media update’s Emma Beavon dives into the most important social media happenings over the past month.

Twitter rolls out an option to hide tweet replies

The news: After a month of testing, Twitter has announced that its new ‘hide reply’ option will be available to users globally. Twitter decided to add this option as it says repliers can often shift the topic or tone of a conversation and basically change the original intent of the tweet.

When you choose to remove a reply, your tweet will get a small page icon in the bottom right corner. Any user will be able to click on the icon and get a full list of the hidden replies. This means the feature is not a block, but is a way of keeping the conversation on track and removing abusive or off-topic replies.

Image sourced from Social Media Today

Why it’s making headlines: Twitter is a platform where many people have Twitter feuds and many users post very candid messages. Harassment and abuse are big problems on the platform, with women and minorities particularly affected.

A study by Amnesty International UK found that an abusive tweet is sent to a woman roughly every 30 seconds. It is for this reason that Twitter started to work towards promoting healthy conversations. 

This ‘hide reply’ option will give users more control over the conversation they start and it is geared towards steering conversations in a less toxic direction. 

Instagram announces the global expansion of hidden like counts test

The news: Instagram originally started testing the effects of hiding likes in April 2019 in Canada. It was then expanded to include Ireland, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand in July 2019.  The ‘hiding likes’ test is now broadening the experiment to all regions. After the tests in April and July 2019 brought about positive results, Instagram has decided to learn more about its global community. However, the ‘positive results’ have yet to be explained. 

Image sourced from Social Media Today

The Instagram Chief, Adam Mosseri, has repeatedly said that these tests are designed to reduce the pressure on Instagramers and that the true measure of success will relate to how the tests impact people emotionally. 

Image sourced from Social Media Today

Why it’s making headlines: The ‘hiding likes’ experiment has been making headlines since it started. But it has received mixed reactions. The intention behind ‘hiding likes’ was to ensure that Instagram users are less pressured to receive a certain number of likes and are posting pictures for their own joy, not to garner likes.

Image sourced from Twitter

While many have seen this as a step in the right direction for mental health, there are people such as influencers who are dependent on the number of likes their posts get in order to get paid.

Image sourced from Twitter

The expansion of the experiment means that Instagram has every intention to make this a permanent feature.

Facebook considers changes to its political ad policy

Image sourced from Pexels

The news: This comes after Facebook decided to not subject political ads to fact-checking, which has raised a lot of concerns. The social networking platform is considering making changes to its political-advertising policy, which could include preventing campaigns from targeting very small groups of people, in an effort to prevent the spread of misinformation. 

To do this, it is considering whether it should increase the minimum number of people who are targeted by political ads from 100 to a few thousand people.

Why it’s making headlines: This comes as Google outlined similar limitations on targeting tools for the ads. Political ads on social media have been a hot topic since the 2016 Cambridge Analytica scandal

However, since the scandal, which involved these types of ads on Facebook, the social media platform has rolled out a range of measures to stop potential misuse of its platform by politically affiliated groups. However, its recent decision to allow these ads to be posted without being fact-checked seems to go against these measures. 

Are there any other social media updates you’ve read about this month? Share them with us in the comments section below.

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So now that you’re clued up on all of the social updates, be sure to check out these Three tips for responding to negative comments like a pro.
*Image courtesy of Vecteezy