Twitter’s latest experiment upsets users
Twitter was met with a storm of protest this week when it suddenly started showing some ‘favourited’ tweets in follower’s timelines.
The favourite functionality is used primarily as a means of agreeing with or showing appreciation for tweets, as well as bookmarking tweets of interest to read at a later time.
Until now, only the user of the original tweet would be notified when it was favourited, meaning that for the most part, such endorsements remained private (although you could access a particular user’s favourites via their Twitter profile).
This development has caused upset from two-quarters, firstly from those who favourite tweets but don’t necessarily want to share these with followers, and secondly from users who now have to navigate past these favourites in their timestream.
With the Twitter retweet functionality already available for those who want to share tweets made by others, there is, as yet, no apparent need or support for this latest change.
Twitter has yet to comment on the move other than highlighting a 2013 blog in which it states that it is “constantly working to make it even easier to follow what you care about, connect with people and discover something new on Twitter.”
With the changes only impacting the official Twitter apps and desktop site, it will be interesting to see whether Twitter decides to keep this controversial update or risk losing more users to third-party Twitter clients.
Social media monitoring predicted to rise
A recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) predicts that online monitoring by employers is set to rise over the next ten years. Rather than scare tomorrow’s workforce however, the report also suggests that by 2020, younger employees will happily exchange access to their social media profiles in return for job security.
The report, which interviewed workers from across the globe, states that rather than being seen as an intrusion of privacy, the monitoring of personal data could be used by progressive employers as a way to improve employee engagement and wellbeing.
Concerns have, however, been raised over whether such an intrusion into an individual’s private life, even with strict permissions and guidelines, can ever be justified.
Google’s new music subscription service revealed
This week a series of leaked images gave music lovers a sneak peek into what Google’s forthcoming YouTube powered music subscription service might look like.
According to reports, the service, which will be called ‘YouTube Music Key’, will offer ad-free music for $9.99 a month following an initial free trial period. YouTube Music Play aims to tap into the video sharing network’s robust algorithms to deliver recommended playlist and curated tracks.
In related news, Google is reportedly also considering online accounts for children under the age of 13. While there are stringent rules in place regarding the collection and use of data for children in this age group, Google’s plans will see parents have strict control over how the service is used in order to ensure compliance.
Google has so far declined to confirm either of these developments.
Pinterest introduces messaging
Image discovery and sharing site Pinterest has made a significant change to its platform with the introduction of Pinterest Messages.
Allowing users to send pins to specific individuals, and respond to pins sent to them, in the same way as text messaging, the change, which specifically impacts mobile users, is likely to lead to greater communication and engagement.
The development is one in a series of innovations and updates released by Pinterest of late, including increased search capabilities and Place Pins.
Tumblr to scan images for brand affiliation
This week, blogging and social media site Tumblr revealed plans to begin scanning users’ photos in a bid to gather crucial data about brand affiliation.
In a deal with Ditto Labs (a US company with a proprietary visual recognition engine), Tumblr images will be scanned for recognisable brands, with this information then handed to the brands in question (clients of Ditto) to help them better understand their customers and how they interact with their products.
The partnership between Tumblr and Ditto Labs is expected to start this week and, if successful, will help Tumblr generate that all important revenue without increasing advertising on its platform, something that would surely anger Tumblr users.
Last month, Yahoo announced plans to pull sponsored ads from Tumblr onto its own sites. The move would see Tumblr ads appear across a number of platforms including Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Beauty and Yahoo Tech.