media update’s Christine Gerber highlights the top social media stories from July, and why they’re still breaking news.

Instagram’s Question Stickers

The news: Instagram recently brought out Question Stickers, which is a feature that allows you to attach questions to your Instagram Stories.

Once you’ve posted your Question Sticker from your sticker tray, there’s no limit to how many answers your friends are allowed to give in response.

Basically, you can have full on conversations on your Instagram Story for all of your followers to see. To start a conversation, all your friends have to do is tap on the question and type out their reply.

Image sourced from Instagram Blog

Why it’s still making headlines: Many users originally thought the responses they sent to Question Stickers would be anonymous – they were not. How awkward...

Tiffany Kelly at The Daily Dot says that the design of the sticker might be to blame.

“When you ‘type something,’ that response is sent [directly] to the person who posted the sticker.” Most people initially thought that their responses would be anonymously displayed on Instagram Stories, but they quickly found out that was not the case.

“While the responses are not shared publicly, the person who posted the sticker will receive [the responses] in their regular notifications tab.”

Image sourced from The Daily Dot

The confusion could originate from Instagram’s original blog introducing Question Stickers, where the social platform said, “Though you’re able to see who submitted each response in your viewers’ list where it’s private, when you share that response in your story, your friend’s photo and username will not be shown.”

Facebook’s Snooze feature

The news: Facebook recently announced the addition of its new ‘Snooze’ feature to its News Feed controls, which is their attempt at preventing you from seeing any spoilers in the near future.

All you have to do is select the dropdown arrow next to the ‘Publish’ button and click on the ‘Snooze’ option when you’re making your next post. Facebook will automatically detect keywords from the text of your post (you'll then be able to pick and choose the right ones). From there, any future posts containing the selected keywords will be hidden from you for up to 30 days.

Why it’s still making headlines: Science Alert’s Seamus Byrne picked up on a couple of the feature’s ‘flaws’, which he reported in his article, Blocking Spoilers From Your Facebook News Feed Is Officially in The Works.

Notably, a few of the flaws he mentioned include:

1. The flaw in the keyword function: This flaw is a result of the how the feature actually works. If you’re already posting about the spoiler you don’t want to see, the preventive measure will only begin after you’ve already seen a spoiler.

2. The expiry date on the the Snooze feature: If the keywords are snoozed for up to 30 days, spoilers will return unless you remind yourself to reset them.

3. The risk of spoilers in private messages: Because the keywords are only picked up in your News Feed, and not on Facebook Messenger, it is still possible for you to receive spoilers from your friends on Facebook.

Twitter’s fight against fake followers

The news: Twitter recently decided to do a clean up after receiving reports of bots on the platform, and users accumulating large amounts of fake followers.

Why it's still making headlines: The New York Times stated in a report: “[Twitter’s] reform takes aim at a pervasive form of social media fraud. Many users have inflated their followers on Twitter or other services with automated or fake accounts, buying the appearance of social influence to bolster their political activism, business endeavors or entertainment careers.” 

The effect of Twitter’s decision has already resulted in numerous reports about celebrities, politicians and social influencers losing their followers.

Once the clean up is done, it should reduce the total combined follower count on Twitter by about 6%.

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There’s still more news to catch up on from last week. Find out more in our article, Social media news you missed: Tinder Loops and Snapchat.
*Image courtesy of Vecteezy