Welcome to the second edition of the Social Media News Roundup here on R3 Social Media, where we discuss any newsworthy additions to the social media space. In our last edition we talked about #MeToo, and whether our democracy is at stake because of social media, among other things. Let’s dive into what’s going on this week.
Facebook is Testing a Second News Feed
This week we saw an interesting development that would scare, unnerve, or just plain piss off any social media marketer or manager who has been fighting to build their audience and community on Facebook, especially with any sort of organic methods. You see, a “long time ago”, Facebook gave brands their pages for free and allowed you to have a ton more reach and control over who saw your posts. If someone liked your page, they would almost certainly see your posts. Most if not ALL of those posts. But as Facebook became larger and larger, having investors to please, and businesses flocked to Facebook to connect with customers, Facebook pulled the rug out from us and took away the organic reach to get us to spend more money on the platform. Reach has steadily declined more and more ever since.
This week, we’ve found that Facebook is testing a news feed where business pages don’t even show up. Instead, there will be one news feed with posts from friends, family members, etc. plus ads/promoted posts, and an entirely separate news feed showing only the brand pages posts that someone has “liked” or followed.
The issue here, is that we all know that people will most likely not switch tabs or pages just to view a feed with posts from brands or pages they’ve “liked” throughout the years. This will absolute decrease reach even farther for brands that cannot afford to pay for it using the robust ad platform. In this blog post, Filip Struhárik, a journalist in Slovakia, noticed drop in reach on several Facebook pages. He also noted that sixty of the biggest Slovak media pages had 4 times less engagements (likes, comments, shares) since the test began. This is only a test. It’s only been rolled out in Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Slovakia, Serbia, Guatemala and Cambodia, and Facebook has come out to say there are no plans to roll this out globally (yet). But, we all know Facebook and the fear is stemming from the knowledge that we all know if this test suits them, they will absolutely roll it out to everyone.
Social Media Executives to Testify to Congress; Answer Questions in the UK
In relation to Russian meddling in the 2016 United States Presidential election, executives from Google, Facebook, and Twitter will be testifying in front of Congress on October 31st, and the Senate intelligence committee on November 1st to answer questions about how their platforms may have played a part in the election; specifically the spread of false news stories, and propaganda on their networks through ads.
Also on this note, Facebook, Twitter and other social media executives are also being asked to answer questions about Russia’s involvement in Brexit this week. There is some concern that Russia not only used the social media platforms to influence the Presidential election in the United States, but also that Russia had a hand in influencing people’s opinions on whether Britain should leave the European Union (EU) or what has become popularly referred to as Brexit.
Social Media Being Used for Crime Solving ..and Planning
We’ve been seeing a rise of people using social media platforms to plan crime as well as help solve crimes. You’ve probably seen the messages on Facebook; Your friends are sharing the photo of a local burglar to try and help find them, or someone that knows who they are. People inherently want to help in situations where friends or local community members are harmed because they have a strong desire to save themselves, their family, or their property from having the same thing happen to them. In a way, this has been very helpful to police, as they are able to utilize the data from many more people rather than just a few, directly related to the crime or connected to the victims.
But on the flip side of this social good, we’re also seeing a rise in social media networks being used to plan crimes or worse, show off the crimes that took place. So much so, there’s actually a proposal in California asking for stiffer sentences for violent felons that showed their crimes on Facebook Live.
I bet Facebook never saw that one coming.
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