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The week in social: YouTube gets positive, Snapchat expands, and v2 is on its way

New Twitter algorithm trims the photo fat

Twitter engineers announced last week that the social platform is putting its neural networks to good use, creating an algorithm that automatically crops photos uploaded onto the platform to the most interesting part. We know this feature from basic facial recognition software, but now eye-tracking technology can be used to train neural networks and algorithms to predict what people want to look at. The feature is currently being rolled out on iOS and Android apps, as well as desktop.


Read more at engadget

YouTube investing mucho dinero in positive content

In the wake of scandal and drama for YouTube, the video sharing network has announced it’s investing a cool $5 mil in Creators for Change – a two-year-old program focused on countering hate and promoting tolerance. Since its inception, the program has partnered with 39 positivity cultivators around the world who promote empathy and understanding. This further investment will hopefully draw advertisers back to YouTube who may have avoided the channel since it came under fire in recent months for hosting objectionable content.

“We will engage more creators in the program, arm the wider YouTube community with new tools and education on how to create change, and empower more young people to use their voices to encourage positive social messages,” wrote Juniper Downs, Head of YouTube Public Policy on the YouTube blog.

Read more at TechCrunch

Instagram Stories take a turn for the GIF-y

All you Instagram devotees have probably already discovered that you’re now able to include GIF stickers in your Instagram Stories, but for those who haven’t discovered the features yet, SURPRISE – they’re now a thing. That platform has teamed up with the gang at Giphy to add the stickers, meaning users can now add moving sparkles, word art, or accessories like hats and sunglasses overlaid on photos, videos, or Boomerangs. Some further good news is that in the coming weeks users will be able to manually crop their photos in Stories, rather than having the feature crop them itself. Thanks, Santa!

Read more at Business Insider

Snapchat will soon let users share Stories outside the platform

Copycats and competitors be damned – Snapchat is still doing its thing! In its latest move, the social network is bringing its flagship Stories product to the web. That means both Snapchat users and those who don’t have an account on the mobile app can view content. Snap said it’ll all be going down in the next few weeks together with the rollout of its brand spankin’ redesigned mobile app. Users will be able to share links to their content via text or email outside of the main Snapchat app and Snap are launching a desktop web viewer from where everything can be accessed.


Read more at The Verge

Heard through the grapevine: v2

Vine was killed off last year and it’s now being replaced by upcoming video app v2. Vine’s former co-founder Dom Hoffman is the man behind the app and he has given us all specific instructions not to call it Vine 2, but just v2, lest he be sued. Apparently former Viners are being contacted by the peeps at v2 with the hope of having some top content creators and their goods on the app in time for its launch. There’s no firm date but Hoffman has said that V1 of v2 (this could get confusing) will definitely debut this year hopefully in Q2 or Q3.


Read more at TechCrunch

Twitter now lets advertisers sponsor publishers’ Moments

In interesting news for advertisers, Twitter is now offering brands the ability to sponsor Moments from select publishers. The first Sponsored Moment is already live (Bloomberg’s Moment about Davos by Bank of America), and the feature is now available to all publishers who participate in In-Stream Sponsorship worldwide. Sponsoring a Moment means the advertiser has the ability to add a branded cover image to the Moment, as well as insert their own brand’s tweets into the Moment’s round-up. Each Moment can also be promoted and targeted towards a specific audience using the platform’s advertising tools.

Read more at TechCrunch