Friday Social: Facebook Axes Messages, Twitter Updates Profiles and HoC vs GoT

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Our #FridaySocial is a weekly round-up of the key social media news stories from the previous seven days. Let us know your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter – @Umpf / @Allllliiiii

 

1. HoC vs GoT

Game of Thrones returned to television screens this week and received a warm reception on social media (with a reported 1.9 million people talking about the show on Facebook) – except from one competitor.

House of Cards tweeted the following message from its official account:

Unfriendly competition – nicely executed.

2. Facebook Removes Messages

Facebook is set to remove the messaging function from its mobile applications, forcing users that want to message friends and family on the site to use its standalone Messenger application.

TechCrunch was first to report the news of Facebook’s announcement on Wednesday. Facebook told Mashable:

“Today we are starting to notify people that messages are moving out of the Facebook app and over to the Messenger app. To continue sending messages on mobile, people will need to install the Messenger app.”

Users that don’t currently use Messenger have been prompted to download the app for quite some time, with pop-up notifications about Messenger’s benefits appearing when accessing the Messages function on the current Facebook app. Notification about these changes has begun rolling out to sers in Europe this week, although it isn’t yet clear when the Messages function will disappear completely.

3. Facebook Tweaks Privacy

Facebook is now making it easier for users to control the privacy of their posts on the social media site. It shared plans on Tuesday to test a number of new settings alerting users exactly who they’re sharing their information with online.

Currently, users can select privacy settings from a drop-down menu – Public, Friends, etc. This will now include brief descriptions of exactly what ‘Public’ means (that anyone on or off of Facebook can see this content), and the label that shows the current audience of the content will be moved to the top of posts to increase its visibility. Users will also receive pop-up reminders to check their privacy settings.

Mike Nowak, a product manager on Facebook’s privacy team, recently said: “There’s an unpleasant surprise when you share things thinking that they’re going to be seen by one audience and then somebody you didn’t expect interacts with that. When people have an unpleasant surprise like this, it’s bad for them and it’s bad for us.”

According to Mashable, Facebook is also conducting 4,000 privacy-related surveys every day to ensure that user feedback is heard.

4. New Twitter Begins Roll-Out

Twitter has officially started rolling out its newly-designed profile pages this twitterweek, beginning with high-profile celebrities and new users – and Team Umpf’s own Ellie Hallsworth (pictured)!

Many users have protested against the changes, noting that the new profiles look very similar to Facebook’s Timeline design – very visually-led. Profile and header images now appear larger and tweets will now appear bigger according to their popularity (although this only applies to your original content, not tweets by others that you’ve RT’d). Users will now be unable to choose a custom background image, but can tweak the colour scheme of the new profile page instead.

There’s also now the option to pin a chosen tweet to the top of your profile, as a way of extending your bio and showing prospective new followers the kind of things you like to talk about. The Following page has been altered as well – instead of showing a list of names, you’re shown miniature profiles of everyone listed, including their profile and header images.

In other brief Twitter news, the site also appears to be testing in-browser notifications. Noticed by a user in Holland, the feature appears to be currently disabled with no other hints available at the moment.

5. Facebook Cleans Up

In other Facebook news, the social media site has announced this week that it is improving News Feed to remove the kind of stories that are often reported as ‘spammy’.

In a Newsroom post, Facebook announced that it would be cracking down on like-baiting (encouraging users to like, comment or share), frequently repeated content (that meme you’ve seen four trillion times this week), and spam links containing misleading information.

The clean-up is a move that will surely affect at least a few Facebook pages – but fortunately not those putting out quality, engaging content.