June 8, 2023

Social Skimmed

Contributed by FIFTEEN



In the News: Facebook’s owner Meta has come under fire recently for a security breach resulting in a class-action settlement, and a major ad snafu over the weekend of April 22-23 has caused marketing experts to question the platform’s efficacy, accountability and customer service. In a step towards antitrust concerns, Meta recently (early June) announced their plan to introduce a new Accounts center that will inform users about the company’s data-sharing policy and allow customers to make “a largely free and informed decision” about whether they want to use Meta’s Instagram and Facebook in combination or separately.


In the News: Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, announced Instagram’s goal for 2023 is to “bring people together over the things that they love.” The top platform for influencers, Instagram is continuously updating with new features that allow creators to connect with their community and vice versa, such as Gifts and Broadcast Channels. However, the platform’s algorithm has recently been found to connect and promote a vast pedophile network, of which Instagram’s owner, Meta, vows to take action to amend. Most recently, Instagram’s founders developed a new AI-driven text-based news app called Artifact, expected to launch in June, that could potentially rival Twitter.


In the News: A 2023 first quarter Alphabet report cited that YouTube saw ad revenue fall 2.6% year over year. The primarily mobile-used app was forced to make some changes to compete with new platforms like TikTok and others featuring short form video: cue YouTube Shorts. Only time will tell, but YouTube hopes that Shorts will boost growth, as well as their partnership with Shopify, enabling YouTubers and merchants to feature products on their channels.


In the News: Beyond the noise of viral TikTok dances and videos, several countries are trying to ban TikTok with concerns that it may endanger sensitive user data due to its Chinese-owned parent company, ByteDance. Some also fear that China could use the app to spread misinformation or propaganda. In March, TikTok’s CEO defended the app to Congress, saying the company isn’t an agent of China or any other country. However, a court filing in early June by a former ByteDance employee outlined specific claims that the Chinese Communist Party accessed TikTok user data for political purposes. More than two dozen states and the federal government have already banned TikTok on government devices. Lawmakers and President Biden are fighting for tougher restrictions or an outright ban of the app. Montana was the first state to ban the app on personal devices, over which TikTok and TikTok creators filed a lawsuit, alleging that the ban violates the US Constitution and their First Amendment rights.


In the News: Making all of the headlines, memes and political talk, The Elon Musk Twitter Era, beginning late October 2022, has sparked plenty of conversation and controversy, specifically around the definition of free speech. Since the takeover, Vox says the app is “more frequently broken, more random and more unhinged.” Musk has put a price tag on verified accounts, and incentivized users to subscribe to the $8/month blue check mark fee by prioritizing verified tweets. The verified accounts and new profile labels have posed a never-ending saga of drama. Many celebrities have gotten their check marks back regardless of whether they’ve subscribed for them or not. And other companies, including NPR, have left due to “misleading labels.” 

Twitter, Inc. has been renamed to X Corp, in reference to Musk’s goal to create an “everything app” called X. His rollout of encrypted direct messaging early May 2023 was just the beginning. 


In the News: As of April 2023, LinkedIn has a verification process (don’t worry, it’s free – for now) where users can verify their identity, work email addresses and workplaces on their profile. Other new value-centric features, including their values-based filter and “I’m Interested” button, connect job seekers with companies sharing their values. LinkedIn has made their commitment to improving equal access to opportunities with initiatives such as their partnership with Dove to help end race-based hair discrimination in the workplace.


In the News: After a difficult 2022, Pinterest’s shares are enjoying a rebound so far in 2023. Experts attribute user growth to the platform’s recent algorithm changes that serve more personalized and relevant content. Experts also note that Pinterest’s powerful first-party data will also help marketers thrive in a cookie-less age. Pinterest is also shifting its focus to video content during 2023, streamlining its tools for all Pin formats into one creation flow. In addition, Pinterest is rolling out new editing features, measurement tools, safety features and other engagement tools.


In the News: Snapchat has seen review stars plummet since launching the unpopular “My AI” feature mid-April 2023, an AI chatbot powered by OpenAI’s GPT technology.


In the News: BeReal won iPhone’s 2022 App of the Year for “giving people an authentic glimpse into their friend's and family's everyday lives.” However, the app seems to be freefalling as quickly as it took off, dropping from 20 million users to 6 million users within a 6-month span. The monotony of real, everyday life isn’t interesting enough for people used to the highlight reels they see on other platforms. 


In the News: Since hitting app stores in the U.S. and UK in February 2023, Lemon8 is the fastest-growing social media platform. Owned by the same parent company as TikTok (ByteDance), Instagram-TikTok-Pinterest hybrid app brings many of the same concerns surrounding privacy and national security.

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