Each week, Social Circles brings you the biggest news from behind the social networks. Keep up to date with the latest trends, breaking news, and expert analysis from across the web.
This week’s wrap-up includes the web’s newest platform which promises to pay users, updated privacy measures for Canadian military personnel, and Facebook’s new app which takes mobile users back to the days of chat rooms.
5) A Royal Tweet
Let’s start things out on the lighter side.
Saturday marked a momentous occasion for Twitter, as Queen Elizabeth II sent out her first ever tweet during the opening of a new exhibition of the London Science Museum. The 88-year-old sent the tweet from the British Monarchy account. As the account later went on to note, her first sent tweet came nearly forty years after her first sent e-mail, in 1976.
4) New Demographics Report Reveals YouTube’s Importance
In a giant undertaking, Business Insider‘s Intelligence department unveiled a new social media industry demographic report for the U.S. While the full report is behind a paywall, some significant insights are provided. Perhaps the most important is that YouTube reaches more adults aged 18 to 34 than any single cable TV network. For advertisers looking to key on in this demographic, such a finding is enormous.
Also coming out of the study is the interesting point that U.S. teens now say Instagram is the most important social media platform, beating out both Facebook and Twitter.
3) Canadian Forces Revises Social Media Policy
In the wake of two deadly attacks on Canadian soldiers that shook the nation last week, the Canadian Forces has released a new social media policy. As part of the new policy, members of Canada’s National Defence staff and the Canadian Armed Forces are being asked to remove any reference to their employment on social media platforms, as well as any photographs of military personnel in uniform.
The updated policy was distributed in a bulletin sent out by the western branch following an increase in random friend requests being sent to personnel. The bulletin also advised strengthening privacy settings, searching through children’s friend’s lists and deleting any who are not known personally, and notifying their local military police detachment if they continue to receive suspicious friend requests. A “Do’s and Don’ts” guideline was also distributed for both Facebook and Twitter.
2) Facebook Launches “Rooms”
Cashing in on the recent wave of anonymous social media platforms, Facebook decided to create one itself. This week, the networking giant rather quietly launched “Rooms,” an app that will act totally separate from Facebook. That’s right, you can sign up with any name you feel most comfortable with, and do not need a Facebook account to join. The name – Rooms – comes from the idea of old chat rooms or message board topics. Users can create a room on any topic, and then it’s opened up to complete customization. Invitations to rooms are shared by taking a snapshot of something that’s similar to a QR code. This helps ensure that rooms can be as private or public as the owner and members wish.
Inspired by both the ethos of these early web communities and the capabilities of modern smartphones, today we’re announcing Rooms, the latest app from Facebook Creative Labs. Rooms lets you create places for the things you’re into, and invite others who are into them too.
1) The Internet Welcomes Tsu
Armed with a $7 million investment, the world’s newest social networking platform went live on Tuesday. Tsu operates on a bold promise: users will be rewarded (financially!) for the quality of their content.
Realizing that without an active user base to attract advertisers, the site will not make any money, Tsu will give users their piece of the pie. The New York-based website will take 10% of ad revenue generated, but then re-distribute the remaining 90% back to its users. As explained by Re/code:
All the ad revenue Tsu makes in one day, for example, is distributed to users based on how many organic post-views they get during that 24-hour period. The more views and engagement you generate as a user, the larger portion of the pie you get.
As such, Tsu becomes the latest to take on Facebook and Twitter’s business strategy of making money (and lots of it) off of the content of others. Bubblews launched in 2012 under a similar plan, and Ello recently launched with the promise of remaining brand unfriendly. Unlike Ello, which promises to be absolutely ad-free, Tsu is doing the exact opposite and embracing any advertisers who wish to pay to play. It’s after that process that Tsu will try to set itself apart from the rest. As founder Sebastian Sobczak says:
“If you contrast the established networks today, they’re like radio stations playing everybody’s song and not giving them any royalties for their work. It’s very unusual that all these amazing [users] provide this free content that is very valuable to them and is a hundred percent monetized.”
Of course, hiccups are imminent. One big problem that the site will likely face is power users (like celebrities, athletes, and others constantly in the public eye) making huge wads of cash, while others struggle at the bottom. To lure Facebook and Twitter users away, Tsu will have to ensure the large bulk of “everyday” content creators feel like they are represented in the payouts. Otherwise, the migration may not seem worth it.
Still, the new platform seems to be off to a good start, racking up a number of celebrity users in the planning stage, from 50 Cent to Carmelo Anthony.
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