Twitter has adjusted follower counts - this is why

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As part of our ongoing and global effort to build trust and encourage healthy conversation on Twitter, every part of the service matters. Follower counts are a visible feature, and we want everyone to have confidence that the numbers are meaningful and accurate.

Over the years, we’ve locked accounts when we detected sudden changes in account behavior. In these situations, we reach out to the owners of the accounts and unless they validate the account and reset their passwords, we keep them locked with no ability to log in. This week, we’ll be removing these locked accounts from follower counts across profiles globally. As a result, the number of followers displayed on many profiles may go down.

Most people will see a change of four followers or fewer; others with larger follower counts will experience a more significant drop. We understand this may be hard for some, but we believe accuracy and transparency make Twitter a more trusted service for public conversation.

Though the most significant changes are happening in the next few days, follower counts may continue to change more regularly as part of our ongoing work to proactively identify and challenge problematic accounts.

Why does an account get locked?

If we detect sudden changes in account behavior, we may lock the account and contact the owner to confirm they still have control of it. These sudden changes in account behavior could include Tweeting a large volume of unsolicited replies or mentions, Tweeting misleading links, or if a large number of accounts block the account after mentioning them. We sometimes lock an account if we see email and password combinations from other services posted online and believe that information could put the security of an account at risk — so we require accounts to change of their passwords for protection. Until we confirm that everything is ok with the account, we lock it, which makes them unable to Tweet or see ads.

How are these accounts different from spam or bots?

In most cases, these accounts were created by real people but we cannot confirm that the original person who opened the account still has control and access to it.

Spam accounts (sometimes referred to as bots) typically exhibit spammy behavior from the beginning, are increasingly predictable by our systems, and can be automatically shut down with our technology. You can learn more about our ongoing work to prevent spam on Twitter here.

Why just followers? Will this expand to Tweets, Likes, and Retweets?

Our ongoing work to improve the health of conversations on Twitter encompasses all aspects of our service. This specific update is focused on followers because it is one of the most visible features on our service and often associated with account credibility. Once an account is locked, it cannot Tweet, like or Retweet and it is not served ads.

Will this change affect your Monthly Active User (MAU) or Daily Active User (DAU) metrics?

No, it will not. Removing locked accounts from followers doesn't impact MAU or DAU. Locked accounts that have not reset their password in more than one month are not included in MAU or DAU. While today’s change doesn’t affect MAU or DAU, some accounts we remove from the service as part of our ongoing commitment to a healthy public conversation have the potential to impact publicly reported metrics.

Continuing to Communicate with You

This is another step to improve Twitter and ensure everyone can have confidence in their followers. Follow @Twitter and @TwitterSafety for the latest updates as we continue our commitment to serve the public conversation.

SOURCE: Twitter Blog 

LinkedIn Unveils Translations in the LinkedIn Feed

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We know how important it is for you to have conversations on the topics you care about with your professional community on LinkedIn -- no matter where they’re located in the world. As you make connections with clients who live in another country, co-workers located in a different office, or people you meet at global industry events, we don’t want language to be a barrier to helping you maintain meaningful professional relationships.

To help you keep in touch and understand all of the conversations happening in your LinkedIn Feed, we’ve now added the ability to see the translations of posts written in a different language. This has been one of the most requested features from all of you, and we’re excited to make it easier than ever to stay in touch with the people, companies, and groups you care about — regardless of the language you speak.

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Posts that are in a different language than you speak will now show a “See Translation” button within the LinkedIn Feed, the recent activity section on someone’s profile, and the post detail page.

We show you the “See Translation” option based on signals such as your language setting, the country you’re accessing LinkedIn from, the languages on your profile, and other factors. We then compare it to the language we’ve identified a post as having to see if you might need it translated. These translations are powered by Microsoft Text Analytics API, an Azure Cognitive Service, which also powers translations for Bing, Skype, and Office. And since Microsoft is continually improving translation quality, you can expect translations to get better and better over time.

The “See Translation” feature is available in more than 60 languages including Spanish, Japanese, and German to a majority of global members on desktop and mobile web. This feature will be coming in the next few weeks to the LinkedIn iOS and Android apps, and we’re constantly growing the languages supported.

Here’s to connecting people to opportunity — from all corners of the world!

SOURCE: LinkedIn Blog

Facebook adds New Tools for Nonprofit Fundraisers

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People use Facebook Fundraisers to support the causes and organizations that mean the most to them. Today, we’re announcing new features to help make fundraisers even more impactful and accessible:

  • Expanding to Pages: Brand and public figure Pages can now fundraise for nonprofit causes. Nonprofit Pages can now also start fundraisers for their own causes.
  • Adding Organizers: People can now invite friends to manage a fundraiser together, helping to expand their network of supporters.

