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The week in social: Snapchat Discover, parents on social, and Moneypenny

News habits of social media users

Users of social media in majority see their network of choice as a source of news, according to research from the Pew Research Center, in partnership with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. For both Facebook and Twitter, 63% of users see their network as a source of news, while 59% of Twitter users consider it a source of breaking news, while on Facebook that number is only 31%, potentially due to the real-time chronological order of the general Twitter feed. These number are up considerably from 2013, where only 52% on Twitter and 47% on Facebook used the networks for news.


Facebook testing virtual shopping assistant for Messenger

Facebook has been moving towards making its standalone Messenger app a destination for mobile online shopping, and its latest move aims to make that transition even easier for users. It is rumored that Facebook is developing a digital assistant similar to Siri with the function primarily being helping users shop online through the app, versus being built for productivity. The virtual assistant connects to real people to help get shopping done, and is currently being referred to as “Moneypenny”, a reference to James Bond.

More information on The Information.

Facebook testing an insights button for Page posts

Facebook is quietly testing a new function to help get Page administrators more direct access to Page insights by adding a “View Insights” button to Page posts. The data gives a top-line view of performance for the post in question, showing how many people have been reached, a comparison against the average, and the total number of post clicks, or engagements. Although deeper analytics can be gathered by searching for the specific post within the page insights, the new function is likely meant to provide a quick summary.

Read more on Social Times.

Social log-in increases in the US and UK

In a report from Gigya, social log-in is shown to have increased in usage in the last three years in both the United States, and the United Kingdom. The percentage is higher in the United States, with 88% of users having utilized social log-in, with the United Kingdom at 66%. Since the last study completed in 2012, usage has increased in the United States by over 1/3, at 35%. Users have cited comments reasons for social log-in use, specifically not wanting to fill out additional online registration forms, and not wanting to create and then have to remember additional log-in information.


Gamers are more active on Twitter and Reddit

A new study from ShareThis has uncovered that Gamers are generally more active on social media than other users, with 27% of gamers sharing video content related to their games on social networks, and sharing an average of three gaming related stories per week across networks. The study additionally showed that gamers are influential among their peers, with 68% of gamers on social networks clicking on something posted by a user with a similar profile. Lastly, gamers are seen to use Twitter three times more, and Reddit two times more than the average social sharers.

Read more on ShareThis.

Facebook testing a Watch Later button for videos

As Facebook moves to compete with other social networks for video views from users, it is consistently testing and adding new features to the service. The latest is the ability to click a button that appears on the top right of a video to watch later, with the videos going into the “Saved” folder, where a collection of stories and content that the user saves is stored, including link posts, which is already an available feature as of last July. There is no official word yet from Facebook on when or if saved videos will be rolled out to the wider audience.

More information on TechCrunch.

Yik Yak messaging service adding photos for posts

Yik Yak, the privacy-minded anonymous social network, announced earlier this week that users would now be allowed to add photos to their posts. Photos on posts is the largest feature addition to the service in approximately a year, and it was previously tested with a number of communities on the network before being officially announced. In order to prevent an influx of spam from the use of this feature as well as general bots, mobile device verification will be required before new users can sign up and post. The company has also stated through an official blog post that additional photo features will be coming soon.

More information on Social Times.

Mothers are the more engaged parents on social media

In a combination study between University of Michigan’s School of Information and the Pew Research Center, it was found that the majority of parents (75%) use social media, with mothers being the most heavily engaged. Additionally, it was found that the percentage among each parenting group differed, with 81% of mothers total being on social media, with only 66% of fathers. 79% of the parents that do use social media say that they find useful information across their networks, and 81% of the same group attempt to respond to good news that is shared online on social.

Read more on Pew Internet.

Twitter releases data dashboard to help users track third-party access

In an effort to provide more transparency to its users, Twitter has just released a new data dashboard that allows users to track the activity of their log-ins to see when they logged in, from what device, and to what applications they have given access to their Twitter account for various purposes. The dashboard also links directly to any apps that are currently linked to a user’s Twitter account for easy capability to disallow access.

More information on TechCrunch.

Snapchat redesigns stories section

Earlier this week, Snapchat updated its stories feature on the iOS app to prioritize content from its publishing partners to show Discover and Live Stories above stories from contacts and friends. Partners for Snapchat include companies like VICE, ESPN, and Yahoo. This is likely a follow up to Evan Spiegel’s unveiling of Snapchat’s new ads approach at Cannes. Snapchat is currently valued at $16 billion, and is increasing the ways in which advertisers connect with its large audience.

More information on Mashable.