RIP #GrumpyCat (aka Tardar Sauce).
We already knew that Facebook’s algorithm was prioritizing content from close friends and content types you interact with regularly… but they’ve just upped that prioritization yet again, and are even incorporating a direct survey asking you about your preferences (and of course studying how your responses correspond to your actual activity).
Facebook has also instituted a simplified Relevancy Score for ads - moving from an overall number to specific indications of ad quality, engagement, and conversion.
Facebook is introducing stronger features to allow users to protect their privacy for activities outside of Facebook - which would, in turn, impact the ability of advertisers to target them using any information beyond what they have provided to Facebook.
Speaking of privacy, Facebook is also bringing back the “View As Public” feature that enables users to view their profile from the point of view of someone they’re not friends with - a feature that was removed following a privacy breach that had taken advantage of a bug in the previous system. (Oddly enough, they announced this via Twitter!)
Facebook’s cryptocurrency development is heating up with the registration of “Libra Networks” in Switzerland.
Instagram Stories have long been hampered by the lack of searchability… well, now they’re turning up in Instagram’s Explore screen, a huge step towards increasing story visibility by people who don’t already follow you. IGTV and Shop will also be featured in Explore under their own tabs, with the IGTV tab cribbing its new algorithmically-suggested, vertical-scroll layout from competitors Tik Tok and Snapchat (it’s copied the one large video at the top from Tik Tok, and the side-by-side pairings beneath from Snapchat). Additional tabs under Explore will focus on specific interests, customized to reflect user activity.
I was not aware that Instagram still had a standalone “Direct” messaging app… but, anyway, it’s being discontinued now.
After a fraught relationship, Twitter is once again tweaking its API - and is seeking outside developers’ feedback and partnership via a new program called Twitter Developer Labs. They’re also adding new features to TweetDeck, including support for GIFs and Polls.