Facebook banks on blockchain
Last week, Facebook reorganised its entire leadership team in a move that led to the creation of a new department dedicated to tackling blockchain technology. The new team is headed up by David Marcus, who was former president of PayPal before moving to Facebook working on the dedicated Messenger app. The move has led to speculation that the social network might launch its own cryptocurrency, corroborated by testing of a direct payments feature that was quietly rolled out to some Instagram users earlier this month.
Facebook issues new policy for ads on social issues
The social network has released a new policy on social issues as part of ongoing efforts to clean up its ad network, which means it will now require authorisation for all advertisers who want to weigh in on national issues. The new policy includes a list of 20 issues (ranging from abortion, to guns and immigration) and currently only impacts those advertisers targeting U.S. users. However, Facebook is beginning to monitor advertising related to social issues outside of the US, too - recently blocking foreign spending on ads related to abortion in Ireland.
Facebook tests new features for livestreaming
Last week, Facebook announced that it is testing a Live Rewind feature for live broadcast videos on the platform. The update will enable users to jump back and forth to key moments in a broadcast without having to wait for the stream to end. While no launch date has been confirmed, Facebook plans to release the update globally in the future. In addition to the Live Rewind update, the platform will soon also allow Live broadcasts to be shared on multiple pages at the same time.
WhatsApp lets users play Facebook and Instagram videos in-app
In addition to being able to play YouTube videos within the app, WhatsApp users will now also be able to watch video content from Facebook and Instagram without leaving the platform. The new function is part of the latest iOS update released last week, which also added the ability to add and remove admin privileges from users within group chats. The update is currently rolling out across iOS users globally.
Instagram introduces interactive emoji slider poll for Stories
Instagramers looking for more than a 'yes or no' answer to their Story polls can now gain a wider range of responses from friends and followers with the new 'Emoji Slider' stickers for polls. To add a sticker to a poll, all users need to do is select the scale icon from the sticker tray, add a question and place it over their pic or video. To answer a friend's poll, simply drag the emoji left or right and release it when you're happy. The new feature is part of the Instagram version 44 update.
Last week, users discovered that Twitter has an option for an encrypted direct messages feature buried in its Android application package (APK). While it's currently not available to the public, if released the update could make the platform a more appealing choice for users to hold private conversations - potentially even placing it in direct competition with messaging platforms like WhatsApp.
Weibo reports a 111% increase in profits and adds 70m monthly users
As part of its 2018 Q1 statement, Chinese microblogging platform Weibo has reported a net profit of $99.1 million and an increased revenue of 76% compared to this time last year ($199.2 million to $349.9 million). The platform also reported a total of 411 million monthly active users, more than half of China’s internet population. Its average daily users also increased to 184 million. Weibo cites increased advertising spend for its revenue bump and expects Q2 revenue to reach up to $430 million.
This post courtesy of @BethWallach