Keep on scrollin'

The Week in Social: Facial expressions, Twitch, and Food on Twitter

Facial expressions into emoji

A new app called Polygram is making it simpler to help people react to photos and videos. The app uses AI to capture users’ facial expressions, then automatically translate them into a range of emoji faces. Polygram uses a neural network that runs locally on the phone to figure out if users are smiling, frowning, bored, embarrassed, surprised, and more. The app then offers a breakdown of the responses, including the number of views, how long users paused, and even how many other users took a screenshot. User response can also be broken down by gender and location. The app has launched on iOS, but there is no further information on whether it will be available on Android.

Read more at Technology Review

Amazon enabling twitch influencers

Twitch broadcasters can personalize their Twitch pages to generate revenue and engage with their community using polls, leaderboards, tickers, schedules, overlays, virtual pets and more. Another new extension is called “Gear on Amazon” that allows Twitch creators to share their favorite Amazon products with others. As Twitch is owned by Amazon, this move makes perfect sense for attracting content creators, and enables creators to earn commission through the Associates program. The Amazon extension is only one of over 20 that will be available, some of which are gaming specific and others that are more general. The extension program is open to third-party developers through and they can receive free asset hosting and messaging to ease and speed to process.

Read more on TechCrunch

Instagram updates graph API

Instagram’s application-programming interface has been upgraded to the Facebook Graph API. It is now available to all developers and will contain new features. This enables brands to track their Instagram presence and performance of organic content through third party tools. Comment moderation has also expanded in the new API, which will allow brands or developers to hide or toggle comments on or off. The new features can be accessed through Instagram business profiles. Facebook logins must be used to grant permission to third-party tools.


Read more at Adweek

Making albums easier to post

Instagram introduced the ability for users to add up to 10 photos or videos to a single post in February. This week, the company announced an update to that feature. Users can now opt for landscape or portrait mode when including multiple photos and videos in a single post. However, all photos and videos in a post must be shared in the same format. In greater news, users can finally edit tagged people after they have created their posts and, on iOS, they can save these posts as drafts.


Read more at Mashable

Google shows Trending searches

Similar to Twitter or Facebook’s Trends, Google has added a Trending Searches feature. When users tap the search box to start, it will show Instant Answers as they are typed. This means users can ask questions or get quick info before they hit the search button. Google’s app also recently introduced “the feed”, which is their own news stream focused on each user’s interests.

Read more on TechCrunch

Instagram stories are coming to the web

Instagram is updating one of its most popular features on Instagram Stories. It is adding the ability to view Stories on desktop and mobile web so users can see content on larger screens. Instead of the usual tap left or right to move between posts and Stories, Instagram is adding arrows buttons to help users navigate on the web. The company also announced that users will be able to upload stories via the mobile web soon. The update is beginning to roll out today to users globally, and the upload feature is expected to come the next few months.

Read more at CNET

Whatsapp verifying business accounts

WhatsApp is giving business accounts verified green badges. Thus far, business verification has been limited to the small number of businesses that are participating in the pilot program. WhatsApp will let its users know if they’re talking to a business by showing a yellow text bubble in the chat. Users are able to delete messages and chats from a regular conversation. However, WhatsApp seems to be forcing users to keep records of chats with a verified business, meaning these texts can’t be deleted. The green badges are an effort to make businesses appear more trustworthy on the messaging app, and could encourage more businesses to join the platform.


Read more at VentureBeat

College social: Islands

As students start classes for the fall semester, there’s a new messaging app that will go along with them. “Islands” creator Greg Isenberg says that he was inspired by college students’ social nature, thus created the app to be with them through their greatest time of self-discovery. The app offers an easy way to make groups and profiles to share photos, as well as make plans. It’s already active in seven universities. More than 25% of the University of Alabama’s freshman class has requested to join since classes started last week. Isenberg had this to say about his offering: “I don’t want to live in a world where Facebook Groups is the end all be all. The Snapchat generation doesn’t want social media posts on Facebook. We want a way to connect with the people around us in an interesting and in a beautiful way.”

Read more at Mashable

The Food conversation on Twitter

The return of The Great British Bake Off prompted Twitter to produce a handy infographic about users and food:


Read more at Twitter