Social Media News | The Professor’s Pick

Half a Billion Using Facebook Messenger

Facebook’s standalone app ‘Messenger’ has now reached 500 million monthly users. That’s up from 300 million in April this year.

Launched in 2011, Messenger hit the headlines this summer when Facebook stripped users of the ability to message from within its main mobile app. While the latest user figures are being positioned as proof of its popularity, there’s no escaping that Facebook effectively forced users who wanted to continue to message friends to download Messenger.

In a recent Q&A session with Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, the most frequently asked question was: “Why did you force us to install Facebook Messenger?”, highlighting the strength of upset over the move.

With the app currently displaying a rating of just 1.5 stars in the iOS store, Facebook remains committed to making Messenger “the best possible messaging experience” but admits that “there is so much left for us to do”.

WhatsApp ‘blue ticks’ proving controversial

Last week I revealed that popular messaging app WhatsApp had introduced a new feature letting users know if, and at what, time their messages were being read.

Unsurprisingly the new ‘blue tick’ functionality ticked many users off. With WhatsApp failing to allow people to disable the read receipts, complaints were raised that the feature was a red flag to “stalkers” and “weirdos”.

Responding to the controversy, WhatsApp appears to have listened to its users, with the new Beta version of the Android app allowing them to turn off the blue ticks from within the privacy setting of the app. It is expected that this update will be officially rolled out across all devices soon.

Facebook revealed as platform of choice for magazines

This week The Association of Magazine Media (MPA) released its first ever social media report, tracking the reach of 165 magazines across Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest.

The report, which measured audience engagement, covered the period between August and October this year. With the magazines in question reaching 198 million followers on Facebook, the social media giant remains the platform of choice for big brands.

Key findings:

  • Time magazine has the largest social media following (20 million approx)
  • Playboy is the most-liked magazine on Facebook (over 16 million fans)
  • The most followed titles on Instagram are fashion magazines with Vogue leading the way (2.9 million followers)
  • Pinterest is unsurprisingly fashion and lifestyle-oriented with Harper’s Bazaar the top magazine ( 4.7 million followers)

Interestingly however, despite Facebook’s dominance, it is Twitter and Pinterest that are experiencing the fastest growth rates when it comes to followers. While Facebook’s audience grew just 2.4% in September 2014, Instagram saw a 10.6% increase with Twitter achieving a 3.4% growth rate over the same period.

LinkedIn under threat from new Facebook site?

According to the Financial Times, Facebook is set to launch a work-based social network to rival LinkedIn. The site will facilitate conversations and information sharing between colleagues via a new professional account, while allowing users to keep their personal profiles separate. While the new site is expected to follow the Facebook look and feel, it will protect personal information, photographs and updates.

According to the report, the new service will be funded by advertising revenue, and be free of charge to users. As yet, there is no set launch date.

Reddit CEO steps down

The chief executive of news forum Reddit has stepped down claiming that the role “wore him out”.

Yishan Wong, who had been in the role for two and a half years issued a statement on question-and-answer website Quora, stating that: “The job as CEO of Reddit is incredibly stressful and draining, I’m basically completely worn out and it was having significantly detrimental effects on my personal life.”

Wong is also known to have disagreed with the Reddit board over the relocation of the firm. He will be replaced by Reddit interim business and partnerships strategist Ellan Pao.

Snapchat introduces payment feature

Messaging app Snapchat now allows users to transfer money to each other via private messages.

The new feature has been created in partnership with payment processing firm Square.

‘Snapcash’ is currently only available to users in the US who are over 18 and who have a debit card. However, a roll out to other countries is likely if it is successful.

While security concerns have been raised – particularly after the leak of 4.6 million usernames and phone numbers – Snapchat has been quick to reassure users that no personal financial information will be stored on its servers.

 

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