8 Things In Social: 5 April

In Blog by Gwen Tan

Check out the weekly buzz on our favourite social media platforms, including new features and what’s trending!

4 New Social Updates

Instagram tests a ‘video scrubbing’ feature

Have you ever wanted to go to certain parts in an Instagram video without watching the whole thing? Instagram is testing a new feature that allows users to scrub through videos to find the parts that interest them more. This is one of Instagram’s most requested features as the current video controls allow users to only play and pause. While video scrubbing has been available within IGTV, this feature may soon be available to users worldwide.

Why Am I Seeing This? Facebook has the answers for you.

Facebook is introducing a “Why am I seeing this post?” feature that will help users understand why they are seeing something and more easily control what they see in the future. Users will be able to tap on posts and ads in News Feed, get context on why they’re appearing and take action to further personalise what they see. Facebook is also making updates their “Why am I seeing this ad?” feature for users, where users will be able to get more context on the ads they see. When users tap on that option, Facebook will provide details such as when the advertiser uploaded the information or if the advertiser worked with another marketing partner to run the ad. These new features are part of Facebook’s ongoing commitment to give its users more context and control across Facebook.

Facebook may start restricting who can go live on its platform

With the proliferation of live broadcast tools on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Twitch, there have been more cases highly sensitive content being live-streamed on the internet. In the wake of the recent Christchurch terror attack, Facebook is considering restrictions on which users can go Live. As part of its response to the attack in New Zealand, Facebook is using existing AI tools to identify and remove a range of hate groups in Australia and New Zealand. The platform is also thinking of putting restrictions on who can go Live depending on factors such as Community Standard violations. While this is far from enough, it is a start and step in the right direction.

Facebook’s ad library will now include all active ads across its platform

Facebook initially built its Ad Library to help people learn more about ads that have run that are related to politics or issues. It included information about who saw an ad, as well as information about its ad spend and impressions reached. Now, Facebook is updating its Ad Library to include all active ads any page is running on its platform, regardless of the ads are related to politics or not. This information was never available all in one place and it was only available in every Page’s Info and Ads section. Aside from more information being readily available, Facebook is also improving the Ad Library Report, with an update that will take place in mid-May, which will bring daily updates to the Report for ads related to politics or issues, rather than weekly. Weekly, monthly, and quarterly reports will also be downloadable by everyone.

4 Things Trending On Social

Another day, another massive Facebook data leak
Another Day, Another Massive Facebook Data Leak

There has been another massive exposure of Facebook data this week and up to 540 million accounts have been affected. Security firm UpGuard, which frequently reports on the poor data practices of large tech companies, identified the leak and made a blog post detailing their findings. While this isn’t another Cambridge Analytica scandal, this data leak is caused by Facebook’s willingness to hand out data to third parties, which then do very little to keep the information safe. The affected datasets have been taken offline from the Amazon servers on which they were stored, but they were completely accessible by anyone while they were online.

Australia passes law that will penalise “abhorrent” content on social media
Image result for social media

The new laws mean internet companies that fail to quickly remove “abhorrent” video and images could face heavy fines. Social media companies like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube could be fined up to 10% of annual turnover and executives could face jail time under the new legislation. With this new law, Australia’s e-Safety Commissioner will also have the power to issue notices that would bring the existence of violent content to the attention of social media companies.

Another week, another new #CarAlarmChallenge

People over the world are attempting to mimic the sound of a car alarm for what’s being called the “Car Alarm Challenge“. Some are amazingly talented at it. The challenge was inspired by a super-viral video of a woman showing off how well she could create a car alarm sound and the video has already been viewed over 7.6 million times on Twitter. Kids, teens and parents are now squealing while chopping their throats. And while it sounds pretty ridiculous, it’s actually a pretty harmless and fun challenge.

People are mad at this photo of Miley Cyrus sitting in a tree

On Tuesday this week, Miley Cyrus posted a series of Instagram photos showing her posing up a storm in the middle of the desert. In two out of three photos, Miley was sitting in the branches of a tree. The post drew lots of comments, with many criticising Miley for climbing the tree, which is actually a species of Yucca plant more commonly known as a Joshua tree. This particular species of plant is very rare and is unique to the Southwestern United States – and is in danger of becoming eliminated as a result of climate change. The trees are fragile due to their shallow roots, and there can be damaged or completely toppled as a result of excessive force (for instance, when someone climbs and sits on them.) While Miley hasn’t responded yet, it’s safe to say everyone knows a little bit more about Joshua trees now.