Snap is working on two key tests that could transform its flagship app in a critical year. Tipper provided me with screenshots of two ongoing tests that were expanded to a small percentage of Snapchat's user base. One is the redesign of the app for Android and iOS, which provides a new home for the snap map and the company's original video programming. The other is a test for current headlines in the app, in which Snapchat receives timely short messages to complement the existing stories in the style of a magazine on the Discover page.
Let's look at them one by one.
The redesign takes an app that was long limited to three screens and divides it into five. Snapchat is currently opening to the camera. On the left is an area for chats and on the right the Discover page with a collection of short-lived stories from friends, developers, third-party providers and Snap. In the new design, the snap map, which shows your friends' physical locations on an animated map and which you previously accessed by pulling down from the camera screen, is now to the left of your chats. Discover has been renamed Community. Snaps Slate from the original series, which contains serialized dramas and programs in reality style, is located to the right of Community in a new tab that has taken the name Discover.
Perhaps most dramatically for Snap, who once seemed proud of his obscure design decisions, Snapchat gets a navigation bar. You can see where you are in the app at a glance and switch from screen to screen with one tap, instead of swiping. It is obvious and is a radical departure from Snap.
"We're looking for ways to streamline navigation in Snapchat, and we're getting feedback from our community to inform future versions of our app," a Snap spokeswoman told me. "The user interface of this test offers more room for innovation and increases the opportunity to explore Snapchat's offerings and discover even more."
The test for this new look is three years after Snap's last redesign, which was widespread and caused 2 percent of active users to stop using Snapchat completely. Snap gradually receded some of the most hated changes, and this, along with renewed attention to its long-neglected Android app and international marketing itself, led the company to make a comeback last year. Snapchat has added new applications in the past four quarters and is now used by 218 million people per month.
However, the company is not profitable. While high school and college users continue to be a success, adults who try the app loudly complain that they find it difficult to use Snapchat. I find these complaints somewhat exaggerated – I think most people avoid learning how to use technologies they don't need, and if the Boomers' friends all use Snapchat, they will find out within a few days. However, there is no denying that Snapchat has a higher learning curve than Facebook Messenger, for example.
And for anything that gave Snapchat a sense of cool in its early days, there's a good argument that its more mysterious user choices hold it back. I placed the position of the snap card at the top of this list. It's a clever feature that Facebook can't copy for privacy reasons. Today it is practically invisible in Snapchat. It feels like a breeze to give the map an easy-to-find screen within the app.
Similarly, Snap has invested heavily in premium programs for its Snap originals. (Although not quite as strong as Quibi, for example.) Currently, the snap calls shows are displayed in a row alongside other publisher content on the Discover page, where they can be easily ignored. It feels like a similarly obvious step to give them an outstanding place in the app.
Nevertheless, Snap learned his lesson from the big debacle of the 2017 redesign that was rolled out worldwide with just a few tests. Today Snap, like any other social enterprise, deliberately deals with big changes. However, I suspect that this will be popular and will ultimately be implemented. While the poor redesign messed up a number of popular elements and moved them to unknown locations, the five-screen design feels like the experience. You navigate less in the app and use it more. This is a win for the company.
The second test is less dramatic, but more relevant to our everyday interests here at The Interface. There are two basic ways to post messages on your social platform. The first is to let everyone fight in one feed and curate a little in the big moments. Think of the Twitter timeline plus moments or the Facebook newsfeed plus a news tab. The advantage of this approach is that you make room for many voices, including some that have been historically marginalized. The downside is that many voices have been marginalized for some reason in the past – for example, they are overtly racist or tell you that drinking bleach will cure your cancer.
The second approach, which Snap favored, was to only allow whitelist publishers on the platform. Theoretically, this should increase the quality and mainstream of news publishers while limiting the amount of misinformation on the platform. It wasn't always perfect – Snapchat's Discover site has been criticized for a long time for clickbait and sexually provocative stories – but the company has experienced far fewer scandals about hosting dangerous and extremist content than its peers.
