Connect with us

SOCIAL

Instagram Confirms that its Shutting Down its Separate ‘Threads’ Messaging App

Published

on

In news that will surprise absolutely no one, Instagram has confirmed that it’s shutting down its standalone messaging app ‘Threads’, which it launched back in 2019, essentially as a Snapchat alternative for connecting close friends.

Threads

As you may or may not recall, Threads is a messaging app which was initially designed for maintaining connection with your Instagram inner circle, facilitating text, photo and video sharing among only those included on your Instagram ‘close friends’ list.

But then, in October last year, Instagram announced an update to Threads to include all of your Instagram messages, not just those from close friends, which essentially made it just like every other messaging app. The only variance with Threads now is its ‘auto-status’ option, which allocates an emoji status update for each user without them having to manual input such, by making an assumption of what each user might be up to at any given time based on their location, their movement, their phone’s battery level, etc.

Threads auto-status

So there’s not really much reason for people to be opening a separate messaging app, especially now that all of their Instagram and Messenger chats are already integrated, streamlining connection in two of its most popular messaging options (which WhatsApp also coming soon).

As such, it makes sense for Instagram to shut down Threads, which it’s now confirmed to TechCrunch amid various rumors online.

As per Instagram:

We know that people care about connecting with their close friends, and we’ve seen this particularly over the past few years with the growth of messaging on Instagram. We’re now focusing our efforts on enhancing how you connect with close friends on Instagram, and deprecating the Threads app.”

Instagram further notes that it will be looking to bring the ‘fun and unique features’ of Threads to the main Instagram app, which will likely, eventually, include its auto-status option.

As spotted by app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi, Instagram is already working on this, and while this initial prototype doesn’t denote auto status as yet, that seems, logically, where it’s headed, which would essentially negate the need for Threads entirely.

It’s unlikely that the app is going to be missed by many.

In its first month after launch, Threads reached around 374k downloads, which is significantly down on Instagram’s previous standalone apps, like IGTV and Boomerang, while a look at the app’s performance on the App Annie charts since then suggests that Threads has struggled to gain any significant traction ever since. It’s likely that Threads has fewer than 100k users right now – and again, with Meta looking to integrate its messaging options, and facilitate more cross-app sharing, the existence of Threads really runs counter to the broader focus, pointing to its demise.

Instagram says that Threads will no longer be supported by the end of December, with alerts being issued to users in the coming weeks.

If you’re one of the few Threads users, it’s time to revert back to IG proper, or find another alternative for your close group chats (like, say, Snapchat).

Socialmediatoday.com

SOCIAL

The Most Visited Websites in the World – 2023 Edition [Infographic]

Published

on

The Most Visited Websites in the World - 2023 Edition [Infographic]

Google remains the most-visited website in the world, while Facebook is still the most frequented social platform, based on web traffic. Well, actually, YouTube is, but YouTube’s only a partial social app, right?

The findings are displayed in this new visualization from Visual Capitalist, which uses SimilarWeb data to show the most visited websites in bubble chart format, highlighting the variance in traffic.

As you can see, following Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the next most visited social platforms, which is likely in line with what most would expect – though the low numbers for TikTok probably stand out, given its dominance of modern media zeitgeist.

But there is a reason for that – this data is based on website visits, not app usage, so platforms like TikTok and Snapchat, which are primarily focused on the in-app experience, won’t fare as well in this particular overview.

In that sense, it’s interesting to see which social platforms are engaging audiences via their desktop offerings.

You can check out the full overview below, and you can read Visual Capitalist’s full explainer here.

Source link

Continue Reading

SOCIAL

Cheeky branding wins (and missteps)

Published

on

Cheeky branding wins (and missteps)

Storyboard

Branding and rebranding is getting more fun, here we look at some of cheekiest brands that have caught our eye – for the right and wrong reasons.



Source link

Continue Reading

SOCIAL

Google Outlines Ongoing Efforts to Combat China-Based Influence Operations Targeting Social Apps

Published

on

Google Outlines Ongoing Efforts to Combat China-Based Influence Operations Targeting Social Apps

Over the past year, Google has repeatedly noted that a China-based group has been looking to use YouTube, in particular, to influence western audiences, by building various channels in the app, then seeding them with pro-China content.

There’s limited info available on the full origins or intentions of the group, but today, Google has published a new overview of its ongoing efforts to combat the initiative, called DRAGONBRIDGE.

As explained by Google:

In 2022, Google disrupted over 50,000 instances of DRAGONBRIDGE activity across YouTube, Blogger, and AdSense, reflecting our continued focus on this actor and success in scaling our detection efforts across Google products. We have terminated over 100,000 DRAGONBRIDGE accounts in the IO network’s lifetime.

As you can see in this chart, DRAGONBRIDGE is by far the most prolific source of coordinated information operations that Google has detected over the past year, while Google also notes that it’s been able to disrupt most of the project’s attempted influence, by snuffing out its content before it gets seen.

Dragonbridge

Worth noting the scale too – as Google notes, DRAGONBRIDGE has created more than 100,000 accounts, which includes tens of thousands of YouTube channels. Not individual videos, entire channels in the app, which is a huge amount of work, and content, that this group is producing.

That can’t be cheap, or easy to keep running. So they must be doing it for a reason.

The broader implication, which has been noted by various other publications and analysts, is that DRAGONBRIDGE is potentially being supported by the Chinese Government, as part of a broader effort to influence foreign policy approaches via social media apps. 

Which, at this kind of scale, is a concern, while DRAGONBRIDGE has also targeted Facebook and Twitter as well, at different times, and it could be that their efforts on those platforms are also reaching similar activity levels, and may not have been detected as yet.

Which then also relates to TikTok, a Chinese-owned app that now has massive influence over younger audiences in western nations. If programs like this are already in effect, it stands to reason that TikTok is also likely a key candidate for boosting the same, which remains a key concern among regulators and officials in many nations.

The US Government is reportedly weighing a full TikTok ban, and if that happens, you can bet that many other nations will follow suit. Many government organizations are also banning TikTok on official devices, based on advice from security experts, and with programs like DRAGONBRIDGE also running, it does seem like Chinese-based groups are actively operating influence and manipulation programs in foreign nations.

Which seems like a significant issue, and while Google is seemingly catching most of these channels before they have an impact, it also seems likely that this is only one element of a larger push.

Hopefully, through collective action, the impact of such can be limited – but for TikTok, which still reports to Chinese ownership, it’s another element that could raise further questions and scrutiny.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

en_USEnglish