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Facebook Copies Snapchat Again; YouTube Admits Filter-Bubble Problem


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The Sincerest Form Of Flattery

Facebook appears to be testing another Snapchat product clone, this time of Snap Maps, a mapping feature allowing users to view and share Stories posts based on location. Earlier this month, Instagram also added a carousel format tripling the amount of content allowed in a Stories ad, and Facebook is looking to incorporate the mobile-first format on its desktop site. Snap Maps is a popular user feature on Snapchat, but Snap hasn’t juiced ad sales for the app like Facebookagram has managed to do with Stories across its properties. Related: One thing Snap has that Facebook doesn’t is a deal with NBCU to broadcast snippets of its live Olympics programming.

More To See

YouTube has its own filter bubble problem. It’s content-recommendation algorithm drives 70% of content watched on the platform and “often leads users to channels that feature conspiracy theories, partisan viewpoints and misleading videos, even when those users haven’t shown interest in such content,” The Wall Street Journal reports. When users watch content expressing political viewpoints, they’re pushed toward videos echoing those viewpoints. YouTube noted its algorithm, which generates personalized playlists, suggests more than 200 million videos in 80 languages per day. And while Google’s search results favor authoritative news sources, YouTube often recommends content from sensationalist media. “We recognize that this is our responsibility,” says YouTube recommendations product management chief Johanna Wright. “We have more to do.” More.

Article Of Faith

As Facebook Instant Articles loses its luster with premium publishers, it’s gaining steam among overseas fake news sites. A BuzzFeed News report found at least 29 non-US publishers use Instant Articles to promote false stories, 24 of which are part of Facebook’s Audience Network, which means Facebook profits when those articles are read on its platform. Instant Articles can make it tougher to evaluate the integrity of a news source because it obscures the original URL. And because Instant Articles recommends more content from the same publisher, users can end up inadvertently going down a rabbit hole of garbage news. Facebook has since removed the articles cited by BuzzFeed. “We’re against false news and want no part of it on our platform, including in Instant Articles,” a Facebook spokesperson said in an email statement. More.

Space To Grow

The launch of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket on Tuesday was YouTube’s second most-watched live stream ever, with 2.3 million concurrent viewers trailing the 8 million people who watched the Red Bull Stratos jump when Felix Baumgartner dove to Earth from a helium balloon in space. There are a couple of interesting threads to follow. First: Content marketing stunts perform very well if they involve sending people to space (or, in this case, a dummy spacesuit in a Tesla roadster convertible harnessed to a rocket ship). And second: Even the most popular online live streams don’t hold a candle to television programs when it comes to simultaneous viewers. More at The Verge.

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