Wednesday Wrap-Up #338


Facebook Marketplace expands into home services 
Last week, the social network made its first move into the home services market by launching a new feature to enable users in the US to browse Facebook Marketplace for thousands of home service professionals. The new feature will allow users to see professionals’ ratings, reviews, credentials and location, plus they’ll have the ability to request quotes directly through the app. Suppliers will be listed in a new Marketplace Services section within the Marketplace function, and all communications will take place over Messenger. This move is the latest in a series of updates as Facebook aims to position itself as a competitor to online marketplaces such as GumTree.

Snapchat updated SnapMaps to be a less creepy feature
The latest update of Snapchat’s location sharing feature SnapMaps is now 100% opt-in, removing the Ghost Mode feature that previously let users know where your friends were when they weren’t having fun with you. TechCrunch has confirmed with Snapchat that users are now able to share their location for up to eight hours and limits users to 1-to-1 location sharing via Send Location or Request Location – no more stalking your fave celebs .
Snapchat Location Sharing

Instagram lets users mute their friends
What do your friend’s newborn baby, Mum’s herb garden, and ex’s overdue mission toward self improvement have in common? You can now mute them all on Instagram!  The platform is finally rolling out one of its most long-overdue features, Mute, which will allow users to stop friends and people they follow from appearing in their feed. Users who choose to mute people will still be able to view their profile and can unmute them at any time. This option offers a nicer alternative to unfollowing a close friend or family member who won’t stop posting about their holiday and how much they miss they miss it.

New A.I. scans social media to predict when protests are about to turn violent
University of Southern California (USC) psychologists and computer scientists have created an artificial intelligence algorithm to scan social posts and correlate content with potential violence during protests. The A.I. has been created to help minimise violence and enable emergency services to create strategies that promote peaceful protests. By tracking over 18 million Tweets from the 2015 Baltimore protests, USC researchers we able to pick up on language that was deemed hostile and found a significant correlation of hostile Tweets and arrest rates.

Airbnb launches Travel Stories to help users share their adventures 
Airbnb has quietly jumped on the Stories bandwagon with the launch of Travel Stories, the new feature will enable users to create and share video sequences of their adventures via the site. The brand recently sent out an invitation of the beta app to select users. The new feature will only be available on the latest version of the Airbnb iPhone app, under the Travel Stories tab on the user’s profile, and video clips will be limited to 10 seconds each. Would-be travelers will be able to view other guests’ Stories either via the Airbnb site or the Travel Stories section of the app.

Facebook launches new tools for Group admins
Facebook has rolled out a wave of new features for one of its most popular functions, Groups (which boasts more than 1.4 billion monthly users) as it aims to make it easier for admins to manage their communities. The new updates include a dedicated online education portal, more tools to manage group posts, enhanced community moderation tools, and “customer support with answers and help provided by a real person.” The new customer service offering, which is currently only available to some English and Spanish speaking users, will enable admins to send issues to Facebook and get a response within one business day. The customer service tool will also aim to increase dialogue between the platform and admins, helping to crowdsource new ideas for future tools and updates.

StumbleUpon announces plans to close down
Social content discovery platform, StumbleUpon has announced it will close down “over the next couple of months”. It was one of the earliest social content-sharing platforms, having been used by around 40 million people since its creation in 2001. Fans of the site will have until 30th June to transfer their content to other channels or devices. The announcement follows the closure of Klout earlier this month.

This post courtesy of @ZebSmith