Facebook announced that it will begin testing advanced advertiser topic exclusion controls which will enable advertisers to stop their ads from appearing next to certain topics in the News Feed. For example: topics like 'Crime and Tragedy' will be an option for brands that may want to avoid content related to a new crime show.
As mentioned in previous communications revolving around Facebook updates to their reporting and targeting capabilities due to Apple’s iOS 14 updates. Facebook launched a campaign that attacked Apples decision and positioned themselves as champions for small businesses. They’ve now changed their messaging to be more positive and looks to better explain why personalized ad targeting is a good thing, and why people shouldn't switch off data tracking through TV and digital spots.
Its latest Community Standards Enforcement Report outlines various enforcement actions due to platform rule violations over the final three months of 2020 along with an update on their progress on artificial intelligence to stop hate speech within their platforms. Another step towards policy updates includes their Oversight Board which issued their first rulings. The rulings show the challenges ahead for Facebook’s rules that were created in a reactionary manner throughout the years as the Board overturned five of the six decisions that were presented by Facebook.
In competitive news, Facebook is reportedly developing its own Clubhouse clone as well as their own take on Cameo with a celebrity video app called “Super”. Facebook's app development team launched another new app that includes a rap music tool called BARS that provides a selection of hip-hop beats that you can put your lyrics to, along with vocal effects and other tools to help bring your music to life.
Instagram has confirmed that it's internally testing another TikTok-esque functionality, this time within Instagram Stories. You can see in this tweet that Instagram is working on a new vertical Stories feed, which would mean that you swipe up or down to view newer/older Stories. Which is nearly identical to TikTok. To double down on this direct take on TikTok, it is now clearly advising against posting content that's 'visibly recycled from other apps' and have updated its algorithm to downrank posts within the Reels and Explore tabs. Instagram is expanding their live-streaming offerings as their Chief Adam Mosser announced during an interview with Lilly Singh, where he revealed that the company is planning to launch multi-participant IG Live video chats within a few weeks.
Apple's IDFA update are coming soon and most of the focus has been on Facebook ads, and how the changes to personal data tracking will impact advertisers. Twitter has outlined how it's preparing for the IDFA change, and what Twitter advertisers should do in readiness for the data privacy shift. Twitter is expanding on its reliance on ad revenue and considering several new subscription and revenue options.
Twitter announced the opening of its live audio chat rooms (Twitter Spaces) to Android users last week. “Spaces” which shares a lot of similarities with Clubhouse, was only open to select iOS users last month and now Android users will be able to join Spaces, although they won’t be able to start their own. That functionality is expected to ship “soon,” Twitter says.
Twitter recently outlined its work on a new anti-troll feature, which it's calling 'Safety Mode. The new feature would alert users when their tweets are getting negative attention and then be able to tap through to the 'Safety Mode' control panel, where you can choose to activate 'auto-block and mute'. This will stop any accounts that are sending abusive/rude replies from engaging with you for one week.
The Biden Administration has officially announced that it will not be pushing TikTok to sell into US ownership, abandoning a push from the former Administration that approved the sale of TikTok to an Oracle/Walmart lead group. TikTok also continues to expand its e-commerce offerings and recently published a page called TikTok Shop: Seller University, which outlines how brands and third-party sellers can set up their own stores.
Clubhouse is facing new security questions after a significant data breach. Various web security experts sounded the alarm and the potential exposure, while also noting the app's connection to China, as it routes much of its back-end operations through China-based systems. Just like TikTok, this could eventually prompt Government examination.