Here’s some of what happened in the search engine and social media industries from 14th to 20th March 2020.
1. Twitter bans disinformation on coronavius
Twitter has started to bar users from posting misleading information related to COVID-19 including denials of ‘expert guidance’ and encouragement of fake ‘treatments’.
This decision follows similar measures taken by Facebook which stated it would take down posts with false claims or conspiracy theories.[source]
2. WhatsApp to soon get self-destructing messages
WhatsApp is rolling out another value-added feature called Delete Messages, similar to Snapchat, which will allow users to set a timer with messages for self-destruction.
The user will get five options: off, one hour, one week, one month and one year. It is currently available for Android and will be available for iOS soon.[source]
3. Bing launches interactive COVID-19 map
Microsoft has launched a new interactive Bing map to provide the latest information on the spread of COVID-19. It shows the number of cases per country broken further down into active, recovery and fatal cases.
In the US, you can view information state-by-state for relevant news stories and videos. Microsoft says it’s pulling the data from WHO, CDC, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and Wikipedia.[source]
4. Instagram rolling out IGTV advertising
Instagram plans to sell ads to IGTV for longer videos in a bid to compete with YouTube. To this effect, Instagram began reaching out to its top video creators asking them to partner on ad tests.
Creators will receive a 55% share on all IGTV advertising (same as YouTube).[source]
5. Facebook servers face ‘melt down’
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that the voice call volume for WhatsApp and Messenger in Italy had spiked significantly, including other countries impacted severely by the coronavirus. As many people have engaged in self-isolation or quarantine, the amount of data flowing through Facebook’s servers has skyrocketed.
The company has already doubled the server capacity for WhatsApp and has indicated plans to further beef up infrastructure.[source]