September 5, 2018 By Zak Mehan
Twitter is moving ahead with several changes and potential updates to the platform announced in the last week.
First up is an “unfollow” option that recommends a list of accounts you don’t regularly engage with. Following on the recently introduced algorithmic timeline and the “In case you missed it” feature, the update was rolled out because, in Twitter’s words, “We know that people want a relevant Twitter timeline. One way to do this is by unfollowing people they don’t engage with regularly.”
Also in the vein of engagement, the company’s director of product management shared screenshots of potential threaded replies and status indicators – icons showing whether a user is online. Twitter has yet to announce if the updates will move forward, but regardless they’ve already met with mixed reviews. While some users welcome easier-to-follow threads, the online status indicator has been less well-received by users concerned about harassment and privacy on social platforms.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Twitter has announced an expansion of existing political ad guidelines beyond federal election candidates and campaigns to include “issue ads.” The policy will encompass two broad categories as laid out by the company – “Ads that refer to an election or a clearly identified candidate” or “Ads that advocate for legislative issues of national importance.”
All these updates affect different parts of the user experience but hit on key themes we’ve seen arising time and again this year—quality over quantity, a more personal and conversational approach to engagement and the rebuilding of trust in social media platforms. A single update isn’t a cure-all for any of these issues, so we’ll be looking out for more updates as platforms change to better protect and serve their users.
Text-based sentiment analysis (in traditional and social media alike) has long played a key role in reputation management and brand strategy. But ever-expanding data processing power may be leaving text analysis in the past.
With the ability to assess larger numbers of data points, capabilities like image analysis will increase in sophistication.
Currently, digital listening tools boast logo recognition, allowing companies to find user-generated content in social posts that they can measure or leverage on their own channels. But this is elementary. Snap Inc., for example, recently filed a patent for an emotional monitoring program using facial recognition software to score users’ moods.
It’s easy to see how this data could be used to gauge everything from audience reactions to a political candidate to how consumers really feel about specific brands or products. Is that concern we’re seeing?
Despite the countless think pieces about how it’s time to put down your phone a read a book, the two activities might not be mutually exclusive thanks to a new campaign from the New York Public Library.
The library’s recently launched “Instagram Novels” is a new approach to Instagram Stories that allows readers to scroll through classic novels. The digitized versions intermix text with animated illustrations and are being released in short segments. You can catch the beginnings of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” now, with Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis” and a short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman to follow.
We’re always on board with new ways to get kids (and adults, for that matter) reading, but this approach to Instagram stories holds interesting potential for publishers. Time will tell if readers are willing to sit through the longer pieces of text—graphics aside there are certainly still some portions of the stories that are pretty text heavy—but we’re hoping this more dynamic approach to the written word catches on.
Here’s to more interactive news stories, animated company blogs or a perhaps even a new twist on the press release.
Amazon Sets Its Sights on the $88 Billion Online Ad Market The New York Times
BuzzFeed News quietly tests a membership program Digiday
West Virginia offers free cybersecurity training to the elderly Axios
I know you’re supposed to dance like nobody’s watching, but…