Facebook and Twitter Regulate Political Ads, and YouTube and Instagram Work to Personalize Feeds

Instagram and YouTube are focusing on personalization and some people aren’t happy.  Meanwhile, Facebook and Twitter take similar actions to regulate political ads on their platforms.

Personalized News Feeds for Instagram To Come

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Photo Cred @hamibakery

In a few weeks, Instagram users will be able to control what is in their news feed with its newest Mute feature. Similar to Facebook’s Unfollow feature and Snapchat’s Do Not Disturb feature, the Mute feature will allow you to remove specific accounts’ posts and stories from your news feed without unfollowing them completely.

 

You will be able to mute a user’s stories and still see their pictures in your feed or do the reverse: mute their posts, and still view their stories. Muting posts can be done from your newsfeed, but stories will have to be muted by going to the user’s profile page. You will still be able to go to the account you mute, even if it’s private, to see posts or stories, and unmute at any time. For brands, this means going back to the drawing board to find Ways You Can Increase Engagement and Followers on Instagram in the hopes of not being muted.

Facebook and Twitter Regulate Political Ads

In 2016, Facebook and Twitter received harsh criticism for allowing Russians to use its platform to impact the 2016 presidential election. As a result, there was a demand for transparency and proof of authentication of the political ads run on its platforms in an effort to prevent future manipulation. Facebook and Twitter may have finally met that demand with similar approaches in regulating political ads.

Both platforms have created labels that easily identify political ads and verify who’s running it. Facebook has a “Paid For By” label on top of any political ads in the United States. Clicking on the label takes users to a page where they can view the cost of the ad and a demographic breakdown of the audience who viewed the ad. Similarly, Twitter has a “Learn More” label so users can identify and contact the ad buyers.

 

Facebook and Twitter are also requiring that those running the political ads identify themselves and certify they are in the United States in various ways. For example, providing the last four digits of their social security number and a picture of a government-issued identification. Facebook also goes to a step further in archiving all of the political ads for seven years, or the full congressional election cycle, where it can be viewed by its users. Overall, both platforms to ensure that Foreign nationals cannot target political ads to people in the United States.

 

YouTube Tests Personalized Subscription Feeds

YouTube is back with another change that users are not too happy about. Jumping on the bandwagon of personalized feeds, YouTube has recently introduced personalized feeds within its subscription feature. Previously, the subscription feed would allow you to go to a creator’s page and view all of their videos they’ve uploaded in chronological order choosing which ones to watch. The subscription feed was the only place where users could go to see content in chronological order, but that has changed. The idea is that YouTube will provide users with videos that they think you will likely watch even when users are on a creator’s account regardless of when it was published.

 

This is a significant concern for the creators because now their most recent videos may not appear on the top of their subscription feed for their followers.  YouTube took to Twitter to explain further when users complained of the change. The company stated, “We find that some viewers are able to more easily find the videos they want to watch when we order the subs feed in a personalized order vs always showing most recent video first.” YouTube has been testing this out since February of 2018, and, for now, has allowed users the options to view the feeds in chronological order or by preference.

 

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