LinkedIn Reveals Its Ranking Algorithm – Digital News Roundup – 05.07.19
Another sunny Friday! This time around we’re talking LinkedIn algorithms, another Maps update, Twitter’s stand on harmful tweets, Spotify user data concerns, and the latest in a line of Stories stickers from Instagram.
Most social media platforms have been playing up this week, so if you’re reading this… we’re surprised! But alas, here’s the latest in digital and technology news.
LinkedIn explains how its algorithm decides which posts to rank
LinkedIn has released information on the way it’s been updating its news feed algorithm over the past 18 months, in a move it said was designed to “create more engagement for users”.
Pete Davies, Senior Director of Product Management at LinkedIn, said the company is moving away from ranking trending content and, instead, “putting more weight on niche-specific professional conversations” by using AI to identify these occupation-specific messages.
Davies also clarified that while the platform doesn’t give more weight to certain post formats, it does look at posts which encourage engagement – for example, adding an opinion when sharing a link. He also recommended using hashtags, but no more than three, in order to help a post rank better with users who follow similar hashtags.
Understanding how LinkedIn’s algorithm works, and the changes that have been made could help brands and marketers to get “key insights” into how to make the most of LinkedIn as a platform – and how to see more engagement. Read more on the announcement at Marketing Land.
Google Maps will now show crowding information on public transport
Google has announced yet another shiny new Maps feature, this time in the form of crowdedness predictions for public transport.
The predictions are made based on past rides, following months of asking certain users to provide updates on the level of crowdedness on their commute. Now, Google has collected enough data to begin offering predictions to Maps customers, with the idea that you can see how busy your commute will be before you set off.
The feature will be available in 200 cities across the world from this week, with about a quarter of these cities being within the US. There will also be live traffic updates for buses so that you can see where the delays are on a map and know accurate travel times along your route.
This is just another step towards Google Maps retaining its position at the forefront of navigation apps, now encompassing more information around urban transport. Check out more on the updates at The Verge.
Record labels gaining access to personal data when users pre-save albums on Spotify
A Billboard report has found that music labels can gain access to personal data, like email addresses and playlists, when users pre-save albums on Spotify.
Spotify users are able to pre-save upcoming releases so that the album is auto-added to their libraries as soon as it’s available, but to do so requires users to click and approve permissions. Now, however, it seems that these permissions are giving labels access to more than they require.
In one example, Sony Music requested users give them access to “upload images to personalize your profile or playlist cover” and “manage who you follow on Spotify” if they wanted to pre-save an upcoming Chris Brown song.
While technically Spotify or the labels in question aren’t breaking the law, it does show the importance of properly reading the fine print when granting third parties access to your data. Take a look at the full story at The Verge.
Twitter will now hide harmful tweets from public figures – but won’t remove them
Twitter is rolling out new rules for tweets belonging to public figures that break community guidelines, with the goal of “lessening the reach of the tweet”.
The new notice will apply to accounts “belonging to political figures, verified users, and accounts with more than 100,000 followers”, so, if someone like President Donald Trump posted a tweet that broke Twitter’s rules, the platform could “notify users of the violation and lessen the reach of the tweet”.
If a tweet is flagged, it will be reviewed and a decision will be made as to whether it’s a “matter of public interest”. If it is, users will see a grey box with a notification that the tweet below violates the policy, but they’ll still be able to access it if they click through. The tweet will, however, feature less on the platform, and won’t appear within areas like Top Tweets or recommendations.
Twitter has already said that it expects the notice “will rarely be applied”, due to a “critical function” of the platform being that it allows people to openly respond to and debate with world leaders – and hold them accountable for the things they say. Check out more on the story at The Verge.
L’Oréal announces that conversion rates have tripled through use of AR tech
L’Oréal has announced that it’s seeing great ecommerce success through the use of AR tech, causing conversion rates to triple and engagement time on the sites in question to double.
The brand acquired AR beauty company ModiFace last March, giving it access to the tech which allows users to visualise products on their own face using the cameras on their phone. The ModiFace team are now launching one project every day using the technology, across 65 countries, with L’Oréal now considering “virtual make-up try on to be the base of any experience”.
“People are trying 42 looks because it’s fun and entertaining and the experience is easy and the colour rendering is precise,” explained Lubomira Rochet, the brand’s global chief digital officer. “People are really playing with it and are really starting to spend time with the brand.”
Now, L’Oréal is planning to use similar technology to do things let people virtually try new hair colours, as well as create a Foundation Finder to help people choose the right shade. Read more on the story at The Drum.
Instagram launches new Stories chat sticker for hosting group chats with followers
Instagram has this week launched a new Stories sticker, designed to give people a way to ask their users to join a group chat.
The feature, called the chat sticker, is the latest in a long line of other stickers Instagram has introduced to Stories to make things a bit more interactive – from polls and question boxes to locations and countdowns.
Instagram is positioning the chat sticker as a way for people to have a big group conversation about something, like making plans or organising a group activity. It works by a user adding the chat sticker to their story, with their friends then able to click to request access to the group. The original user can then choose who gets to join the chat, which will be hosted within the direct messages inbox. The chat can then be ended at any time.
So far, comments are positioning the chat as being more for people interacting with their real friends, rather than the sticker having a use for influencers and brands – perhaps harking back to the days where people used Instagram to share cool things with people they liked. Although those days are pretty hard to remember. Read more on the story at The Verge.
And just like that, another sunny weekend is upon us. We’ll see you back here next week.
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