This is the 6th edition of the Social Media News Roundup, where we discuss recent and timely additions to social media or to the social media marketing space. In our last edition of the social media news roundup, we talked about Russian propaganda on social media, Twitter’s new policy changes, LinkedIn’s mentor program, and how hard SnapChat is trying to stay relevant. So let’s check out what’s going on in social media news this week!
The Social Media News for December 7th
Instagram’s New Features?
Instagram has rolled out some new features, and it is also testing a new messaging app, which would be a standalone product called “Direct”. It’s becoming available on Android and iOS today in only six countries: Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay and apparently when you install the app, your DM’s disappear from the Instagram app.
The new features are what some are considering to be another copy of SnapChat’s. First is “Stories Highlights”, a new section in the profile that allows users to group their stories in a sort of highlights reel. Then they can choose to feature them. Second, there is “Stories Archive”. This one will automatically save previously disappearing recordings (Stories) into a private album for you to relive — and maybe feature — them later.
Some other new features include a new, native regram button, so you can share that photo without the use of an outside app (I applaud this), GIF options available on stories, Instagram beta on iPhones, a closest friends list, share to WhatsApp, hashtag and emoji searches. You can read more about some of these features here.
They have also taken a stance to protect wildlife. Instagram has recently begun to educate its users through messaging added to searches for hashtags such as “#tigerpet and #lionselfie, telling people that through the use of these hashtags, they could be promoting harm and even the sell of these exotic animals (without meaning to, we hope). According to World Animal Protection, postings have increased by 292 percent since 2014 and Instagram is determined to help curb whatever harm may come from the social media posts on its platform. Good for them!
SnapChat’s Filters Now Recognize Food, Pets, and More Changes
So when you take a photo of that sushi roll next time your dining out (sssuuuuussshiiiii….), SnapChat is going to begin suggestion filters that might say things like “get in my belly” and “what diet?”. SnapChat confirmed that just last week, they began using object recognition to identify what in the photos and serve users’ relevant filters to make posting easier.
Snap, the parent company of SnapChat, has also revealed that they are separating their social and their media portions of the SnapChat app. For example, when you use Facebook, you’ll see one news feed, determined by what you have liked and interacted with. On Snapchat now you’ll see a left side of the app, where you’ll see chats and stories shared by (or with) your friends: The social part of the app. On the right side, you’ll see content from publishers, creators, celebrities, as well as stories that Snap curates from UGC (user-generated content): The media part of the app.
Facebook Rolls Out New AI to Detect Suicidal Posts.. Before They Get Reported, Adds a Messenger App for Kids
Facebook has a new “proactive detection” AI (artificial intelligence) technology that will scan all user posts for patterns of suicidal thoughts, and then send mental health resources to the person at risk or to their friends, or even contact local first-responders, when necessary. Facebook can now decrease how long it takes to send help by using this new AI, which can save lives. There is no option to opt-out of this service, as Facebook is saying it’s to increase user safety, but the messages can be easily dismissed if the user doesn’t want to see them.
Facebook has also introduced a new messenger app for kids for ages below 13 years of age. This new app requires the approval of the parent’s, through the parent’s own Facebook login. Kids cannot add other people to their list without the approval first going to the parent’s profile, but all of this has made many people question, again, how young is too young for social media and the internet? Since the app is created for kids 13 and younger, many are arguing that it’s going too far, with kids that are too young to be online using apps like the messenger. Facebook says “we found that there’s a need for a messaging app that lets kids connect with people they love but also has the level of control parents want.” and “to give kids and parents a fun, safer solution”, they created Messenger Kids.
Twitter Testing Its Own New Features
Twitter is testing bookmarks so that you can save that tweet to read for later, privately. Although no official announcement has been made just yet, Twitter has said in these tweets that they are creating the feature. I personally use “favoriting” sometimes, to save content for later, but I think this is a great addition to the platform.
In other social media news, Twitter is also releasing a Twitter Lite version in 24 countries where data can be limited, or access to data usage can be expensive. This release may help the platform expand into other countries, also expanding usage, which would be great considering their stock is still failing to hit their $60 high note from 2014.
That’s all we have for the social media news roundup today! Stay tuned for future editions of this roundup, as we keep learning what’s going on with the social media platforms, and I condense all of the important stuff right here, on R3 Social Media!
Interested in reading past social media news roundups? Find the list here, and stay up to date!