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Social Media News Roundup: August ’17 Week 1

social media news august 2017 week 1
In the news this week – Facebook heralds faster webpages, Instagram Stories celebrates first birthday and celebrities on Twitter are robots…
Facebook update gives preference to faster loading web pages

An upcoming Facebook update will soon give preferential treatment to faster loading web pages. Facebook has announced that throughout the next few months it will be rolling out an update to News Feed that will effectively serve up more stories that load quicker on mobile – and less stories that don’t. In the update Facebook’s algorithm will begin to take into account estimated load time for links within the mobile app.

Facebook have stated that as the update gradually rolls out they anticipate that the majority of Pages won’t witness any significant changes to their own distribution. That said, business users will noticeably slower-loading webpages may see a decrease in referrals, so now is a good a time as any to work to improve site speed and mobile optimisation.

Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism to hold first meeting

Last month Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube formed the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, in a bid to “formalise and structure how companies work together to curtail the spread of terrorism and violent extremism [across] hosted consumer services” (Twitter).

On 1st August 2017 the first official workshop will be held in San Francisco, gathering tech industry representatives and both government and non-governmental organisations to share data and best practices to counter the threat of extremist content online.

Instagram Stories becomes one year old

On Wednesday 2nd August Instagram Stories officially reached one year of service. Instagram marked the milestone with a post on their official press blog. Within Stories’s first year, Instagram have rolled out more than 20 new features and tools, such as stickers and Boomerang capabilities.

Data now shows that over half of business users now utilise Instagram Stories as part of their social media marketing strategy, overtaking Snapchat. Findings also show that one in five organic Stories from businesses result in a direct message as response.

LinkedIn Lite launched across 60+ countries

In a bid to expand accessibility for members on an International scale, LinkedIn Lite mobile web and Android app has been launched to over 60 countries across the world. Included in the launch were Nigeria, the Philippines and South Africa, amongst others. LinkedIn Lite is marketed as a “lighter, faster version of [the LinkedIn] flagship product and includes all key features such as the news feed, messaging and notifications.”

Facebook to increase use of third-party fact checkers

Facebook is to begin utilising a new, cutting-edge machine learning algorithm to flag up articles bearing the hallmarks of being agenda-driven, the latest addition in their bid to tackle “fake news”. Flagged articles can then be further reviewed by human fact-checkers. Facebook news feed product manager Sara Su said:

“In addition to seeing which stories are disputed by third-party fact checkers, people want more context to make informed decisions about what they read and share.”

Study finds celebrity Twitter accounts act like bots

A new study from the University of Cambridge has shown that celebrity Twitter accounts with more than 10 million followers display more bot-like behavior than those with fewer followers. Students analysed a total of 3,535 accounts and determined that of those 1,525 were bots and 2,010 were humans.

Researchers then created an algorithm that utilises 21 features to pinpoint bots. They then discovered that celebrity accounts share some of these features. Cambridge PhD student Zafar Galani, who led the research, said:

“A Twitter user can be a human and still be a spammer, and an account can be operated by a bot and still be benign… Bots typically tweet a lot and upload content in order to gain attention of their audience. Celebrities too do exactly that, but instead of uploading depersonalised content, like bots do, they upload and share content and news from their daily lives.”

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