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Many Americans Support Trump’s Ban From Facebook. But How Much Does He Need Social …

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Welcome to Pollapalooza, our weekly polling roundup.

Poll(s) of the week

Facebook said last month that it plans to suspend Donald Trump for at least the next two years, which, coupled with his permanent suspension from Twitter, takes away arguably two of the former president’s biggest political megaphones.

A slim majority of voters are OK with Facebook’s decision, too. According to a Politico-Morning Consult survey released this week, 51 percent of registered voters either strongly or somewhat support Facebook’s decision. Unsurprisingly, Democrats and independent voters (86 percent and 46 percent, respectively) are more supportive of the platforms’ decision than Republicans (15 percent), which echoes what previous polls about Twitter’s ban of the former president found. Following the platform’s suspension of Trump’s account, 52 percent of Americans, according to a January SurveyMonkey poll, said they supported the decision. Again, support varied widely across party lines: 69 percent of Republicans and Republican leaners strongly opposed it and 79 percent of Democrats and Democratic leaners strongly supported it.

Since getting booted off social media, Trump started a blog that he killed after 29 days, reportedly due to paltry readership. But that doesn’t mean the former president’s message isn’t getting out there — or not resonating with the Republican base. 

In fact, an analysis by The New York Times found that, since the Facebook and Twitter bans, Trump’s messages are still getting heavily liked and shared across social media — particularly because they are getting picked up by far-right media outlets and his supporters with large followings. For example, three of the top sharers of one of Trump’s March statements to his website were Breitbart News, a Facebook page called “President Donald Trump Fan Club” and Jenna Ellis, a lawyer who worked with Trump’s team in his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Combined, the three generated nearly 250,000 likes and shares of Trump’s post. (Prior to the ban, the median social media post would generate 272,000 likes and shares, the Times found).

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On top of that, Trump retains his grip on the GOP by speaking at a number of public events, including his February speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference and state Republican conventions. He’s also slated to give a CPAC speech next month in Dallas

That’s why experts I spoke to said Trump’s removal from two of the biggest social media platforms likely won’t affect his grasp on the GOP — at least not in the short term. “The larger right-wing media ecosystem isn’t going away anytime soon,” said Daniel Kriess, a professor at the University of North Carolina. “To the extent that they continue to give him a platform and treat him as the leader of the Republican Party, Trump is going to maintain and retain his hold.”

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For most politicians, social media has become a powerful tool in shaping their campaigns. In fact, a 2016 study found that new candidates seeking office can get a substantial boost in support by using social media channels. These platforms can also help level the playing field in politics, the researchers found, since both Twitter and Facebook are free and money and access to communication channels are barriers to new political candidates. 

In Trump’s case, this research might not be applicable given he’s a pretty well-established candidate. But there’s one place where a social media ban could really hurt him: fundraising. In the past, Trump the candidate used Facebook prolifically. After the 2016 election, his former digital director, Brad Parscale, told CBS’ “60 Minutes” that the campaign spent most of its digital advertising dollars on Facebook. The campaign’s heavy spending on the platform continued into 2020, with Trump’s reelection campaign spending billions of dollars. “Facebook is a powerful fundraising tool and if the president is not able to run political ads or is unable to consistently message and engage supporters and make appeals on a regular basis for money, that’ll absolutely hurt his electoral chances,” Kreiss said.

And while Trump might not need social media to build a loyal fan base — he already has one — he might run into trouble when it comes to controlling the media narrative without the megaphone of a social media account. As a candidate and as president, Trump would often take to Twitter to air grievances, launch personal attacks or spread disinformation (including lies about the 2020 election), essentially setting the day’s news cycle with his tweets. So if he were to run again for the presidency in 2024 (as he’s reportedly considering), it’s likely his campaign would suffer without a Facebook or Twitter account. 

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It’s also possible, though, that the bans don’t hurt Trump and instead have the opposite effect: Animating the Republican base, which is already skeptical of big tech regulations and didn’t support the two-year Facebook ban as nearly as much as Democrats and independent voters did. Still, Kreiss said he thinks it’s unlikely an issue of tech policy alone will turn out voters for a particular party or candidate — even Trump. What really matters, he said, is that Trump’s ban is part of a broader story that Republicans can tell about gatekeeping institutions that they feel silence conservative voices. “Republican candidates, Republican media and certainly Republican activists love to tell the story of tech giants who are censoring their views,” he said. “It reinforces this story that power institutions are biased against conservatives … and plays into the discourse that free speech is under assault.”

