Social Media News | The Professor’s Pick

Twitter removes customised wallpapers

Twitter has quietly removed personalised wallpapers from timelines and profile pages. While cover images remain, the move now sees uploaded profile wallpapers replaced with a plain background. The company has been gradually rolling out the update to new users since last year. The change did not go down well with current users.

Twitter has not shared the rationale behind the decision. However, some commentators believe it forms part of wider plans to transform from a social network to a curated news service. Having a blank background will allow Twitter to deliver ads alongside content, although no plans to implement this have been confirmed.

You can find out more about the new design options here.

Reddit to clamp down on dark material

Last week we looked at the difficulties facing Reddit since the departure of interim CEO Ellen Pao. Now it appears that Reddit is to clamp down on ‘abhorrent’ content posted on its platform.

The move will see Reddit give moderators the power to hide discussions they believe fall outside accepted standards of decency. The material will, however, still be viewable to logged in users. The service will continue its total ban on child abuse and ‘revenge porn’ images.

Commenting on the decision, current interim CEO and co-founder Steve Huffman said: “We’ve spent the last few days here discussing, and agree that an approach like this allows us as a company to repudiate content we don’t want to associate with the business, but gives individuals freedom to consume it if they choose”.

While Reddit is undoubtedly attempting to find a balance between facilitating freedom of speech and being used as a platform for distasteful views, it is unclear whether the new approach will satisfy its critics.

Top brands increase YouTube ad spend by 60%

According to Google, the average spend on YouTube from the top 100 brands has increased 60% year-on-year. The study, which looked at brands such as Apple, Coca-Cola and IMB, also found that:

  • Views of branded content created by the top 100 brands have almost doubled in the past year
  • The top 100 brands have racked up more than 40 billion views between them, with more than 18 billion of these recorded in the past 12 months
  • Subscriptions for brand channels have increased by 47% year-on-year
  • Advertisers are increasingly creating content for YouTube
  • The average mobile session on YouTube now lasts 40 minutes (up more than 50% on last year)
  • In 2014, four of the top 10 trending videos on YouTube were created by brands
  • 10% of the videos posted by the top 100 brands last year were over 10 minutes long
  • Outside the top 100, the total number of advertisers investing in video has risen by 40% over the same period.

Google, Facebook and Yahoo to erect strong defence

Google, Facebook and Yahoo are to unite to tackle non-human traffic and bot fraud. Joining forces with a number of digital peers, the initiative will share intelligence and resources in a bid to combat the problem.

With bot fraud cited as one of the leading causes of wasted online ad spend, tackling cyber-crime will help the industry to respond to advertisers concerns.

Commenting on the initiative, Neal Mohan, vice president of video and display advertising products for Google said: “We’re excited by the collaborative spirit we’ve seen during the launch of this initiative and look forward to working with everyone in the ecosystem to remove fraud from advertising”.

Ello rolls out a range of upgrades

Ello has rolled out a series of new updates including:

  • Faster notifications and alerts
  • A new view ‘more posts’ button
  • A range of new navigation tools including improved mobile design for iOS users.

The changes, which were announced to users in an email this week, are expected to be completed by the end of the week.

Facebook ordered to hand over New York users’ info

A court has ruled that Facebook cannot challenge search warrants used by NYC prosecutors to access the photos, private messages and account information of suspected Social Security fraudsters.

Despite being backed by digital giants such as Google and Microsoft, Facebook lost the case, setting a precedent in the U.S. when it comes to accessing private digital information.

A Facebook spokesman said the company disagreed with the decision and was considering an appeal.


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