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What's New With Social Media
by
Posted On December 4, 2018
Six of the most popular social media sites—Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube—have been posting company-related content all year that hasn’t necessarily made the news. Let’s take a look at what they’ve been up to in 2018.

Facebook

Facebook’s newsroom released updates (e.g., here and here) on the Cambridge Analytica scandal and other major issues, such as social media’s effects on elections (e.g., here and here). Additionally, it shared its progress on making sure news on the platform is trustworthy (e.g., here and here), ensuring privacy (e.g., here and here), and highlighting transparency (e.g., here and here).

A series within the newsroom called Hard Questions “addresses the impact of [Facebook’s] products on society.” Examples from 2018 include “Why Doesn’t Facebook Just Ban Political Ads?” and “Where Do We Draw the Line on Free Expression?” It even wades into issues of terrorists using the platform with “What Are We Doing to Stay Ahead of Terrorists?

In late 2017, the company introduced Facebook Community Boost, “a new program to help US small businesses grow and to equip more people with the digital skills they need to compete in the new economy.” Various updates throughout 2018 tracked its progress, including “Facebook Community Boost Announces 9 New US Cities,” “Facebook Community Boost Comes to Montana,” and “Boosting Small Businesses in the Magnolia State.”

And the platform got updates, including improved crisis response, the addition of more music options, help finding home services professionals, a Memories page, and the option to hide posts by keyword.

Instagram

Instagram’s info center focuses mainly on product updates, although it does address social issues. For example, “Celebrating #Pride2018 on Instagram,” “New Tools to Help Keep Instagram Safe,” “Helping Our Community Register to Vote,” and because bullying is a mainstay of online life, “Protecting Our Community From Bullying Comments” and “New Tools to Limit Bullying and Spread Kindness on Instagram.”

The company celebrated 2 years of Instagram Stories in August. Updates to Stories include the following:

There were updates to the general Instagram platform too, such as turning hashtags in bios into live links, introducing a new camera format called Focus, allowing users to mute accounts they don’t want to see in their feeds, and displaying a message when users have reached the end of new posts in their feed.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn’s newsroom aggregates the company’s workforce reports, including “Britain Losing Talent Since Brexit Vote,” “Tax Burdens Drive Many to Move Across the Country” (from high-tax states to low-tax ones), “Data Science Skills Are in High Demand Across Industries,” and “2018 Workforce Diversity Report.” Other research results are featured too, such as “LinkedIn Unveils Third Annual Top Companies List” and “Our Commitment to Closing the Gender Gap(s).”

And, of course, it has news about its services, including the following:

LinkedIn Company Pages became LinkedIn Pages, which was “rebuilt from the ground up to make it easier for brands, institutions and organizations—from small businesses to large enterprises, to foster meaningful conversations with LinkedIn’s community of more than 590 million members.”

Pinterest

Pinterest’s newsroom is a mixed bag of product updates, transparency reports, company news, trends (e.g., “Summer 2018 Fashion and Beauty Trends”), milestones (e.g., “Helping a Quarter Billion People Find Inspiration”), and celebrations (e.g., “Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!”).

Pinterest launched new tools for planning events and projects. Then it rolled out the Following tab, which only shows pins by people and boards a user follows (later in the year, the tab got a refresh). Next was an update of only needing to click once to save a pin to a board as well as the addition of collaboration tools for on group boards. In October, Pinterest released “A New Way to Discover More Ideas for Your Boards” (i.e., personalized recommendations) and “New Ways to Shop With Pinterest” (i.e., making pins “shoppable”).

Inclusivity is a big theme, exemplified by the announcement of updates making Pinterest easier to use by people who are blind or visually impaired and “Celebrating Pride 2018 at Pinterest.”

Twitter

Twitter’s company blog looks at events through its lens, including “How the 60th Annual Grammy Awards Played Out on Twitter,” “Here’s What’s Happening on Twitter for Super Bowl 52,” “Follow the 2018 Winter @Olympics on Twitter,” and “The 2018 #WorldCup Is Happening on Twitter.” It also covered Black History Month, Ramadan, and World Press Freedom Day.

Like Facebook, Twitter is concerned about social media’s impact on elections: It updated its review of the 2016 election, announced its #BeAVoter campaign, and talked about elections integrity.

World Leaders on Twitter” notes, “Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial Tweets would hide important information people should be able to see and debate. It would also not silence that leader, but it would certainly hamper necessary discussion around their words and actions.”

There were product updates too; for example, the introduction of Bookmarks for saving tweets to read later and the addition of Timestamps for sharing portions of videos.

Twitter also discussed its transparency and privacy practices (e.g., here and here), how it fosters an inclusive workplace (here), how it fights spam (here), and how it deals with coverage of breaking news (here).

YouTube

Similar to Twitter, YouTube’s company blog covers current events that are featured on the platform, such as the State of the Union Address, Black History Month, the Winter Olympics, and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding.

YouTube made a statement on transparency, and it updated users on how it is enforcing its Community Guidelines. YouTube Red became YouTube Premium. The company addressed its approach to supporting “the future of news in online video.” And it analyzed its status as a gaming hub.

Parents got more customization options for YouTube Kids, with updates for parent-approved content and experiences for older kids. Education was also a focus, with a celebration of teachers and an expansion of YouTube Learning.

Recording artists that get individual coverage include Camila Cabello, G-Eazy, and Shawn Mendes. And YouTube rolled out the Artist on the Rise program, which each month spotlights “a diverse lineup of music’s most important new voices across all genres. …” The announcement of its music-streaming service, YouTube Music, shows the company’s commitment to the listening experience as much as the visual one.


Brandi Scardilli is the editor of NewsBreaks and Information Today.

Email Brandi Scardilli

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