Election Woes Continue on Social Media
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are continuing to experience problems with regards to election malpractice and political meddling. Facebook has now established a “War Room” to manage and monitor instances of online misinformation and manipulation. Any accounts suspected of influencing the US elections have been immediately suspended, including 36 Facebook accounts and 99 Instagram pages.
Facebook has also been working closely with US law enforcement officials to monitor and block social media activity suspected to be associated with political malpractice, especially from foreign entities. Cybersecurity police are currently investigating links between certain troll accounts and the Russian-based Internet Research Agency (IRA).
The Instagram account in question reportedly reached 600,000 users, and the troll-farm has been associated with a further 100 social media accounts. The IRA is potentially the same group behind the Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election. Meanwhile, on Twitter, two fake accounts presenting themselves under the name of the Election Commission of India have also been suspended.
Spokespersons for these social media platforms have announced that they will continue to invest in security to combat this “coordinated inauthentic behavior.” However, these instances continue to negatively impact public trust and have resulted in the daily loss of users of the platform.
Friend Feed Redesign
Pinterest has updated the Friend feed’s design and user experience by rolling in several new features. The previous tiled image format has been replaced by a single column of posts with immersive capabilities. Tapping a Pin will now take users directly to the creator’s website. The single-column format also allows users to scan and browse content more efficiently, and user feed content can be arranged chronologically or according to algorithmic recommendations.
As well as providing an improved user experience, the updates aim to increase traffic and marketability for Pinterest content creators, who use the platform to display their business products and services in a visually engaging manner. With an easier and more immediate way of accessing publishers’ web pages, referral traffic is expected to increase, making the design change an attractive asset to brands. Before the update, users had to tap several times through a pin to open it in multiple expanded views, before reaching the publisher’s web page.
Pinterest was moved to make the change due to user feedback, and the need to make Pinterest more easily scannable and interactive. The single pin format now displays images in a similar manner to Instagram. Content can also be curated according to user interest, whether displaying seasonal trends such as Thanksgiving recipes, or functioning as a shopping guide with its scrolling tab.
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Macy’s Holiday Partnership
Facebook and Macy’s have teamed up in a holiday partnership by launching nine pop-up locations across Macy stores. 100 small e-commerce businesses from across the US are expected to attend, in an experience which will merge the physical and the digital.
Macy’s has already experimented with pop-ups in a move to attract new brands and provide customers with an original shopping experience. The partnership with Facebook will add 150 brands already advertising on the social media platform to their store pop-ups, and the addition of two locations is set to expand the marketplace.
Loneliness on Social Media
More studies about the potentially harmful effects of social media on mental wellbeing are being carried out, acknowledging how platforms like Facebook can often cause users to feel lonely and negative about themselves.
The most recent study, entitled, “No more FOMO: Limiting social media decreases loneliness and depression,” tracks the change of mood in 143 participants before and after extended use of social media platforms. Users who reduced their use of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat proved less likely to experience negative effects such as depression, anxiety, and loneliness.
Adobe Lightroom presets are the latest weapons of social media influencers. Followers who wish to achieve the same aesthetics as their favorite Instagram photographers can now do so by purchasing custom filters from the creator, and apply them to their own images.
Advertisers are becoming increasingly more inclined to partner with nano-influencers, a term referring to Instagram accounts with over 1,000 followers. Endorsement deals with nano influencers are expected to meet a more niche audience than the millions of followers of Kardashian accounts, paving the way for a more personal marketing touch.
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