August 11, 2017
In its fight against spam posters, Facebook this week set its sights on ‘cloaking’. This is when spam sites attempt to trick Facebook’s community standards review processes, by directing reviewers to the approved page and users to a spam page, often promoting diet pills, pornography, etc. In a Newsroom post released this week, the social network told how it is using artificial intelligence to tackle these pesky sites.
Facebook has successfully
crushed overtaken or bought out almost all its rivals. And now it’s coming for Netflix and similar streaming services, with the launch of the ‘Watch’ tab, which will feature original video content produced exclusively for Facebook by partners. The new feature began rolling out to a small group of US users on Friday.
On the topic of original content, you may recall that earlier this year Twitter unveiled 16 video streaming partnerships with a number of major channels. Among them was BuzzFeed, who this week announced its plans for a millennial friendly version of Good Morning Britain / America – a weekday morning show called ‘AM to DM’ that will debut on September 25.
Twitter this week hosted a live global video relay, which ran for more than 24 hours and featured content from 40 different creators from across the globe. The #EveryCharacterMatters relay began on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge on Thursday, before moving on to Melbourne and Tokyo and finishing in Denver and Vancouver.
It was another tough week for Snap Inc, who disappointed Wall Street investors with the release of its Q2 earnings report on Thursday. The company grew its user base by 4%, which is not as much as hoped, meaning Snapchat is still trailing its competitors like Instagram and Instagram Stories. Revenue increased, but losses also ballooned, meaning the company’s free cash flow also declined.
Lonely Planet this week released a new app for globetrotters called Trips. Similar to Instagram, the app allows users to post beautiful images of their travels, which their followers can ‘heart’ or share. However Lonely Planet says it is not trying to compete with Instagram, but rather complement it.
You may recall the disastrous Fyre music festival this year? Well now the UK has its own version – Hope and Glory, whose second day was cancelled last weekend after a chaotic first night. Understandably, frustrated ticketholders took to social media to vent their frustrations and request refunds. But only before the event organisers took down the event Facebook page, citing ‘vile abuse’ as the justification… fight or flight, right?
Snapchat has had some tough times of later (see above). But it had banked on one absolute winner this quarter: the dancing hotdog. The company reported this week that Snapchat users had watched the animated hotdog gyrate and breakdance more than 1.5 billion times. That’s a combined 142 years, or an average of almost 30 seconds per Snapchat user. This writer is unashamed to admit I’ve probably contributed a few (hundred) views to that figure.
All the world loves a GIF, right… But at what point should we stop GIF-ing and start living? What are you on about, you say? This new ad for Brazillian beer brand Brahma combines videos and GIF-like looping footage to urge its fans to break the cycle of repetition and ‘respect the hangout’ (with a cold can of Brahma, of course). The literally and figuratively loopy ad was directed by Armando Bo, the Oscar-winning writer of Birdman.