The Great Twitter Purge of 2018

Similar to how Facebook is has its own Highlights section now, today's Slice features the latest social media news highlights. We're giving you all the details on the latest Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter updates so you can impress your boss, AND we'll help you understand what these updates will mean for you and your company.

This week’s stories have everything, from watching TV on your Instagram to Malala joining Instagram 👋. But first, we've got the biggest headline this week: the Great Twitter Purge of 2018.

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Bye, Bye Fake Followers

While it may be less terrifying than the movie, Twitter started its own “purge” this Thursday. Their mission? Removing locked accounts from user’s total follower counts. This purge will affect tens of millions of suspicious accounts, with an estimated impact of dropping the overall follower count on the platform by 6%. That’s a LOT of followers. 

This is Twitter’s latest effort to fight abuse on the network and maintain authenticity. The targeted accounts are “locked” due to some sort of suspicious activity, such as tweeting a high number of seemingly random mentions, promoting links to false content, or being blocked by a large number of accounts it mentions. When an account is locked, Twitter will notify the user and request revalidation with a new password. Until then, the account is locked and will not be included in any follower list.

Starting to worry about your followers plummeting? The purge will probably affect you less than you think. Most users will lose a maximum of around four followers, but those with huge followings might see a major reduction in their count. Think influencers who may have bought their followers in order to get sponsorship deals, or huge global brands that are constantly running big ad campaigns.

Why does it matter? First off, don’t be alarmed if you see your follower count drop a little. It's happening to everybody, and unless you've put a lot of money into buying followers, it shouldn't have a huge impact on most average accounts. This is also a great opportunity to keep an eye on some of your bigger competitors’ followings and see just how fake their numbers might have been. The biggest takeaway for all of us, however, is to keep building those high-quality followers! Quality over quantity, ALWAYS. Review how to spot fake followers and how you can conduct a little purge of your own to keep your audience as real and engaged as possible. 

What’s on Instagram tonight?

Did you know that Instagram has a new feature called IGTV, which launched in late June? You guessed it, it's short for Instagram TV, and the magic can be unlocked by clicking the little icon on the top right of your Instagram feed that looks like a little television set.

Think of IGTV as Instagram’s version of YouTube. It’s a platform where you can watch vertical, long-form video that outlasts Instagram’s classic video cap of 60 seconds. Users can find videos by searching channels (which can be created by any user), seeing videos by the accounts they already follow, or by browsing by category. Go ahead and click on the icon and poke around yourself! 

Why does it matter? If you haven't started integrating video into your content strategy yet, we'll say it again: Now is the time. This platform is less than a month old and just waiting for you to test it out. Learn everything you need to know about setting up your own channel, uploading videos, and analyzing insights here. Videos can be up to 10 minutes long (unless you're a verified user or you have a large following, in which case you can upload videos up to one hour long).

Ask Me Anything

Bonus Instagram news story! Did you know that you can add questions to your Instagram stories? As explained by Instagram, “Add a question sticker to your story by selecting it from the sticker tray after taking a photo or video. Type out your prompt, then place it wherever you’d like and share it to your story. When friends see the sticker, they can tap it to reply - and they can reply as many times as they want, right from the sticker.” Users can then find these questions in their viewers list, tap to answer them, and create a new story with the answer. 

Why does it matter? Think about the implications for brands! This is a low-key way to generate engagement without users being able to tell how successful the initiative is, since the total number of questions isn’t shown. Try inviting questions about your company’s story or about specific products and services, or just about yourself and your team. It’s a great way to gather ideas and opinions, and to connect with your audience directly!

Being Transparent

Have you noticed the new “Info and Ads” tab on your Facebook page? As of late June, users can see all advertisements a page is running, whether or not they’re targeted. This tab reveals details like when the page was created, or all ads running on Instagram, Facebook, and Messenger. Facebook released this feature in an effort to be more transparent and accountable after that election ads scandal

Why does it matter? Okay, we get it. It can feel a little intrusive to have users be able to see all of your ads in one place. BUT, think of it as the ultimate competitive research tool. You’ll be able to learn exactly what your peers, competitors, and super successful big brands are doing. It’s some of the best creative inspiration you could ask for!

By the way, Twitter has more transparency requirements coming in the next few months too. If you're running Facebook ads with any content that's considered political, you'll need to register as a political advertiser following their guidelines; you can also start the process on Twitter here. Even if you're not sure if you'll be running ads or not, it's a good idea to sign up now if there's even a chance you will be, since the process can take a few weeks.

Bonus storyMalala rocked the Instagram world by joining on her 21st birthday and already amassing over 60,000 followers in a day. Happy birthday, Malala!