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The Week in Social: tech giants team up, Snapchat embeds, and Twitch GIFs

Snapchat extends Discover content beyond the app

Snap Inc. is teaming up with four news organizations in an effort to promote Snapchat content outside the confines of its mobile app. Storyful, NewsWhip, TagBoard, and SAM Desk now have access to pictures and videos featured on Snapchat’s Discover tab, meaning that any media outlet that partners with one of these companies will be able embed Snapchat content in their articles, as is already possible with Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The company hopes the move will expose its content to non-Snapchat users.


Read more at Business Insider

Instagram is testing follower removal for public accounts

Instagram users may soon have a new way to give unwanted followers the boot. The company has begun testing a new follower removal mechanism, which lets users with public accounts manually kick out followers – something that has long been possible for private account users. The feature will give public account-holders more flexibility in how they handle their follower list; previously, they’ve either had to block unwelcome viewers (which can sometimes be too harsh), or make their account private (and risk losing that sweet influencer lifestyle).

Read more at The Verge

GIFs arrive on Twitch

Further proving that memes have well and truly become the world’s universal language, Twitch is letting viewers respond to streams using GIFs. Creators now have a dedicated Giphy extension, which allows their audiences to communicate in a real-time flurry of animated clips. Given Twitch and Giphy have both come under fire for harboring offensive content, the move could be a recipe for disaster. However, Twitch has stressed that the available GIFs will be “limited to a PG rating and below, meaning content with violence, sexual references, and lewd terms are all prohibited amongst other things.”


Read more at The Verge

Tech giants partner up for data transfer project

Four of the world’s biggest tech companies are joining forces to help consumers move their data between platforms. Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter have announced the Data Transfer Project, an open-source initiative that will let users “transfer data directly from one service to another, without needing to download and re-upload it,” as described by Google. The project has potential to be incredibly useful to netizens off the back of the GDPR implementation a few months ago, as the regulation requires online services to allow users to retrieve their data, but most people don’t have ways to use that data – something the initiative may be able to change.

Read more at Engadget

Instagram gets a couple of Facebook features

Next time you’re scrolling through your Instagram feed, you’re going to feel a little less alone. The app will now let you know which of your friends are currently online, signalled by a green dot next to their profile image, just as you’d see on Facebook and Messenger. While your status will be displayed to other users by default, it can be disabled in the app’s settings. This isn’t the only Facebook feature that has made its way to Instagram in the past week: reactions have been added to Instagram Stories, after the feature hit Facebook last month. The emojis on offer are different, but thankfully, the ever-popular fire emoji has made the cut.


Read more at TechCrunch

Twitter puts verification fixes on hold

Twitter’s push to fix its opaque, inconsistent verification system has been put on hold as it focuses on the upcoming US midterm election. “Updating our verification program isn’t a top priority for us right now (election integrity is),” product lead Kayvon Beykpour stated in a tweet. For now, Twitter will be working to fight disinformation on the platform to avoid the controversies that followed the 2016 US presidential election. Verification has been a contentious topic surrounding Twitter for months, with users questioning why controversial figures are granted the coveted blue ticks of authority, and Beykpour predicted work on matter will resume in several weeks.

Read more at TechCrunch