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This Week in Social Media – October 20, 2017

Sharmin Kent October 20, 2017

Congratulations! You made it to the end of the week. This week’s news centers on how to make Twitter safer, how to hold on to that ever-elusive teen demographic, and which acquisition Facebook made this week.

Twitter’s New Rules

Twitter has struggled to deliver the kinds of safety and harassment protection features its users have demanded for years. But this week, Twitter announced it’s making good on its promises to create a better user experience for every tweeter. Wired published an email from Twitter’s head of safety policy, which lists a host of new and fortified safeguards to protect users from unwanted sexual advances, hate speech, and violence.

Twitter’s kind of stuck between a rock and hard place here. While many tech advocates might see these new rules as a decent start toward making Twitter a better place, others believe these actions aren’t enough to pull the company from its rut. And with many users facing unexplained bans or user restrictions while other offenders go virtually unnoticed by Twitter’s ToS police, these new rules are sure to be pushed to their limits.

Snaps for the Kids

Social media lives and dies by its user base, and teens are some of the sought-after reliable demographics. That’s a great thing for Snapchat, the social channel that’s now preferred by nearly half of U.S. teens. Recode notes that 47% of teens prefer Snapchat to other platforms, up from 39% in the spring.

So, what does that mean for other social channels? Not a lot, actually. Channels like Facebook and Twitter will have to find ways to either mimic Snapchat features, offer newer more attractive features, or buy an existing company that can serve as a Snapchat analog.

tbh for FB

Which brings us to Facebook’s acquisition of tbh, an app that allows users to compliment each other anonymously. Apps like these have been popular among teens recently, and Facebook is choosing to buy the competition rather than attempting to beat it. TechCrunch reports that the path forward will include tbh employees joining the Facebook team–a stark difference from the independence of Instagram and WhatsApp.

But with teen loyalty being so mercurial, who knows what the next “it” app will be? And will Facebook stick to its pattern of acquiring companies to avoid diluted market share? There is strength in knowing your audiences, and Facebook’s quest to know every single possible audience is ambitious, to say the least.

What news is top of mind for you this week? Drop me a line at and let me know.