The phrase; "New Year, New Me" isn't a human only thing. Apparently platforms on social media also exist by this mantra to an extent. In 2019, a number of policies that focused on making social media user-friendly and safe for all ages were initiated, in 2020, they're in full bloom. Let's start with Twitter.
Sensitive Media Policy
You know how Twitter has become a sphere for angry and toxic people? Yeah. The folks at Twitter HQ are trying to put a cap on that. What they started with is the kind of content that can be shared on the platform. They created the Sensitive Media Policy that frowns hard on violence and adult content. From what was released under the policy, it's been observed that people tend to practice what they are exposed to and also have their moods affected by the same. So, in a bid to reduce how much toxicity the world consumes (a whole lot of people are on Twitter so they have a huge influence on the world), they introduced the rules.
They’re broken down into five headings for guaranteed clarity:
● Graphic Violence
● Adult Content
● Violent Sexual Conduct
● Gratuitous Gore
● Hateful Imagery
But then, there's a loophole. If a user marks his content as containing sensitive bla bla before he posts nasty adult stuff on Twitter, Twitter wouldn't see it as a violation because he pretty much warned you. As long as that adult stuff is not hateful or racist, of course. There's no loophole around that.
Read more about Twitter's Sensitive Media Policy update here.
For features sake, this year, expect more privacy and seclusion on Twitter. The folks at Twitter HQ announced that sometime in the year 2020, users will be able to remove themselves from conversations they don't fancy. Also, they'd be able to send tweets to only certain people or to only people following certain hashtags. This means users can decide who replies to their tweets and who doesn't.
Now, we're off to Instagram.
Copyright and original content is a big deal with Instagram. In November 2019, they blocked a couple of accounts with huge followership because they post memes. I don't think anyone ever knows the creators of the most interesting memes they've seen because it doesn't matter. Well, perhaps to the creators. Memes are like tales by moonlight. No one knows where they come from, they just enjoy them. So for the folks that got their accounts suspended for posting memes, it was a bit overboard because their accounts were dedicated to curating memes not manufacturing them. This just sheds some light on how serious they take people sharing original content. They go as far as suspending accounts that don’t share original content or have the right to share content they don’t own.
For people that are mostly on their desktops or laptops and find it irritating to have to transfer files to their phone before uploading on Instagram; or following the steps some folks on the net prescribed to upload limitedly from desktop, Instagram now has a desktop publishing feature. With this, you can upload directly from your desktop without a third party app or without having to "Inspect" the page or without the somewhat annoying process of transfers to the phone.
Augmented Reality Shopping
Remember when I said social media (Instagram) is getting more user-friendly? It extends to the shopping experience also. With a few selected brands, they are testing out Augmented Reality Shopping. This makes it easy for people to see what they would look like in certain items brands sell, and order for them. If they're not yet released, they can set a notification for the launch date. It just makes shopping (by that, I mean living) easier. It's not for every brand just yet. With time, it will be available for most brands. It seems promising.
The decision-makers at Instagram realized that there isn't as much traffic as they would have loved to IGTV since it was launched in June 2018. So, besides linking IGTV videos to the standard Instagram feed and encouraging people with a little prompt on the video to continue watching on IGTV, they've divided the content on IGTV into categories. This way instead of scrolling through all that IGTV has to offer and falling into a rabbit hole, you can select a category that suits you and your fancies and probably see this TV in a new light.
Lastly, we peek at Facebook’s new updates.
When Facebook started, it was for friends trying to find new friends or friends showing how much they care for one another by sending friend requests, liking and commenting as much as they can. Now, it's also become a tool for business. For these businesses, it's a means to an end; to reach a wider digital audience (even though no one uses Facebook anymore) but that's not what this is about.
Facebook has promised that come March 2020, direct messages to business profiles are going to have a 24hour window for responses that are promotional after which responses will not be allowed unless they’re sent as sponsored messages. Facebook sponsored messages are ads sent directly to customers. The ads can contain as much information or as little, depending on the purpose. This just seems like another money-making tool for Facebook.
20% Text Rule
Also, Facebook has modified its 20% text rule. The 20% text rule simply frowned at Ad images that contain more than 20% text. Now, instead of completely disregarding such images, Facebook has warned that they’ll allow such ads to be circulated on their platform but to less audience. According to them, ad images with more than 20% of text may not reach enough people. In other words, the less text an image has, the better. Find out more about Facebook’s 20% text rule here.
From making the internet less toxic to ensuring sharing of original content and to making customer service more time-bound, social media has become a major institution in today’s culture. Let’s hope it gets better from here.