Last month, social media made a lot of contributions toward a healthier space for account holders and the trend continued this month as YouTube announced plans to change the way in which subscriber counts are displayed. Both Twitter and LinkedIn disclosed big plans in store for advertisements and features relating thereto. Cybersecurity for social media users was once again threatened as former Snapchat employees revealed the widespread access within the company to a tool that allowed employees to pry into the personal account information of the platform’s users. Finally, Facebook made attempts to rid the platform of fake accounts, but revealed that there is still much work to be done even after removing over 2 billion fake accounts. 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!
This month, Twitter users noticed changes within the app as some account holders saw an increase in the number of advertisements present on their feeds. The company has been experimenting with ad loads, or the frequencies in which ads appear on users’ feeds. As this was only a test period for ad loads, not all users experienced a noticeable increase in ads. In fact, there are a variety of factors that impact the number of ads that account holders may see on their Twitter feed, such as how this number influences a user’s use of the platform altogether. Despite the fact that Twitter’s daily audience has been growing, the platform’s monthly user base has continued to shrink over the last year, which has led to speculation that Twitter may be testing an increase in ad loads as a way to sustain revenue growth.
Earlier this month, YouTube announced plans to change the way in which subscriber counts are displayed on the platform. While Twitter and Instagram recently redesigned the layout of their platforms to deemphasize follower counts by shrinking the font size of the number that is displayed, YouTube’s forthcoming change will eliminate publicly available precise subscriber counts as a whole. This means that only YouTube creators themselves will know the exact number of subscribers to their channel, and everyone else will see a rounded number. According to a blog post published by the platform, the goal of this alteration to the video sharing site is to standardize the way in which subscriber counts are portrayed.
Cybersecurity for social media users was once again threatened this month as it was revealed that Snapchat employees across several departments within the company had access to a tool that enabled them to peek into the privacy of Snapchat account holders. The tool, SnapLion, allowed employees of the company to view user information such as location, saved Snaps, phone numbers, and email addresses. The abuse of this internal tool was revealed by former employees of Snapchat and while the company combatted the negativity surrounding this story, emphasizing that user protection is paramount at Snapchat, that sentiment is hard to swallow for some, especially when a tool of such power was utilized so liberally throughout the company’s employee base.
Within the last several years, social media has been plagued by fake accounts and Facebook is no exception. Recently the platform has been hounded with a great deal of fake accounts promoting a far-right German political party in addition to a number of accounts that frequently spread anti-Muslim content. It was announced this month that Facebook conducted its largest-ever takedown of fake accounts with over 2.19 billionaccounts terminated between January and March of this year. While a clean out of over 2 billion accounts is noteworthy, it is imperative to understand that there are more active fake accounts on Facebook now than there were 6 months ago. Although it’s clear that Facebook is taking the steps necessary to create a more genuine user base, the removal of billions of accounts is only the first step in the plan of action to move the platform closer to where it needs to be.
In an attempt to contribute to the transparency of ads on LinkedIn, the platform announced that an “Ads” tab is on the way for the platform. This feature will show all of the sponsored content a marketer has run in the preceding six months. This change serves as an excellent opportunity for competitor research, as anyone will now be able to sort through six months’ worth of any company’s advertisements that have run on the platform. While of course this change will not reveal anything about how the ads were targeted or what the company’s allotted budget is, it will serve as an excellent tool for marketers to gain insight into the strategy of their brand’s competitors.