Welcome to your Last Week in Digital Media and all the news you may have missed.
The week’s big news was Facebook’s response to the Oversight Board decision on former President Trump’s suspension. The short version is the suspension will now last two (2) years from the date of the original suspension. This doesn’t mean Trump will be allowed back on the platform, as Facebook does provide an allowance for additional review; in their words, “we will look to experts to assess whether the risk to public safety has receded.”
Facebook is looking to bring transparency to the “newsworthiness test,” which is an oft-maligned loophole in Facebook’s content moderation policy. This includes publishing when newsworthiness is applied, and the policy will be applied the same way to political vs. individual posts (although it is hard to imagine how a non-high profile individual is somehow eligible to be newsworthy).
Facebook also published a 20-page detailed document (PDF link) outlining the response to every recommendation from the Oversight Board. The more interesting read is pp14 on, where Facebook responds to the request to review its role in the January 6, Washington DC riots. Facebook places blame at the feet of the insurrectionists, but it does note the number of accounts, pages, groups, and events linked (directly or indirectly) to the event that has been removed from the platform.
Finally, Facebook repeats calls for “thoughtful regulation,” but given the political hyperbole around alleged platform bias, Facebook’s reaction to regulations in countries like Australia, etc., it’s hard to imagine regulation in the US – thoughtful or otherwise on the horizon anytime soon.
Now onto the other news.
- there are rumors that Amazon is preparing its own cookieless alternative. The offering would only work with Amazon’s DSP and publishers approved by Amazon.
- Roku is reportedly exploring moving further into the smart home space, particularly connected speakers and related devices. According to job postings, it seems Roku also wants to have deeper integration with other players in the smart home ecosystem.
- Facebook’s developer conference, F8, was held during the week. The key focus areas on the developer side include business messaging, AR and VR, and AI/Machine Learning. The IPG Media Lab has a great F8 wrap.
- if you’re keen to try Clubhouse (and haven’t yet got an invite, seriously, just ask me if you want one), the Clubhouse app will be heading into general release during the US Summer.
- the merged Warner Bros and Discovery business will be called Warner Bros. Discovery – which was revealed during the week.
- Roku is launching a weekly entertainment show called Roku Recommends. The Roku Recommend program comes from Roku Brand Studios, Roku’s marketing-ad focused custom content unit, and the launch advertisers will be Walmart. Incidentally, accidentally leaked during the week is that Walmart is launching their own Android-based streaming stick that competes with Roku.
- there is a good study from Snap that looks at the power of AR to drive purchasing. With Snap’s AR glasses in alpha, rumors about an Apple Glasses announcement at WWDC, and Facebook potentially being released this year – it’s increasingly important to start thinking about what role AR will be playing in marketing.
A lot of twitter updates this week (it’s almost a Last Week in Twitter newsletter worth), so breaking it into its own section:
- twitter has started testing fleet ads, twitter’s stories-like offering. The full-screen fleet ads support images and video in 9:16, and videos can be up to 30 seconds long. Advertisers can include a “swipe up” call-to-action, and all standard Twitter ad metrics will be available.
- twitter has launched a paid weather service called tomorrow. The service costs US$10 per month, covers 15 cities, and one of the more interesting features is it will let you ask meteorologists an unlimited number of questions. It will be separate from twitter’s subscription offering, twitter blue.
- twitter blue has launched in Australia and Canada (the US is coming soon). twitter blue includes the much-requested undo tweet function, bookmark organizing tools, and a reader mode. More details here.
- to combat misinformation, twitter is testing a graded labeling system that includes “Get the Latest,” “Stay Informed,” and “Misleading.”
- twitter’s birdwatch pilot (crowdsourced fact-checking) notes are now being shown to birdwatch beta participants. Previously, users only saw their own notes, not those of other users.
- a redesign to the twitter app is coming, which will see twitter Spaces put in the center of the navbar. This is rolling out to all users over the coming days, so don’t worry if you don’t see it yet.
twitter may be close to launching their Super Follows feature with Jane Wong discovering more details of the offering. Users will need at least 10,000 followers, posted 25 tweets in the past 30 days, and be over 18 to offer Super Follows perks.
- the last bit of twitter news is that they have struck a deal with OpenDorse, that will provide a pathway for student-athletes to monetize their content and likeness on twitter.
- in recently released unredacted documents from Google’s Arizona AG lawsuit, it appears Google collected location tracking data even when users had opted out. These documents echo similar claims and findings by Australia’s competition regulator.
- Facebook is facing two Antitrust investigations in Europe, one with the EU and one in the UK. The EU investigation will focus on possible anticompetitive conduct by Facebook in classified advertising; the UK investigation is about data collection and Facebook’s Single Sign-On. The investigations are expected to conclude in 2022.
- the EU has commenced formal conversations with TikTok regarding TikTok’s commercial practices and policy (details are mid-page). Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, 64,000 parents have filed a claim against TikTok, demanding better age verification, parental controls, and removal of data from children under the age of 16
PRIVACY, TRUST, and SAFETY
- Google is making changes to Android so that if a user opts out of interest-based advertising or ad personalization, Android will no longer share the device ID. This is not exactly what Apple is doing with ATT, but it moves Android (a little bit) in a similar direction to Apple.
- privacy advocacy group NOYB has issued more than 500 draft GDPR privacy complaints, but what makes this interesting is it is automating the process and can issue up to 10,000. The initial complaints are friendly and provide guidance on addressing GDPR violations before a formal complaint is made.
- according to recent research, American adults are not as good at spotting fake news as they like to think. The study doesn’t suggest that overconfidence increases the likelihood of sharing fake news but does imply adding friction to sharing like self-monitoring and pausing for reflection does reduce susceptibility to misinformation.
Have a great week.
PS. A distraction for you. If you recall that earlier item about the study saying people are not as good at spotting fake news and you think you are above average, try this (unrelated) quiz on FakeFact.com and see if you can spot misinformation. You may even learn something. And a bonus distraction, if you have kids and want to do a fun and safe experiment, this is cool.