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This Week in Social Media – Dec. 8, 2017

Sharmin Kent December 8, 2017

Happiest of Fridays, readers! As we approach the end of 2017, social channels are doing as much as they can to capture users’ attention and keep them engaged in the new year. Facebook is launching a messaging app for youngsters, YouTube is committing to fix its moderation problem, and Snapchat is trying out a new, high-end accessory.

Facebook’s Kid-Friendly App

This writer is old enough to remember the screech of her desktop’s modem, building Angelfire and Geocities websites, and receiving all those AOL CD-ROMs in the mail. Today’s kids have it easy. And Facebook is hoping its ad-free, kid-focused messaging app will make it even easier for children to communicate with friends and family online.

Parents can download the app after signing into their own Facebook accounts and set up the accounts their munchkins can reach. Messenger Kids allows users to play with Snapchattish face masks, emojis and PG-rated GIFs. It’s a smart tactic for keeping kids safe from the darker elements of the internet while getting them hooked early on Facebook’s platform. PC Mag reports that while the app is only available on iOS right now, Google Play and the Amazon App Store will get it soon.

YouTube Cleaning Up Its Act

The ancient proverb “Don’t Read The Comments” has applied to YouTube for years; but now, the video channel is committing to making comments safe again. TechCrunch reports that YouTube is prepping for a big hiring spree to moderate comments sections. The extra staffers will also weed out videos that game the channel’s algorithm and slip questionable content through the cracks.

It’s encouraging to see YouTube employ humans to review content; no matter how sophisticated machine learning becomes, there will always be a need for people to review, evaluate and moderate the results. There will almost certainly be cries of censorship, but it’s difficult to argue in favor of some of the content currently littering YouTube.

Fancy Snapcodes Come to Coach

Looking for an extra-special holiday gift for the social media-savvy millennial in your life? Coach is teaming up with Snapchat to offer stylish Snapcode pins, with Coach’s holiday mascots: a dinosaur, a unicorn and a shark. AdWeek reports that customers can win the pins either online or in-store by taking a quiz about their favorite mascot. The Snapcode goes to a Coach holiday-themed video game.

There’s a lot going on here. The co-branding of Coach and Snapchat, on its surface, seems to ignore Coach’s target market–which skews older. The holiday-themed mascots and the video game also seem to make the pins dated. And Snap hasn’t had the best luck with accessories. But because households that use Snapchat spend about 39 percent more at retail stores than the national average, it could be a bet that turns out well for both Snapchat and Coach.

What’s the social media news that has you chatting? Email me at and let’s talk about it.