Social Media News | The Professor’s Pick

Zuckerberg boasts of 1 billion daily Facebook users

Mark Zuckerberg has revealed that Facebook reached one billion hits in a single day. Sharing news of the milestone in a Facebook post, Zuckerberg said: “We just passed an important milestone. For the first time ever, one billion people used Facebook in a single day.”

He went on to add: “On Monday, 1 in 7 people on Earth used Facebook to connect with their friends and family.

“When we talk about our financials, we use average numbers, but this is different. This was the first time we reached this milestone, and it’s just the beginning of connecting the whole world.”

While Facebook has amassed 1.5 billion average monthly users, this is the first time that so many of them logged in within a single 24 hour period.

Facebook unveils its virtual assistant ‘M’

Facebook has created a new virtual assistant that lives within its Messenger app.

‘M’, is powered by artificial intelligence and can do everything from organising events to calling companies so that users don’t have to waste their time on hold.

M will attempt to challenge voice recognition software services such as Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana. It is also thought that M could become a real challenger to Google in the search space.

Commenting on M, Facebook’s VP of messaging products, David Marcus said: “It can purchase items, get gifts delivered to your loved ones, book restaurants, travel arrangements, appointments and way more”. And, while M currently relies on information provided by users, Facebook will no doubt be looking at ways to mine and share data to make the service even more powerful.

M is currently being tested by a few hundred users.

Google gets a new look

Google has had a makeover this week, unveiling a new animated logo designed to work across all screen sizes. Having only recently announced that Google is to sideline Google Plus, and that Google will become the largest subsidiary of new company Alphabet, the makeover has been described as its biggest update in 16 years.

The new logo ditches the old serif typeface in favour of its own sans-serif font, and will react to search requests (both written and verbal), by changing depending on the search being made.

Instagram takes on Twitter with new DM functionality

While Twitter has been improving its Direct Mail functionality over the past few months, rival Instagram is not to be outdone with its own suite of private messaging updates.

The Facebook-owned app, which sees 85 million (of its 300 million) users send each other DMs every month, has unveiled a number of improvements. These include threaded messages, the ability to name group chats, emoji and stickers, a quick camera button and the ability to share public photos, hashtag result pages, and locations in private messages.

The new capabilities are now available to iOS and Android users.

LinkedIn enables use of emoji and gifs

Professional social networking service LinkedIn will now allow users to add emoji and gifs to messages. The change is currently only available to English language users on Android, iOS and desktop, with plans to roll it out to other languages in the coming weeks.

Commenting on the change, LinkedIn’s director of product management, Mark Hull said:” Many of you have been asking for this ability and we’ve taken a thoughtful approach to reflect the evolving ways professionals are communicating with one another today, as well as, the different ways our members are interacting with each other across our international markets.

“We know we can put a unique LinkedIn spin on the kinds of conversations you are already having in a professional setting, like making introductions or debriefing after a meeting. The possibilities are endless and we look forward to continue iterating and enhancing the experience.”

Former Facebook and Instagram strategist joins PicsArt

Eric Edge, who led Facebook’s marketing efforts in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and who worked on brand strategy at Instagram, has left the company to become VP of marketing at PicsArt.

PicsArt, which is being touted as a possible contender to Instagram, has a 65 million strong monthly user base and is keen to attract advertisers and brands to its platform.

Commenting on his move, Edge said that, while he wasn’t planning on leaving Instagram, PicsArt is “pushing into the future”, and he saw an opportunity to build something unique. He also commented that PicsArt is “fundamentally different” to the likes of Instagram.

Snapchat charging for zero-second video views

According to reports, Snapchat is charging advertisers for video ads viewed for less than a second. If true, this means that brands are paying every time an ad loads, even if the user didn’t see it.

There are currently no set viewability standards for online ads. However, the Media Ratings Council and Interactive Advertising Bureau recommend that 50% of a display ad’s pixels should appear onscreen for at least two continuous seconds for a video ad to count as an impression.

Parliament calls for autoplay rethink

MPs have called for reform of Facebook and Twitter’s autoplay videos after the fatal shooting of two US journalists was filmed, uploaded and rolled automatically on users’ newsfeeds.

While the video was eventually removed, it initially ran without warning, and was seen extensively on both platforms, forcing many unwitting users to witness the murder.

In response, a cross-party parliamentary forum is calling for autoplay to be made an opt-in, not an opt-out feature, stating that: “Social media, just like traditional media, should consider how shocking other content can be, and make sure consumers are warned appropriately.”


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