Javier de Guzman, 17 Jun 2019

The week in social: Facebook studies, Pride Month, and cryptocurrency

Facebook wants to study you – with your consent

Facebook launched a new market research app this week. Study from Facebook aims to gain information from users in a secure way in order to build better products. The app will collect the minimum amount of information needed – namely the country, device, and network type of the participant. The apps installed on a participant’s phone will also be noted, as well as the amount of time spent on those apps and the features being used. This information won’t be shared with third parties and private information such as usernames, passwords, and photos won’t be collected.

Interested users can sign up through Facebook ads for the app, and if they qualify, they’ll be invited to download. Study from Facebook is currently only available in the US and India, with plans to expand into other countries over time.

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Read more at Facebook Newsroom

Baby and gender-swap filters bring Snapchat back to life

Snapchat has been playing second fiddle to Instagram of late but there has been a massive surge in downloads recently due to a handful of popular filters: the baby filter, which see users tied up with a bib and rattle, and a pair of filters that make them appear more stereotypically masculine or feminine (both of which have been the subject of controversy).

Since the release of these two filters, Snapchat’s downloads have doubled – the app was downloaded 16.8 million times in April and a whopping 41.5 million times in May. While this doesn’t necessarily mean more daily Snapchat users, it’s a big step forward to have the app installed on so many more devices. The app is back on the radar again, all in a snap.

Read more at Social Media Today

Instagram honors Pride Month

The rainbow colors are out and about in celebration of Pride Month and Instagram is joining in the festivities. The biggest change the app has done is finally updating the gender options to be more inclusive of how people identify themselves today. The option of “prefer not to say” has been added, and a custom entry field where users can input the gender they identify with. The social network has also identified the most popular hashtags such as #lgbtq, #equalitymatters, #bornperfect, #accelerateacceptance, #pride2019 and put a rainbow gradient on them when used in feed. Another colorful feature added is a rainbow ring that appears when any of these hashtags are used in Stories.

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Read more at Instagram Info Center

Telegram is joining the crypto game

Telegram’s highly-anticipated Initial Coin Offering is finally opening up to buyers. The “Gram Token” will be available to regular buyers through a listing on Liquid on July 10 before a full launch on Telegram’s Open Network cryptocurrency platform later this year. A few caveats: there will be several restrictions on who can actually buy the tokens, and the company hasn’t said how many will be on offer – and at what price.

It seems that Telegram is using the limited sale to gauge the market’s appetite for the much-hyped currency. The messaging company raised an astonishing $1.7 billion last year through a token sale, which was limited to accredited investors.

Read more at TechCrunch

You can now tag your fellow LinkedIn users in Photos

LinkedIn received a slew of updates this week – the biggest being the addition of photo tagging for image posts and the ability to include videos in messages. The mobile app also got a few minor upgrades; the post button is now found at the bottom-center of the screen and the message button at the top-right corner. Lastly, the professional network has made it easier for users to find their groups and beloved hashtags – these will now appear on the right side of the feed on desktop, and by clicking the profile picture on mobile.

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Read more at AdWeek