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Social Media News Week of 10/12

Posted on October 15, 2015

This time around we see most of the news is with two titans of the social media world, Facebook and Twitter. There’s an intriguing new app coming our way though. Read on to find out more…


1. Facebook Reactions are here! In our last update we discussed the high possibility of the Dislike button entering our lives. Unfortunately we may not be getting that, but instead we get Reactions. Instead of the standard “like”, users will be able to choose from different responses. These include Yay, Wow, Love, HaHa, Sad and Angry. Users will now be able to show a range of emotions in response to a post, instead of just liking it. Reactions is definitely Facebook’s response to users wanting a dislike button, but in a way that is less negative, while still allowing users to empathize. Reactions is definitely a great additional tool for marketers to see an extended set of reactions to content. However, it can be difficult to measure ROI on a Facebook like as is, so how much more complicated is it going to be when there are even more options? It will also be much more obvious which content is received well and which is not. Marketers will need to be much more careful what is shared to consumers.

2. 360-Degree Video to the News Feed: Facebook will now be able to display 360-degree video, creating an immersive experience for users. For now, the videos can only be viewed on a desktop and on the Facebook Android app. Android users can tap into videos and move around the scene by moving their phones around. IOS users will reportedly be able to use this feature in a few months. This move is following YouTube’s introduction of 360 video last March. Some of the first media partners taking advantage of this new feature are Star Wars, GoPro, and Saturday Night Live. Who will use it next?

3. Verified Badges for Business Pages: Your local business can now have a verified check mark if you have a physical address. This will allow users to know which page is authentic for local businesses. It will also help pages show up higher on searches if they are verified. This shows Facebook’s support of local small businesses and that the social network is a viable marketing outlet for these companies.

4. Adjusting Load Speed for 2G World: Facebook will now adjust what people see in their News Feed based on the speed of their internet connection. Since most of Facebook’s new users are from the developing world, it makes sense that they would make a change like this. The main adjustments are that users on slower connections will see fewer videos and more text and photo updates instead. This will help users, existing and new, feel less frustrated when using Facebook with a slower internet connection.


1. New CEO of Twitter: Well, not exactly new, since Jack Dorsey is one of Twitter’s co-founders. He has been serving as interim CEO for months, and officially got the green light to stay on. This is complicated since he is also CEO of another company, Square, that is probably going public soon. Twitter is hoping Dorsey’s product-focused leadership will effectively push Twitter forward, so that it doesn’t continue to fall behind Facebook or see Snapchat exceed its user base. With this new appointment, drastic change is in the future for Twitter. What those changes may be will hopefully be seen in the near future.

2. Native Polling: Twitter has started experimenting with native polls on timelines, for desktop and mobile, and sports brands have jumped at the opportunity. The feature allows for basic polls to be created with two answers, and are available for 24 hours to answer. Once the 24 hours are up, the results and how many people voted will be displayed. While only a few companies currently have access to the feature, this could be an extremely simple and consumer-friendly way to create a polling experience.

3.moments_1 Twitter Moments: Moments is a new format that allows users to see a view of the top stories happening on Twitter at the moment for each topic. Users just have to click on the lightening bolt tab and a list of top stories is displayed. Users can see Moments categorized by topic so they only have to see what is interesting to them. It will be interesting to see how this competes with Facebook’s Trending section.

4. Promoted Moments: With the recent release of Moments, it’s no surprise that a way to advertise on this new format will be following soon. Promoted Moments will give brands the chance to tell a full story within the format. They will run for 24 hours and get prominent placement on the Moments guide for that day. It will be interesting to see which brands jump on the bandwagon first and what those ads will look like. Stay tuned.

New New New

1. People: This new app is basically Yelp for people. What does that mean exactly? It means that this new app will allow you to assign reviews and one-to-five ratings to people you know. While we’ve been able to rate all sorts of things from restaurants to professors, this is the first app that actually lets you rate people. What’s crazy is, as long as you have someone’s phone number, you can add them to this app and discuss them without their permission! The founders of this app explain that this app came about because they wanted to know who their neighbors were, especially since one of the founders has children. While this may seem like a forum that could easily get out of control, there are rules involved with using the app. No profanity, sexism, or mention of health conditions. However, is this really enough to account for things such as bias, accuracy, and more crucially, consent? This app will be available sometime in November, so we’ll be able to see its reception then.

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