This week in our Social Shoutout we’re looking at the Cambridge Analytica Scandal, new features on LinkedIn and Instagram’s news both on shopping and allowing #hashtags in your bio. Enjoy!
The Cambridge Analytica scandal
Perhaps the biggest social media story of the week was the Cambridge Analytica scandal, where over 50 million Facebook profiles were harvested by the data analytics firm, in what has been labelled Facebook’s biggest data-breach to date.
According to the whistle-blower who took the story to the press, Cambridge Analytica “exploited Facebook to harvest millions of profiles” for commercial and political advantage, and as a result questions have surfaced on how secure Facebook really is when it comes to your data.
With that came the #DeleteFacebook movement, which encourages users to remove their profile from the platform in protest. The protest, which has seen endorsement from WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton, has seen a handful of users vote with their feet, or rather thumbs, and come off Zuckerberg’s platform, although in an interview with the New York Times on Wednesday, the man himself has said that he “hasn’t seen a meaningful number of people act [on that]”. Zuckerberg has apologised however, and also announced that Facebook will change how it shares data with third-party apps. In a post, he said:
“We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t, then we don’t deserve to serve you… We (also) made mistakes, there’s more to do, and we need to step up and do it.”
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer echoed Zuckerberg’s sentiment, and added:
“We know that this was a major violation of peoples’ trust, and I deeply regret that we didn’t do enough to deal with it.”
Meanwhile, Cambridge Analytica are being investigated both at home and abroad. In the UK, they are being looked into by the Electoral Commission on their role in the EU referendum, as well as the Information Commissioners Office on using data analytics for political purposes. In the United States, they are being investigated as part of Robert Mueller’s probe into alleged collusion between President Trump and Russia.
LinkedIn add stickers & text overlays to videos… but is it a step too far?
Instagram Launches Shoppable Posts Feature
Instagram seems to be firing out a range of updates at the moment, and this is one which has been long awaited by the e-commerce community!
Instagram’s shoppable posts will create a seamless experience for retailers by allowing brands and businesses to tag up to five products in organic posts, allowing consumers to simply tap on the product to find out more information and make a purchase.
We’re excited to see what impact these changes have on social media return on investment in the UK, especially after a brand in the US increased its revenue by 8% due to the feature.
There is some work to do however to make the feature work which involved businesses syncing their product catalogue with their Facebook Shop for Instagram to pull across all the product catalogue information from Facebook including a link back to the website.
Instagram now lets you link to #hashtags in your bio
Instagram announced this week that you can now include hashtags in your bio, which is where you can introduce yourself to the world within 150 characters. Previously you could only use text and emojis, but the new feature allows you to also include hashtags. Why would you want to do this? Well, now when you include one in your bio, it will turn it into a clickable hyperlink and also suggest popular trending hashtags as you type. This change makes the bio space more useful and will allow new followers to find relevant profiles much more easily.