October 8th, 2020

This Week In Social Media

A social dilemma looming over Facebook, a walk down Instagram's memory lane and a call to action from Pinterest to get creative.

FACEBOOK’s SOCIAL DILEMMA

On September 9th, Netflix released it’s newest documentary film, THE SOCIAL DILEMMA, a film that “explores the dangerous human impact of social networking, with tech experts sounding the alarm on their own creation”. Educating viewers on how large social media platforms manipulate and influence its users through carefully crafted algorithms, it clearly outlines how user data is gathered to accurately target ads and predict consumer behaviour. Since the documentary launched and gained popularity all over the world, users are reportedly taking social media breaks or turning their backs on the large platforms. 

After holding a steady spot in the top 10 of Australia’s Netflix charts, Facebook felt the need to respond. Facebook publicly denied the claims and allegations made in interviews by former employees of social media companies, stating that rather than “offer a nuanced look at technology, it gives a distorted view of how social media platforms work to create a convenient scapegoat for what are difficult and complex societal problems”. The main key takeaways that Facebook points out the Film misinterprets are: 

  1. ADDICTION – Facebook builds its products to create value, not to be addictive. The news feed is not set up to increase addiction amongst users but rather offer additional value to peoples lives. Facebook works in close collaboration with mental health experts to understand social media’s impact on the consumers mental well-being. 
  1. YOU ARE NOT THE PRODUCT – Facebook is funded by advertising so that it remains free for people. Although ad-supported, Facebook’s business model is based on the goal to remain free for all users and does not exploit or share user data with these advertisers. 
  1. ALGORITHMS – Facebook’s algorithm is not‘mad.’ It keeps the platform relevant and useful. The algorithms out in place are meant to enhance user experiences that improve services, and portraying these algorithms as “mad” is simply a conspiracy theory fed to users by the documentary. 
  1. DATA – Facebook has made improvements across the company to protect people’s privacy. Facebook has implemented significant changes throughout the past few years to ensure user data is protected and not misused or sold to third parties. 
  1. POLARISATION – We take steps to reduce content that could drive polarisation. The majority of content shared on Facebook is not polarising or political, and the content that does seem harmful, insensitive or fraudulent is being closely monitored, with action taken if it does not comply with brand guidelines. 
  1. MISINFORMATION – We fight fake news, misinformation, and harmful content using a global network of fact-checking partners. Facebook made very clear that the idea of “allowing misinformation to fester on our platform, or that we somehow benefit from this content, is wrong”. The platform works with 70 fact-checking partners to make sure misinformation is limited, and the they will continue to the most in their power to ensure the platform stays accurate and accountable. 

If this all sounds very confusing, you want to know what all the fuss is actually about or if you are simply looking for a reason to finally take a break, we strongly recommend watching the documentary on Netflix now! 

10 Years of Instagram 

For Instagram’s 10th Birthday, the platform is once again adding a few new features. The main attraction – that feels like a trip down memory lane in a time when we can’t travel freely and have to live through our past travel experiences- are Story maps (which in our opinion look suspiciously similar to Snapchat Maps!) that offer recaps of all the places you’ve posted stories from throughout the past three years. 

Among the other features that Instagram debuted, are personalisation options, more E-commerce features and user data insights. Building on last week’s story about personalising your home screen through iOS-14, Instagram has also launched a range of variable icons for the app to suit your home screen. Integrating the Shop feature to video content is another advancement the platform has introduced: the shopping bag icon is now available in IGTV and will most probably be welcomed to Reels as well in the near future, further promoting the cross channel integration the Instagram has been working on. 

And last but not least, here’s a trip down the Instagram memory lane: 

Although all of these features and insights are definitely entertaining and something new to quench our social media thirst with, it’s also another reminder as to how the platform is tracking our every move. Maybe there is some truth to The Social Dilemma after all? 

PINTEREST CREATOR FESTIVAL 

And to finish off on a more positive and inspiring note, Pinterest is hosting a digital Pinterest Creator Festival on October 15th, inviting all educators to part-take in inspiring and educating users on the platform. With over 400 Million global users, that platform is all about sharing, trying and remixing content ideas. To build together, Pinterest is engaging with its growing online community to turn ideas into business, giving creators and entrepreneurs a medium to speak on.  

Under the theme of “Make the World Make”, Pinterest is trying to promote creation, no matter if it in the form of foodporn inspiration, a DIY interest or improving everyday life through styling hacks.Set to speak on the global panel stage are, amongst others, Babs Burchfield, Co-Found of Conscious Commerce, David Chang, Chef and Founder of Momofuku, Suze Kaufman, Content Marketing Manager at Vimeo and Evan Sharp, Chief Design and Creative Officer of Pinterest.

So if you feel inspired to get creative next weekend, make sure to set a reminder and make the world make.