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Other polling bites 

  • As more people continue to say they’ll get vaccinated or are vaccinated against COVID-19, new polling suggests that more Americans are now willing to return to their pre-pandemic lifestyles. According to Axios/Ipsos’s coronavirus index, 69 percent of adults now say they see little risk in returning to pre-COVID life (compared to 39 percent who felt the same way in March). And there’s been a large bump in the number of Americans who say they’ve gone back to activities they used to enjoy. The survey found that two-thirds of Americans (66 percent) said they saw family members and friends in the last week (compared to 44 percent at the beginning of March), while 61 percent went out to eat. But when it came to businesses and industries requiring proof of vaccination as things start to reopen, Americans were more split: While a majority said they support requiring proof to travel internationally (67 percent) or attend sporting events (56 percent), just about half of Americans said they support requiring vaccinations to dine indoors (47 percent), go to a salon (49 percent) or return to work (52 percent).
  • Speaking of the pandemic, new research also suggests the role of friends in Americans’ social life is declining. A recent poll from the Survey Center on American Life says that more people report having less close friendships than they did before COVID-19 hit. Young women are getting hit especially hard: Fifty-nine percent of women ages 18 to 29 either lost touch with most or a few of their friends (versus 52 percent of men in the same age group). There’s a silver lining, though. Despite prolonged bouts of isolation for many during the pandemic, nearly half of Americans (46 percent) say they’ve made a new friend in the last year. 
  • With Pride Month underway, Gallup reported this week that U.S. support for legal same-sex marriage has reached a record 70 percent. And the latest increase in support was largely driven by Republicans. Fifty-five percent are now in favor — the first time a majority of Republicans have said this since Gallup began polling on the topic in 1996. (Back then, only 16 percent of Republicans supported same-sex marriage.) 
  • A few weeks ago, I researched support for Roe v. Wade after the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments regarding a Mississippi law that challenges the constitutional right to an abortion. New polling from Data For Progress echoes what previous polls have found: A majority of voters don’t want the high court to overturn Roe v. Wade. Fifty-seven percent of likely voters think the Supreme Court should not overturn the decision while 32 percent said the court should, allowing states to pass legislation that outlaws abortions. Additionally, nearly half of voters — both Republicans and Democrats — say they’re against state governments’ efforts to pass restrictive abortion legislation. According to the survey, 42 percent of Republicans and 78 percent of Democrats say state governments should protect the ability of women to have access to an abortion instead of creating more barriers. 
  • News reports surfaced recently that Trump has been telling people he’ll be reinstated as president in August. That, of course, is not possible —  even Trump’s top advisers have said there’s not a constitutional mechanism that would give him back the presidency.  But some Republicans appear to be holding out hope, according to data from a new Morning Consult survey. While most members of the GOP (61 percent) say it’s unlikely Trump will be restored to the presidency, another 29 percent believe it’s very or somewhat likely to happen. But regardless of whether voters think Trump will be reinstated, an overwhelming share of Americans — 82 percent of Republicans and 77 percent of Democrats — believe America’s democracy is currently under threat, the poll found. 
  • The election of President Biden, meanwhile, has increased America’s image among other nations relative to what it was under Trump, per polling from the Pew Research Center. Throughout Trump’s presidency, Pew found, many countries held the U.S. in low regard and were overwhelmingly opposed to its foreign policies. But of 12 nations surveyed both this year and last, a median of 75 percent say they’re confident in Biden’s ability to do the right thing regarding world affairs (just 17 percent felt the same way by the end of Trump’s presidency).
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Biden approval 

According to FiveThirtyEight’s presidential approval tracker,1 53.0 percent of Americans approve of the job Biden is doing as president, while 40.6 percent disapprove (a net approval rating of +12.4 percentage points.) At this time last week, 53.2 percent approved and 40.3 percent disapproved (a net approval rating of +12.8 points). One month ago, Biden had an approval rating of 54.0 percent and a disapproval rating of 39.6 percent (a net approval rating of 14.4 points).

