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Facebook Experiments with Removing Data on Individual Stories Viewers

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This is interesting. According to reports from some users, Facebook is testing out a new process that would limit your insight into who’s viewed your Facebook Story to only those that have reacted to each Stories frame, or left a comment.

Facebook Stories view count

As you can see in this screenshot, posted by user Elodie Flenniau, some Facebook users are now being informed that they will no longer get a full listing of Stories viewers, essentially enabling random people who come across your Facebook Stories to view them without you knowing, and quietly keep tabs on your Stories content without fear of being identified.

Up till now, Facebook has provided a full listing of Stories viewers, as well as any Reactions each person has allocated to each of your Stories frames.

Facebook Stories view count

But much like Facebook doesn’t provide insights on who’s viewed your profile, it now seems to be shifting Stories into line with the same approach.

Which sounds like Facebook is looking to enable subtle stalking – though, of course, people who you’re not connected to on the platform are only able to view Stories that you’ve made public, so it’s not creepy, as such. If you want to share something that you don’t want potential stalkers to see, keep it among ‘Friends only’.

But then again, it does feel a little uneasy.

Why Facebook is looking to make the change we don’t know – we reached out to Facebook for more info on the test, but they didn’t get back to us at the time of publication. But it does seem like Facebook’s looking to avoid potential angst by letting people know who, specifically, has checked out their Stories content.

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But people should know, right? There’s value in knowing who exactly is seeing what you post – but then again, if your new colleague is checking out your holiday snaps, maybe that’s a little weird, and maybe it could make things strange at work, even though it’s a relatively harmless action.

I’d assume that’s what Facebook is looking to avoid, those potentially awkward circumstances where someone is checking out your content which might make you feel uncomfortable, even though there’s no ill-intent on the part of the viewer. It could also increase psychological harm by showing you past acquaintances that are keeping tabs on you through your Stories updates.

Does it make sense to just cut that data off? I mean, I guess. In the vast majority of cases, this would be harmless, but could get weird, and again, if you had any serious concerns about unwanted exposure, you could keep your Stories private.

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But it could also reduce insight for brands, which could limit your research capacity, if it does indeed get expanded to all Stories types.

As noted, we’ve asked Facebook for more information, and we’ll update this post if/when we hear back.

Socialmediatoday.com

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Twitter Adds New Spaces Recording and Management Tools as it Continues to Focus on Audio Options

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Twitter Adds New Spaces Recording and Management Tools as it Continues to Focus on Audio Options

I remain unconvinced that Twitter Spaces will ever become a thing, but Twitter itself seems certain that there’s major growth potential there, as evidenced by its continued push to add more elements to its Spaces offering, in order to lure more listeners across to its Spaces tab, and maximize listenership within its audio broadcasts.

This week, Twitter has rolled out another set of Spaces updates, including permanent recordings (as opposed to them deleting after 30 days), the capacity to save recordings after broadcast, and new details within the Spaces bar at the top of the app.

First off, on permanent recordings – after initially launching its Spaces recording feature to all users back in January, Twitter is now extending the life of those recordings beyond the initial 30 day period.

That’ll provide more capacity to attract listeners over the longer term, and keep your conversations alive in the app.

In addition to this, Twitter’s also adding a new listing of your recorded Spaces within your app settings menu, where you’ll be able to play each session back, delete those that you don’t want to keep, or share a recording direct from the list.

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That’ll enhance the functional value of Spaces chats, making them more podcast-like, and more of a vehicle for ongoing promotion and audience building – though it does seem to also maybe go against what made audio platforms like Clubhouse so attractive to begin with, in that they were live, in-the-moment chats that you had to be there to catch.

But podcasts is clearly more of the angle that Twitter’s now going for, based on these example screens of another new test in the back end of the app.

Twitter Spaces Stations test

As you can see in these images (shared by app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi), Twitter’s also developing ‘Stations’ within the Spaces tab, which would incorporate podcasts into its audio stream, providing even more options for tuning into on-demand audio content within the app.

That could make Spaces recordings even more valuable, and potentially help Spaces broadcasters translate their work into a monetizable podcast process – but do Twitter users really want to tune into podcasts from the app? I mean, we have Spoitify and Apple Podcasts and various other options available.

Could Twitter really become a key hub for audio content like this?

In some ways, it seems unnecessary, but then again, the real-time nature of tweets lends itself to topical discussion, and that could make it a good hub for all of these types of discussions and content, including Spaces, Spaces recordings, podcasts, etc.

And again, that would better facilitate connection between Spaces and recorded audio. It just depends on whether Twitter users will actually come to rely on the app for their latest podcast content.

On another front, Twitter will now also enable iOS users to record a Space when the broadcast is over, even if they didn’t hit ‘Record’ during the session.

Twitter Spaces recordings

Which also means that the ‘REC’ marker would not have been present during the session, alerting participants to the fact that this was being recorded, which could be problematic for some contributors.

In some ways, it seems like Twitter didn’t offer these options initially because it thought that it wouldn’t be able to facilitate the data storage required to keep all of the many recordings in its data banks, but now, with so few people broadcasting, it’s maybe found that this won’t actually be a problem.

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A sort of ‘glass half full’ element, I guess.

Finally, Twitter’s also adding new details into the Spaces bar on Android, including additional, scrolling insights into who’s hosting, the topics being discussed, who’s shared a Tweet in the chat and more.

Twitter Spaces info

That could entice more users into the session – or at the least, bring even more attention to the Spaces bar at the top of the app by providing more, bigger info.

Though again, I don’t know. It doesn’t seem like Spaces is really catching on, going on the participant numbers in the Spaces stream. And while the addition of podcasts could be interesting, I don’t see Twitter becoming a key app for audio content, especially as the Clubhouse-led audio trend continues to die down.

But maybe the engagement numbers are better than it seems. I mean, you’d have to assume that they are, given Twitter’s ongoing investment in the functionality – through Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal did note last month, that the company had not hit intermediate milestones on its growth plans, based on its investment in new functionalities like Spaces, Communities and Twitter Blue.

Twitter hasn’t shared specific data, so maybe there’s more to it, and that’s why it’s so keen to push ahead with more Spaces tools. But either way, it’s giving it its best opportunity to succeed, and it’s seemingly not done yet with its Spaces development.

Will that, eventually, result in Spaces becoming a thing? Only time will tell.



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