Vincent Varney, 4 May 2020

The week in social: Reddit Chat Rooms, Facebook Boom, and LinkedIn Stories

Reddit launches (and immediately removes) chat rooms

It was a rollercoaster week for Reddit, with the platform introducing a feature called Start Chatting… before promptly removing it. Start Chatting functioned like a chat room, where Redditors could be matched with a small group of other users on any given Subreddit. However, it was swiftly rolled back due to its buggy implementation and the immediate uproar from moderators unhappy with their lack of consultation and inability to disable the feature on their Subreddits. Easy come, easy go…

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Read more on the Reddit blog

TikTok cracks two billion downloads

In case you need any more proof that TikTok is thriving, analysts have reported that TikTok has been downloaded a whopping two billion times. 315 million of these downloads happened during the first quarter of 2020, suggesting that social distancing initiatives around the world have fuelled interest in the app. Even more impressively, these numbers account for the App Store and Google Play but not app marketplaces in China, meaning the final count is even higher.

Read more at The Verge

Instagram introduces live donations

With an incredible number of people in need around the world, Instagram is helping users stream for a cause. The social network has added a donations service to Instagram Live, allowing creators to use their channel to raise awareness and funds for non-profit organizations. Much like a telethon, the money generated can be viewed in real-time, and anyone who participates will be able to use an “I Donated” sticker in their Stories for a limited time.

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Read more at the Instagram blog

Facebook is booming due to the pandemic

If you’ve been glued to Facebook, Instagram, or WhatsApp in recent weeks, you aren’t alone – Facebook services are seeing record user numbers, according to the company’s latest quarterly report. Three billion users have logged into a Facebook product in the past month, up from the usual 2.6 billion, and group video calls have surged 1,000 percent (!). Its advertising business, on the other hand, shrunk as companies slash their marketing budgets, and the company is predicting that the spike in engagement will ease once social distancing measures are relaxed.

Read more at TechCrunch

Even LinkedIn has Stories now

No social platform is safe from Stories, and LinkedIn is the latest to begin testing its own take on the ephemeral, vertical content format. Users of the mobile app in Brazil can now access Stories through scrolling a row at the top of their feed, and can adorn their photos and videos with text, stickers, and tags – in other words, it works exactly as Stories does everywhere else. There’s no word on when the feature will roll out globally, but hopefully it won’t be long before users can start sharing their #workgoals and posting memories from big nights in the office.

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Read more at Social Media Today