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Now people can share directly to Instagram Reels from some of their favorite apps

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More people are creating, sharing and watching Reels than ever before. We’ve seen the creator community dive deeply into video content – and use it to connect with their communities. We’re running a limited alpha test that lets creators share video content directly from select integrated apps to Instagram Reels. Now, creators won’t be interrupted in their workflow, making it easier for them share share and express themselves on Reels.

“With the shift to video happening across almost all online platforms, our innovative tools and services empower creativity and fuel the creator economy and we are proud to be able to offer a powerful editing tool like Videoleap that allows seamless content creation, while partnering with companies like Meta to make sharing content that much easier.”- Zeev Farbman, CEO and co-founder of Lightricks.

Starting this month, creators can share short videos directly to Instagram Reels from some of their favorite apps, including Videoleap, Reface, Smule, VivaVideo, SNOW, B612, VITA and Zoomerang, with more coming soon. These apps and others also allow direct sharing to Facebook , which is available for any business with a registered Facebook App to use.

We hope to expand this test to more partners in 2023. If you’re interested in being a part of that beta program, please fill out this form and we will keep track of your submission. We do not currently have information to share about general availability of this integration.

Learn more here about sharing Stories and Reels to Facebook and Instagram and start building today.

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FAQs

Q. What is the difference between the Instagram Content Publishing API and Instagram Sharing to Reels?

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A: Sharing to Reels is different from the Instagram Content Publishing API, which allows Instagram Business accounts to schedule and publish posts to Instagram from third-party platforms. Sharing to Reels is specifically for mobile apps to display a ‘Share to Reels’ widget. The target audience for the Share to Reels widget is consumers, whereas the Content Publishing API is targeted towards businesses, including third-party publishing platforms such as Hootsuite and Sprout Social that consolidate sharing to social media platforms within their third-party app.

Q: Why is Instagram partnering with other apps?

A: Creators already use a variety of apps to create and edit videos before uploading them to Instagram Reels – now we’re making that experience faster and easier. We are currently doing a small test of an integration with mobile apps that creators know and love, with more coming soon.

Q: How can I share my video from another app to Reels on Instagram?

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A: How it works (Make sure to update the mobile app you’re using to see the new Share to Reels option):

  • Create and edit your video in one of our partner apps
  • Once your video is ready, tap share and then tap the Instagram Reels icon
  • You will enter the Instagram Camera, where you can customize your reel with audio, effects, Voiceover and stickers. Record any additional clips or swipe up to add an additional clip from your camera roll.
  • Tap ‘Next’ to add a caption, hashtag, location, tag others or use the paid partnerships label.
  • Tap ‘Share’. Your reel will be visible where you share reels today, depending on your privacy settings.
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Q: How were partners selected?

A. We are currently working with a small group of developers that focus on video creation and editing as early partners. We’ll continue to expand to apps with other types of creation experiences.

Q: When will other developers be able to access Sharing to Reels on Instagram?

A: We do not currently have a date for general availability, but are planning to expand further in 2023.

Q: Can you share to Facebook Reels from other apps?

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A: Yes, Facebook offers the ability for developers to integrate with Sharing to Reels. For more information on third-party sharing opportunities, check out our entire suite of sharing offerings .

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What to know about Presto SQL query engine and PrestoCon

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The open source Presto SQL query engine is used by a diverse set of companies to navigate increasingly large data workflows. These companies are using Presto in support of e-commerce, cloud, security and other areas. Not only do many companies use Presto, but individuals from those companies are also active contributors to the Presto open source community.

In support of that community, Presto holds meetups around the world and has an annual conference, PrestoCon, where experts and contributors gather to exchange knowledge. This year’s PrestoCon, hosted by the Linux Foundation, takes place December 7-8 in Mountain View, CA. This blog post will explore some foundational elements of Presto and what to expect at this year’s PrestoCon.

What is Presto?

Presto is a distributed SQL query engine for data platform teams. Presto users can perform interactive queries on data where it lives using ANSI SQL across federated and diverse sources. Query engines allow data scientists and analysts to focus on building dashboards and utilizing BI tools so that data engineers can focus on storage and management, all while communicating through a unified connection layer.

