A look at limitations this week; Another algorithm is in the works for a popular platform, LinkedIn wants to protect your information, and Twitter may finally be tweaking its 140-character formula. These are some of the social media-related stories in the news this week.
Out of Character
If you’re a frequent Twitter user, you know the magic number is 140 – the maximum number of characters allowed per tweet. Bloomberg.com reports that Twitter will make a slight tweak. The platform will stick with the 140-character limit, but will no longer count links nor photos against the character count. Currently links, even after being shortened by Twitter, take up 23 characters. Photos use up 24 characters. Using both a photo and a link would use roughly 1/3 of the character limit, making your actual message very short.
Users have debated for years over the magic 140-character threshold, with many believing that Twitter needed to expand to stay relevant with other platforms that allow for more in-depth content. Purists in the Twittersphere, loyal to the 140-character limit, have argued that the concise messaging sets the platform apart from others because users cannot go on endless diatribes. A few months ago, users voiced their concern over a rumored change to a 10,000-character limit, appealing to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey (@Jack) using the #Twitter10K hashtag.
When was the last time you changed your LinkedIn password? The social networking site for professionals issued a brief statement to users this week, encouraging them to protect themselves by changing their password. The reason behind the request is a 2012 data breach, in which hackers stole the passwords to millions of accounts. LinkedIn first thought that there were roughly 6.5 million accounts impacted by the breach. But this week a hacker offered information for sale related to the cyber-attack, indicating that they possessed the information for up to 100 million accounts.
LinkedIN says that since the cyber-attack, it has taken multiple precautionary measures to protect users’ passwords, like incorporating protection tools such as email challenges and dual factor authentication. The platform has started invalidating any passwords that have not been changed since that 2012 data breach, and it began notifying other members to change their password immediately. Experts always recommend frequent changes to your passwords on all online sites, and to avoid using the same password for multiple platforms.
Another Algorithm Victim
The almighty algorithm – we’ve seen Facebook master it. We then watched Facebook incorporate it into Instagram. Even Twitter began using it. Now, Snapchat is going down the same path. According to Digiday, Snapchat will begin to use an algorithm to reveal stories to you.
Snapchat is currently the hottest platform for posting content, as the 10-billion daily video views trump audience numbers on television. Brands love that the main demographic of users is the much-coveted youth sector. But that success also brings a lot of social noise, and the fight to reach audiences organically diminishes with each additional story.
Publishers and brands appear to be the ones most hurt by the algorithm, as social networks integrate more of a “pay to play” system to be seen. A top publishing source told Digiday, “It’s going to be the same model Facebook has: It’s free for everybody to share content, but an algorithm will penalize some people and boost others.”
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