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Week In Social: Twitter chills, Instagram goes live, and the Vine app wraps

Facebook updates its Safety Center

Facebook trolls be warned – the social media platform has jumped onboard the anti-bully bandwagon. It’s recently unveiled a jazzed up Safety Center (localized into 50 languages) with the purpose of helping users set their privacy controls to their liking. Further to that, it’s also involved partners like Childnet International, Connect Safely and the Family Safety Online Institute in order to update its Bullying Prevention Hub particularly to markets beyond its usual English-speaking ones. Bullies take that! POW!

Read more on Tech Crunch.

Instagram “Lives”

Alright, alright, live video – you win! There is no escaping you and we’re done trying. The latest adopter: Instagram. A recent report from a Russian news site shows the photo-sharing platform seems to be testing a live video functionality front and center of the Stories feed. Though Instagram didn’t confirm nor deny the test, techsperts have been speculating (“techulating”?) this would happen for over a year, so it’s really only been a matter of time.

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Read more on The Verge.

WhatsApp? Video calling for Android, that’s “WhatsApp”

Terrible (or AWESOME – you decide!) headlines aside, video calling for WhatsApp is now a thing for some users on the beta builds version of the Android application. Unfortunately, at this time, they’re only allowed to call other beta build friends, but if all goes to plan, that’ll change once the feature is launched to the wider public.

Deja vu? It’s not all in your head. The messaging giant turned this option on back in May, but took it away before we could say: “Ohhh… what’s this new button here?”

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Read more on TechCrunch.

Twitter’s economy of characters is relaxing even more

Historically frugal Twitter is this week loosening its character purse strings even further by removing the feature that sees recipients’ usernames appear or count against the 140 character limit. Just a few lucky iOS users are part of the initial test group, but there is future hope for us all should it go well. (And really – why shouldn’t it?) This means even more discussion, longer Mean Tweets (don’t know it? Watch it here) and perhaps improved grammar and punctuation on the platform. What joy!

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Read more on TechCrunch.

Streetography is a pictorial block party app for inquisitive photographers and travelers

A brand-new photography app for iOS launched this week, and it’s like seeing a map of a city based on photos that represent the area best. Welcome to Streetography. Of course looking at photos on a map is already a long done thing, but this app’s USP is to literally put the photos on the map. Images can be filtered by date, source and more, and the app is positioning itself as a great way for travelers to learn more about an area before they travel, and for photographers of all experience levels to figure out where in a city they’d like to visit and snap.

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Read more on TechCrunch.

Facebook now lets verified profiles share branded content

Thumbs up to Facebook extending its branded content policy from verified Pages to verified profiles as well. The platform changed its policy back in April allowing companies, publishers and marketers to share their self-created content on the social network, and now they’re taking it that one step further – to the common (verified) people. This means that influencers can now easily monetize their presence on Facebook. The rule still stands, though, that the post-er will need to clearly disclose that the content is sponsored or provided by a third party.

Read more on VentureBeat.

That’s a wrap for the Vine app

First Brad and Angelina and now this!? The app that taught us to pack so much more into six seconds (effectively shortening many attention spans in the process) is calling it quits. The platform announced in a blog that it will soon be closing up shop, but that it would leave its website up to pay homage to all the awesome content created over the years. It thanked its amazing creators, its team members, and all the viewers. *Sniff sniff*.

Read more on the blog.

Facebook launches augmented reality selfie ‘masks’ for Live video

Snapchat’s ears must be constantly burning, what with all the other platforms loving it so much that they’re scrambling to be more like it every day. Facebook this week integrated augmented reality selfie lenses (they’ve called them “Masks”) into its main app. They’ve started with Halloween-themed Masks for iOS users in the US, UK, and New Zealand, with the mind to bring even more Masks to Android users and other countries “in the coming months.”

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Read more about it here and here on TechCrunch.