In short, the scientist does not have to consider how or where data is stored, and the engineer does not have to optimize for every use case for the data sources they manage. You can learn more about Presto in a recent ELI5 video below.

Caption: Watch the video by clicking on the image above.

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Presto was developed to solve the problem of petabyte-scale, multi-source data queries taking hours or days to return. These resources and time constraints make real-time analysis impossible. Presto can return results from those same queries in less than a second in most cases, allowing for interactive data exploration.

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Not only is it highly scalable, but it’s also extensible, allowing you to build your own connector for any data source Presto does not already support. At a low level, Presto also supports a wide range of file types for query processing. Presto was open sourced by Meta and later donated to the Linux Foundation in September of 2019.

Here are some Presto resources for those who are new to the community:

What is PrestoCon?

PrestoCon is held annually in the Bay Area and hosted by the Linux Foundation. This year, the event takes place December 7-8 at the Computer History Museum. You can register here. Each year at PrestoCon, you can hear about the latest major evolutions of the platform, how different organizations use Presto and what plans the Technical Steering Committee has for Presto in the coming year.

Presto’s scalability is especially apparent as every year we hear from small startups, as well as industry leaders like Meta and Uber, who are using the Presto platform for different use cases, whether those are small or large. If you’re looking to contribute to open source, PrestoCon is a great opportunity for networking as well as hearing the vision that the Technical Steering Committee has for the project in the coming year.

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Explore what’s happening at PrestoCon 2022:

Where is Presto used?

Since its release in November of 2013, Presto has been used as an integral part of big data pipelines within Meta and other massive-scale companies, including Uber and Twitter.

The most common use case is connecting business intelligence tools to vast data sets within an organization. This enables crucial questions to be answered faster and data-driven decision-making can be more efficient.

How does Presto work?

First, a coordinator takes your statement and parses it into a query. The internal planner generates an optimized plan as a series of stages, which are further separated into tasks. Tasks are then assigned to workers to process in parallel.

Workers then use the relevant connector to pull data from the source.

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The output of each task is returned by the workers, until the stage is complete. The stage’s output is returned by the final worker towards the next stage, where another series of tasks must be executed.

The results of stages are combined, eventually returning the final result of the original statement to the coordinator, which then returns to the client.

How do I get involved?

To start using Presto, go to prestodb.io and click Get Started.

We would love for you to join the Presto Slack channel if you have any questions or need help. Visit the community page on the Presto website to see all the ways you can get involved and find other users and developers interested in Presto.

If you would like to contribute, go to the GitHub repository and read over the Contributors’ Guide.

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Where can I learn more?

To learn more about Presto, check out its website for installation guides, user guides, conference talks and samples.

Make sure you check out previous Presto talks, and attend the annual PrestoCon event if you are able to do so.

To learn more about Meta Open Source, visit our open source site, subscribe to our YouTube channel, or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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How to Interpret Webhook Components in the WhatsApp Business Platform

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The ways customers want to connect are changing. The WhatsApp Business Platform gives businesses an integrated way to communicate with customers right where they are. In order to integrate properly when using the Cloud API, hosted by Meta, you’ll need to leverage webhooks so applications have a way to respond to events. Webhooks allow your application to monitor three primary events on WhatsApp so you can react with different functionality depending on your goals.

This article looks at these three components, goes through the information they carry, and provides some use-case scenarios to give you an idea of the possibilities.

Interpreting Different Webhook Components

To send and receive messages on WhatsApp, it’s critical to keep track of statuses and errors to help ensure you’re communicating effectively with your customers, which you can do with webhooks.

With webhooks, the WhatsApp Business Platform monitors events and sends notifications when one occurs. These events are one of three components: messages, statuses, and errors.

Let’s explore each of these and examine examples of how you can use them.

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Messages

The messages component is the largest of the three event types and contains two core objects:

  • Contacts — which contain information about the message’s sender.

  • Messages — which provide information about a message’s type and contents.

These two event types allow your application to manage and respond to people that interact with your application. The contacts object contains two pieces of information: name and WhatsApp Id. The contact’s name allows your application to use their name without further lookups. In contrast, the contact’s WhatsApp ID lets you keep track of these contacts or use the contacts/ endpoint to add additional functionality.

