Keep on scrollin'

The week in social: Instagram live video, Facebook free WiFi, and Houseparty growth

Instagram adds live video to Stories and new features to direct messaging

Taking a cue from other social networks, especially parent company Facebook, Instagram has introduced Live Video, run through the Stories feature it debuted in August. Users can go live and the video feed is accessible by followers on the home screen just like all other Stories. When the user is done live broadcasting, the video disappears from the network. The other new feature Instagram debuted this week was the ability to send disappearing photos and videos via direct messages, similar to how Snapchat currently functions. This new feature started rolling out globally all at once, unlike many other features from core social networks that start with smaller tests in specific geographies.


Read more on Instagram Blog.

Periscope gets in the Thanksgiving spirit with new stickers

In an effort to stay seasonally relevant, Periscope debuted new heart stickers for broadcasters relating to the Thanksgiving holiday. With the use of hashtags #Thanksgiving, #GiveThanks, and #TurkeyDay, the associated hearts will appear on broadcasts. Twitter announced the news through a tweet, which also matched the hashtags to emoticons Twitter has been featuring for the holiday.


Read more on Twitter.

Facebook testing ways to help users identify free WiFi

In a number of countries, Facebook is undergoing a test that may make it easier for users to identify and use free WiFi hotspots. The test started with Facebook reaching out to Page owners to ask them to list if their addres is associated to a free WiFi hotspot. Using this data and more, Facebook will use a feature in settings that will identify locations that have the hotspots so users can connect to them when they are near. In addition, the incoming feature will provide an alert at the top of the feed with notifications about how many open hotposts are nearby. Presently it appears as if the feature is only available to a subset of iOS users.

More information on The Next Web.

WhatsApp on Android now supports streaming video

A quiet feature addition from WhatsApp last week, users now have the ability to stream video that is shared to them via a message. Previously, a user would have to wait until the entire video has loaded until they were able to view it, but now they can watch it as a loads in real-time, shortening the upfront wait time. The introduction of this features follows a long list of new additions, including video calling and new GIF support.

More information on Social Times.

Houseparty has 1 million users

Made by the same team that created Meerkat, Houseparty is a live streaming app that has picked up in popularity among teenagers. The app now has over 1 million users, who spend approximately 20 million minutes a day on the service. Houseparty’s unique feature is that instead of joining into group chats like on other services, once the app is opened, the user is automatically connected to any other contacts who also have the app open, making groups potentially bigger, and connection more seamless. Currently, 60% of the app’s users are under the age of 24.


Read more on TechCrunch.

Instagram opens up a college correspondents program

Instagram is working with a select set of colleges to help bring users closer to the college football experience through the new Stories feature. Among schools participating in a new correspondents program, each will choose a student who will use Stories to highlight key moments of a game-day experience, and the Instagram team will choose the best of those to takeover the main Instagram account to highlight the NCAA championship at the end of the season. The @Instagram account has almost 200 million followers presently.

More information on Social Times.