With 2018 coming to a close, social media projections for 2019 only continue to illustrate the growing role of social channels. While YouTube aims to create a more genuine experience for viewers, ridding the platform of spam accounts, Instagram has rolled out several new features this past month. Twitter revamped its conduct policy in hopes of making the platform a safe online community for transgender individuals. New research also emerged illustrating the concerns around social media as a major contributor to depression. Lastly, continuing Amazon’s reign of power, the platform’s cloud-based voice service, Alexa, is predicted to become a mogul of advertising in the near future. Be sure to continue reading to catch up on all the industry news you may have missed this month!
An official post on YouTube’s product forum revealed that account holders might notice a striking decrease in their subscriber count in an effort to rid the platform of the many spam accounts that have become synonymous with the platform. Spam accounts are often utilized in an attempt to make a channel appear to be more popular, increasing the subscriber count of that channel. The accounts most at risk for this change, though, are the platform’s smaller creators, as YouTube requires a minimum subscriber count in order for account holders to monetize videos. Considering that spam accounts generally create a less genuine subscriber count for users, the massive cleanup aims to foster a more authentic experience for YouTube viewers.
This month Instagram rolled out three new ways for account holders to interact through the platform’s story feature. Users are now able to use the question sticker on Instagram stories for music recommendations. This means that when users respond to a story they are able to choose a song from their music library to share as a part of their response. Users can also now use the question sticker on Instagram Live, which encourages more interaction between users. Instagram also created a new countdown sticker, allowing users to count down to a special moment on Instagram Live. These new offerings are just another example of Instagram’s consistent release of new features to enhance users’ experiences.
In late November, Twitter announced an addition to its conduct policy, prohibiting the misgendering or ‘deadnaming’ of transgender individuals on the social platform. The new conduct policy stems from Twitter’s goal to recognize and diminish the hate and abuse that many groups, specifically the transgender community, are disproportionately targeted with. While the repercussions for users who neglect to follow this policy have not been publicized, the rules have specified ‘deadnaming’ as the deliberate use of incorrect pronouns of a transgender person or their pre-transition name. The intent of the policy strives to make Twitter an online community that feels safe for transgender individuals.
Earlier this year, Facebook experienced the biggest security breach in all of its 14 years and as the investigation continued, The New York Times uncovered the platform’s data-sharing arrangements with over 150 companies. These companies include big names like Microsoft and Bing, which had access to Facebook users’ friends, without consent. It was also discovered that Spotify and Netflix could access users’ private messages. While there have been several innuendoes leading people to believe that Congress may pass new data protection laws, this past year has shown that something needs to be done in order to protect social media users.
It seems as though Amazon’s Alexa can do anything and popular opinion believes a move towards advertising is imminent. While Amazon has denied any existing plans for Alexa voice advertisements, speculators see much potential in this field. Considering that Alexa will recommend skills for specific tasks when asked, the opportunity for advertising is evident. Recently, an Alexa skills analytics tool was created to measure retention rate, conversation paths of the most engaged users, bottlenecks that may deter users, and which paths can be simplified in order to attract users to a brand with greater ease. The existing chatter emphasizes that it is only a matter of time before Alexa becomes a guru of marketing.