It’s Official – This week in social media – 17 June 2019

Your official social media news from the major social media platforms.

You can listen to or read this post.

There’s quite a bit of news this week from the major social media platforms.

In summary:

  1. Facebook has introduced blood donation features in the US, extended its Watch offering (that’s watching videos together as opposed to the tick-tock kind) to include global partnerships and original content and lifts the lid on how it evaluates comment ranking.
  2. Twitter has added more data sets to its publicly available archive on state-backed activities and we hear from the CMO of Sprout Social about the benefits of social listening on Twitter including for B2B businesses.
  3. LinkedIn launched a new social impact project to measure the impact of online communities on offline communities in once-thriving industries and added photo tagging, new reactions and video messaging.
  4. Meanwhile Google has continued to expand its digital education program in Michigan and Oklahoma; updated products including security keys for Android, dark mode for calendar, confidential Gmail and publicly available TPUs for machine learning. It also shares updates on digital banking, blood drives and a case study on using technology to grow a pharmacy online.


A few news items from Facebook this week.

Helping increase blood donations in the US

Facebook is continuing to partner with organisations to increase blood donations in the US by adding the feature to Facebook in a number of cities.

Since 2017, Facebook has partnered with blood donation centres around the world to help increase the number of donors. More than 35 million people have signed up to be blood donors on Facebook in Bangladesh, Brazil, India and Pakistan where this feature is available. Blood donation centres in India and Brazil found that 20% of people said that Facebook influenced their decision to donate blood, according to in-person surveys conducted at partner blood banks.

Full story

Watch allows you to connect with others while watching video via comments, shares, reactions, polls, Groups, messages and Watch Parties. Since Facebook launched Watch globally less than a year ago there are now more than 720 million people a month who visit Watch.

People are 8X more likely to comment on videos in Watch Party than when watching on their own.

Facebook is now working with publishers to create a sustainable, ad-supported ecosystem where every publisher and creator can reach their audience, make money from their videos, and thrive on the platform.

Facebook is continuing to partner with publishers and creatives, coming up:

  1. Global partnerships with content creators including Australian sporting codes NRL, AFL and Cricket Australia showcasing a range of sports content spanning match highlights, live original programs, wrap-ups, and more.
  2. Original content with Facebook Watch Originals.
  3. A program that connects creators with digital publishers, resulting in the creation of brand-new shows to debut on Facebook Watch.

Full story.

Making public comments more meaningful

Facebook explains how it ranks public comments and that ranking can be switched on and off for Pages.

Full story.


Information Operations on Twitter

Yoel Yoth @yoyoel says Twitter is adding six additional datasets to its archive, covering coordinated, state-backed activities originating from four jurisdictions following the first full archive of Tweets and media associated with known state-backed information operations on Twitter last October.

Twitter is making this data open and accessible to empower researchers, journalists, governments, and members of the public to deepen their understanding of critical issues impacting the integrity of public conversation online, particularly around elections.

This includes –

  1. Iran – accounts removed for platform manipulation.
  2. Russia – the removal of four accounts associated with the Russian Internet Research Agency.
  3. Spain – removal of fake accounts associated with the Catalan Independence movement.

In the full story Twitter breaks down how its guiding principles work and how to access its archives.

Guest Post: Q&A on social listening with Sprout Social CMO, Jamie Gilpin

Chief marketing officer at Sprout Social Jamie Gilpin @jamiewo says that in this day and age, with more consumers using social media than ever, social listening is no longer a competitive differentiator—it’s a must-have.

Through listening, brands can uncover insights about their products, business, employees, competitors, industry and can use social listening to learn from and connect with their customers.

She says people are on Twitter to discover what’s new, and over two-thirds of Twitter users influence the purchasing decisions of their friends and family.

She says social data is increasingly being used by B2B companies, particularly when it comes to financial investments. Bloomberg, for example, leverages Twitter social data to help its subscribers identify meaningful and relevant news so they can make better informed investment decisions.

Full story.


How We’re Putting the Power of Community to the Test 

LinkedIn is launching a new social impact project designed to explore whether an online community can have a profound impact on a real-world community.

Set in the UK town of Grimsby, famous for its once thriving fishing industry, the project will look at how the power of an online community can help people to access new jobs and careers in an area that has experienced hard times.

LinkedIn will be following the lives of four different people as they search for new opportunities in the area using LinkedIn, capturing their journey in the form of a short documentary series.

Full story

New Features to Help You Start Conversations and Build Community on LinkedIn

LinkedIn has introduced photo tagging and expanded its number of possible reactions to content and also now enables video in messaging.

Full story.


There’s quite a bit of news from Google this week.

From Offices to Libraries, Building Momentum in Michigan

First, Google continues to expand its presence in Detriot and Ann Arbor and has teamed up with public libraries and non-profits that are helping to close the skills divide as part of the Grow with Google Partner Program.

Full story.

With 4-H, Helping More Students Learn Computer Science

Google is making its largest ever computer science education grant to support 4-H in Oklahoma, the largest youth development organisation in the country.

Full story.

What’s New with Google Cloud

Updates include –

  1. Android phones now come with a built-in security key.
  2. Google calendar can now be viewed in dark mode.
  3. Gmail now has confidential mode with built in information rights management.
  4. Super powerful and expensive data centres full of servers were not enough to handle the growth of AI workloads and computational horsepower, so Google created its own hardware chips, TPUs, to speed up machine learning now publicly available in pods.

Full story.

Banks, Governments and Tech Need to Work Together to Digitise Economies and Increase Financial Inclusion 

Caesar Sengupta, General Manager & VP, Payments and Next Billion Users at Google says that a recent study showed that 48 percent of millennials in the U.S, are considering moving to a digital only bank; while on the other hand, there are 2.5 billion adults in the world who are unbanked or underbanked.

Google is partnering with banks to build products that work for everyone by using its global infrastructure and technology platform to connect more customers to a formal financial system, supporting governments to move societies from cash to digital economies.

Full story.

Why Giving Blood Matters and How You Can Help

Google supports blood drives in the workplace and its partnership with the American Red Cross, which uses Google Maps Platform to help people find a blood drive near them, have reached thousands of people across the U.S.

Full story.

A Father-Son Team Uses Technology to Grow a 144-Year-Old Business 

And if you’re after a small business case study then learn about how Merz Apothecary has used technology to continue to grow including through the use of ecommerce, Google ads and YouTube videos.

Full story.