Expanding to Pages
Brands and public figures use their Facebook Pages to connect with followers and fans, and now they can rally support around nonprofits as well. Nonprofits can now also start fundraisers on their Pages for their own causes. We’ve already seen momentum and success from Pages running fundraisers. Artists Tegan and Sara recently launched a Page fundraiser to help send 100 kids to LGBTQ summer camp in the US and Canada through the Tegan and Sara Foundation LGBTQ Camp Scholarship and in collaboration with the Ally Coalition.

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Adding Organizers
Just like you can add a co-admin or moderator to a Facebook Group or a co-host to your Facebook Event, you can now add up to three friends to be organizers of your fundraiser to help you manage it and rally more supporters to reach your fundraising goals.

Each of these new features is aimed to help nonprofits raise more from their supporters through Facebook Fundraisers, and we’ll continue to work on tools to make fundraisers even more meaningful.

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Instagram Introduces Video Chat, a New Explore, and More

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Instagram introdues Video Chat, topic channels in Explore, and new camera effects for Stories 

Video Chat in Instagram Direct

Now, you can video chat in Instagram Direct, either with just one person or a group. Video chat gives you the experience of realtime video in a private space and helps you feel close and connected to friends when you can’t be together. Your friends are already on Instagram, and with video chat, you can seamlessly connect across iOS and Android and without a phone number.

To start a video chat, swipe into your Direct inbox and open any message thread. Tap the new camera icon in the right corner, and the video chat will ring your friends’ phones so they don’t miss it. While on the video chat, you can minimize the video and multitask on Instagram, sending messages and photos in Direct, browsing your feed, posting a story and more.

Video chat is perfect for groups. You can video chat with up to four people at a time, and the video will expand as more friends join. If there’s an active video chat in a group thread, the camera icon will turn blue. Simply tap the camera to join in the fun. You can video chat with your friends for as long as you’d like. When you’re ready to leave the video chat, tap the red phone icon at the bottom.

You can video chat with anyone you have an active Direct thread with. If you block a person, they will no longer be able to video chat you. You can also mute a person if you don’t want to receive notifications from them. To update your video chat notifications, tap the gear icon on profile and find the new video chat control in Push Notifications.

Topic Channels on Explore

Topic channels on Explore give you new ways to discover your interests on Instagram. Over 200 million people visit Explore every day to discover new ideas and find inspiration. Now it’s even easier to browse through posts you want to see and accounts you want to follow.

With topic channels, you can be more intentional about how you navigate posts on Explore. When you open the page, you’ll see a tray at the top with personalized channels. This includes a ‘For You’ channel, which has a mix of posts tailored to your interests. You’ll also see channels on topics you might like such as Art, Sports, Beauty or Fashion – as well as a list of hashtags, giving you more ways to explore your interests. Now, when you want to get inspired by the latest fashion trends or discover a new travel destination, you can easily find posts you’re looking for and follow those accounts or hashtags.

We’re also giving you better ways to control what you see on Explore. You can browse through a variety of interests by swiping from grid to grid, or you can go deep into a specific interest by tapping on a channel and scrolling up. If you’d like to remove a topic channel, press and hold the channel and select ‘Mute’ from the menu. This sends the channel to the end of the tray, giving you the option to unmute it at any time.

New Camera Effects

Lastly, you’ll now see the first batch of new camera effects designed by Ariana Grande, Buzzfeed, Liza Koshy, Baby Ariel and NBA in the Instagram camera. Whether you want to make your friends laugh or add some glam to your selfies, you now have more ways to express yourself and feel closer to your favorite accounts.

You’ll see a new effect in your Instagram camera if you follow any of these accounts — just tap the face icon at the bottom right corner. If you aren’t a follower but you see an effect that you love, you can tap to try it on and add it to your camera.

This is just the beginning. We’re excited to bring new effects from more of your favorite accounts to Instagram soon.

All of these features are available on Android and iOS. 

SOURCE: Instagram Blog 

6 reasons you'll YouTube Music

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YouTube Music in the U.S., Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea. To be the first to know when it’s available for you, head to music.youtube.com/coming-soon.


