Here we have yet another example of why we can’t have nice things.
Back in 2015, Facebook rolled out profile image frames, aligned with sports teams initially, which gave users a simple, customized way to share their support for their favorite team in the app. Facebook expanded on that over the coming years, and opened up the capacity for users to create their own frames and at one stage, there were thousands of potential options for profile frames available via its Frames Gallery in the app.
But that all changed over the last year.
Following Facebook’s decision to ban anti-vaccine messaging in its apps in late 2020, some activists switched to profile frames instead, creating anti-vax statements that could be shared via your main Facebook image.
CNBC found a rising number of these anti-vaccine frames, and alerted Facebook accordingly, which first began removing the offending frames from its Frames Gallery one by one. Then it removed all of its frames entirely, except for those from approved partners, while it also shut down the capacity for people to create their own frames via its Frame Studio verktyg.
If you’ve noticed a lot fewer profile frames on Facebook of late, this would be why – and now, parent company Meta is moving to officially tighten its restrictions on profile frame creation, with new regulations on the creation and use of such across the app.
"Last year, we limited the ability to create profile frames on Facebook to authoritative organizations. We’re continuing that work now, so that Profile frames from unapproved Pages and profiles can no longer be applied to new profile pictures. On March 21, only profile frames from certain government services or organizations and those providing authoritative information on COVID-19 will be available. This change reflects our continued emphasis on helping people express their support around important issues like voting and reliable hälsa information.”
Again, nice things.
Meta says that only municipal, state and local agencies (including local election offices), municipal government agencies, emergency response agencies, public health agencies and local law enforcement will now be allowed to create profile frames.
"Authoritative sources on COVID-19 that will continue to have access to frames globally include organizations such as the World Health Organization, UNICEF, Centers for Disease Control, and national government agencies or ministries of health.”
So, basically, profile frames will now be cause-aligned specifically, and there’ll be no more fun, decorative frames, outside of some of the generic ones provided by Meta.
Which is a bit of a shame. It’s not a major functional change, and it won’t have a big impact on how people use Facebook, but still, it is a little sad that we lose an entire creative option because of a level of misuse, which, due to complexities in detection, Meta can’t simply weed out and police at scale.
Meta says that existing profile frames will be removed from the Frame Studio on March 21st. Organizations that currently have an active frame will be able to download their frame from Frame Studio till that date.
But basically, you can expect to see a lot fewer profile image frames in the app moving forward.
I guess, in theory, Meta could still look to use profile frames as a paid promotional option in future, under strict approval in each case, so we may still see more colorful, themed frames at some stage. But really, Meta’s probably more focused on its 3D avatars now anyway – and maybe, in that context, profile frames don’t serve any real purpose moving forward either way.
But it’s another impact of the pandemic – an unexpected one, but a forced change in process nonetheless.
LinkedIn tillkännager utökad utrullning av nytt "Focused Inbox"-format för InMail
You may have noticed a change to your LinkedIn messaging tab this week.
Today, LinkedIn has bekräftad that its new ‘Focused Inbox’ format, which re-routes less valuable messages into an ‘Other’ tab in your LinkedIn message stream, is being rolled out to all users in the app.
Initially announced by LinkedIn back in September, Focused Inbox provides you with two separate InMail tabs – ’Focused’ and ‘Other’. In this context, ‘Other’ could just as easily be labeled ‘Spam’ – but the purpose, essentially, is to filter out the junk, and highlight the most important outreach in the app.
Som förklarat av LinkedIn Product Manager Deepan Mehta:
"We’ve heard from many of you that you want a better way to organize your LinkedIn inbox. So I’m excited to share that we’re now rolling out a new and improved LinkedIn messaging experience to make it easier for our members around the globe to find and respond to the messages that matter most. Focused Inbox offers a dual-tabbed experience that categorizes your incoming messages into “Focused” and “Other.” Focused contains the most relevant new opportunities and outreach, while Other contains the remainder of your conversations.”
Mehta also notes that ‘conversations’ on LinkedIn are up nearly 20% year-over-year, with many people increasingly turning to messaging to connect and engage with each other in the app.
‘Conversations’ is a bit vague, but LinkedIn’s generally pretty unclear with its engagement stats. As a reminder, LinkedIn has reported ‘record levels’ of engagement pretty much every quarter since 2018, shortly after Microsoft acquired the professional networking app.
Microsoft is actually the originator of the new Focused Inbox approach, with the functionality originally launched for Outlook, before making its way to LinkedIn.
How much it improves the experience will come down, mostly, to how many messages you receive – though it’ll be interesting to note where LinkedIn’s paid InMails end up.
You would assume that LinkedIn will still be pushing paid promos into your main inbox, though a promotion from LinkedIn got filtered into my ‘Other’ folder this week. Just one aspect to note.
Mehta says that LinkedIn is gradually rolling out Focused Inbox to all members globally, so if you don’t have it yet, you will soon.