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Talk Social: 2 February, 2021 – Facebook explains how the new UK news feed works


Facebook explains how the new UK news feed works

Last week, Facebook introduced a dedicated section for trusted and reliable news on the UK version of its app. Now, the platform has now provided some insight into how the feature decides which news articles to present to a user. 

In a blog from Facebook’s engineering department, the company explains how its machine learning algorithm analyses each individual’s behaviour and activity, constantly taking in new information and recalculating, to determine what it thinks users want to see next.

News publishers will be paying close attention to every detail in this blog as they adapt their strategies to fit with this new system and maximise their reach.

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Social media ad spend skyrockets in Q4 2020

A report from Socialbakers has revealed worldwide spend on social media advertising was up 50.3% at the peak of the 2020 Christmas holiday season, compared with the same period in the previous year.

The report also showed how investment behind video content, particularly live streaming, has grown. Live shopping is a commerce trend that has taken significant hold with generation Z in China and is now making inroads into other territories.

The increasing popularity of live video content and the momentum around live shopping experiences highlights the importance social media has as a revenue generation tool for brands and creators.

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UK regulator to write to WhatsApp over data sharing

The UK’s data regulator is writing to WhatsApp to demand that the chat app does not hand user data to Facebook.

In 2017, WhatsApp committed that no data would be handed over to Facebook until it could prove that doing so respected GDPR. However, as that agreement was enforced by the Irish Data Protection Agency, Brexit means the responsibility for upholding these agreements now falls to the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office. 

This is likely to play out over the coming months and even years. In the meantime, WhatsApp has lost millions of users as they jump ship to rivals such as Signal and Telegram. 

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Twitter acquires newsletter platform Revue

Twitter has acquired Revue, a Dutch startup that allows users to publish and monetise email newsletters.

Revue empowers the writers to create, edit and publish their newsletters to subscribers without leaving its platform and provides revenue generation for the publishers through paid subscriptions. The platform has several high profile publishers including Vox Media.

Shortly after the acquisition, a “Newsletters” option began appearing in some navigation sidebars. This rapid move reveals that the platform may soon give writers additional ways to make money through paid subscriptions.

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YouTube to introduce Clips for live streams

YouTube is testing a new feature called Clips which allows users to make short, shareable videos out of creator’s live streams.

Clipping is already a long-established and popular feature on other platforms such as Twitch. Viewers use the feature to grab a few seconds of footage from a live stream, such as a funny joke, an embarrassing blooper, or an impressive video game play, and share it with other users.

Clipping on YouTube is still in the developmental phase with an experimental version being launched in testing soon. 

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