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The Week in Social: Instagram features, Facebook culling, and Google Primer

Instagram is now letting users share posts directly to Stories

Forget the time-consuming headache of having to screenshot posts you like before sharing them in Instagram Stories. Now you can do it instantaneously! The social platform is blurring the line between posts and Stories, offering a feature that lets users share posts from any public account directly to their story as a sticker. Any post that gets shared to a story will include the original poster’s username, along with a link to the post. The feature, which you can find when you tap the paper airplane icon on any post, has already launched on Android and will roll out on iOS over the next few days.


Read more at The Verge

eBay launches personalized homepage that’s all about YOU

eBay is personalizing its offering, launching a brand-new home page that is catered to iOS and Android users based on their interests and hobbies. It’s called Interests and what can be found there is based on each user’s responses when asked about style, activities, hobbies and so on. This new initiative is all about tailoring the shopping experience to each user by surfacing products they might like, making for a curated item list rather than bombarding them with hundreds of products that are basically the same.


Read more at VentureBeat

Google announces YouTube Music and YouTube Premium

YouTube Red is officially going bye byes, replaced by new premium services YouTube Music and YouTube Premium. YouTube Music – Google’s most direct competitor to Spotify – will be available for free with ads or for $9.99 a month, and comes with a reimagined mobile app and a new desktop player. Google says that the advantage of YouTube Music over competitors is that it will combine all the official versions of songs with access to thousands of related playlists, remixes, covers, live versions, and music videos. At $11.99 per month, YouTube Premium gets you all the YouTube Music perks, as well as access to the YouTube Originals library of video content. The switch begins rolling out next week and current YouTube Red subscribers will not be subject to any price changes. Nice one, Google!


Read more at The Verge

Facebook is jazzing up its Stories offering with three new features

With Facebook’s new focus on Stories, the feature isn’t just for Instagram anymore. The social media giant has released three new features (initially in India, with a global rollout in the not-so-distant future) to make the Facebook Stories experience an even better one. Photos and videos captured using the Facebook Camera will be able to be saved in the Facebook app, meaning more phone space; those photos and videos can be edited and shared later, meaning more time living in the moment; and voice posts, meaning users can talk their audience through all the fun they’ve been having. On top of all that, there’ll be an archive to let the good times live on beyond the current 24-hour limit. Party on.


Read more at AdWeek

New Google Primer app helps make accessibility more accessible

Taking into account the fact that over 1 billion people worldwide have some form of disability, Google has announced its latest initiative to help brands create digital experiences that are more suited to the varied needs of their audiences. The Google Primer app houses a range of five-minute lessons to help users better understand accessibility, as well as tips to start creating a more accessible business covering things from design principles for building a more accessible website, to the use of closed captions on video content. The Google Accessibility page is where businesses can find free tools that can help them on their way. Here’s to a more inclusive future!

Read more at the Google Blog

Facebook has been cracking down hard on fake accounts

This year alone, Facebook has been busy disabling nearly 1.3 billion  “fake” accounts. Whoa. The company announced last week that many of these accounts were bots “with the intent of spreading or conducting illicit activities such as scams.” Facebook says that while it doesn’t catch all fake accounts, most are disabled within minutes of registration. AS you’d expect, the almost unthinkably huge social media sweep is done using software algorithms, but around 1.5% were found after being flagged by users. Facebook also released numbers showing what other kinds of content they’ve been cracking down on and in what numbers (detailed below).


Read more at Recode

Instagram will soon tell you how long you’ve spent on the platform

Have you ever wanted to know exactly how long you’ve spent scrolling Instagram? Those 3am “how did I get here?” feels. The subway rides. The scrolling while watching TV evenings. All timed and documented? Ouch. Instagram has confirmed that a kinda intense but admirable Usage Insights feature is on the horizon. It’s not yet clear whether the time will be displayed as weeks, months, years or all of time, but here’s what Instagram’s CEO Kevin Systrom had to say about it: “It’s true… we’re building tools that will help the IG community know more about the time they spend on Instagram. Any time should be positive and intentional. Understanding how time online impacts people is important, and it’s the responsibility of all companies to be honest about this. We want to be part of the solution. I take that responsibility seriously.”

Read more at TechCrunch