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The Week In Social: Facebook kills, Apple snaps, and Walmart watches

Facebook Groups is over but the group love lives on

Facebook has announced that, come September 1, its Groups app is no more. Current iOS and Android ‘Groupies’ are being encouraged to use the Groups feature on the Facebook mobile app or in the browser. The whole thing feels at odds with Facebook’s latest version of its mission statement where it emphasized its dedication to groups, but it seems the social giant would like its groups grouped together on its main platform. To sweeten the deal, Facebook has been focusing on developing tools to help the admins better manage their crew, giving them more access to metrics, like growth and engagement, so they can better sort through membership requests, schedule posts, and removed non-team players and their comments.


Read more at The Verge

Facebook’s  app-killing spree continues

It’s been a year since Facebook unveiled Lifestage, its Snapchat-like iOS app designed to let high schoolers share photos and videos of themselves with classmates. These days, it’s gone from the App Store, banished for failing to catch on widely and for its slightly worrying lack of security. Of the killing, Facebook said in a statement: “Teens continue to make up an important part of the global community on Facebook, and we’ve learned a lot from Lifestage. We will continue to incorporate these learnings into features in the main Facebook app.” Where to from here? Instagram Stories, of course!

Read more at TNW

Facebook says it’s removing accidental clicks from its ad network

Gone are the days of the accidental click costing advertisers money and delivering skewed metrics. Facebook has today wiped accidental clicks from its ad network by discounting times when a user bounces back after two seconds or less (a starting threshold Facebook says it can adjust if necessary). Product Marketing Manager Brett Vogel says the change is being put into place for the good of the ecosystem: “Unintentional clicks end up delivering really poor experiences for people and advertisers. It’s not a good path for publishers to build sustainable businesses.”

Apple launched an official Instagram account

Apple kicked off last week by kicking off its very own Instagram handle – @apple. It’s the tech giant’s way of giving the world “a look through the lens of iPhone users around the world,” and each asset includes a selection of photos as well as a video slideshow and interview snippet from the photographer. Apple is inviting all iPhone users to get involved and share their snappiest snaps tagging #ShotoniPhone as they go.


Read more at The Verge

Global social media user numbers: 3 billion and counting

A Global Digital Statshot (below) was released last week, showing that the number of people using social media around the world has just passed the three billion mark. With 3.819 billion internet users around the globe, it shows that more than 3/4 of them are active social media users. This growth trend doesn’t look to be slowing, with the number of active social media users growing at a rate of one million new users per day over the past quarter.


Read more at TNW

Facebook Live is getting easier

Facebook Live is becoming even more user-friendly, with certain Facebook users have recently reported that they’re able to launch Facebook Live directly via Facebook Camera on their mobile apps. Facebook has confirmed it’s testing the feature with a small group of people, all of whom can now see three tabs at the top of Facebook Camera Live, Normal and GIF. These same users also have the option to go live within their Facebook Stories in a regular Facebook post, or both.

Read more at AdWeek

Instagram live streamers now get a +1 for their broadcasts

Instagram has announced that it’s upping its live streaming game, allowing users to add a “guest” to their live broadcasts. This means users can have a live conversation with a friend and broadcast both sides of the story to followers. Guests can be added and booted at any time, and the audience will see a 50/50 split screen when the guest session is underway. For now it’s just a +1, but who knows what might happen in the future (though bringing a whole gang in might complicate the process for everyone involved). For now, the feature is only available to a select group of people, giving the rest of us time to plan out our live stream guest list over the coming months.

dimsRead more at engagednet

Hinge crashes 25 weddings across the US

Snapchat is still alive and kicking when it comes to brands doing cool things, the most recent of which being Hinge. The dating app recently created custom geofilters for 25 weddings, targeted specifically for guests sitting at “The Singles Table.” The features featured a baby blue table in the lower left hand corner next to the phrase “Where’s my date, Hinge?” According to the company, the campaign was a success, with a 60% increase in downloads during the filters’ activation. As for the match making on the day, there are no official numbers there. Sorry.


Read more at AdWeek

Facebook launches Watch tab for TV and sport

If you’ve already watched everything on Netflix and Youtube and are after another place to get your sport and TV shows, you’re in luck thanks to Facebook’s latest feature. The social recently debuted a Watch tab, where users can view both user-generated and original content. Facebook stated that the platform is intended as a place for creators and publishers to find an audience, build a community of passionate fans, and earn money for their work. So far it’s only available for a select group of US users on mobile, desktop and Facebook’s apps, but will be made available to more US peeps in the coming weeks.

screen-shot-2017-08-10-at-9-50-44-amRead more at VentureBeat

Walmart is watching and you’d better be happy

Guys, Walmart is about to go full Santa Claus (“you better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout I’m telling you why”) using AI. According to a patent filing, the retailer is developing technology that can identify whether customers are unhappy or frustrated, and will likely use existing security and checkout cameras to read the faces. Yup, the “AI first” mantra is moving beyond tech and into shopping, but whether AI will be able to properly read emotions and what Walmart will do with their findings remains a mystery. A particularly on point line from the article: “First, (Walmart) needs to figure out how to scan that box of cereal correctly. Then, it needs to figure out the myriad human emotions on display.”

Read moer at VentureBeat

Underdog apps beware Facebook’s spy tool

The early Facebook ethos states: “Move fast and break things,” and its recent internal “early bird” warning system that identifies threats posed by smaller companies helps it do just that. This copycat tool is mostly shrouded in mystery, but a Wall Street Journal report stated that it basically spies on up-and-coming competitors so that Facebook can incorporate their winning features into its own properties. With news of Zuckerberg recently reminding employees not to let pride get in the way of meeting the needs of users, it’s clear to see why we now have Snapchat-inspired Instagram and Facebook Stories. So what’s next? Apparently the social giant’s latest target is the tiny Houseparty app – where groups of people hang out over live video via smartphone. Whispers have it that this fall, Facebook plans to launch an app similar to Houseparty, internally called Bonfire.

Read more at TNW

Brands on Instagram can now promote their organic carousel posts

Back in February business and personal accounts on Instagram were given the ability to post up to 10 images and videos in a single post, and as of yesterday, businesses can now promote these posts. This can be done directly from smartphones with a promote button that will appear beneath the content. From here, brands will be able to select their intention for the promotion – whether it’s more profile visits, more website visits, or to reach users near a specific location.


Read more at AdWeek