Instagram’s Working on a Disappearing Messages Option

Instagram’s Working on a Disappearing Messages Option

This comes as little surprise, given that WhatsApp is developing the same thing, but this week, Instagram has confirmed that it’s also working on a new disappearing messages option within its Direct tools Spotted by reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong, the new option, at least at this stage, would see all of your messages disappear from the chat window after you’d read them and navigated to another section of the app. In this iteration, there doesn’t appear to be any time limit controls within Insta’s auto-delete settings, but that’s probably the next stage, because as noted, Facebook-owned WhatsApp is also looking to add the same functionality, though with added […]

Instagram’s Testing the Capability to Add Hashtags and Location to Stories Highlights

Instagram’s Testing the Capability to Add Hashtags and Location to Stories Highlights

This is interesting – according to a new discovery by reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong, Instagram is testing out the capability to add up to four hashtags and a location to your Instagram Stories highlights. Stories Highlights are collections of Stories that you opt to keep active on your profile after the regular 24-hour expiry. And up till now, Highlights content has not appeared in Instagram searches, or in the Explore listings, but given this test, maybe that’s about to change. The only reason, of course, that Instagram would be looking to add searchable elements like hashtags and/or location is to enable people to search for them. Maybe, then, […]

Facebook’s Testing a New Option Which Would Connect Brand Loyalty Programs to In-App Activity

Facebook’s Testing a New Option Which Would Connect Brand Loyalty Programs to In-App Activity

Amid the chaos of the COVID-19 changes, some smaller Facebook marketing updates have been lost in the shuffle, but they will likely become more significant considerations for brands moving forward. And this one, in particular, could see a lot of interest as more consumers in isolation turn to online shopping. Last week, Facebook launched a new pilot program with make-up brand Sephora which effectively connects a person’s existing brand loyalty membership with their Facebook identity. As you can see in these screenshots, the process enables brands to use Facebook ads to connect with their loyalty program members on the platform, using Custom Audiences to target those who’ve previously created a […]

Facebook Makes Desktop Refresh Available to All Users

Facebook Makes Desktop Refresh Available to All Users

After initially announcing its coming desktop refresh at its F8 developer conference last May, and slowly, gradually making it available to selected user groups over time, Facebook has finally announced that all users can now switch over the new Facebook desktop layout. As you can see here, the new format centralizes the News Feed and adds more space to the layout, increasing the emphasis on each specific element. Functionally, there are no major changes – the key aim of the update is to improve navigation between the various elements – with a particular focus on groups, while it also brings the desktop version more in line with the mobile app. I’ve had […]

Snapchat Launches new ‘Here For You’ Mental Health Resource Ahead of Time in Response to COVID-19

Snapchat Launches new ‘Here For You’ Mental Health Resource Ahead of Time in Response to COVID-19

Snapchat has announced that it will bring forward the launch of its new ‘Here For You’ mental health resource center, making it available to all users this week in response to rising angst around the COVID-19 pandemic. Announced last month, ‘Here For You’ will provide in-app support to Snapchatters who may be experiencing a mental health or emotional crisis, with links to relevant resources and exercises to help people cope with such concerns. In its original announcement of the tool, Snapchat had said that it would be rolling out “in the coming months”, but with concerns rising amid the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s decided to move forward and get it out sooner, in […]

Twitter Says That It’s Looking to Make Its New ‘Manipulated Media’ Labels Stand Out More in Feeds

Twitter Says That It’s Looking to Make Its New ‘Manipulated Media’ Labels Stand Out More in Feeds

After announcing its new ‘Manipulated Media’ tag last month, which is designed to reduce the potential impact of deepfakes and digitally altered videos that misrepresent what actually happened within a given incident, Twitter applied the tag for the first time a couple of weeks back, on a video of US Presidential candidate Joe Biden, which had subsequently been re-tweeted by President Trump himself. The application of the tag lead to some controversy about how it will be applied – but aside from this, many users also noted that the tag is simply too small, and too easy for people to miss. If Twitter’s going to acknowledge that such content has been […]

Facebook Says That Approvals for AR Effects Submitted to Facebook and Instagram Will Be Put on Hold

Facebook Says That Approvals for AR Effects Submitted to Facebook and Instagram Will Be Put on Hold

Facebook has announced another impact of required staffing changes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the company sending more staff home to reduce the potential spread of the virus, Facebook says that all of its Spark AR reviewers will soon not be operating. As a result, no user-submitted AR effects, for either Facebook Stories or Instagram, will be approved until further notice. Facebook sent out a notification to Spark users, and posted the update on the Spark AR Instagram Story. It’s the latest in Facebook’s staffing shifts to accommodate the unprecedented changes in response to the COVID-9 outbreak. Earlier this week, Facebook also noted that it will be […]

Twitter Updates its Platform Rules to Cover More Types of COVID-19 Misinformation

Twitter Updates its Platform Rules to Cover More Types of COVID-19 Misinformation

Twitter has announced a new update to its safety rules in order to remove more types of misinformation relating to the COVID-19 outbreak. Responding to communication trends around the pandemic, Twitter says that it will now require people to remove Tweets that include the following: Content that increases the chance that someone contracts or transmits the virus, including: – Denial of expert guidance – Encouragement to use fake or ineffective treatments, preventions, and diagnostic techniques – Misleading content purporting to be from experts or authorities — Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) March 18, 2020 Among the various specific updates that these new regulations cover, Twitter says that it will now remove: Tweets with […]

Facebook Warns of Ad Approval Delays Amid Staff Changes Due to COVID-19 Impacts

Facebook Warns of Ad Approval Delays Amid Staff Changes Due to COVID-19 Impacts

With Facebook shutting down its offices, and asking staff to work from home amid the COVID-19 outbreak, that’s meant that many contract workers who are not able to work out of the office are simply not working, which has reduced Facebook’s capacity in several areas. Facebook uses contractors for content moderation, and the company warned earlier in the week that this could lead to some delays and errors as it increases its reliance on automated systems to detect and remove rule violating posts. But Facebook’s contractors also conduct ad reviews, which, Facebook says, also means that there may be some delays in ad approvals, and incorrectly rejected ads due to the […]

TikTok Announces US-Based Content Advisory Council to Help Oversee Content Decisions

TikTok Announces US-Based Content Advisory Council to Help Oversee Content Decisions

After TikTok came under fire over its content moderation policies once again earlier this week, the platform has now announced a new, US-based Content Advisory Council, which will help it strengthen its moderation policies and improve platform practices. As explained by TikTok: “The Council brings together thought leaders who can help us develop forward-looking policies that not only address the challenges of today, but also plan ahead for the next set of issues that our industry will face. The Council members we’ve assembled represent a diverse array of backgrounds and perspectives, and have spent much of their lives researching, studying and analyzing issues relevant to TikTok and the space we operate […]