Cassandra Megraw, 3 Sep 2019

The week in social: Facebook Messenger, Spotify’s Create podcast, and IGTV on Facebook Watch

Facebook ditches the Messenger Discover tab

As a way of simplifying its Messenger app, Facebook is phasing out the Messenger Discover tab. Launched two years ago at the F8 Developer conference, the tab’s job was to help users find new bots and businesses, and to extend Messenger’s appeal beyond chat all the way to sports, news, shopping, finance, education, and more. These days, Facebook is moving back towards the classic Messenger app by cutting the fat and focusing on the app’s main function of connecting people.

“We want to make it more seamless for people to reach out to businesses on Messenger in places where they’re already looking to connect,” noted Ted Helwick, director of product at Facebook’s Messenger business. “We will put more investment into tools to connect people and businesses — including updates to m.me links, web plugins, various entry points across our family of apps, as well as ad products — that lead to Messenger.”

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Read more at VentureBeat

Spotify really wants you to make that podcast

Bore your friends with incessant and confusing tidbits about space and black holes? Creep your family out with your uncanny ability to recite case files of the most obscure crimes? Spotify’s new ‘Create podcast’ tool is giving wannabe podcast creators (and who isn’t?) the tools to give their family and friends a break and find their audience among its 200 million users. The feature shows up at the top of a user’s list of subscribed podcasts on the app, and then directs users to download Anchor, the podcast creation app Spotify acquired earlier this year. The tool, currently in its testing phase, will allow anyone with a smartphone to record, edit, and publish podcasts from the palm of their hand.

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Read more at TechCrunch

Looks like Facebook’s thinking about hiding like counts

Instagram is already (and surprisingly successfully!) hiding like counts in select markets from Australia all the way up to Canada, and it seems like Facebook might be looking to follow suit. An app researcher found code inside Facebook’s Android app that hides the exact amount of likes on a post from everyone but the original poster. Facebook confirmed it has considered the test, but that nothing has kicked off as yet. While Facebook pioneered the ‘like’ all those years ago, users have admitted to being troubled by low engagement, sometimes to the point of deleting content that doesn’t perform well. Removing public like counts is a way to resolve that pressure and inspire use all to share and engage more freely.

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Read more at The Verge

Creators may soon be able to post IGTV videos directly to Facebook Watch

As Facebook works to solidify its ownership of Instagram, it’s looking to introduce a way to syndicate Instagram’s IGTV footage to its video site, Facebook Watch. It’s been reported that Instagram now has a feature under development that will allow its users to post their IGTV content directly to both Instagram and Facebook watch via the already-known “make visible on Facebook” switch. It seems this move could inspire more video creators to create content specifically for IGTV specs, with the added bonus of boosting their reach by including Facebook Watch in the mix.

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Read more at TechCrunch

Facebook Stories gets Spotify music-sharing feature

Originally seen, used and loved on Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories is now the proud recipient of the Spotify music-sharing feature, which gives users the ability to share their fave tracks with their followers. (Because life is better with a soundtrack.) Here’s how: From Spotify, tap ‘share,’ then select Facebook Stories or News Feed. 🎶

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Read more at The Verge