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The news feed:

Last week Mark Zuckerberg published a post about his 2018 challenge, to ensure that time spent on Facebook was time well spent. In the post, Zuckerberg discusses Facebook’s original intentions, “to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us.” Along with other remarks including “The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well being … we can feel less lonely” This is debatable, but it is prompting a big change in how the news feed works.

Facebook are now going to look at ranking posts from your friends and family based on the likelihood that you’ll interact with those posts. They want to encourage you to spent less time passively scrolling, more time interacting with people you love. Facebook will prioritise these types of exchanges so that you see them more in your feed. Note that person to person interactions will be seen as more valuable that a person to page interaction.

These changes are going to mean that publishers and social media managers are going to have to rethink their strategy and encourage users to interact with them, without actually encouraging them to. (Remember Facebook’s recent measures put in place to stop engagement bait?) Zuckerberg has also openly admitted that he believes the time people spend on Facebook will go down, but it will be more valuable.

What do you think?

Snapchat work on a new product called ‘Stories Everywhere’

Snapchat are starting work on ‘Stories Everywhere’. This is a new product which would encourage the sharing of Stories outside of the native Snapchat app. This could be a way for Snapchat to prompt a growth in users, and when shared Stories are viewed, there’s the possibility for ‘Sign Up’ and ‘Download App’ prompts.

Facebook and Universal Music Group Strike a Deal

Facebook and Universal Music Group (UMG) have announced a global agreement which means UMG become the first major music company to license it’s music for videos across Facebook, Instagram and Oculus. This means that users will be able to share the songs they love, and it may even help to build further communities within music-fueled culture. Users will now be able to upload videos to Facebook which contain license music, without the fear of the video being taken down. It’s surely only a matter of time before other record companies follow suit.

3-Second Unskippable Ads

Snapchat are considering the use of 3-second unskippable ads. These would be placed before Snaps the user has queued and would play for 3 seconds before a ‘Skip’ button would emerge. Currently, there’s a dip in the amount advertisers are spending on Snapchat Ads, however if this feature was incorporated it is likely to attract further brands and advertisers. The only thing they need to be wary of is keeping their main audience – teens – happy.