Javier de Guzman, 15 Jun 2020

The week in social: Facebook News, Snapchat Minis and Pinterest Stories

Facebook News now available in the US

Facebook News, the social media giant’s dedicated section for journalism, launched for all users in the US this week. First introduced in 2019 through a limited test, Facebook News aims to attract publishers with the promise of increased distribution. With all of Facebook’s shortcomings in the way it handled news in the past, such as their role in the spread of fake news and propaganda, the company went with a different approach this time around.

Publishers have to qualify to be included in Facebook News, which means serving a sufficiently large audience and following integrity standards. Although Facebook doesn’t explicitly detail their determinations on integrity, they mention that they look at things like misinformation as identified by third-party fact-checkers, clickbait, or the use of scraped content .An algorithm will then personalize article selection, and while users will be able to react and share articles, they cannot comment.

Facebook News is now live on mobile, with a desktop version in the works.

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Read more at Facebook News

Business inbox arrives on Facebook Messenger

In an effort to simplify the way companies communicate with their customers, Facebook launched a new inbox in Messenger this week, allowing business owners to respond to queries from the same app they use to message family and friends.

In a study conducted by Facebook, the company found that over 90 percent of business admins use the Messenger app to chat with loved ones, so it was a logical move to have them communicate with their customers via the same app. This comes as a relief to many business owners, as the previous process of jumping back and forth between apps left many users frustrated.

The business inbox is now available on iOS, and will arrive on Android in the next few weeks.

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Read more at Messenger News

Pinterest testing Story Pins

Digital pinboard and social media site Pinterest is the latest platform to join the Stories craze, taking a page from Snapchat, Instagram, and even YouTube.

This new tool is called Story Pins, allowing users to share their ideas using text, images, videos, or links in a Stories-like format. Unlike other Stories platforms, where the focus is often on the user’s life, Pinterest’s Story Pins will be focused on creating clickable content designed for sharing ideas.

Pinterest confirmed that a version of Story Pins is being tested around the US, with further updates arriving though in the coming months.

Read more at TechCrunch

Introducing Snapchat Minis

Multimedia messaging app Snapchat recently revealed its latest effort to entice third-party developers to the app with Minis.

Snap Minis are lightweight third-party programs that are easily accessible inside the app’s Chat section, located in the keyboard tab on the user’s chat screen. When a user taps one of them, the Mini goes full-screen and can offer options such as ordering movie tickets, comparing class schedules, or going through a guided meditation.

This new feature will be rolled out next month, with the likes of Coachella, Headspace, and Movie Tickets by Atom confirmed to be releasing Minis.

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Read more at Snap Inc.