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The #SocialSkim – Week of November 26th

This week in social media:

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Facebook Adds Time Tracking

Similar to a story we wrote about Instagram last week, Facebook has rolled out an option to monitor the time you spend on the platform.

Facebook time spent dashboard

As you can see from the photo above, users will now be able to see how much time they have spent on the platform and set daily reminders for when they have reached the time they have set for themselves.

With the new study which shows a direct correlation between over usage of social media sites and depression, Facebook hopes to help users spend their time more wisely. However, as reported by Techcrunch:

“Facebook and Instagram’s versions are particularly toothless. There are no options to force you to ease off your usage, just a quick daily limit notification to dismiss. iOS 12’s Screen Time at least delivery’s a weekly usage report by default so the feature finds you even if you don’t go looking for it. And Android’s new Digital Wellbeing dashboard is by far the most powerful, graying out app icons and requiring you to dig into your settings to unlock apps once you hit your daily limit.

Really, the apps themselves are not responsible for how you use your time – if you choose to spend your free hours mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, that’s up to you. The providers can give you access to tools to highlight the potential problems with this, but they can’t necessarily enforce any ‘rules’ around use. It is possible that they could do more, as TechCrunch notes, and Facebook could also provide more insight into how, specifically, you’re spending your time in its apps, which may help to guide your usage. But the tracking dashboards are, looking at the other side of the argument, at least a first step.”

Instagram Cracks Down On Fake Followers

Instagram has announced a new concerted effort to crack down on fake followers and likes. They will primarily focus on third-party tools which promise followers and likes for cheap prices. As explained by their team:

“Every day, people come to Instagram to have real experiences, including genuine interactions. It’s our responsibility to ensure these experiences aren’t disrupted by inauthentic activity. Starting today, we will begin removing inauthentic likes, follows and comments from accounts that use third-party apps to boost their popularity.”

Here is how they aim to combat this:

“We’ve built machine learning tools to help identify accounts which use these services, and remove the inauthentic activity. Accounts we identify using these services will receive an in-app message alerting them that we’ve removed the inauthentic likes, follows and comments. We will also ask them to secure their account by changing their password.”

Instagram fake removals notification

YouTube Changing Instream Video Ads

YouTube will now allow users to watch ads ahead of time, rather than being interrupted later. As explained by their team:

“Our recent user experience research suggests that in addition to factors such as the length of ads, viewers are quite sensitive to the frequency of ad breaks, especially during longer viewing sessions. Through this research, we also learned that fewer interruptions is correlated with better user metrics, including less abandonment of content and higher rates of ad viewing. To respond to this, we will begin testing ad pods – two ads stacked back to back, where viewers have the option to skip directly to the content if it’s not the right ad for them.”

YouTube double ads screenshot

Snapchat Releases New Lens Creative Partner Program

Snapchat Lens Creative Partner logo


Advertisers will now be able to have customized lens filters created by ‘Certified Lens Partners’. As explained in the official release:

“We’re announcing the launch of a Lens Creative Partners program specific to building AR Lenses for brands. This group of certified creators spans large agencies and expert individuals who have been building engaging and immersive AR Lenses for Snap.”

There are currently more than 30 of these individuals and more will become certified by going through “rigorous course about the development process, creative best practices, ad policies and buy models of sponsored AR Lenses on Snapchat”.

Snap Lens Studio


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