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The week in social: Gnip demographics, Yelp filters, and Instant Articles on Messenger

Facebook to roll out Instant Articles through Messenger

Instant Articles, the method by which Facebook users can more quickly load publisher content in Facebook’s native format, is coming to the stand-alone Messenger app for Android and iOS. Support will start first on Android, with the time frame of “coming weeks” assigned to iPhone. Instant Articles load approximately 10 times faster than link outs to the mobile web, according to Facebook, and provide an overall better user experience for content consumption.


Read more on Facebook Media.

Google Hangouts receiving video messaging support on Android

The latest of messaging services to receive video messaging, Google announced that Hangouts would receive the feature on Android approximately two years after it was available on iOS. The latest feature comes with version 11 of the Android app, and users are able to record, preview, and then send the video messages. The newest version of the app technically not available in the Google Play store at the time of article release, and users have to jump into a separate app to play the video message, rather than viewing it directly within Hangouts.

More information on The Next Web.

Periscope debuts curated streams from editors

In an effort to help serve users with more quality content without searching too hard, Periscope is debuting curated ‘Editor’s Pick’ options. The channel appears under the featured content section, and is likely being positioned as a way for people to see quality content if they don’t know how to search for it themselves. Services such as Periscope have faced increasing pressure to innovate as other options like Facebook Live have emerged in the marketplace.

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Read more on The Next Web.

AdWords are improved for retailers

Google is offering retail advertisers additional options to help shoppers identify and purchase their products more quickly and efficiently. The first is Showcase Shopping ads, which function as a carousel of products that match broad search descriptions, such as “blue dress”. Advertisers who are running shopping campaigns are eligible to automatically have their products show up in these carousels, which appears on top of search results in Google. In addition, for users browsing YouTube, companion banners and products picker are two new features being introduced, letting users scroll through products while a video is playing, and letting advertisers show specific, campaign based products during a video, respectively.

More information on Google AdWords Blog.

Twitter now allows general access to Gnip’s audience API

As the result of a months-long beta, Twitter is now allowing general access to the Gnip audience API, which provides advertisers and marketers with valuable data to provide information that would not be available from public content analysis, give real time insights, and not violate the privacy of users. The API will allow access to demographic data such as gender, interests, location, language, device, and more. In addition, new audiences on Twitter can be created and identified by followers of a specific handle, organic audiences of brands, and audiences from first-party data.


Read more on Twitter Blog.

Twitter now supports additional Emoji

As a response to the Unicode 9.0 update that released in June, Twitter now has support for 72 new emoji character combinations that will provide the emoji image on its web platform. Some of the more popular new emoji include avocado, bacon, and the selfie. Twitter on the web is one of the first platforms that supports the new emoji, but like with other Unicode updates, it is likely that other platforms and services will soon take up support.

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Read more on Mashable.

Yelp adds a filter to help Pokemon Go players identify key locations

As Pokemon Go’s popularity continues to expand, social business review site Yelp has added a new filter that allows users to filter business by proximity to PokeStops, locations in the augmented reality game Pokemon Go that allow players to collect in-game items. Users can also contribute to the tweaking of the filter by reporting if a business or location has a Pokestop near it, enhancing the filter’s effectiveness. It remains to be seen if other social apps will take up integrating into the Pokemon Go popularity in some way.

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Read more on Yelp Blog.

3D touch support is now available on Messenger for iOS

A feature currently only possible on the iPhone 6S, 3D touch is now available for Facebook Messenger on the Apple smartphone. With this feature, users are able to preview their contacts, conversations, photos, videos are more. In addition, 3D touch shortcuts are available by holding on the app icon on the main iPhone user interface, allowing faster access to conversations inside the app.

More information on Social Times.

Twitter will now start broadcasting Bloomberg financial news

On the heels of Twitter signing deals to stream Tennis and NFL football directly on the service, the company is doubling-down on broadcasting by signing a deal with Bloomberg to broadcast financial news content. Three of Bloomberg’s shows will be broadcast on the network, as well as additional financial market news. Details of the deal are not publicly available at present, but it is rumored that both companies will share the ad revenue. Twitter is also scheduled to broadcast Democratic and Republican conventions for the upcoming presidential election in the United States, furthering its push into broadcast.

More information on TechCrunch.