Twitter tests homescreen button to easily switch to reverse chronological

Twitter is digging one of its most important new features out of its settings and putting it within easy reach. Twitter is now testing with a small number of iOS users a homescreen button that lets you instantly switch from its algorithmic timeline that shows the best tweets first but out of order to the old reverse chronological feed that only shows people you follow — no tweets liked by friends or other randomness.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Twitter had previously buried this option in its settings. In mid-September, it fixed the setting so it would only show a raw reverse chronological feed of tweets by people you follow with nothing extra added, and promised a more easily accessible design for the feature in the future. Now we have our first look at it. A little Twitter sparkle icon in the top opens a menu where you can switch between Top Tweets and Latest Tweets, plus a link to your content settings. It would be even nicer if that was a one-tap toggle.

Twitter’s VP of Product Kayvon Beykpour tweeted that “We want to make it easier to toggle between seeing the latest tweets the top tweets. So we’re experimenting with making this a top-level switch rather than buried in the settings. Feedback welcome.. what do you think?”

Given the backlash back in 2016 when Twitter started shifting to an algorithmically sorted timeline based on what you engaged with, many users will probably think this is great. Whether you’re trying to follow a sports game, a political debate, breaking news, or are just glued to Twitter and want the ordering to make more sense, there are plenty of reasons you might want to switch to reverse chronological.

Still, Twitter’s apprehension to make the setting too accessible makes sense. Hardcore users might prefer reverse chronological, but for most people who only open Twitter a few times per day or week, that’d mean they’d likely miss the tweets from their closest friends that could be drown out by the noise of everyone else. Twitter’s user growth rate perked up after the shift to algorithmic.

We’ve asked whether the setting reverts to the Top Tweets default when you close the app. That might be frustrating to some expert users, but could prevent novice users from accidentally getting stuck in reverse chronological and not knowing how to switch back. The company tells TechCrunch that it’s trying out several different duration options for the setting based on user inactivity to see what works best. For example, one version will revert the setting to the Top Tweets default if they’re gone for a day. That method would make sure people who’ve been inactive long enough to forget changing their timeline setting will get the default back and not end up stuck in a chronological abyss.

If Twitter gets the reversion to default situation figured out, the new button could make the service much more flexible, thereby boosting usage. You could start algorithmic in the morning or after a weekend away to see what you missed, then quickly toggle to reverse chronological if something big happens or you’ll be on it non-stop all day to get the real-time pulse of the world.

from Social – TechCrunch https://techcrunch.com/2018/10/31/twitter-chronological-button/
via Superb Summers

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Snapchat’s PR firm sues influencer for not promoting Spectacles on Instagram

Influcencer marketing could get a lot more accountable if Snapchat’s PR firm wins this lawsuit. Snapchat hoped that social media stars promoting v2 of its Spectacles camera sunglasses on its biggest competitor could boost interest after it only sold 220,000 of v1 and had to take a $40 million write-off. Instead Snap comes off looking a little desperate to make Spectacles seem cool.

Snap Inc comissioned its public relations firm PR Consulting (real imaginative) to buy its an influencer marketing campaign on Instagram . The firm struck a deal with Grown-ish actor Luka Sabbat after he was seen cavorting with Kourtney Kardashian. Sabbat got paid $45,000 up front with the promise of another $15,000 to post himself donning Spectacles on Instagram.

He was contracted to make one Instagram feed post and three Stories posts with him wearing Specs, plus be photographed wearing them in public at Paris and Milan Fashion Weeks. He was supposed to add swipe-up-to-buy links to two of those Story posts, get all the posts pre-approved with PRC, and send it analytics metrics about their performance.

But Sabbat skipped out on two of the Stories, one of the swipe-ups, the photo shoots, the pre-approvals, and the analytics. So as Variety’s Gene Maddaus first reported, PRC is suing Sabbat to recoup the $45,000 it already paid plus another $45,000 in damages.

TechCrunch has attained a copy of the lawsuit filing, embedded below, that states “Sabbat has been unjustly enriched and PRC is entitled to damages.” Snap confirms to us that it hired PRC to run the campaign, and that it also contracted a campaign with fashion blog Man Repeller founder Leandra Medine Cohen. And as a courtesy, I Photoshopped some Spectacles onto Sabbat above.

But interestingly, Snap says it was not involved in the decision to sue Sabbat. The debacle brings unwanted attention to the pay-for-promotion deal that brands typically tried to avoid when commissioning influencer marketing. The whole thing is supposed to feel subtle and natural. Instead, PRC’s suit probably cost Snapchat more than $90,000 in reputation.

The case could solidify the need for influencer marketing contracts to come with prorated payment terms where stars are paid fractions of the total purse after each post rather than getting any upfront, as The Fashion Law writes. PRC’s choice to chase Sabbat even despite the problematic publicity for its client Snap might convince other influencers to abide more closely to the details of their contracts. If social media creators want to keep turning their passion into their profession, they’re going to have to prove they’re accountable. Otherwise brands will slide back to traditional ads.

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from Social – TechCrunch https://techcrunch.com/2018/10/31/influencer-marketing-lawsuit/
via Superb Summers

Twitter’s spam reporting tool now lets you specify type, including if it’s a fake account

Twitter is adding more nuance to its spam reporting tools, the company announced today. Instead of simply flagging a tweet as posting spam, users can now specify what kind of spam you’re seeing by way of a new menu of choices. Among these is the option to report spam you believe to be from a fake Twitter account.

Now, when you tap the “Report Tweet” option and choose “It’s suspicious or spam” from the first menu, you’re presented with a new selection of choices where you can pick what kind of spam the tweet contains.

Here, you can pick from options that specify if the tweet is posting a malicious link of some kind, if it’s from a fake account, if it’s using the Reply function to send spam, or if it’s using unrelated hashtags.

These last two tricks are regularly used by spammers to increase the visibility of their tweets.

Often, high-profile Twitter users will see replies to their tweets promoting the spammers’ content. For example, check any of @elonmusk’s thread for crypto scammers’ tweets – a problem so severe, that when Elon played along one time as a joke, Twitter locked his account.

Using hashtags, meanwhile, allows spammers to get attention from those people searching Twitter’s Trends.

And of course, spammers are often posting prohibited content, like malicious links, links to phishing sites, and other dangerous links.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

But Twitter users will probably be most interested in the new option to report fake accounts.

There’s been a lot of name-calling on Twitter today following the emergence of reports of Russian bots and trolls flooding Twitter, in an attempt to influence U.S. politics with disinformation. Often, users in disagreements on the site will call someone “bot” as a way to shut down a conversation.

Twitter itself has been suspending real bots left and right in recent months. It deleted 200,000 Russian troll tweets earlier this year, for example, and suspended more than 70 million fake accounts in May and June, according to reports.

Now users will be able to report those accounts they believe to be bots, as well.

To what extent Twitter will rely on these user-generated reports over its own algorithmic-based bot detection systems, or other factors (like IP addresses or suspicious behavior), is unclear.

It’s also unclear if people can ban together to mass report an account as “fake” in an attempt to remove a real person’s account. But someone will surely soon test that out.

Prior to the change, users were able to report spam but not the type of spam, Twitter’s documentation today still confirms.

Twitter tells us the updated reporting flow will simply allow the company to collect more detail so it can “identify and remove spam more effectively.”

from Social – TechCrunch https://techcrunch.com/2018/10/31/twitters-spam-reporting-tool-now-lets-you-specify-type-including-if-its-a-fake-account/
via Superb Summers