Here are six reasons we think you’re gonna like it: 

  1. It’s ALL here. Not just music videos, but official albums, singles, remixes, live performances, covers and hard-to-find music you can only get on YouTube.
  2. Recommendations built for you. A home screen that dynamically adapts to provide recommendations based on what you’ve played before, where you are and what you’re doing. At the gym workin’ on that fitness? Escaping during your commute? The right music is right here, built just for you.
  3. Thousands of playlists across any genre, mood or activity. Try “Blogged 50” to discover new music or “Indie Under Pressure” to get the heart rate going.
  4. Smart search so we’ll find the song, even if you can’t remember what it’s called. “That rap song with flute”? We got you. You can also search by lyrics (even if they’re wrong). It’s “Starbucks lovers,” right?
  5. The hottest videos. We’ll keep you on top of what’s hot! The hottest videos in the world right now are right there, on their own dedicated Hotlist screen. Today in the U.S., it features Anderson.Paak, Jessie Reyez, and G-Eazy.
  6. No internet? No problem. Paid members can download music and listen ad-free and in the background. Plus, your Offline Mixtape automatically downloads songs you love just in case you forgot to.

SOURCE: YouTube Blog

Facebook adds A New Level of Transparency for Ads and Pages

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We’re making significant steps to bring more transparency to ads and Pages on Facebook. Giving people more information about any organization and the ads it’s currently running will mean increased accountability for advertisers, helping to prevent abuse on Facebook.

  • View Active Ads: You can now see the ads a Page is running across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and our partner network, even if those ads aren’t shown to you. Just log into Facebook, visit any Page and select “Info and Ads.” You’ll see ad creative and copy, and you can flag anything suspicious by clicking on “Report Ad.”
  • More Page Information: You can also learn more about Pages, even if they don’t advertise. For example, you can see any recent name changes and the date the Page was created. We’ll be adding more Page information in the coming weeks.

 

We’ll also soon launch our political ads labeling and archive in Brazil, ahead of October’s general election (we launched this in the US in May). Anyone running political ads in Brazil will be able to register next month. And Brazilians will soon see labels for election ads in their country — all of which will be added to our archive.

The vast majority of ads on Facebook are run by legitimate organizations — whether it’s a small business looking for new customers, an advocacy group raising money for their cause, or a politician running for office. But we’ve seen that bad actors can misuse our products, too. These steps are just the start — we’re always looking for more ways to improve. By shining a bright light on all ads, as well as the Pages that run them, we’ll make it easier to root out abuse – helping to ensure that bad actors are held accountable for the ads they run.

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SOURCE: Facebook Blog 

WhatsApp introduces New Group Setting for Admins

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Over the last few months, we've added new features that improve the groups experience. Some of these include group descriptions, a catch up feature, and protection for people who are being added repeatedly to groups they've left.

Today, we're launching a new group setting where only admins are able to send messages to a group. One way people use groups is to receive important announcements and information, including parents and teachers at schools, community centers, and non-profit organizations. We've introduced this new setting so admins can have better tools for these use cases.

To enable this setting, open “Group Info,” tap Group Settings > Send Messages and select “Only Admins.” This setting is rolling out to all users around the world on the latest supported versions of the app.

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SOURCE: WhatsApp Blog 

Welcome to IGTV

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Update: We launched IGTV at an event in San Francisco featuring many of the Instagram creators who’ll make IGTV great. Check out the video of the event to learn what IGTV is, how it works and see it come to life. 

Today, we have two big announcements to share. First, Instagram is now a global community of one billion! Since our launch in 2010, we’ve watched with amazement as the community has flourished and grown. This is a major accomplishment — so from all of us at Instagram, thank you!

Second, we’re announcing our most exciting feature to date: IGTV, a new app for watching long-form, vertical video from your favorite Instagram creators, like LaurDIY posting her newest project or King Bach sharing his latest comedy skit. While there’s a stand-alone IGTV app, you’ll also be able to watch from within the Instagram app so the entire community of one billion can use it from the very start.

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IGTV is different in a few ways. First, it’s built for how you actually use your phone, so videos are full screen and vertical. Also, unlike on Instagram, videos aren’t limited to one minute. Instead, each video can be up to an hour long.

We’ve made it simple, too. Just like turning on the TV, IGTV starts playing as soon as you open the app. You don’t have to search to start watching content from people you already follow on Instagram and others you might like based on your interests. You can swipe up to discover more — switch between “For You,” “Following,” “Popular” and “Continue Watching.” You can also like, comment and send videos to friends in Direct.

Also like TV, IGTV has channels. But, in IGTV, the creators are the channels. When you follow a creator on Instagram, their IGTV channel will show up for you to watch. Anyone can be a creator — you can upload your own IGTV videos in the app or on the web to start your own channel.

Instagram has always been a place to connect with the people who inspire, educate and entertain you every day. With your help, IGTV begins a new chapter of video on Instagram. We hope it brings you closer to the people and things you love.

Kevin Systrom, Co-Founder & CEO

IGTV will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks on Android and iOS. You can learn more by visiting the Instagram Help Center.

