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This Week in Social Media – Nov. 17, 2017

Sharmin Kent November 17, 2017

We made it to the end of the week, folks! There’s a lot going on in social media land: Amazon is extending its reach into social media, Twitter’s cleaning up their verified accounts and Facebook wants you to watch (almost) all the college basketball you can handle.

Amazon’s Amazing Influence

Social is a significant driver of sales, and Amazon is looking to get in on the action. The company is expanding its influencer program to include Twitter and Instagram. TechCrunch reports that Amazon’s influencer program was first offered to YouTube stars as a way to make income from touting products purchased from the site. The extension comes just as holiday season is approaching its biggest shopping days.

Amazon’s ability to disrupt industries is impressive, and its focus on social media as a partnership channel is promising. But how will it get a leg up on other brands already leveraging social media influencers? If any company can lead a successful takeover, it’s Amazon–which might mean social media influencers might start hawking Amazon wares in new ways.

Twitter’s Checkmark Blues

It’s safe to say Twitter’s had a battle on its hands when it comes to ensuring the safety of its users, particularly in today’s digital atmosphere. The company has taken its first big step toward stripping certain Twitter accounts of their verified status. The Verge notes Twitter has begun a process to review accounts against its current Terms of Service, and will revoke verification from those whose tweets don’t follow the rules.

In theory, it’s an acknowledgment of misperception–in a statement issued by Twitter Support, the company says verification was often viewed as an endorsement of a tweeter’s ideas. A new “authentication and verification program” is also being created. In practice, however, this new process is already causing online angst among those who have lost their blue checkmarks. And removing a user’s verified status doesn’t do anything to keep that user from harassing others–which leaves Twitter with another potential battle.

Facebook’s Full Court Press

Facebook is looking to tighten its embrace of live video by purchasing the rights to livestream NCAA basketball games. Recode reports Facebook’s partnership with digital sports broadcaster Stadium includes streaming 47 games from mid-November to early March. It’s just one move toward getting users to think of Facebook as a destination for video–the social channel’s efforts include original programming like comedy show Quinta vs. Everything–and sports is the content many cord-cutters miss most.

But the streaming games on offer might be a miss for hardcore NCAA basketball fans. Most of the scheduled games are with smaller schools, and the schedule wraps up just before the peak of March Madness. The offering is sure to be appreciated by hoops fans on the go, but probably not many more folks.

What’s the hottest social media news on your browser tabs this week? Drop me a line at sharmin@quantifi.ai and let’s chat about it.