Weekly Download July 23

Welcome back to The Weekly Download. Before you hit that “out of office” button, let’s catch up on this week’s top digital marketing and tech news together.

On this week’s agenda: Facebook investigates algorithmic bias, Instagram launches personal fundraisers amid COVID-19, a new Facebook Pages design, and of course, some Friday Fun.

Facebook Investigates Potential Algorithmic Bias

A new investigation launched by Facebook will examine potential bias within the platform’s algorithms in light of the company’s recent civil rights audit.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Instagram’s newly-formed “equity and inclusion team” will examine how Black, Hispanic and other minority users in the US are affected by the company’s algorithms, including its machine-learning systems. Facebook will establish a similar team for an investigation into its main app.

As reported in Facebook’s civil rights audit, “poorly-designed, biased, or discriminatory algorithms can silently create disparities that go undetected for a long time unless systems are in place to assess them.”

Weeding out algorithmic bias could help to improve equality on Facebook-owned platforms, and lessons learned through the investigation could help other social media networks address algorithmic biases of their own.

Instagram Launches Personal Fundraisers for Business and Causes During COVID-19

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Instagram has rolled out a new option for personal fundraisers to support businesses and causes.

According to the social media platform, the option will allow users to raise money for a personal cause, including small businesses, friends, or even for users themselves. Instagram will review all personal fundraisers to ensure they meet eligibility criteria. Fundraisers will last 30 days and can be extended more than once for an additional 30 days. Users must be at least 18 years of age to create a fundraiser.

The new feature is rolling out to users in the US, UK, and Ireland on Android, followed by iOS. The functionality will arrive in other locations following initial testing.

Facebook Tests a New Page Design

Facebook is introducing a new Page design for testing that will feature a more cleaner, readable layout and remove the “Like” button and “Like” count. According to Facebook, the new design will make it easier for those who use and manage Pages.

The new layout is meant to make it easier for visitors to get a quick look at the most important information, including the Page’s bio and posts. Pages undergoing the test will only display a Follow button and follower count – a more accurate look at a Page’s true reach that displays how many people are actually viewing Page content in their News Feed.

For those managing Pages, it will be easier to more clearly assign and manage administrative tasks and switch between personal and Page profiles. Another added benefit – a simpler, more streamlined look at Page insights and performance metrics.

Friday Fun

Twitter Users Imagine What Drink 2020 Would Be

#If2020WereAnAlcoholicDrink got some play on Twitter this week, and users creatively imagined what beverage might best represent the ups and (mostly) downs of the year.

Yikes. What drink would you assign to 2020?