It’s been 9 years since Facebook chat was first introduced, now known as Facebook Messenger. Since it’s launch, it went from a web-based messaging system to one that supports everything from video and group chats on Android and iOS devices. A lot of new features were introduced in 2017 and Facebook Messenger saw a massive increase in the number of users hitting 1.3 billion. More than 7 billion conversations have happened in Facebook on a daily basis – the most active times during the year was during the holidays, with Valentines, Mother’s Day and New Year’s being the most active days of the year. On average, over 260 million new conversations were started! Some of the new features included reactions in the chats, new emojis, the ability to notify specific people in group chats and all of these have made a difference. What do you think Facebook Messenger will be like in 2018?
As of this week, Twitter has broadened its definition of what constitutes hateful and harmful behaviour on its platform and will actively remove content which “glorifies violence or the perpetrators of a violent act”. They’re developing internal tools to supplement user reports that will help them clamp down on abusive online behaviour more efficiently. Accounts that use threatening or abusive language in their profile information could be permanently suspended. Individual tweets which fall within this definition will be removed, and repeat violations from the same account could also result in the user being banned. The rules extend to offensive images shared on the platform; Twitter has said that they’ll overlay a “sensitive media” prompt so that users have to opt to see it. This development follows continued criticisms of the social networking site for not doing enough to prevent abuse and harassment. With these new measures, Twitter aims to reduce misuse of their platform without being seen to censor legitimate views.
Many digital marketers have noticed changes in website rankings over the past week or so, and the reason why was confirmed by Google on Wednesday (20th December). SEMrush’s sensor picked up a ‘Very High’ range of organic search result volatility, with a special focus on Mobile and HTTPS. While December is traditionally one of the quietest months in terms of algorithm changes, this one seemed especially hostile. Thankfully, many of our own clients (who’s mobile websites have an SSL certificate installed) had actually benefitted from this change. MozCast also suggests that heavy fluctuations were experienced around this time, and an unnamed Google spokesperson reached out to online marketing blog Search Engine Land and commented: “We released several minor improvements during this timeframe, part of our regular and routine efforts to improve relevancy.”.
Facebook announced this week that they would be cracking down on people and pages who try to manipulate their timeline’s algorithm by creating posts that encourage people like, comment and share. They are labelling it ‘engagement bait’ and it includes posts that encourage users to like, comment or share a post without providing any real value. Starting this week, Facebook will now start to identify this content and demote it from the newsfeed, stating it will eventually start to demote the pages that frequently publish these posts. The announcement will be viewed as positive for those pages that create content of real value as some prime real estate just opened up on the news feed. According to Facebook’s aptly job titled newsfeed integrity specialist Henry Silverman and engineer Lin Huang, “Publishers and other businesses that use engagement bait tactics in their posts should expect their reach on these posts to decrease.” Read more on the Facebook community blog.
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