In this week’s digital news, Facebook cracks down on Russian accounts, Google partners with WordPress, Bytedance unveils their version of Snapchat, and more.
Facebook cracks down on Russian accounts
The social network said it intercepted two campaigns by fake accounts with links to Russia and the Sputnik news service. In total, Facebook removed 289 Pages and 75 accounts. The Pages reportedly engaged in “inauthentic behavior.” Sputnik, an online Moscow-based news service, is responsible for the offense. The Pages were filled with anti-NATO sentiment and encouraged various protests. The decision to delete the accounts, however, was based on their suspicious activity. “The people behind this activity coordinated with one another and used fake accounts to misrepresent themselves, and that was the basis for our action,” said Nathaniel Gleicher, head of cybersecurity policy.
Google joins forces with WordPress
A new economical system designed for publishing local news is in the works after a partnership between Google and WordPress. Google has reportedly invested $1.2 million into creating the platform, which will be called Newspack. According to Google, “Journalists should be writing stories and covering their communities, not worrying about designing websites, configuring CMSs, or building commerce systems. Their publishing platform should solve these problems for them.” Newspack will be geared towards small publishers and users will have access to the full suite of features. To sum up, WordPress will work with Spirited Media and News Revenue Hub to design the platform. And Google will advise the collective on feature design, and will provide technical support.
TikTok parent company unveils their version of Snapchat
TikTok has quickly become one of the most successful social media apps of the past few years. Riding their hot streak, parent company Bytedance announced Duoshan this week, a video-messaging app that looks a lot like Snapchat. The name is Chinese for “flashes,” and it lets users record and send each other short videos that disappear after 3 days. According to the announcement, the company will first focus efforts on gaining a following in China. Similar to Snapchat, users of the app will see one screen for posting new videos and one for discovering popular videos. Lastly, Bytedance announced that TikTok has reached 250 million daily active users. As well, it surpassed Facebook, YouTube, and Snapchat in monthly installs in the U.S. last September.
Gillette advertisement sparks controversy
Gillette, a leading men’s shaving products brand, initiated a new ad campaign this week that has consumers divided. The ad aims to tackle sexual harassment, bullying and “toxic” masculinity. It invokes their trademark slogan by posing the question: “Is this the best a man can get?” The ad reached 17 million viewers on YouTube and viewers are vehemently divided. To sum up, the video has 833,000 dislikes 421,000 likes as of Thursday morning.
In addition, There have been 1.6 million mentions of Gillette on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, as well as other sites. Nearly three-fourths of consumers said the brand “is socially responsible,” up from about 55%, according to a survey of 2,200 people conducted by Morning Consult. Outspoken conservatives, like actor James Woods and talk-show host Piers Morgan have lashed out against Gillette over the ad, and many social media users have posted videos of them throwing away their razors. In sum, It’s clear that Nike’s ad featuring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick was truly as impactful as predicted.
Report shows the impressive reach of influencer marketing
A new study from Klear seems to confirm what influencer marketing evangelists have been preaching for a while now: it’s the next big thing. After analyzing more than 2.1 million Instagram sponsored posts from 2018, they found that influencer marketing grew by over 39% last year. The firm conducted a statistical analysis of trends using their SIGIR influencer measurement technology. Secondly, a key finding shows that micro-influencers are particularly prevalent, as they posted 84% of sponsored posts worldwide. It makes sense considering that micro-influencers are more trustworthy and community-connected. Because of that image, their content feels more authentic. Lastly, the report underlines the way in which Instagram Stories have become a more popular outlet for advertisements as well. For a full run down of the insights gleaned from Klear’s study, read the full report here.
Published on January 18, 2019