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Andy's round-up: Twitter could call out bots, Facebook woos publishers, TikTok clocks up downloads

Kirsty28th October 2019

Each week our Growth Director Andy Lambert puts together a brief overview of social media news for the past week. So what happened last week? 👀

🤔 What happened?

Facebook tests a new design, which includes dark mode

💡 My take

Looks like Twitter, but in a good way. Facebook has done well to strip back its design as it controls get fussier & features get more complicated. I wonder how long it will be before people have forgotten the old design even existed. If only there was a Wayback Machine for apps...  

🤔 What happened?

Facebook is testing a new section for journalism

💡 My take

This is really interesting - Facebook is paying these publishers a select group of publishers to feature on its news section, apparently. This marks a new dynamic between publishers' uneasy relationship with the social media giant. Until Facebook wins trust back, it'll buy it. For publishers that depend heavily on Facebook to drive traffic to their site, that's too good to pass up.  

🤔 What happened?

Twitter might put a blue checkmarks next to human, just for not being a bot

💡 My take

There could soon be three types of user on Twitter: the blue tick celebrities and influencers, a single checkmark for bots, and the rest of us. Letting users know which profiles are bots will help improve debate and prevent false engagement. Surely this should be a priority?  

🤔 What happened?

TikTok is the most globally downloaded app in September

💡 My take

Growth at breakneck speed comes with downsides. Firstly, it can be difficult to predict when it'll stop. That's reflected in TikTok's reluctance to share figures on total active users. Secondly, there's a rush to monetise, which isn't always sit flush with how people use the platform. Expect the price and effectiveness of ad packages to fluctuate in coming months.  

🤔 What happened

Facebook releases a host of privacy and security measures to tackle political fraud on its platform

💡 My take

Facebook took a pretty controversial stance by letting politicians post basically whatever they want - true or false - on the platform. To limit the backlash they're rolling out an arsenal of pro-transparency features, including additional protection on politicians' accounts, and labelling for state-controlled media sources. But by focusing on these finer details, maybe we're missing the bigger picture?

Andy does a round-up of social media news every week. Connect with Andy on Linkedin to get it first.

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