This week’s news features changes in both Twitter’s timeline and Facebook’s News Feed, with both of these social media networks trying to show their users the news and updates from the people you value most and want to see more. Facebook have also announced today that they are testing offline features on Android for the emerging markets too. Tumblr is one of the first to release an iOS update to support iPhone’s live photos. Last week saw Instagram have a few technical issues and this week it’s Snapchat’s turn as they went down on Tuesday.
Twitter Timeline Tweaks
Your Twitter timeline may be looking a bit more like Facebook this week. The social network giant, Twitter has been experimenting with a new feature that makes tweets appear out of chronological order on some users’ timelines. Although this is not the first test regarding tweet order, it could signify more changes are to follow as like Facebook, Twitter appears to be optimising tweet order by quality, rather than just time.
New Facebook News Feed Algorithm
The News Feed algorithm on Facebook is changing, trying to make it easier for people to ignore certain types of viral posts that may appear in their feeds. This is down to a new type of feedback the social network has been collecting called “story surveys” where thousands of Facebook users are asked to choose between two viral stories.
Facebook said “With this update, if a significant amount of people tell us they would prefer to see other posts more than that particular viral post, we’ll take that into account when ranking, so that viral post might show up lower in people’s feeds in the future, since it might not actually be interesting to people,”
This change could potentially affect hoax stories which are often shared a lot and receive many comments. Usually, a post that is shared and commented on many times would appear higher in a users’ News Feed, since shares and comments are taken into account by News Feed’s ranking algorithm. Now Facebook says If “the majority” of survey-takers respond unfavorably toward the story, then the story will appear lower down, even when it has many likes and shares.
You may also have had the opportunity this week on Facebook to ‘put the people you love at the top’ in your News Feed, as Facebook add new controls to your News Feed so you can prioritise your family and friends news.
Facebook testing offline features for Android
In order to help improve users experience where connection is slow or in the developing markets where connections are little hit or miss, Facebook are testing offline features on Android to try and help.
Facebook will take previously downloaded and unread items and push them to the top of your posts, these cached items will still be displayed by relevance, but the user gets to view stories that they’ve missed, while new content loads in the background. You will also be able to comment on posts while offline, and it will post the comment when a connection is next detected. Users can already like and share posts without a connection.
Not only will be useful in the emerging markets where there are slower connections, but how useful would this be when there is little or no connectivity in the underground or at busy and crowded events.
Tumblr’s iOS app now supports the iPhone’s Live Photos
Tumblr is one of the first to change it’s iOS app to be able to support the iPhone 6 and 6S’s new live photo feature. You can now recognise Live Photos by the same circular icon that appears on a Live Photo in your iPhone’s camera roll when you scroll through the dashboard. If you’ve got an iPhone 6S, you can activate the Live Photo by using 3D Touch (apply more pressure on the screen). Older iPhone users can still view them by pressing and holding on the photo.
Snapchat not so snappy!
Last week Instagram experienced a hiccup and this week on Tuesday morning saw Snapchat go down with Snapchatters turning to Twitter to vent their concerns. Snapchat confirmed on Twitter they were having a few problems but working on a fix.
Whilst some Snapchat services were working including sending still photos as snaps, most of the video-based services, including stories and Discover went down.