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social media researchWelcome to our weekly edition of what’s hot in social media news.

To help you stay up to date with social media, here are some of the news items that caught our attention.

What’s New This Week

Facebook Algorithm Ranks Reactions Higher Than Likes: Facebook announced that reactions “will [now] affect post ranking slightly more than Likes” in the news feed algorithm because it has found reactions to be “an even stronger signal” when it comes to indicating what content users would like to see. However, Facebook clarifies that all reactions including temporary ones for holidays such as Mother’s Day will continue to be “weighed equally to one another” and revealed that the “love” heart is “by far the most popular Reaction, consisting of ‘more than half’ of them.”

YouTube Introduced YouTube TV: YouTube introduced YouTube TV “with about 40 networks onboard to stream their live broadcasts and cable feeds to its subscribers.” The networks include ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and others. AdAge reports that “YouTube and participating TV networks will both sell ad inventory and share the revenue… but the revenue split was not publicly disclosed.” YouTube TV will be a subscription service that’s “built like a mobile app making it easy to search for and stream all the content on phones” and offers “a digital recording feature with unlimited storage which works just like a DVR through a cable provider.” YouTube TV is “coming soon” and users can request to be notified “when YouTube TV launches where you live” on the YouTube TV site.

YouTube Introduced YouTubeTV.

YouTube introduced YouTubeTV, which offers about 40 networks onboard to stream live broadcasts and cable feeds to subscribers.

Medium Introduces New Mobile-friendly Story Format: Medium rolled out a new Series tab on its apps, which features “mobile stories that can be added to over time and unfold card by card with the tap of your finger.” With this new storytelling format, users have a “new way to read on Medium that’s both seamless and serialized” and can now “tell deeper, more meaningful stories that develop over time” on the platform. The new Series tab is available now on the most updated versions of Medium’s iOS and Android apps and “will include stories from the creators you follow on Medium, as well as ones featured by [its] editorial team.”

Google Launches Meet by Google Hangouts: Google “quietly launched” Meet by Google Hangouts, a new video conferencing application designed for HD video meetings. Meet is currently available for the web and joins Google’s lineup of business products known as G Suite. TechCrunch reports that this new product allows users to host group video calls with up to 30 participants and includes other features “aimed at making it easy to access these calls while on the go, including dial-in numbers for those who are traveling, links you can join with just a click and integration with Gmail and Calendar for G Suite users.”

TechCrunch also notes that Meet was previously available as an app on the iTunes Store but this mobile version has since been removed.

Google launched

Google launched Meet by Google Hangouts, a new video conferencing application designed for HD video meetings.

Twitter Safety Rolls Out Auto-mute Feature and Other Updates: Twitter Safety released some additional updates that leverage Twitter’s technology “to reduce abusive content” and give users “more tools to control [their] experience” on the platform. With this update, Twitter now allows users to automatically filter out posts from accounts without a profile picture and unverified emails or phone numbers from their notifications. Twitter is also taking actions to “identify accounts as they’re engaging in abusive behavior” and limit their account functionality for “a set amount of time,” as well as “improve the transparency and openness of [its] reporting process.”

YouTube Celebrates One Billion Hours of Video Streamed per Day: YouTube shared that “people around the world are now watching a billion hours of YouTube’s incredible content every single day.” The company reflects on this major milestone as representing “the enjoyment of the fantastically diverse videos that creative people make every single day” and share on the site to a global audience.

Our Take on Top News This Week

In this week’s show from Friday, March 3, 2017, Michael Stelzner and guests discuss the top news in social media. Topics include YouTube TV (7:20), Facebook video monetization (23:42), and the upcoming Facebook Video app (32:58). Subscribe to future shows here.

More News to Note

Facebook Releases Facebook Video Apps for Apple TV and Samsung Smart TVs: As announced earlier this month, Facebook released new Facebook Video apps for fourth-generation Apple TVs and Samsung Smart TVs. TechCrunch reports that “the Apple TV app doesn’t let you browse your newsfeed or see your friends’ photos. It’s all about video playback and live streaming.” The Apple TV app will recommend videos based on your interests and allows for videos to be saved from another device and viewed on the TV. Likewise, the official announcement from Samsung states that “the new Facebook video app for TV [for Samsung Smart TVs] is a new way to enjoy Facebook videos on a bigger screen. Through the app, users can watch videos shared by friends or Pages they follow, top live videos from around the world and recommended videos based on their interests.”

Prisma Labs Allows Users to Create Custom Filters and Opens New Store: Prisma Labs is giving users “the ability to make their own neural network-trained filters based on their favorite art or artistic styles” with a new web-based tool. The Verge reports that Prisma is currently testing filter creation with its “most active users” and plans to eventually roll it out to the Prisma app for iOS and Android “in the future.” The company also announced the opening of the Prisma store, where “users will be able to download or delete filters to customize the kinds of filters used to manipulate photos and videos.” According to VentureBeat, Prisma’s new store currently offers 44 different filter styles from which to choose and customize. The user-generated filters are free to create and save.

