The Social Minute: August 29 - September 5

September 5, 2017 Ophelie Zalcmanis-Lai

How Social Media Platforms are Providing Hurricane Harvey Relief

  • From Facebook's Safety Check, to Snapchat's Map function, to Twitter's hashtags, social media is playing a big role in helping those affected by natural disasters, such as Hurricane Harvey. 

  • As Facebook's Safety Check helps those who need urgent assistance get responses of aid, Snapchat and Twitter are helping collect open data to pinpoint where hotspots of desperately needed aid are. All together, these social platforms are greatly helping aid providers locate and delegate help where it's needed most (and also give the specific kind of aid needed). 

  • Hit or Miss: While there's plenty of data that shows how social media has consumed users not always in a positive way, there's also data like this that reaffirms the positive power social media can have. A lot of social content can be frivolous in this day and age. However, it's always reassuring to see its power be put to tangible and effective use in a way that can actually change lives. 

Meet the "Facebook for Unions"

  • This past labour day, 29-year-old Larry Williams Jr. released an updated version of 
    "Facebook for unions" called UnionBase

  • The social platform is "America's largest digital platform for workers and unions."  Noting the typically negative rep that labour unions have developed over recent times inspired Williams to create a tool to help modernize and connect them and their union members digitally. 

  • Hit or Miss: This is a great way to utilize the power of social media! Social media is all about connecting people and sharing information regardless of location. While UnionBase is still at a startup phase, it's got a powerful differentiator than other platforms (as Fast Company points out) - Williams is creating UnionBase to not only connect people, but so that unions are able to collectively bargain on a bigger scale. 

Facebook Makes a Big Bid for Sports Streaming

  • Facebook is clearly willing to pay a lot for sports. On Monday, Facebook confirmed that it bid $610 million for the rights to stream five years of cricket games from the Indian Premiere League. 

  • The social platform did not win in the end, after the League announced that 21st Century Fox's Star India won the exclusive rights at an even heftier bid of $2.5 billion. 

  • Hit or Miss: We're going to call this one a hit, but not necessarily for Facebook. A move like this goes to prove two things. Firstly, sports are a hot commodity in the streaming world. As social media platforms and other media properties aim to expand their content base, sports is the number one bid. Secondly, and as an extension as the first point, the fact that Facebook made such a bid is further solidifying its focus on becoming a heavily video-based platform (a format that's consistently winning audiences' minutes). 


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