Increasing Transparency for Political Campaigning Ads on Twitter

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We believe transparency is key for both the people using our service and advertisers to feel confident in our platform. As we stated last year, we are committed to enforcing stricter policies for political advertisers and providing clear, transparent disclosure for all ads on Twitter, with more details for political campaigning ads.

Today, we are launching our Political Campaigning Policy in the United States to provide clear insight into how we define political content and who is advertising political content on Twitter.

What will this policy entail?

As part of this new policy, we will require advertisers who want to run political campaigning ads for Federal elections to self-identify and certify that they are located in the U.S. Candidates and committees will have to provide their FEC ID, and non-FEC registered organizations and individuals will have to submit a notarized form. We will send a letter to the mailing address registered with the FEC, business, or individual to validate the identity and location of all political campaigning advertisers. In addition, we will not allow foreign nationals to target political ads to people who are identified as being  in the U.S.

Additionally, handles used for political campaigning advertising will have to comply with stricter requirements. The handle’s profile photo, header photo, and website must be consistent with its online presence and the Twitter bio must include a website that provides valid contact information.

We will also be including a visual badge and disclaimer information on promoted content from certified accounts in the near future. This will allow users to easily identify political campaigning ads, know who paid for them, and whether it was authorized by a candidate.

This complements our recent announcement around U.S. election labels, which will appear on the campaign Twitter accounts of candidates running for state Governor, or for the U.S. Senate or U.S. House of Representatives, during the 2018 U.S. midterm general election. These labels contain relevant information about a political candidate, including the office the candidate is running for, the state the office is located in, district number (when applicable), and will be clearly identifiable with a small icon of a government building.

When will enforcement begin?

Enforcement of this policy will begin later this summer, after which only certified advertisers will be allowed to run political campaigning ads. Political advertisers can apply now for certification.

What’s next?

As stated earlier this year, we will be launching an Ads Transparency Center this summer. The Ads Transparency Center will provide insight into all ads running on Twitter, with even more details on political campaigning ads, including ad spend and targeting demographics.

Issue ads will fall under a separate upcoming policy. This allows us to have a nuanced approach to transparency that is mindful of the inherent difference between political and issue-oriented advertising campaigns. Given the global nature of our company, we are also looking into how these policies can be enforced internationally and will have more to share in the future.

This is just the beginning of our efforts in increased transparency for all advertising on Twitter. We will continue to iterate and improve our efforts in this space and will be providing updates along the way.

Introducing YouTube Premium

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Since launching YouTube Red in 2015, we’ve been thrilled with how people are enjoying the service, whether it’s downloading videos for a flight, binging the first season of Cobra Kai, or listening to the wide breadth of ad-free music. As part of ongoing enhancements to the member experience, today we’re excited to announce that YouTube Red is becoming YouTube Premium! 

The new YouTube Premium includes: 
 

  • The new YouTube Music: ad-free, with background listening and downloads
  • More, bigger original series and movies
  • Ad-free, background play, and downloads across YouTube


It’s all coming soon to even more countries. 

YouTube Music 
 

  • The new YouTube Music is a music streaming service that combines music listening with the magic of YouTube: making the world of music easier to explore and more personalized than ever. YouTube Music includes a reimagined mobile app and brand new desktop player that are designed for music.
  • YouTube Premium unlocks the full YouTube Music experience: ad-free music, background listening, and downloads.


YouTube Originals 
 

  • With YouTube Premium, you’ll get access to the full slate of YouTube Originals, including recent hits like the Karate Kid-inspired series, Cobra Kai, the dance drama, Step Up: High Water, and upcoming series like the sci-fi thriller, Impulse, and Liza Koshy's Liza on Demand.
  • More new Originals from around the globe are on the way—featuring comedies, dramas, reality series and action adventure shows from the U.K., Germany, France, Mexico, and more.


Ad-free, background play, and downloads across YouTube 
 

  • YouTube Premium will continue to provide an ad-free experience, background play, and downloads across the millions of videos on YouTube, which simultaneously supports our incredible creators and artists.


Pricing and Availability 
 

  • YouTube Premium rolls out soon in existing markets: the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and South Korea*. It’s also coming soon to new markets: Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. We look forward to more expansion throughout 2018 and beyond.
  • YouTube Premium will be available for $11.99 per month (U.S. price) or you can unlock the full experience of the new YouTube Music by itself with Music Premium for $9.99 per month (U.S. price).
  • When YouTube Premium launches, YouTube Red members will automatically receive access at their current price. In countries where YouTube Red is currently available, a new member can also secure this price ($9.99 in the U.S.) by joining now at youtube.com/red.**


*South Korea will only offer YouTube Premium at the current price of YouTube Red. 
**If that price changes in the future, we will give plenty of notice 

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