Social Media Weekly Podcast

Social Media Weekly 12 February 2019


Malaysia ranks Top 5 globally in Social Media penetration.

A recent report released by HootSuite and We Are Social revealed that Malaysians have the 4th highest global Internet Penetration and the highest in Southeast Asia. Internet Penetration is defined as the percentage of people using the Internet. 

80% of Malaysians spend about 8 hours online every day, with 3 hours on social media. 75% of users spend their money on e-commerce platforms, 66% utilise mobile banking, and 48% being major users of ride hailing apps like Grab and MyCar. 

If this isn’t sign that digital marketing is probably the most important investment for every Malaysian company right now, I don’t know what else can convince people. 

Germany Considers Blocking Messenger-Instagram-WhatsApp Merger

Two weeks ago we talked about Facebook’s intention to merge all the 3 messaging apps. We also said that despite Zuckerberg’s PR move explaining why it would be a good idea, we all know he just wants to track all our movement easier and sell us more ads.

A few days ago, Germany’s cartel office, the Bundeskertellamt, Facebook has abused its control over the market to combine user data from different sources. The agency therefore found that the social media platform “violates mandatory European data protection principles”. 

In response to the Bundeskartellamt, Facebook insists that this merge is to “provide users with more benefits to the services”. We call bulshit. 


Instagram and Facebook Will Remove any Self-Harm Content

We recently talked about Instagram’s blatant disregard for user safety when they allowed hashtags like #suicide, #depression and #selfharm to flourish in their platform, and how it helped teenagers kill themselves. They just released an announcement detailing 4 new measures to fix this. 

  1. We will not allow any graphic images of self-harm, such as cutting, on Instagram – even if it would previously have been allowed as admission. We have never allowed posts that promote or encourage suicide or self-harm, and will continue to remove it when reported.
  2. We will not show non-graphic, self-harm related content – such as healed scars – in search, hashtags and the explore tab, and we won’t be recommending it. We are not removing this type of content from Instagram entirely, as we don’t want want to stigmatize or isolate people who may be in distress and posting self-harm related content as a cry for help.
  3. We want to support people in their time of need – so we are also focused on getting more resources to people posting and searching for self-harm related content and directing them to organizations that can help.
  4. We’re continuing to consult with experts to find out what more we can do, this may include blurring any non-graphic self-harm related content with a sensitivity screen, so that images are not immediately visible.

It is expected that these rules will somehow affect artistic and creative works, since algorithms will most likely be the filters working here. But we think it’s good that they start somewhere and improve from there. 


Instagram Brings IGTV to our Feeds and Stories.

In an attempt to keep pushing IGTV into our lives, Instagram will be inserting previews of IGTV clips into our feeds. From there, you can tap on the feed to watch the full video. 

We will soon also be able to share IGTV videos to our Stories. 


You Can Now Respond to Instagram Messages from Facebook Page Inbox

Seems the unification has begun. You can now reply to Instagram Direct Messages from Facebook Page inbox. With Instagram being a popular platform for businesses that left Facebook, it is a good move to make all messages accessible in one place. This is particularly helpful with brands that manage multiple Instagram accounts. 


Facebook Messenger Gets Delete Messages Feature

As long as your texts are no longer than 10 minutes, you can delete it from everyone’s text feed. All you have to do is press and hold the text bubble, and tap ‘remove for everyone’. 


Spotify Invests in Podcast

They just confirmed that they are acquiring Gimlet Media and Anchor. Gimlet Media is one of the top podcast production houses today, and Anchor is the leading podcast authoring, hosting and monetisation platform which we also use. 

While this is good news for the podcasting industry, we cannot yet see the immediate profitability this will bring to Spotify because podcasts mostly make money from selling advertising space or subscription-based pricing.

The UK Considers Banning Social Media if They Don’t Remove Harmful Content.

A recent BBC reports that UK Healthy Ministry will consider banning social media platforms if they do not remove all harmful content. In 2017, Molly Russell took her own life. After looking into her Instagram account, it was found that she had been following multiple accounts sharing content on self-harm.


Hashtags like #suicide #selfharm will lead one to accounts that share images and quote on suicide. And Instagram’s algorithm will keep showing us more of the same content.


After Molly’s dad approached Instagram about this, the company released a standard response saying: [it] works with expert groups who advise them on the “complex and nuanced” issues of mental health and self-harm.


After that, they simply placed pop-up advising users to seek help when they look for such content on their platforms. This is clearly not enough, because they could simply exit that pop-up and continue viewing the content.


The UK authorities said that if the banning will happen, it would likely take on the form of blocking ISPs. Although this does not make it full-proof, which means it would be a better alternative if they were to work with the social media platforms instead.


Facebook Plans to Bring WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram Together

Just when we were talking about Facebook’s plan to bring about a big evolutionary change to messages, we get this news the next week.


In an announcement made by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook plans to unify all three messaging platforms by streamlining the underlying infrastructure. Although they will remain standalone apps, users will soon be able to communicate with each other across the apps.


Although Zuckerberg said all three apps will have end-to-end encryption, we know that Facebook will not do something if it doesn’t help bring them more money.

Twitter Adds ‘Original Tweeter’ Tag To… Original Tweeters


If you are an avid user of Twitter and follow global conversations that span thousands of replies long, you know why this is important. Some conversations get so long, span such a lengthy period, and evolve into something so different, that we do not know who started it in the first place or what it was originally about.


Thankfully, we now have an Original Tweeter badge for the person who first started the tweet. So in case conversations get out of hand, we can always check our sources.

Documents Detailed How Facebook Made Money Off Children.

In 2012, Facebook was caught in a lawsuit against the parents of two children. These children purchased Facebook Credits on their accounts.


Although Facebook settled the case in 2016, documents of this event remained sealed. Until the 14th of January 2019, when the court asked Facebook to reveal the documents. The reason for this was the increasing interest in this event following Facebook’s endless streak of scandals last year.


This 100-page document detailed how the children were able to make repeated purchases of Facebook Credit after having their parent’s credit cards registered once. The cards were repeatedly charged without being clear that transactions were occurring.


When oblivious parents contacted Facebook for a refund after the saw their bills, Facebook refused the refund. The key flaw in this system was that no consent was required for further purchases beyond the first time, which led to their children repeatedly pushing the button for more Credits.


While Facebook will reveal the documents, they also managed to convince the court to agree to keep some documents sealed because they “contained information that would cause the social media giant harm, outweighing the public benefit.”


WhatsApp Business Brings Crucial Features to Desktop and Web Apps


WhatsApp Business has been a growing choice of small business owners, especially in emerging markets, since its launch last year.


As a business chat app, it has some important features that set it apart from our usual consumer version.


It can organise and filter chats and it has Quick Replies which allows business owners to post auto-generated replies to frequently asked questions with shortcuts. It also has labels and chat list filters which helps organize chats by categories.


Now, all these functions are available on WhatsApp web app and desktop browser. This will make it easier for users to manage their chats on a larger screen.

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