The news I saw contained recent headlines from publishers, including NowThis, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. The section entitled “Happening Now” contains headlines about developments in the United States and around the world. Each headline with a sentence can be typed to display a full-screen short message with a photo and a short article. (The one I saw about New Hampshire elementary school had about 75 words.)
Snap confirmed the test.
"We are at a very early stage of researching the evolution of news on Snapchat," the company said. "We work with a handful of partners and are testing with a small percentage of Snapchatters in the US. We currently have no additional details to share."
A collection of short messages may look like a small thing, and maybe it is. But especially in an election year, I think it's good to make high-quality mainstream news such as the Post and the Journal accessible to a young audience.
Snap stressed to me that both tests are at an early stage and may change significantly before being made available to a global audience if they are released globally. However, it seems clear to me that, at least in the case of redesign, larger forces will pull them further towards the more accessible version of the app that I saw in the screenshots.
The reputation of being inaccessible benefited Snapchat – until it didn't. As the app grows up, it works to become a more welcoming place. Which means being a little bit more like everyone else.
In the Tuesday edition, we called Maui in Moana God. A keen-eyed reader pointed out that Maui is indeed a demigod. The interface regrets the error.
Today in news that could affect public perception of the big tech platforms.
Upward trend: Twitter has partnered with the US Census Bureau to bring a new tool to combat misinformation about the census. When someone searches for specific keywords related to the census, a prompt prompts them to go to an official government website.
Upward trend: Instagram Introduction of an update to combat misinformation about the corona virus. Now when users click the #coronavirus hashtag, they see a message asking them to visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website for credible information.
Downward trend: Coronavirus rumors still go viral Youtube despite the company's efforts to prevent its spread. The video platform is better than many other social networks, but there is a lot of misinformation.
⭐ Mike Bloomberg has spent Trump card on Facebook Ads since joining presidential race. For the past two weeks, the former mayor of New York has spent an average of $ 1 million a day on Facebook ads. Here is David Ingram from NBC:
On a single day, January 30, Bloomberg purchased $ 1.7 million in Facebook ads. This shows how much he is willing to put his personal fortune behind his long-shot bid.
"His campaign budget is practically unlimited, so he has the luxury of being able to take part in all campaign fronts," said Fernand Amandi, a democratic political adviser in Miami who is not working for a presidential candidate this year.
Bloomberg, with an estimated net worth of around $ 61 billion, said after the mixed up results of the Iowa gatherings that he would increase his ad and employee budget. He focuses on the more than a dozen states that will vote on Super Tuesday, March 3rd, which is reflected in his Facebook editions.
The British government is planning platforms such as Youtube. Twitter, and Facebook a mandate to protect their UK users from illegal content related to child exploitation and terrorism and from harmful content in general. The provisions apply to all websites where content created by users is permitted. What does that mean in practice? Seems like it could be big. (Jon Porter / The Verge)
Facebook suspended a network of accounts used by Russian military intelligence to put misinformation online. The network was aimed at Ukraine and other Eastern European countries. (Jack Stubbs / Reuters)
Facebook In addition, two other account networks were blocked, each engaging in coordinated spurious behavior on behalf of a government. The first operation originated in Iran and mainly focused on an American audience. The second came from Myanmar and Vietnam and was aimed at target groups in Myanmar. (Facebook)
Facebook has been trying to ban arms sales on the platform for four years. But weapon vendors find workarounds and play in coded language on the marketplace. (Matt Drange / Minutes)
Facebook delayed the introduction of its dating function in Europe after the Irish Data Protection Commission raised problems with the function's compliance with the European Union's data protection rules. The feature should appear before Valentine's Day. (Sad trombone.) (Parmy Olson / Wall Street Journal)
A man who is homeless in Los Angeles is suing the city for one Facebook Side used by the police. The lawsuit claims that Facebook Groups where residents complained about homeless camps led to the police harassing the man. (Emily Alpert Reyes / Los Angeles Times)
The Department of Homeland Security purchases cell phone location data for immigration and border protection purposes. While this appears to violate people's rights after the fourth change, it is unclear whether using location data to target people is an inappropriate search and seizure. (Gilad Edelman / Wired)
WeChat Users in the U.S. and Canada have blocked their corona virus messages to prevent contacts in China from seeing them. This is another example of China trying to censor flattering information internationally. (David Gilbert / Vice)
⭐ Essential products, a consumer electronics start-up he founded Google Managing director Andy Rubin will shut down. The company was followed by news of Rubin's departure from Google, which included a $ 90 million exit package and credible allegations of employee sexual misconduct. (Rubin denied the allegations.) Daisuke Wakabayashi and Erin Griffith of the New York Times have the story:
In 2018, Essential received a buyout interest from larger companies such as Amazon, Walmart, and several telecommunications providers, so a person familiar with the situation who was not authorized to speak on behalf of the company. Walmart and Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Any potential buyout would have valued the company below its $ 1 billion valuation, the person said.
