What happened on social media in August 2020?
This month, Twitter and Facebook have begun rolling out updates and changes to their platforms ahead of the upcoming US presidential election. Alongside this, Chinese owned video-sharing app TikTok is also caught up in a legal storm against Trump, thanks to his attempt to ban the app in the US.
Facebook Updates August 2020
Facebook Rolls Out Paid Events Option
This month, Facebook launched a new ‘paid events’ option in 20 countries around the world, including the United Kingdom, for businesses and creators. This is designed to help provide another way for them to generate direct income during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.
As explained by Facebook:
“With social distancing mandates still in place, many businesses and creators are bringing their events and services online to connect with existing customers and reach new ones. […] By combining marketing, payment and live video, paid online events meet the end-to-end needs of businesses. Pages can host events on Facebook Live to reach broad audiences, and we’re testing paid events with Messenger Rooms for more personal and interactive gatherings.”
Facebook Launches Voting Information Centre Ahead of US Election
In August, Facebook also launched a Voting Information Centre for its US users ahead of the upcoming election. Its aim is to encourage 4 million more Americans to participate in voting with its official launch.
As explained by Facebook:
“The goal of the Voting Information Center, together with our registration efforts, is simple: to help every eligible voter in the US who uses our platform to vote this year. It is also important that we help protect the integrity of our elections. This new product connects everyone on Facebook and Instagram to accurate and easy-to-find information about voting wherever they live, helping empower them to hold their elected officials accountable. It’s a nonpartisan effort that’s available to everyone, and we’ll send notifications at the top of Facebook and Instagram targeted by age and location so people of voting age see relevant information in their state.”
Instagram Updates August 2020
Instagram Works Toward Combating Bots
With Instagram’s ongoing battle to ensure all accounts are authentic and belong to real people, they’re working on a new push to crackdown on bots and fake accounts. This is with the new review and ID process that will begin to ask people who are behind accounts, by encouraging accounts to confirm their private information. Instagram plans to take into consideration a range of things when assessing potential bot activity. This includes evaluating if the majority of someone’s followers are in a different country to their location, if there are signs of automation use, and if accounts are associated with inauthentic behaviour.
Twitter updates August 2020
Twitter Launches Warning Prompts
This month, Twitter finally rolled out its warning prompts on potentially harmful Tweet replies, after testing them over the past few months. Twitter can now detect responses that may contain offensive comments.
Twitter Rolls Out Reply Controls
Alongside this, Twitter also rolled out this month its reply controls to all users. This means that before you write your Tweet, you can choose who can reply using three options: 1) everyone (standard Twitter, and the default setting), 2) only people you follow, or 3) only people you mention. Both of these rolls out will help combat online abuse and encourage more intimate discussion, as users can limit unwanted replies.
In other news
Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok is taking legal action against Donald Trump in his attempt to ban the app in the US. After assessing options, TikTok this month confirmed they will be taking legal action.
“Even though we strongly disagree with the Administration’s concerns, for nearly a year we have sought to engage in good faith to provide a constructive solution,” a TikTok spokesperson told CNBC recently.
This all coincidentally came alongside the launch of Instagram Reels, which is a TikTok-like function that Instagram rolled out this month. The question is: will Instagram re-take over or will users stay loyal to TikTok?
With the evolution of the platforms, the social channels are finally starting to get back to normal after all the changes Covid-19 have bought to the industry. We look forward to seeing what the rest of the year has in mind for the social channels and how they continue to change to fit with the new way of living in 2020. Stay tuned for our guide to future updates in the world of social media.