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The week in social: Twitter Insiders, 360 photos, and Swarm challenges

Twitter debuts Twitter Insiders

Twitter has created a panel of over 12,000 users that participate in research studies to support its new effort, called Twitter Insiders, focused on recruitment, design, and collection of live research, in an effort to help make business decisions easier. The initiative is meant to help research agencies and their clients have another avenue to tap when making business decisions. According to a blog post from the company, Twitter Insiders can be leveraged across a variety of long and short term projects, including category expertise, market entry strategy, quick insights, and more. The service is presently only available to select agencies and organizations, however it is likely that availability will expand in the coming months.


More information on Twitter Blog.

Instagram improves sharing for iOS

Instagram has just launched its version 8.2 update for iOS users, letting users share Instagram posts simply using the “share” menu, as opposed to having to open up the actual Instagram app. Other apps have long featured this functionality, such as Facebook and Twitter, and this update is considered one of the biggest since the massive design overhaul the app took several weeks ago. The share functionality however is somewhat limited, and users will have to open the app if they want to add filters or tag other users in the photo.

More information on The Next Web.

The Swarm app introduces check-in challenges

In an effort to help differentiate its Swarm app further, Foursquare has introduced Swarm Challenges, a way to gamify the core experience of checking in. Throughout the course of the summer, users can check-in to various different places, and win different prizes and experiences. The challenges will reveal themselves upon completion of an eligible check-in. Through an official blog post, Foursquare introduced an FAQ for users to find out more information about the incoming challenges.


Read more on Foursquare Blog.

Twitter revamps its Android mobile app

In an effort to work more seamlessly with one of the most popular mobile operating systems, Twitter has overhauled its Android app. New key features and changes include more seamless navigation to swipe between Home, Notifications, and other main content tabs. In addition, users can now compose a new tweet from anywhere with a floating button on the bottom right corner that appears regardless of which interface in the app a user is accessing. The release is rolling out to all users simultaneously, who will have access to it as of Twitter’s update earlier this week.

More information on Twitter Blog.

Facebook is moving all messaging to its standalone app

As Facebook Messenger’s influence grows, the company is moving to ensure that all people access this service through its bespoke mobile app. Previously, users were slowly blocked from sending and receiving messages from the main Facebook app, being pushed to download the standalone messenger. Now, users will soon be blocked from even accessing messages on the mobile web version of Facebook. Facebook has commented to say that by migrating all users to the bespoke app, they will be provided the best experience possible.


More information on The Guardian.

Updates come to Snapchat’s Discover and Story sections

As Snapchat expands its Discover and Story sections, new updates have come to each to make the decision to consume content from each much easier. For Discover, users can now see a headline and previews of content instead of just the publisher logo, arranged in a Pinterest-like grid for more visual fidelity. The same visual appearance is mirrored for Stories. To make Discover content easier to consume, users can now tap and hold on a Discover brand logo to subscribe to it, ensuring that it appears on recent stories. These moves among other minor tweaks will help combine the feed for Discover and Stories, aiming to make commercial content as attractive as content from friends and contacts.

More information on TechCrunch.

Facebook debuts 360 photo support for all users

Expanding on the trend of sharing 360 content, Facebook is now allowing all users to share 360 photos. To do this, a user just needs to take a panoramic photo or a 360 photo using a specialized app, and upload it to Facebook as they normally would, and other users who see the photo will be able to pan around it with their mouse, or using the gyroscopic controls on their mobile device if enabled. A user can tell if a photo is 360-enabled by the compass that will appear on the right side of the photo in the news feed.


Read more on Facebook Newsroom.

LinkedIn introduces Premium Insights

Part of its package among numerous paid subscription options, LinkedIn is now offering premium insights on companies of interest. Premium Insights allow users to see things such as growth, hiring trends, employee distribution, total job openings, and more. LinkedIn has explained the value of this new feature being that professionals can keep tabs on companies for competitive intelligence reasons as well as job-hunting.

More information on LinkedIn Blog.

Tumblr adds a button for GIFs in its messenger function

In a blog post earlier this week, Tumblr showed off how GIFs can be searched for and added into messages straight from the messaging platform. When in a message to another user, tapping the GIF button in the dialogue box allows users to search for GIFs by key word, and then add them into the message. This functionality has been rapidly added to other social networks such as Twitter in the recent months, as interest and use of GIFs on social continues to rise.

More information on Tumblr Staff Blog.

Facebook makes videos in comments available to all users

A feature first introduced at a Facebook hackathon, the ability to add videos as parts of comments in a post is now available to all users. Other multimedia features are already available within comments and replies, such as photos, stickers, and links. Right now, the feature is available on web (desktop only), iOS, and Android, and it rolled out to all users worldwide simultaneously.


Read more on Facebook.