The week in social: Bitmoji on Snapchat, redesigned tweeting, and 1 billion on Messenger
24 Jul 2016
Twitter potentially redesigning tweet composer
One of many new features that Twitter is quietly testing, the iOS app for some users has seen a brand new tweet composer. The platform now shows a condensed tweet compose bar on the top of the timeline along with an option to take or attach a photo, and users are able to click onto the regular tab to access additional features such as GIF and location options. Speaking to Mashable, a Twitter spokesperson noted that they wanted to make it easier to tweet while viewing content directly in the timeline. There are no indications or timeline yet for a rollout across other platforms.
Read more on Mashable.
Facebook was testing a disappearing updates feature
In its continuation to offer similar features of Snapchat to its large userbase, Facebook was previously testing a style of status update called Quick Updates. The feature would function similar to status updates, but information on the update would disappear after a 24-hour period, and within smaller defined groups, instead of a wide public broadcast, or broadcast among all contacts. Facebook is not planning to move forward with the feature, but with no real reason provided for the change.
More information on TechCrunch.
Messenger reaches 1 billion users
The popular standalone messaging app from Facebook has reached a massive milestone of 1 billion monthly active users. Facebook announced the milestone in a newsroom post, but did not provide any other specific growth details, aside from thanking users for sharing key moments on the platform. As part of the announcement, users can send a special celebratory balloon animation in a message by using the balloon emoji in a message. Facebook also released a video as part of the newsroom post that celebrates the milestone.
More information on Facebook Newsroom.
Twitter debuts a new process letting users apply for verified status
Earlier this week, Twitter announced through a blog post that they have created a streamlined application process for an account to gain verified status. The company explained verified accounts as those having noteworthy interest, those maintained by public figures, or key organizations. Verified status is notated by a blue check-mark next to the account name in the user profile, a feature that has since been copied by many other social networks to help users differentiate between fake, parody, and other non-official accounts with similar subjects or personality. The application requires a bio, phone number, profile photo and header photo, among other requirements.
Read more on Twitter Blog.
Snapchat builds new account suggestions feature
Up until now, there was no discernible way to discover new accounts to follow, or to get suggestions on who is producing the best content. This has changed with the debut of the new Suggest feature. Users are now able to take their favorite accounts and send them as suggestions to their friends in a private message that shows a preview of the suggested account info, including the profile GIF. There is still no network-based suggestions, so recommendations come only on a peer-to-peer basis, which may be intentional on the part of Snapchat. An additional feature that Snapchat introduced at roughly the same time was the ability to take screenshots from the camera roll and add them to ‘Memories’, older or past content that can be posted to a user’s Story and noted as such.
Read more on TechCrunch.
Facebook launches video series to help business growth
Similar to how Pinterest has started launching videos aimed at helping businesses get the most out of the system, Facebook has introduced a webinar series that is aimed at showing businesses how they can grow through use of Facebook. Unlike Pinterest, the Facebook series will be scheduled events that go in depth on the Facebook of platforms Facebook has, such as effective use of Instagram, creation of video for mobile, etc. Users have to register to get access to the webinars, and the current schedule extends through the end of September.
More information on Facebook Business.
Periscope adds new features to encourage content consumption
In a Medium post earlier this week, Periscope introduced a host of new features aimed at making it easier to consume content on the platform; tweet embeds, replay highlights, and live autoplay. Replay highlights functions automatically, where Periscope will make a short trailer of a broadcast that can be shared and viewed, with the ability to click through to watch the entire archived broadcast. With the new enhanced tweet embeds, a broadcast can be played anywhere on the web just by embedding the tweet it is featured in. Lastly, a feature that is currently only available on Android, broadcasts that are presently live will automatically play when they are scrolled through on the feed, or the Watch tab.
Read more on Medium.
Facebook updates Graph API to allow for Live video audience restrictions
As part of the latest Graph API update to version v2.7, announced earlier this week, Facebook is introducing a host of new features to enrich the capabilities of Facebook within other applications. Chief among these is the ability to restrict the audience of a Facebook Live video. The aim is to make targeting of a live stream more relevant, and content creators can now restrict by age, gender, language, and location. Additional features offered by this update include the ability to continuously stream through Live, a new Page metric in the form of new follows and new unfollows, and an update the how ad placements are chosen.
More information on Facebook Developers Blog.
Snapchat now supports Bitmoji
Popular application Bitmoji is now integrating with Snapchat, announced through the Snapchat blog earlier this week. Bitmoji allows users to create custom emojis that feature the users themselves, and the application has been linked to other social networks before, but this week marks the first time where there is official integration to Snapchat. Users just have to allow Bitmoji access to a user’s Snapchat account, and also have to create a Bitmoji account if they do not already have one. Bitmoji’s typically take the form of short comics or just humorous pictures of the user with a caption.
Read more on Snapchat Blog.