Facebook seem to be becoming a weekly feature in this blog - so let’s see what they have they been up to this week!
The first story to hit social media headlines this week was the fact that Mark Zuckerberg has been to visit China, again, as Facebook eyes what one analyst recently said is "a realistic opportunity" for the company to finally enter the world's largest internet market by users in 2018. China has had a ban on the social network since 2009; however Facebook recently tapped William Shuai from LinkedIn to lead relations with the Chinese government. They have also been covertly testing a photo-sharing app in China and is said to be on the hunt for a Shanghai office for its fledgling consumer hardware division.
As we all know, Facebook has wanted to enter China for years, a move that could give it access to a huge new market of users and advertisers at a time when the company is under pressure to continue showing strong growth to investors. As the world's largest concentration of internet users, China is an attractive but challenging region for tech companies like Facebook to break into. A good example of this being the fact the government of China recently blocked Facebook-owned WhatsApp amidst a crackdown of online censorship.
Facebook's window of opportunity to begin business in the country could be drawing near as Chinese President Xi Jinping begins his second term this month. Facebook's current approach of helping Chinese advertisers sell ads overseas appears to be aligned with Chinese government’s policy to globalize local companies and could finally lead to the company securing the coveted Internet Content Provider (ICP) license needed to officially do business in China.
No more revenge porn!
Since the government have had a crack down on internet safety, Facebook have been putting their best foot forward in a bid to help and reduce the amount of abuse and negativity used via their social platform. This week it was announced that they are using a pilot programme to help prevent image based abuse and revenge porn.
With this new pilot program, users can log concerns about images being posted online before they're shared, which could potentially prevent the images from being posted across Facebook's platforms. For example, say someone is concerned their ex may share an intimate image online without their consent. They could report the image to their country's eSafety office (even before it’s shared) and Facebook’s tech will prevent it from ever being repeated.
It's an industry first, according to Facebook’s head of global safety, Antigone Davis; “The safety and well-being of the Facebook community is our top priority,” Davis said in a statement on Wednesday.
“As part of our continued efforts to better detect and remove content that violates our community standards, we’re using image matching technology to prevent non-consensual intimate images from being shared on Facebook. These tools, developed in partnership with global safety experts, are one example of how we’re using new technology to keep people safe and prevent harm.”
Instagram are always innovating and expanding their creative ideas and this week it has been no different. After releasing its Superzoom creative tool into the wild, Instagram is testing another new tool to join it. Stop Motion is a camera tool that lets you take a long series of photos, which Instagram stitches up into a GIF that you can post in your story.
The Stop Motion tool allows you to take a series of photos, but not to edit individual images. Once you’re done snapping photos, you tap “done” to gain access to story-editing tools like stickers and text. From there, you can post the stop-motion GIF to your story.
After cloning almost every aspect of Snapchat, Instagram has turned to more experimental features. The success of its Boomerang format encouraged the company to introduce Superzooms. The Stop Motion tool could inspire similar creativity.
As always, there’s no guarantee the tool will ever be released globally. But if it proves popular inside the test group, it could join Instagram’s family of creative tools inside the story camera.
A little nugget of news from YouTube
Live TV streaming service YouTube TV is now becoming available on actual TVs with the launch of dedicated apps for smart TVs, streaming devices and gaming consoles. Until now, YouTube TV has been available via mobile, desktop and casting, but did not have a standalone app for TV viewers.
This week, the company will launch a YouTube TV app for Android TV devices, including Nvidia Shield and those TVs with Android TV built-in, like Sony; plus the Xbox One family of devices. In the next few weeks, it will also roll out TV apps for other smart TVs, including those from LG, Samsung and Sony, as well as an app for Apple TV.
And the award for advert of the week goes to...
IKEA have done it again. These guys never miss a trick and this week they released the best, yet most boring, pre-roll ads across YouTube.
It is a quest many have attempted, and creating truly “unskippable” ads on YouTube isn’t an exact science, but we think IKEA may have cracked it. While the adverts are very long, pointless and quite frankly boring you won’t be able to stop watching purely due to our natural need to understand. Some of the videos are over 5 minutes long with one being close to 10, yet the videos at the time of writing this blog, were achieving great figures, with it being revealed that 39% of viewers watched to the end of the ad.
Hats off to IKEA who have created adverts that are actually just a celebration of how boring most people’s lives actually are!