Each week the Insights Team at The Goat Agency pull together the latest news from the social space in a weekly social media industry news round-up. This week we cover Google’s new search update, Andrew Tate being banned from social, YouTube and Twitter’s latest plans for podcasts and much more!
What Twitter’s Former Security Advisor Is Revealing About The Platform
Peiter Zatko, who is Twitter’s former security advisor, has recently revealed some serious allegations that could make things at Twitter a whole lot worse!
The former Twitter employee and respected web security expert, was brought into the company when Twitter faced its biggest hack. However, upon his employment to help fix Twitter’s security issues, he faced problems when his work was constantly hindered by executives at Twitter.
Some of the key allegations coming to light involve Twitter failing to put priority on the protection of sensitive user data, putting too much emphasis on user growth over reducing spam (as executives were incentivized with bonuses if the mDAU count continued to increase), inaction when servers were flagged as running out-of-date or software was vulnerable, failing to erase data on users who have requested as such, and that employees had wide access to internal software that was not monitored.
Twitter has responded to the series of allegations stating they are inaccurate, but Elon Musk seems overjoyed by the news of a whistleblower – which he quickly expressed over Twitter.
Google’s Search Update Explained
Google is updating its search algorithms, aiming to highlight more valuable results, spotlighting content generated by actual people and not from automatic systems designed to generate web pages, based on specific criteria for Google’s SERP ranking.
Google says it will highlight content quality and depth, to put less emphasis on content created with the aim to purely rank well in search engines. This means content that lacks quality information in response to a Google search will no longer rank highly.
Initial testing by Google already wielded improved results when queries are related to online education, tech, arts, shopping and entertainment.
Therefore, marketers need to ensure they are no longer creating unhelpful content based on keyword matching to rank, as you will soon see a dip in SERP rankings.
The Swatting Issue on Social
For years, streamers have become victims of swatting, which on occasion has resulted in deadly outcomes.
The process of swatting involves an individual or group calling up emergency authorities and stating a crime has been or is in process, then stating the address which results in a SWAT team turning up at a location.
Swatting has unfortunately become popular among pranksters who want to target streamers live on air. Since the inception of Twitch, swatting has been around and some huge streamers are victims, such as Adin Ross. Such perpetrators of swatting sometimes get prosecuted, but Twitch itself has very limited ability to reduce the issue. For example, Twitch has stated that privacy laws prevent it from informing law enforcement of the names and addresses of common swatting targets.
In the US, to combat swatting, politicians must get involved, and this is already happening with Anti-swatting bills being proposed, while states can increase punishments for the prank – which has been the case in Kentucky where swatting is classed as a felony.
Twitch Lifts Its Creator Exclusivity Agreement
Twitch is lifting its exclusivity agreement that previously prevented creators who were a part of the partner programme to stream on other platforms. Twitch’s partner programme was created to help creators build a community based on their content streams and provided content monetisation options.
Now Twitch partners are allowed to stream across multiple platforms, including YouTube and Facebook, so long as they don’t stream to these platforms at the same time as Twitch.
Twitch has announced the update to help creators build followings through multi-platform streaming, recognising the importance of cross-platform engagement when growing a following.
However, the move to remove the exclusivity clause is likely inspired by a handful of the platform’s most popular streamers, including LilyPich, Myth and DrLupo, migrating to rival platforms due to better monetisation opportunities.
You can read more about Twitch’s creator crisis here!
TikTok’s New ‘Nearby’ Feed
TikTok has confirmed that the platform is testing a new ‘Nearby’ content feed, to supplement the ‘For You’ and ‘Following’ feed tabs.
The new feed option will display content posted by users in their current location, helping to generate geo-targeted engagements, gaining even more insight on what content is best to serve to users, based on location.
This could be a great opportunity for brands! If a user is constantly served content about restaurants, then the ‘Nearby’ feed can serve hyper-relevant content about restaurants near to the user – helping to drive footfall.
This feed is currently being tested among a small group of users in Southeast Asia, whilst TikTok has recently added the option for location tagging for posts – which could help populate the ‘Nearby’ feed, However, it is not clear if the new feed will populate based on a user’s determined location through a tag or automatically based on a user’s location on their profile.
You can read more about TikTok here, covering a library of content that breakdown the platform and how it is transforiming various industries!
TikTok Star Heads To TV
Flashback to 2020, Nathan Apodaca unexpectedly launched his social media career when his video went viral on TikTok, which featured him skateboarding down the street with a bottle of Ocean Spray to Fleetwood Mac’s famous song ‘Dreams’.
Nathan has since continued developing his online persona, sharing snippets of his life to 7+ million followers. However, the TikTok sensation has recently appeared on an episode of the FX series, Reservation Dogs, which resulted in an influx of positive reviews.
The show has been received well in the past due to the accurate representation of modern indigenous life and culture, which is fitting considering Nathan Apodaca is from the Northern Arapaho Nation.