Foursquare Publicly Releases Enterprise Location Toolkit: Foursquare released Pilgrim SDK, a new enterprise product that sends app-related push notifications to users based on their location, to all developers. For example, this technology makes it possible to send menu tips once the user arrives at a restaurant he or she has never visited before or recommend places to visit in a new city. TechCrunch reports that this technology was previously “used almost exclusively in Foursquare and Swarm… [and] a select few beta partners” but it’s now publicly available to marketers and developers who are interested in leveraging this tech in their own apps.

Twitter Kit Now Supports Smooth Looping Video: Twitter announced that the most recently updated version of the Twitter Kit now enables “smooth looping video for short cinemagraphs on Twitter, including playback of video from the new Vine Camera… [and] makes short, looping video a standard medium inside Tweets in your apps.” This capability is available with Twitter Kit v2.3.2 on Android and v2.8.1 for iOS through Fabric and Cocoapods.

Upcoming Social Media News Worth Following

Google Shuts Down Group Messaging Tool, Spaces: Google plans to shut down Spaces, its group messaging tool, on April 17, 2017. In an official announcement on the Google Spaces Help page, the company states that Spaces will be read-only as of March 3, which means that users won’t be able to create new spaces, posts, or comments. Also, no new invitations can be sent and new members won’t be accepted after this date. However, users will continue to be able to see, save, print, or delete any current content, report abuse, and remove users until April 17, when the entire site will be deleted.

Google plans to shut down its group messaging tool, Spaces, on April 17th, 2017.

Google plans to shut down Spaces, its group messaging tool, on April 17, 2017.

YouTube App Announced for Comcast’s Xfinity X1 Set-top Boxes: Google and Comcast announced a new deal that will bring the YouTube app to Comcast’s Xfinity X1 set-top boxes nationwide “later this year.” TechCrunch reports that this integration “will allow X1 users to launch the app by saying ‘YouTube’ into the X1 voice remote, as well as browse featured content on YouTube, search the entire library including by voice, and sign in to access their own personalized YouTube settings and subscriptions.” Timing and an exact date for this rollout haven’t been shared publicly.

Google Will Roll Out Google Assistant to More Android Phones: Google shared plans to bringing Google Assistant “to even more people… starting this week.” The company announced that Google Assistant is coming to smartphones running Android 7.0 Nougat and Android 6.0 Marshmallow and will be available to English users in the U.S., followed by English in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom, as well as German speakers in Germany. Google will continue to add more languages “over the coming year.”

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Some Interesting Studies to Note:

Q1 2017 Sprout Social Index: Sprout Social’s quarterly survey for Q1 2017 examined the Internet usage of Millennials (ages 18-34), Gen Xers (ages 34-54), and Baby Boomers (ages 55+) in the U.S. and offers insights on differences between each generation’s behaviors, perceptions, and expectations towards brands on social media. This report also examines which social platforms are most popular among each demographic. For example, Facebook’s popularity is nearly identical among Gen Xers (64.7%) and Baby Boomers (65.2%). Facebook is also the most popular platform among Millennials, but to a lesser extent (33%). Unlike the other age groups, Millennials more evenly split their time on Instagram (22.2%) and Snapchat (15.8%) as well.

Is Snapchat a Snapfad?: New stats from customer acquisition firm Fluent show that 69% of the over 3,000 American adults surveyed say that they “always” or “often” skip ads on Snapchat and that number goes up to 80% among 18- to 24-year-olds. The report also shows that most Snapchat users (61%) don’t follow any news organizations, 57% don’t follow entertainment, and 50% don’t follow sports on the platform.

Branded Chatbots Survey: New survey results from Retale suggest that 3 out of 5 U.S. Millennials (ages 18-34) have used a chatbot at some point and 70% report having had a positive experience with them. Furthermore, some 71% of those surveyed are interested in interacting with chatbots from major consumer brands and approximately 7 out of 8 agree that more brands should use chatbots to promote deals, products, or services.

2017 Mobile Marketing Guide for CMOs: New research from YouAppi reports that 89% of digital marketers use or plan to use video for their current mobile marketing efforts and the most common uses for it are in social media (48%) and apps (48%). The study also shows that close to 4 in 10 brands plan to use brand video advertising. This report also shares insights on video usage by demographic and throughout the customer journey.

Have you noticed Facebook posts with reactions getting more visibility? What do you think of YouTube TV? Please share your comments below.

Facebook Reactions Improve Post Rank and other social media news for Mar. 4, 2017.

Facebook Reactions Improve Post Rank and other social media news for Mar. 4, 2017.

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