In social media this week Facebook makes changes to Trending, Vine transforms to Vine Camera and Twitter sells divisions to Google.
After being accused of manipulating the appearance of certain news stories and topics in Trending, Facebook have already made several changes to how they collect and display trending information and this week further changes have been announced. Firstly a headline will again appear under the topic title. Unlike before when this was created by a Facebook team, this will be a headline taken from a publisher’s article and will be automatically selected. Clicking through will still take you to other published content from other publisher’s. Secondly, how Facebook identify topics has changed and this will be topic driven rather than just volume so it will be dependent on the number of published articles and links from different sources. Facebook have also said that this new way of identifying topics may help to prevent hoaxes and fake news from appearing in trending. Thirdly, the topics will no longer be personalized but based on region so everyone in the same region will see the same topics. Users in the US will see the changes first with a roll out to other regions in the future.
In October 2016, Twitter advised that Vine was being discontinued and this week Twitter has announced the new Vine Camera app and Vine Archive. The Vine Camera app is available now on iOS and Android and users can still make six-second looping videos using the usual Vine editing features and share them to Twitter. Viners are still not happy about Twitter’s decision to discontinue Vine as they know it. Twitter always said that they wouldn’t discontinue the website completely but you can no longer add more videos. The Vine website is now the Vine Archive and it can be used to access the last 4 years worth of Vines as a back catalogue of Vine creations.
Following on from the changes to Vine, Twitter has also sold areas of its business with Google acquiring some of their development divisions including Fabric and Crashlytics. Details of the deals haven’t been announced or confirmed by either Google or Twitter but initial rumours were that Google were interested in purchasing Twitter itself. It may be just the divisions that Google were interested in but with other possible acquisition talks failing last year, Twitter are arguably taking steps to make its financial situation more appealing to a potential buyer. It does make us wonder what part of Twitter will be next in CEO Jack Dorsey’s steps to create a leaner and more financially attractive Twitter. Rumours are that Periscope could be merged into Twitter and become Twitter Live rather than a separate entity which would streamline Twitter further but at this stage, they are only rumours.