Bradley Walker, 17 Dec 2018

The Week in Social: Social news, Creator Accounts, and the AI Index

Social tops the papers

A study from Pew Research reveals that adults are more likely to get their news from social media than print newspapers. One in five adults (20%) surveyed revealed they often use social to survey the landscape of the news. News websites have also seen gains in audiences, up to 33% of the same group. Meanwhile, television dropped to 49%, down from 57% in 2016. As the number of adults that learn about the world from social goes up, so too does the responsibility of social platforms to guarantee quality of their content.

Read more at Pew Research

Apple Spotifies the News

Also in digital news-news, Apple will soon bring the subscription aggregation model to the news business. After acquiring digital newsstand Texture earlier this year, Tim Cook and company revealed they will relaunch the app with a similar model as Apple Music. For a single subscription cost, users gain access to news from multiple publishers. The cost for unfettered access to all content will likely be less than a single subscription to any single source. However, Apple is promising media outlets that the sheer bulk of subscribers will make up for the loss in per-sub revenue.

Read more at TechCrunch

Captions for Skype Calls

Skype announced this week that they will add real-time captions to video chat and calls. That’s big news for Skype chatters who are hearing impaired, but Skype has bigger aspirations for the feature. In coming updates, captions will translate voice to text across 20 languages. As Facebook Portal rolls out, this could be the edge Skype needs to hang on to its user market.
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Read more on Skype’s Blog

Instagram Voice Messaging

Instagram allows users to take pictures, film videos, post stills and share stories. But only this week has it gained the ability to send voice-recordings via direct message. This isn’t a ground-breaking announcement, as Facebook Messenger had this feature quite a few years ago. The addition likely means that Instagram is working to keep capabilities full and flexible to keep their subscriber numbers healthy and growing.

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Read more at The Verge

Instagram Creator Accounts

A small group of users are reportedly testing a new type of Instagram account made for influencers and content creators. According to sources, the new account type provides logical capabilities like being able to separate and filter direct messages. On the other hand, it also gives those accounts insights into those that follow and unfollow. The latter is a feature IG users have been clamoring for as the ubiquity of bots that play the follow/unfollow game continues to drive down the legitimacy of follower numbers on that platform. C’mon IG, how about a little love for the rest of us?

Read more at The Next Web

Facebook Life Events

According to Facebook, people experience significant life events as often as twice a year. “Life Events” is an updated feature that will help users signpost and celebrate their major milestones. Graduations, engagements, marriages, and moments of loss are all happenings that users can share, along with a variety of artwork and animated photos to commemorate each. The feature will be released globally in the coming weeks.

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Read more at Facebook

Portal adds games and a browser

Facebook Portal added an app store a few weeks ago, and the apps are slowly and surely coming in. The heavily-marketed video phone that promises to bring us closer in an ever-separated world has had a difficult time in the market during its opening months. Providing additional uses will help drive up purchases ahead of the holidays, thus Portal will have more time to define its place in the home.

Still in the Kitchen!?

Read more at TechCrunch

The AI Boom

Experts from Harvard, MIT, Stanford and more published the annual AI Index this month. This second issue of what will become an annual report measures the progress of AI development across industries. Are computers going to take away jobs? Is marketing going to go hyper-focused, hyper-local and hyper-relevant? The answer to many of these questions is “yes”, but the report looks closer at how fast those technologies are developing, as well as which countries in the world are focusing on the various applications of AI. The report is exhaustive across scenarios, and worth a read for anyone interested in machine learning.

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Read more at The Verge