Most popular apps, games; Russia bans LinkedIn: social media updates

What played the most in 2016?

Google Play has released its list of most popular games, TV shows, apps, songs, movies and books at global and local levels that sold in 2016 from its store. You can visit the list(s) here: GooglePlay

The following are the five most popular in each category:
1. Face Changer 2
2. Lumyer - Photo & Selfie Editor
3. Castbox - Podcast Radio Music
4. Emoji Keyboard Pro

1. Pokémon GO
2. Clash Royale
3. Traffic Rider
5. Dream League Soccer

1. Stressed Out, Twenty One Pilots
2. Sorry, Justin Bieber
3. One Dance (feat. WizKid & Kyla), Drake
4. Don't Let Me Down (feat. Daya), The Chainsmokers
5. Me, Myself & I, G-Eazy

1. Deadpool
2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
3. Zootopia
4. Captain America: Civil War
5. Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice

TV shows 
1. Game of Thrones
2. The Walking Dead
3. The Big Bang Theory
4. Mr. Robot
5. The Flash

1. Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe by Cullen Bunn
2. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne
3. The Girl on the Train: A Novel by Paula Hawkins
4. The Art of War by Tzu Sun
5. Me Before You: A Novel by Jojo Moyes

Americans visit Facebook daily, not Twitter?

A recent Pew survey of social media use by US adults shows that Facebook is the most important platform, followed distantly by Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter. The survey, done in the first quarter of 2016 and published now, does not find any Google platform (YouTube, Google Plus) or a free blogging platform (Blogger, Wordpress) coming anywhere near.

Interestingly, while majority of Facebook and Instagram users visited the social media account daily, only 42% Twitter users visited it on daily basis. 

The sample was very small (1520) and thus only indicative.

Will Facebook follow LinkedIn in being blocked in Russia?

Recall Russia's telecom regulator banning LinkedIn last month? 

The US government has criticized the move, a routine it does after a country bans a social platform, with hardly any impact. Again routinely, Putin says he does not have to say anything as this is a legal matter. 

LinkedIn paid the price by not following the country's regulation that social media platforms must keep Russian citizens' personal data on servers based in Russia. The ruling impacts over 6 million LinkedIn users. 

As Facebook and Twitter also do not follow this condition, they may be the next to be blocked, say IT observers. Or Russia is targeting a smaller platform LinkedIn to warn others to behave?

Is FB developing a filtering software to please the Chinese authorities?

Facebook was banned in China after riots in July 2009 and has not been allowed since then, despite Zuckerberg trying all soft diplomacy with the Chinese premier Xi. It is now learnt that FB is developing a software that would censor content for Chinese users and satisfy the conditions of the Chinese government. 

FB is in a real catch-22 situation: it cannot grow fast any longer without a slice from the huge Chinese market, which has been grabbed by WeChat and local messaging platforms. On the other hand, playing into the hands of Chinese authorities would mean a backlash from other users and free-speech protagonists.

Social media watchers are not even sure a software based filter would satisfy Chinese authorities who might want a censorship as restrictive as their own, without any critical news seeping in through cleverly crafted keywords etc.