However, interest has dropped sharply in part due to the risk associated with Mr. Rubin's work scandals. In 2017, The Information, a technology news site, reported that he left Google after an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate, prompting him to say goodbye to Essential to deal with "personal matters".
Tim Sweeney, co-founder of Epic gamescriticized Facebook and Google on stage at the DICE Summit in Las Vegas. "They offer free services and then let them pay for their services if you lose privacy and freedom," he said.
Carlos Maza, a journalist who calls Youtube "Deeply unethical and ruthless," Vox left to work full-time as a YouTube creator. The move shocked fans who had met Maza as a critic of the video sharing platform after failing to stop a right-wing fight against him last year. Fun little profile. (Kevin Roose / New York Times)
Youtube is testing a new clap function that fans can use to donate to creators. The emphasis on donations suggests that YouTube is closely monitoring what works for Twitch developers. See what happens when platforms have something significant to compete with! (Julia Alexander / The Verge)
Whatsapp hit two billion users, up from 1.5 billion two years ago. The FacebookThe own messaging app is now the most popular chat platform. It seems to be a strong and growing business when the FTC forces Facebook to split it into a separate company! (Manish Singh / theinformationsuperhighway)
In the early days of FacebookMark Zuckerberg kept his plans for world domination in handwritten magazines. He destroyed it. In this excerpt from a new book that I only got my hands on yesterday, a few insightful pages have been preserved. (Steven Levy / Wired)
Reuters has created a new business unit to verify misinformation Facebook, The team will review videos and photos, headlines and other content in English and Spanish submitted by Facebook or reported by the wider Reuters editorial team. (Josh Constine / theinformationsuperhighway)
Digital Blackface – the appropriation of words, dances, GIFs and memes that have their origins in color communities – has found its way Tick tack, Questionable hashtags such as #Ghetto, #InTheGhetto and # NWordPass have prevailed, as have challenges such as #CripWalk. We should talk a lot more about digital black face that you see everywhere when you start looking for it. (Tatiana Walk-Morris / OneZero)
Gossip influencers create an entire economy that records the life and romantic adventures of social media stars. They blur the line between reporting and influencing. We are there for you! (Rebecca Jennings / Vox)
Tech billionaires are giving away billions – but it's only a small fraction of their amazing wealth. If you look at how much they reveal and how much is in their bank accounts, the situation is less admirable. (Theodore grinder / recode)
And finally …
This happens when you finally speak to the person you swiped left on Tinder (and why they keep popping up). Kaitlyn Tiffany has an absolutely perfect piece in The Atlantic about a phenomenon that every long-time Tinder user knows (ahem): the person who comes across you again and again and appears in your feed no matter how often you say no to them :
I had heard from women on Twitter and one of my offline friends that Alex was rude in their DMs after they matched Tinder. When I asked him about it, he said, "I'm very narcissistic. It's mine."
Hammerli works in digital marketing, although he wouldn't say which company. He only uses Tinder for casual sex, a fact he volunteered, along with an explanation of his views on long-term relationships: "Idiotic in a culture where we just get away from the shit and upgrade iPhones every year." When I asked whether he was ever in love, he replied: "lmao no."
Happy Valentines Day.
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