Facebook, YouTube Among Top Social Apps for News in U.S.

Among American adults who regularly look to social media for news, Facebook outpaces all other sources, according to a study from Pew Research, which found 31 percent of U.S. adults claim to “regularly get news” from the Meta Platforms site. Google’s YouTube was second, with 25 percent, followed by Twitter (14 percent), Instagram (13 percent) and TikTok (10 percent). Examined as a percentage of each site’s total adult users seeking news there, news-seekers, Twitter popped at 53 percent, followed by Facebook (44 percent), Reddit (37 percent) and TikTok (33 percent). Among that subset, TikTok was the fastest-growing, up from 22 percent in 2020. Continue reading Facebook, YouTube Among Top Social Apps for News in U.S.

Meta Explores New Monetization Features for Its Social Apps

Meta Platforms is assessing “possible paid features” for its social apps, including Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, according to an internal employee memo. The initiative, under a freshly minted division called New Monetization Experiences, led by Pratiti Raychoudhury, represents Meta’s first coordinated move into paid features across social platforms serving an estimated 3.65 billion monthly users worldwide, per Statista. It comes at a time when Meta is under pressure to increase revenue, which has taken a hit from Apple’s ad-tracking changes and a general softening in digital ad spending. Continue reading Meta Explores New Monetization Features for Its Social Apps

Snap Canceling Projects and Cutting 20 Percent of Workforce

Snap Inc. announced plans to cancel ongoing projects such as Snap Originals, in-app multiplayer games, HTML mini-apps built by outside developers, and future development of its Pixy selfie-camera drone — all part of a corporate restructuring that will include laying off about 20 percent of its more than 6,400 employees. The company, which operates the popular social media app Snapchat, is taking cost-cutting measures as it faces growing competition from TikTok and other rivals and challenges to its core digital advertising business. Continue reading Snap Canceling Projects and Cutting 20 Percent of Workforce

California’s Online Child Safety Bill Could Set New Standards

A first of its kind U.S. proposal to protecting children online cleared the California Legislature Tuesday and was sent to the desk of Governor Gavin Newsom. The California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act will require social media platforms to implement guardrails for users under 18. The new rules will curb risks — such as allowing strangers to message children — and require changes to recommendation algorithms and ad targeting where minors are concerned. The bill was drafted following Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen’s 2021 congressional testimony about the negative effects of social media on children’s mental health. Continue reading California’s Online Child Safety Bill Could Set New Standards

Researcher Says TikTok Can Track User Data via Keystrokes

Popular short-form video platform TikTok is garnering more unwanted attention, this time for tracking users’ keystrokes via a the ByteDance-owned video app’s browser. The feature was discovered by privacy researcher Felix Krause, a former Google engineer, who reported the Chinese company embeds the tracking capability within the in-app browser that opens when someone clicks an external link. Krause noted his research is limited to the Apple iOS platform. Krause did not speculate as to how TikTok is using the capability, but suggests he finds it troubling because it indicates TikTok is able to track users’ online activity if it so chooses. Continue reading Researcher Says TikTok Can Track User Data via Keystrokes

Pew: YouTube Most Popular with Teens, Followed by TikTok

YouTube is the most popular social media platform among teens, with 95 percent of 13- to 17-year-olds saying they use the service, according to the Pew Research study “Teens, Social Media and Technology 2022.” TikTok is currently ranked second, with a 67 percent teen buy-in, according to the study, followed by Instagram (62 percent) and Snapchat (59 percent). While neither YouTube nor TikTok were on the Pew ranking when the previous survey was released in 2015, Facebook fell precipitously — from first to fifth place — with 32 percent of teens onboard in 2022, versus 71 percent seven years ago. Continue reading Pew: YouTube Most Popular with Teens, Followed by TikTok

Ticketmaster Teams with TikTok on Event Discovery Feature

Ticketmaster and TikTok have teamed up for an in-app event discovery feature that will let the short-form video app share live event information and direct users to Ticketmaster’s site for purchase. Influencers can now link relevant Ticketmaster events to their videos. Initially, the new feature will only be available to select creators, with plans to scale more broadly over time. Acts that have signed on to use the ticketing mini app at launch include Demi Lovato, OneRepublic, Backstreet Boys, Usher and more. WWE is also participating. The pact follows a similar agreement Ticketmaster made with Snapchat in February. Continue reading Ticketmaster Teams with TikTok on Event Discovery Feature

