The Social Minute: December 13-19

December 19, 2017 Diana Pasgas


Instagram is letting you follow hashtags


  • To help define their Discover feature, Instagram is now letting you follow hashtags. Super into shiba inus? Yearning for glimpses of Paris? Now you can follow the hashtag on Instagram and see all of the posts tagged using the hashtag of your dreams.
  • The downside to this is it means all of the posts. Often, people will use completely unrelated tags on their photos to get more traffic, which means you could be seeing a lot of posts about cats when you’re trying just to see pictures of dogs. Instagram promises that their algorithm will eventually learn how to filter out unrelated posts.
  • Hit or Miss: Could this be the boost to organic content that we've been wishing for? By following hashtags, users can not only see more of what they love, but they can engage with more of what they love. Users can also find and interact with content they likely would have never seen — and all without leaving their feed. Of course, the whole "every single post in the tag is subject to fall on your feed" thing is a little aggravating, but we have hope that they'll figure this algorithm out. For now, at least.

Twitter officially begins enforcing new abuse policies 

  • Last month, Twitter announced new policies to combat abuse and hateful content - including threats of violence and physical harm. Such tweets will be removed and repeat offenders will be shown the door for good.
  • The new rules don’t just apply to tweets - everything from usernames to profiles to association with hate groups - on and off the site - could get you in trouble with the people behind the little blue bird. Unless you're a member of the military or government...then you’re exempt.
  • Hit or Miss: It is absolutely about time. Twitter has long since had an issue with managing the levels of hate and abuse its users throw at each other, though they have repeatedly insisted that they intend to do better. The hostile environment has largely contributed to a decrease in the platform’s active users over the last few years, especially given that the 'better' never seems to materialize. Still, we’re glad to see that even after all this time Twitter is staying true to its word and making changes. 

Facebook is putting an end to engagement bait

  • Posts that ask users to 'Like if you love puppies!' or "Share with a friend and comment below to win!' will soon be a thing of Facebook past. This week, Facebook announced that it is over engagement bait; content that begs for engagement will no longer be able to cheat its way around Facebook's algorithm without paying.
  • Begging for engagement on posts will result in a reduction in your overall reach - posts that don't adhere will be pushed to the bottom of users news feeds, no matter how many comments they receive. The more frequent the begging, the further down the feed the posts will go.
  • Hit or Miss: Facebook is a business and they would like you to pay $200 to pass go. This isn't breaking news; organic posts with high reach are largely a thing of the past. If you want your content to be seen, you're going to have to put some money behind it. Some might argue that this isn't fair to the little guys with smaller budgets. But at the same time, is incentivizing your followers to engage with your posts by offering prizes by spamming your post fair? It depends on your perspective...and your audience size. But in the game of Facebook, you either boost your post or you lose.

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