The Social Minute: March 21 - 27

March 27, 2018 Diana Pasgas

Twitter bans cryptocurrency ads

• Following in the footsteps of other social platforms like Facebook and Reddit, Twitter will begin banning cryptocurrency ads starting today, stating that the move was to ensure the safety of their community.

• The policies are designed to discourage opportunities for fraud as users navigate Crypto Twitter, an infamously shady part of Twitter that creeps us out almost as much as the comments section on a conspiracy video on YouTube.

Hit or Miss: We still don’t get what Bitcoin is, so this is a good move.

We’re kidding. While we do still envision cryptocurrencies as the gold coins from Super Mario, it’s undeniable that their value continues to grow. However, Crypto Twitter, specifically, is known to be deceptive; a place where bitcoin supporters can hype up the value of the currency or try to lure people to newly released Initial Coin Offerings. Until we can use it to pay for a Starbucks coffee, limiting exposure to those that may abuse its power is probably a safe bet for now.

Firefox isolates Facebook tracking

• Due to the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal, trust in Facebook is at an all time low and Mozilla Firefox is capitalizing off of it. The web browser introduced an extension that stops Facebook from tracking your online sessions.

• The Facebook Container, which opens in an isolated tab on your browser, will prevent Facebook from collecting data about what you do online and stop them from targeting you with ads and other messages.

Hit or Miss: Let’s get one thing out of the way: an extension like this wouldn’t have prevented the Cambridge Analytica scandal from happening. But it’s a smart move on Mozilla’s part: by adding an extension that specifically blocks Facebook, they are not only listening to what is happening in the world of social media, but they are reacting to it by providing their users a valuable tool that lets them browse Facebook without deleting their profile. Depending on Facebook’s next move, it could only be a matter of time before other browsers release their own extensions. It probably won’t stop your phone from listening to you, though.

Instagram returns to a chronological feed — sort of

• After ages of begging and pleading to Instagram, “Please; we just want to see posts in the order they were posted—oh my god why am I seeing posts from four days ago? STOP,” the platform is going back to a chronological feed.

• Mostly. What Instagram really said is that they want to give users back control of their feed and are working to ensure that timely posts are seen first. The app also claims that they are testing a ‘New Posts’ button to make seeing fresh posts even easier.

Hit or Miss: Finally. While it’s not a complete return to form, we’ll take what we can get. This aligns with both what users want and Instagram’s goals as a company. It also prevents competitor apps from gaining momentum — the big appeal of Vero was that they have a chronological feed (anyone remember Vero?). A chronological feed means less of a reason to switch to a different platform. Most importantly, this change shows that Instagram is listening to their users, which in a world of algorithms is more than we can say for most platforms.

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