The Social Short: Week 44

Twitter To Ban All Political Ads

Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey has just announced that Twitter will be banning all political advertising. “We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought,” Dorsey said.



This is further explained on the Twitter thread with Dorsey stating the following; “A political message earns reach when people decide to follow an account or retweet. Paying for reach removes that decision, forcing highly optimized and targeted political messages on people. We believe this decision should not be compromised by money.”

Dorsey’s statement comes after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg championed the role of social in providing a platform for free speech, which according to him, would include enabling politicians to advertise on Facebook and Instagram.

Two very contrasting views, but what’s better in this digital age?


Spotify Hits 248M Listeners, Including 113M Premium Subscribers

Spotify has just announced its latest financial results for the third quarter of 2019. In their Q3 report, the streaming giant reported having 248 million monthly active users, marking a 30% increase from last year and adding 16 million in this last quarter alone.

Spotify has seen significant growth in Latin America and India, propelling the company to grow its revenues by 28% year-on-year to €1.73bn. Podcasts are credited as one of the reasons behind this. As per Spotify: “We continue to see exponential growth in podcast hours streamed (39% Q/Q for 3Q19)”, with now more than 500,000 podcast titles available on the platform. Podcast engagement is increasing conversion from Ad-Supported to Premium. 



No Evidence Disclosure Can Hurt Influencers

Influencers should not shy away from branding posts as ‘sponsored’. The platform’s fashion and beauty partnerships manager, Kristie Dash, has recently stated in an interview with The Age and Sydney Morning Herald that influencers shouldn’t be afraid to label those posts that are being sponsored, urging them to disclose when they’re partnering up with brands. She stated that there is no data proving said posts don’t perform as well as regular posts.

Influencers should, therefore, try to have a strong voice and a “visual signature” that is both representative of their content/feel but at the same time of the brand, they are being sponsored by. According to Dash, if an influencer felt concerns about being authentic or was reluctant to be clear about a partnership, they should probably rethink their agreement with the brand.

Dash also said that while “Nobody wants their feeds to feel like one big ad… [by] not being transparent with your followers, you’ll lose trust over time.” 


Instagram Expands Ban On Self-Harm Images, Includes Drawings and Memes

Back in February, Instagram announced a ban on graphic images of self-harm, one that is now being expanded to include more types of self-harm related content, seeking to better protect vulnerable and at-risk users.

These changes have been outlined in Instagram’s blog, with Instagram chief Adam Mosseri further explaining the dangers of such content -“Nothing is more important to me than the safety of the people who use Instagram, particularly the most vulnerable. Suicide and self-harm are difficult and complex topics that people understandably care deeply about.”

The ban imposed in February has since allowed the platform to better detect images and content depicting self-harm and/or scars in the aftermath of such. In the three months following this policy change, Instagram was able to either remove or reduce the visibility of more than 834,000 pieces of content – “We were able to find more than 77% of this content before it was reported to us.”

That same technology has now been advanced, allowing Instagram to apply it to a variety of content types –  “We will no longer allow fictional depictions of self-harm or suicide on Instagram, such as drawings or memes or content from films or comics that use graphic imagery.”

Read the whole blog post on this over here