Twitter tackles trolls
In an attempt to reduce abuse on social media, Twitter has introduced more tools to help its users. The new developments include allowing users to limit what they see from accounts, what notifications they receive and making people upload profile pictures or contact information if they want other users to get their notifications. This is important as accounts with no profile picture are often used by anonymous internet trolls. The change stems from an increase in ‘fake news’ on the site, extremist rhetoric and abuse from individuals. Twitter will also target accounts that repetitively tweet at another account and can temporarily limit the account’s access to the site.
The change will hopefully give users more control and make the site a more positive environment, so therefore more attractive to advertisers. It also shows Twitter taking a proactive stance against abuse rather than waiting for victims to report it.
Online vs face-to-face
Research published this week by Nationwide has revealed a sobering insight into just how ‘connected’ millennials are compared to the older generation. The research was commissioned to support the building society’s loneliness campaign and the research of 2,000 respondents revealed that as much as seven per cent of the UK’s population could be suffering from loneliness on an ongoing basis. In terms of friendships, on average Brits have 65 friends online compared to just 14 ‘traditional’ (or real life) friends. In turn, 25 per cent of British adults spend more time interacting on social media channels than in person. The research then goes on to highlight that those aged 18-34 years reported higher levels of having experienced loneliness (89 per cent) compared to just 70 per cent of those aged 55 years and over. Interesting reading which begs the question, does the digital savvy generation need to strike a better balance between engaging online and face-to-face?
As one of the most popular video streaming services of our time, it is no surprise that YouTube has this week announced its own live TV service. YouTube TV will offer its own version of a ‘traditional’ cable TV package with live steaming from 40 different US broadcasters in a bid to target the ‘YouTube generation’. The Google-owned video platform announced that the live TV function can be used in an app on mobile, desktop and TV and will predominantly feature sports channels as well as entertainment channels including MTV and kids favourite, Nickelodeon. Right now, it appears that the service will only be available in the US with a $35-per-month subscription fee. It will be interesting to see how popular the new service is and whether it rolls out to the UK…
Snap Inc takes over…
This week saw Snap Inc, the owner of the messaging platform Snapchat, defy any doubters who were thinking the app is a flash in the pan as its shares rose by 44 per cent in its first day of trading. The platform, famous for popularising disappearing content and giving us fun filters to put over our selfies, left its first day on the US stock market with a value of almost $30bn despite never having made a profit. Even after this promising start, some analysts are still sceptical, arguing that the company has been overvalued. Time will tell, watch this space.