For instance, you can verify the customer and start the opt-in process within the customer-initiated conversation, which allows you to message them outside the initial 24-hour response window. It’s important to note that only the text, contacts, and location message types provide contact information.

The message object is where the bulk of the information is stored, including the message contents, type of message, and other relevant information. Depending on the message type, the actual payload of the message component can vary widely. It’s crucial to determine the message type to understand the potential payload. Message types include:

  • Text: a standard text-only message

  • Contact: contains a user’s full contact details

  • Location: address, latitude, and longitude

  • Unknown: unsupported messages from users, which usually contain errors.

  • Ephemeral: disappearing messages

  • Media message types: contain information for the specified media file. These types include:

    • Document

    • Image

    • Audio

    • Video

    • Voice

These different data types can have very different uses, from reviewing images and screenshots from concerned customers to collecting information about where to ship goods and send services. To use these different data types most effectively, you can create applications to handle different forms of communication, with functionalities such as:

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  • Ask your customers to provide a shipping or mailing address. You can use the location-based message feature to capture your users’ location to determine where to send their goods and services.

  • Show customers products and communicate product details through a message. You can use the referred_product field within messages to offer your users specific product details. Using this field develops a more personal, conversational shopping experience and customer interactions.

  • Build support functionality that allows customers to take and send images and videos of product concerns, and submit those for a support case. Once the user has submitted a support ticket, the app can track the case — including steps taken towards resolution and conversations between support teams and the customer through WhatsApp — using a unique case identifier.

These are just some potential features you can build using the interactivity provided by webhooks and the message object. These features extend your current communication channels and provide additional options for customers.

Statuses

Where the messages component provides your application with insight into events that originate directly from your customers, the statuses component keeps track of the results of messages you send and the conversation history. There are six status components:

  • Sent: the application sent your message and is in transit.
  • Delivered: the user’s device successfully received the message.
  • Read: the user has read your message.
  • Deleted: a user deleted a message that you sent.
  • Warning: a message sent by your application contains an item that isn’t available or doesn’t exist.
  • Failed: a message sent by your application failed to arrive.

Status components also contain information on the recipient ID, the conversation, and the pricing related to the current conversation. Conversations on WhatsApp are a grouping of messages within a 24-hour window that are either user-initiated or business-initiated. Keeping track of these conversations is vital, as a new conversation occurs when you send additional responses after the 24-hour period ends.

Some functionality you may want to add to your application based on status events includes:

  • Ensuring your application has sent generated messages, they arrived, and the recipient potentially read them by using a combination of these status types and timestamps within the status object. This information allows your application to follow up with customers if they didn’t engage.
  • Keep analytical information about your application’s messages, especially regarding business-initiated conversations. For example, if your application uses a WhatsApp customer contact list to send offer messages, the status component helps you understand how many were sent, delivered, read, responded to, or failed to measure your campaign’s success.

Errors

Finally, the errors component allows your application to receive any out-of-band errors within WhatsApp that affect your platform. These errors don’t stop your application from compiling or working but are typically caused when your application is misusing specific functionality. The following are some typical errors.

Error Code 368, Temporarily Blocked for Policy Violations

If your application violates WhatsApp Business Messaging or Commerce policy, your account may be temporarily banned. You can monitor this and pause your application while troubleshooting.

Error 506, Duplicate Post

If your workflows unintentionally generate duplicate messages, you can monitor this to find the source.

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Error 131043, Message Expired

Sometimes, messages are not sent during their time to live (TTL) duration. Use this code to know which messages to schedule for resending if needed.

Error handling is a broad, complex subject, and there are many other use cases for which you should be implementing error handling. The errors component helps extend your error handling on the WhatsApp Business Platform for greater consistency.

Conclusion

This article took a high-level look at messages, statuses, and errors returned by webhooks and explored ways you can use these three components to expand your application’s functionality.

Messages provide information on customer interactions, statuses give insight into messages your app sends, and error notices enable you to increase your application’s resilience. Webhooks are critical to ensuring your app interacts with customers seamlessly.

The WhatsApp Business Platform’s webhooks provide your applications with real-time data, enabling you to build better experiences as you interact with customers. Ready to know more? Dive deeper into everything the WhatsApp Business Platform has to offer.

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