Social Media Roundup: Twitter Like Button May Phase Out, Viber Adds Message Edits, Ads In WhatsApp

“Social Media Roundup” is a weekly roundup of news pertaining to all of your favorite websites and applications used for social networking. Published on Sundays, “Social Media Roundup” will help you stay up-to-date on all the important social media news you need to know.


Breaking News

Breaking news in FacebookFacebook

Facebook is now offering the “breaking news” label to publishers in Australia, France, Germany, Mexico, Spain and the UK, according to a company blog post. And it will start being tested on other areas of Europe and Asia. Previously, this feature was available in the United States and Canada. Publishers will be able to use the label once per day, but most publishers use it once per week reported Mashable.

“We’re also making the breaking news product better. We launched third-party integrations with platforms like Social News Desk and SocialFlow, allowing publishers to more easily post breaking news stories through these third-party platforms. And we’ve made adjustments to the product based on feedback from our partners, allowing publishers to add the breaking news label after a post is live and delete a label from a post before the label has expired,” said Facebook product manager Joey Rhyu.

The ”breaking news” label is an indication of a story being new. And Facebook favors newer posts in its News Feed algorithms, which should benefit publishers who take advantage of this feature.

Horizon Becomes Open Source

Facebook has decided to make its Horizon artificial intelligence technology open source through GitHub. This technology was used at Facebook to make improvements to video, Messenger and notifications features.

For example, Facebook uses Horizon to improve upon the way that 360-degree videos are displayed on the News Feed based on the bandwidth of a user’s Internet connection and how much of the video content has buffered already. And Facebook taps into Horizon to improve the method in which content is pushed through notifications. Plus Facebook uses Horizon to enhance the suggestions made by its M digital assistant platform built in the Messenger app.

Horizon is considered the “first open source end-to-end platform that uses applied reinforcement learning (RL) to optimize systems in large-scale production environments.” While machine learning usually generates predictions, it requires engineers to turn predictions into policy. But applied reinforcement learning creates systems that make decisions, take actions and adapt based on feedback received. This is how Horizon is able to decide whether to choose high or low bit rates for a video as it plays.


Polling Locations For Elections

Snap recently set up a voter registration system, which reportedly helped 418,000 people enroll over a two-week period. Through the Snapchat app, Snap plans to encourage people to go to their local polling locations and vote.

Snapchat users will also be able to designs filters with election themes. Plus there is also going to be a Snap lens that says “I Voted.”

And you will be able to use the Snap Map to help you find a polling location and see a sample ballot. Once you use an election-related filter or lens, then the Snap Map will decorate your Bitmoji with an outfit related to voting. According to Engadget, Snap will also send out a notification reminder to all 18-year-old and above US users with a link to resources about voting at polling location.

And Snapchat will also post-election night coverage via Discover at 6PM ET. Peter Hamby of Good Luck America will be hosting a program that is exclusive on Snapchat. Plus Snap has also partnered with several local stations for coverage.


Tagboard Partnership

Tagboard has announced that it has partnered with Twitter to provide relevant election content. News stations and media companies can use Tagboard Discover to find the relevant election content via Twitter and filter tweets based on political affiliations, candidates, issues, keywords and locations.

“Updated in real-time, Tagboard Discover provides a powerful way to incorporate the conversations happening across local communities, and giving viewers a richer, interactive experience by bringing Tweets into live broadcasts using Tagboard displays,” said Tagboard Head Of Product Tyler Singletary. “Leading up to the midterm elections, broadcast producers are already leveraging the platform to capture thought-provoking questions from viewers during live debates and instantly display tweets and reactions on-air.”

Tagboard works with hundreds of local and national news outlets around the country such as ABC, NBC, FOX, BuzzFeed, The Washington Post, Sinclair, Meredith  and C-Span. TEGNA, an early adopter of Tagboard Discover, operates 47 TV stations across the United States.

Rumor About The Like Button Being Removed

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has hinted that the heart-shaped like button could be removed from the social media service. In an interview with The Telegraph UK, Dorsey indicated that he is looking into having it removed, but the company said these changes are not going to apply for a while.

“As we’ve been saying for a while, we are rethinking everything about the service to ensure we are incentivizing healthy conversation, that includes the like button. We are in the early stages of the work and have no plans to share right now,” said a company spokesperson in a tweet.

The intention of eventually removing the like button is to incentivize a “healthy conversation.” And news about the removal of the like button being removed had mixed reactions. Many Twitter users have been using the like button as a bookmarking service ever since the feature was known as the star-shaped “Favorites” icon so the thought of losing this data could be seen as an inconvenience.

At the Wired 25 event, Dorsey also acknowledged that one of the problems with Twitter is that users are incentivized to gain as many followers and likes as possible.  “Right now we have a big Like button with a heart on it and we’re incentivizing people to want it to go up,” said Dorsey via Wired. “Is that the right thing? Versus contributing to the public conversation or a healthy conversation? How do we incentive healthy conversation?”


Ability To Edit Sent Messages

Popular mobile messaging app Viber has added the ability to edit sent messages. This feature was added to the Android version of the app a couple of weeks ago and now it is being released for all Viber users. The iPhone version of the app should be getting this feature soon as well.

To edit a message on Viber, you simply have to long press on it and tap “Edit.” This action will show the original message in the input area for you to edit. Once you fix the message, hit Send again and the corrected message will be placed in the original place in the chat. An “Edited” label will be applied to the corrected messages.