon and Google asserted dominance in a new field through free ad-supported music streaming services. We’ve covered it all in this month’s industry roundup, so keep reading to make sure you don’t miss out on a thing!
A blog post from Twitter’s Vice President, Donald Hicks, and Senior Director, David Gasca, revealed that within the last year, the platform has made great strides in making a healthier Twitter. The Twitter executives revealed that the new in-app appeal process has increased the response time for appeals by 60%. In addition, the app’s new reporting process has allowed 2.5x more private information to be successfully removed from users’ accounts. While these numbers represent great progress in creating a healthier service, the platform revealed that more changes are on the horizon. Twitter has plans to re-evaluate its rules to create a shorter comprehensive guideline of the platform’s policies. The platform also announced the rollout of a new feature that will debut in June, granting users more control in conversations, with the option to hide replies to their Tweets. As emphasized by Twitter’s executives, the goal in all of these changes is building a Twitter that is free of abuse, spam and other things that distract from the public conversation.
It’s no secret that likes have become a pivotal function and phenomena surrounding Instagram as a social media platform. However, this past month Instagram revealed plans for a design change that would allow only the individual who shares a post to see the total number of likes received. While these plans have not yet been implemented or even tested, this adjustment in Instagram’s operational features stems from the platform’s concern for the digital well-being of its users. Like counts, particularly for younger users, can be a source of social pressure, and Instagram hopes that through this potential change users will focus on the content that is being shared across the platform as opposed to being fixated on the number of likes.
LinkedIn continues to enhance its platform through new features, and this month was no exception as it introduced a new option called “Teammates.” As part of the platform’s initiative to boost user engagement on the site, this new feature will allow users to customize their feeds with updates from their immediate connections, or “Teammates” appearing first. According to LinkedIn, users are 60% more likely to engage with content from direct connections as opposed to others. While of course, LinkedIn is hopeful that this new feature will encourage interaction between current co-workers through the platform, the professional networking site also hopes that this feature will allow professional relationships to continue even after someone on your team leaves the company.
To ensure that advertisements are not placed in unwanted areas or contexts, Facebook adopted an Inventory Filter, which allows advertisers to choose the level of protection they want to apply to a given ad. This tool allows marketers to choose the level of safety in regard to the type of content an advertisement may appear next to. The Inventory filter provides advertisers with three options – limited, standard, and full inventory. These three filter options are aimed at providing different levels of safety for every desired marketer present on the platform. Facebook officials articulated that the goal in offering this new tool is to ensure that its platforms are safe and valuable for both individuals and advertisers.
This month, both Amazon and Google launched music-streaming apps with one catch – exclusivity for their respective smart speaker devices. These two powerful companies each launched a free ad-supported music service with their own twist. Amazon’s launch enhanced its existing tier of music streaming service, exclusively available on Alexa-supported devices. Google’s new launch is a free ad-supported YouTube music app on its Google Home smart speakers and other Google Assistant powered speakers. While there are many speculations on the motives behind both Google and Amazon in their free ad-supported music services offered, many have guessed that these two powerful companies are more than likely aiming to draw a great number of speaker music consumptions to their platforms, which would allow them to collect valuable listener data.