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This Week in Social Media – Sept 29, 2017

Sharmin Kent September 29, 2017

Happy Friday! This week’s news roundup is all about new features on social channels, how they affect usage, and what those features might mean for brands.

Twitter’s New Cast of Characters

Twitter has begun testing a new feature: longer tweets. The Next Web reports that a small group of users can now send tweets with 280 characters. About 9 percent of tweets in English hit the 140-character limit, so Twitter is offering a solution to its “frustrated” users. It could also give brands the opportunity to send longer targeted messages to their audiences, making social marketing a little easier.

Of course, there are a few other UX tweaks Twitter could make to boost adoption and retention. But with revenue at the top of the company’s priorities list, regular users will just have to roll with the punches and hope other problems are addressed soon. Very soon.

Instagram’s Comment Control

At least one social channel is providing its users with new safety features. Instagram now allows both public and private account users to control who’s allowed to make comments on posts. TechCrunch reports that the new, machine learning-powered feature allows users to limit commenters to a specific list of people.

While this may not have an immediate effect on brands, it does provide a new way for them to clear the clutter of offensive comments from their own posts. It also poses a potential misuse: brands could use the feature to avoid addressing unhappy customers.

Facebook Wants You to Get a Job

Another news item from TechCrunch: Facebook is getting into the jobs business. ZipRecruiter–the jobs aggregator that runs ads on your favorite podcasts–now integrates with Facebook. The social network began running job ads earlier this year, but this partnership makes posting jobs everywhere a simple matter of clicking a checkbox.

Machine learning, and its data-mining power, give Facebook a not-insignificant assist. Entering the jobs market with a popular platform makes it easier than ever for both companies and individual Facebook users to share job openings. It’s also an approach that doesn’t require companies to learn a new Facebook interface, or require Facebook to build a new UI. It’s a win-win.

Got other big social media news to share? Email me at and let me know.