Microsoft Rolls Out Viva Engage for Enterprise Media Sharing

Microsoft is bringing Stories to enterprise through the company’s Viva intranet platform. Described as “a social app for digital communities,” the AI-powered Viva Engage combines popular Yammer features like polling and conversation highlights with new tools including Stories and Storyline, which Microsoft calls “personal expression tools.” The move to combine social video and productivity functions has taken some by surprise, but Microsoft says “building social capital is crucial for organizational success,” noting that its Work Trends Index reveals “43 percent of leaders believe that relationship-building is the greatest challenge of hybrid and remote work.” Continue reading Microsoft Rolls Out Viva Engage for Enterprise Media Sharing

TikTok Expected to Triple Ad Revenue to $12 Billion in 2022

TikTok had its first official presence at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity on the French Riviera, where the ByteDance mobile video platform competed with the likes of Amazon, Netflix, Activision Blizzard, Spotify, Reddit and Meta Platforms for the attention of the world’s biggest brands and top advertising agencies. Touting its viral appeal and popularity among key demographics including Gen Z, millennials and social influencers, the company hosted a cabana on the beach with dedicated space to make TikTok videos, held meetings in a nearby suite and participated onstage at the Palais des Festivals. Continue reading TikTok Expected to Triple Ad Revenue to $12 Billion in 2022

Facebook Adjusts Algorithms, Messenger, to Take on TikTok

Facebook is trying to make its feed operate more like TikTok’s, according to recent reports that indicate the company recently directed employees to adjust the platform’s algorithms to prioritize popular posts, regardless of their source, over its traditional approach of serving posts from friends or accounts followed. Parent company Meta Platforms is also said to be reuniting Facebook with the Messenger app in order to align its message functionality with that of TikTok. Combined with an increased emphasis on short-form video with Reels on Facebook and Instagram, the changes reflect TikTok’s threat to Meta’s social media dominance. Continue reading Facebook Adjusts Algorithms, Messenger, to Take on TikTok

Online Child Safety Gains Steam at State and Federal Levels

Online privacy protections for consumers are in focus on Capitol Hill, with the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) getting particular attention. A coalition of more than 100 organizations, including Fairplay and the American Psychological Association are calling on senators to advance KOSA this month. Co-sponsored by senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), the legislation would require social media platforms to conduct annual audits to identify risks to minors as well as more concrete steps like opting out of algorithmic recommendations and disabling “addictive” features.  Continue reading Online Child Safety Gains Steam at State and Federal Levels

Facebook Shutters Nearby Friends and Other Data Collection

Facebook is ending its Nearby Friends feature and halting other location-tracking data collection. Location history, background location and Weather Alerts will be discontinued globally due to “low usage.” The change reflects consumers’ increased caution over personal data and movement tracking. The Meta Platforms unit says as of May 31 the features will stop collecting information, and by August 1 previously collected location history and background location data will be deleted. Users can log in to Facebook before August 1 to view or download their data. Continue reading Facebook Shutters Nearby Friends and Other Data Collection

Pinterest Launches TV Studio App for Creator Live Streaming

Pinterest has launched a new app that makes it easier for creators to live-stream content. Pinterest TV Studio for iOS and Android lets select creators stream live on Pinterest from multiple devices, in order to achieve different camera angles. Initially available in limited release, creators must obtain a special code from Pinterest in order to unlock the Studio functionality. As part of its latest quarterly earnings, announced April 27, Pinterest co-founder and CEO Ben Silverman said the company grew global revenue 18 percent year-over-year, “despite a challenging macroeconomic and geopolitical environment.” Continue reading Pinterest Launches TV Studio App for Creator Live Streaming

Snap Teams with Cameo and Introduces Its New Ad Initiative

Appearing at the NewFronts, Snap unveiled a new program in conjunction with celebrity greeting app Cameo as well as a new advertising initiative called Snap Promote and some new original programs. Snapchat creators will have the opportunity to team on short-form video ads with the 45,000-plus actors, athletes, musicians and influencers. The new Snap x Cameo Advertiser Program venture — an expansion of the Creator Marketplace Snap launched last year to increase monetization opportunities — was created by Cameo for Business and built by Snap. Continue reading Snap Teams with Cameo and Introduces Its New Ad Initiative

Snap Reveals Director Mode, Drone Camera, Live Nation Deal

Snap announced a multi-year partnership with Live Nation that centers on its augmented reality initiative. Fans attending select Live Nation concerts will be able to access custom AR experiences created on the Snap AR developer platform “with help from Snap’s creative studio Arcadia.” At the Snap Partner Summit the company also unveiled new tools for AR shopping and a Director Mode for creators. A Lens Cloud feature lets clients store AR content on Snap servers for dynamic multi-user distribution. Also unveiled, the new Pixy “flying camera” that makes selfies a breeze. Continue reading Snap Reveals Director Mode, Drone Camera, Live Nation Deal