This is another example of how TikTok can be a launchpad for careers and spotlight different people from various walks of life.
Andrew Tate Deplatformed
Andrew Tate has been permanently banned from YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram due to his extremist views.
Tate has been gaining traction recently due to his misogynistic advice that provided the shock factor that lead to many of his videos/content going viral. His content has been criticised, however, many viewers, predominantly young men, have been following and re-sharing his awful views.
The self-described “success coach” has now been removed from all social media platforms, which has resulted in a backlash of users claiming that his swift removal is an attack on free speech and censorship.
On the other hand, this argument has no grounds, as sharing extremist views on any platform is a violation of platform guidelines.
TikTok has stated the following:
“Misogyny is a hateful ideology that is not tolerated on TikTok. Our investigation into this content is ongoing, as we continue to remove violative accounts and videos, and pursue measures to strengthen our enforcement, including our detection models, against this type of content.”
While YouTube stated:
“We terminated channels associated with Andrew Tate for multiple violations of our Community Guidelines and Terms of Service, including our hate speech policy. If a channel is terminated, the uploader is unable to use, own or create any other YouTube channels.”
Twitter’s Podcast Plans
Twitter is convinced social audio isn’t dead, with plans to develop ‘Stations’, combining podcasts alongside Spaces content, which will be live and recorded.
This new function appears to be close to launching, which was first spotted by app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi.
The new audio offering will appear in the audio tab, featuring Spaces and podcasts, providing a better way for users to discover audio content – which has been a huge pain point for social audio across any app developing the offering.
Making audio content as accessible as possible to users encourages more creators to generate content as a means of growing communities and reaching new audiences, which is vital for the success of any new content feature across social platforms.
YouTube’s Podcast Hub
YouTube has officially launched a dedicated ‘Explore’ page for podcasts.
This move shows how important podcasts are in the future of the platform, joining the likes of YouTube Music, Trending and YouTube Gaming. YouTube certainly wants to segment and establish a strong and diversified offering of content, as it looks to take on music platforms, streaming platforms and now Spotify’s market dominance over the podcast space.
YouTube is also paying podcasters up to $300,000 to upload video versions of shows, whilst releasing a pitch deck to get podcast publishers on board with YouTube’s ambitions.
The dedicated podcast page has started rolling out to some users, but is not yet live for everyone. Those with access can see the dedicated page on the browser or app, showcasing various shelves separating podcast content into genres, which will be vital for podcast discovery and something other platforms could do better in streamlining.
We should expect more updates on this front from YouTube, as podcasts continue to explode in popularity among creators and listeners around the world.
You can read more about the future of podcasts here.
Instagram Tests New Option For Full-Screen Feed Display
Following the backlash Instagram has been receiving for leaning too far into video to replicate TikTok, the platform is now launching a new test where users have the option to switch to a full-screen feed display.
This follows an initial test where a full-screen main feed combined regular pots, Stories and Reels into a singular feed stream.
This new test option was first spotted by app researcher, Radu Oncescu, providing a way for users to switch to a full-screen feed or arrange the main feed based on following or favourites.
It appears Instagram is heading in the direction of providing more controls and options for users, instead of forcing change upon users. However, what Instagram ultimately wants to achieve is a way to gather as much information on what users like, to be as effective as TikTok in serving hyper-specfic content, and to do this involves video.
Instagram’s New Candid Feature
Recently, it was spotted that Instagram was launching and testing features that replicated certain elements of BeReal. These elements came in the form of a dual camera option and location update for followers.
Now, app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi has spotted IG Candid Challenges, providing a prompt to users to add IG Candids to a story tray and every day at a different time, users get a notification to capture and share a photo in 2 minutes.
This is by far the most evident copy to date, with Instagram taking the exact UX of BeReal and integrating it into the Stories feature.
It makes sense that this functionality would sit within IG Stories – where people primarily catch up with updates from friends. But can this update steal users away from BeReal? It is very likely, considering a lot of people repost BeReal updates to Stories already.
YouTube Shorts Is Heading For TV
YouTube Shorts is generating 30 billion daily views in the app, but now YouTube is looking to enhance viewing figures through a dedicated Shorts player on YouTube’s smart TV app.
The new display on Connected TVs, as reported by Protocol, will frame Shorts content in the middle of TV screens, alongside the video title and name of any song used in the clip, with the ability to thumbs up or down the clip.
TikTok has taken the same approach of integrating TikTok content through a TikTok TV app, which many LG and Samsung Smart TV owners have access to. However, YouTube stands to benefit the most as the YouTube TV app is installed on most Smart TVs and 120 million people now consume YouTube content on their TV screens each month!
Don’t forget to catch up with our latest vlog, where our co-founder Nick shares how to successfully pitch to brands, sharing his number one tip that you don’t want to miss!