Who won (and lost) Social Media in 2018
2018 was a trying year for the major social networks, hit by all the big problems that great scale brings — from data leaks to punishing algorithmic shifts, to inappropriate content. Here’s how they did.
Facebook’s grade for the year: D
Facebook has had a rough few years, but Facebook’s 2018 is a lesson in the importance of public opinion in the social space. As trust in the platform plummets, we start to see the effects everywhere. However, Facebook is still the largest social media company in the world by market cap. In Q3 2018, it saw its number of monthly active users rise 10% to 2.27 billion.
26th January 2018
Facebook Watch, not very watchable yet.
6 months in Facebook’s bid to challenge OTT providers, Facebook watch gets a critical review.
2nd March 2018
Live by the algorithm, die by the algorithm
Facebook decides to prioritize content from friends and family over publishers. The resulting nosedive in engagement sees Little Things close its doors. Little Things employed 100 people and specialized in feel-good content.
13th April 2018
Congress doesn’t understand Facebook well enough to regulate it.
Mark Zuckerberg’s testifies in front of the US Congress. Many questions go unanswered as the US Congress demonstrate their digital illiteracy.
27th July 2018
Facebook ad clicks tumble, but the internet keeps on growing
This week Facebook’s stock took a 20% hit following Q2 earnings,
while data shows users are clicking on 20% fewer ads.
12th October 2018
After a year of public trust issues, Facebook launches Portal, a video communication device. Privacy concerns plague the device’s launch.
18th December 2018
As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants
YouTube’s grade for the year: C-
YouTube had a tough year grappling with its responsibility for the content on the platform. YouTube struggled to keep everyone happy in 2018. Advertisers, users, and creators all have voiced their frustration with the video platform. YouTube has been making a lot of efforts to fix issues that have plagued the platform in 2018. Perhaps 2019 will be the year they solve it.
12th January 2018.
Logan Paul suicide forest.
Logan’s fame, the subject matter and the young demographic of his channel pointed a huge spotlight on YouTube’s inconsistency flagging content. How YouTube plans to enforce its rules becomes the main concern of advertisers and users.
19th January 2018.
All Google preferred videos will be human verified.
In the wake of the of the Logan Paul’s suicide forest video. Google Preferred ads will only run on videos that are verified by a human being. Google promising 10,000 personnel to purge objectionable content in 2018
30th March 2018.
Children’s YouTube is still churning out blood, suicide, and cannibalism. YouTube struggles with separating content with similar keywords but very different target demographics. Child-oriented search terms such as Minnie Mouse are providing results for both family-friendly and adult content.
20th April 2018.
YouTube CEO addresses demonetization.
The changes designed to combat YouTube’s content verification issues results in widespread demonetization. The community voiced its frustration with the new changes. Especially the worst affected, emerging creators with eligible content.
27th April 2018.
YouTube runs ads from hundreds of brands on extremist channels.
YouTube fails again with 300 businesses ads appearing on extreme content. Eroding trust in YouTube’s ability to fix its platform’s issues. This repeat of a 2015 issue has some asking if YouTube can fix its issue rather than how it will fix them.
13th July 2018.
YouTube debuts plans to promote and fund ‘authoritative’ news.
YouTube aims to take a more proactive role in validating news on the platform in an effort to eliminate misleading information. A major issue since the 2016 presidential race.
Snapchat’s grade for the year: B-
Snapchat’s 2018 was one of transformation. Slowly shifting focus to advertisers over users. Whether you love it or hate it Snapchat is a different beast today than when it first launched. It has a reputation as a source of innovation often copied by the other networks, so we look forward to seeing what they come up within 2019.
16th February 2018
Snapchat update triggers revolt users
Snapchat’s biggest redesign since the app launched in 2011 is met with 1.3 million retweets asking for the old design to return. Snapchat’s user count shrinks in March.
4th May 2018
Snapchat scrambles to fix failed redesign, moves Stories to Discover
CEO Evan Spiegel announces a reversal of some of the redesign’s worst parts and expects user metrics to stabilize as people get used to the redesign.
13th July 2018
Snapchat is working on a feature that can find products you snap on Amazon
Continuing Snapchat’s new focus of courting advertisers. Snapchat moves to monetize its camera. After a poor Q1 where it reported a $385 million net loss this could turn the tide for Snapchat.
20th July 2018
Snapchat is launching a news partnerships initiative — Axios
With the goal of helping journalists and news organizations better mine the billions of public content on SnapChat for news.
10th August 2018
Snap’s strategy shifts win over advertisers more than users.
Less user more revenue per user. Snapchat’s trend of favoring advertiser over users has its advantages.
Instagram’s grade for the year: B+
Instagram’s 2018 was business as usual, stumbling only with IGTV but very importantly emerging unscathed by Facebook’s numerous issues. Who knows what 2019 holds for Instagram, after the departure of both of its founders in September of this year.
11th May 2018
Payments for e-commerce
Very quietly Instagram adds a native payments feature to its app for some users. Shoppable post may be coming soon.
8th June 2018
Instagram plans to launch Snapchat Discover-style video hub
According to multiple sources, Instagram will offer a dedicated space featuring scripted shows, music videos and more in vertically oriented, full-screen, high-def 4K resolution.
22nd June 2018
Instagram launches IGTV app for creators, 1-hour video uploads
Instagram wants to take on YouTube announcing it will begin allowing users to upload videos up to one hour in length, up from the previous one-minute limit.
17th August 2018
‘Stories’ was Instagram’s smartest move yet
Looking back on the 2 years since Instagram blatantly copied Snapchat Stories, there has only been positive results. Instagram Stories more than 400 million daily users and changed the way people share and consume online.
28th September 2018
Facebook’s recent ‘bear hug’ of Instagram frustrated its independent founders
Facebook’s and Instagrams relationship has gone smoothly for six years but report circulates of Facebook meddling causing rising frustration in the usually independent Instagram. Facebook has not had a good year and maybe planning to use the unaffected Instagram to its advantage.
Honorable mention to Fortnite. Fornite has been the source of a lot of the content on the platforms above. Since its launch, the game had amassed 125 million active players by June and made $1.2 billion. Here a few highlights from Fortnite’s stellar year.
16th March 2018
What Is Fortnite, and why won’t my kid shut up about it?
12th December 2018
Fortnite online space Gen Z waiting for.
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