Facebook Messenger's 'unsend' feature is coming soon
Text regret is a sad reality in the digital age. Facebook Messenger is the latest platform to recognise this by allowing a 10-minute window in which users can delete sent messages. It's a little stingy compared to WhatsApp, which gives you a full hour, but it's better than nothing I suppose. Thanks, Facebook.
Facebook adds YouTube to Portal
Facebook has been pimping its Portal hardware, and not just with its own products. The tech, which already comes with Amazon Alexa, now also has YouTube as part of the Portal app platform. Portal was previously limited to videos from Facebook Watch, Food Network or Newsy, so this gives its users a lot more video bang for their buck.
Facebook launches viral video app Lasso
You're about to see a lot more viral videos if Facebook has its way and, let's face it, it usually does. The social media giant has now released Lasso, an app of 'viral clips' that - according to Mashable - is a blatant rip off of TikTok. The move is part of Facebook's tireless attempts to appeal to teens, given the steady decline in usage amongst that audience.
TikTok increases user base and downloads
Not to be intimidated by the Facebook juggernaut, research has shown that video platform TikTok boosted its user base by 30% to more than 130 million viewers since its owner Bytedance merged with Musical.ly in early August. With all these new users comes more downloads, which increased 20% globally and 25% in the US from the previous three months. All this means that TikTok has overtaken the big guns - YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook - in a ranking of U.S. downloads from Apple's App Store and Google Play, although its engagement rates are considerably lower. Time will tell if Facebook's Lasso will make a dent in TikTok's numbers. Ke$ha's music really has influenced the world for good.
Instagram gets political with 'I Voted' sticker in Stories
One of social media's many triumphs in recent years has been galvanising people to vote. So it was great to see that an 'I Voted' sticker on Instagram Stories was used by over 1,000 people per minute at its peak during the US midterm elections. The sticker went even further than allowing users to share that they had cast their ballot - it also helped others find their polling place through a link to 'Get to the Polls'. Other platforms got in on the voting action too - Snapchat helped register over 400,000 voters and Facebook also added "I Voted" stickers. Now, if only you could vote within the app - Democracy at its laziest!
YouTube launches tools to track viewing time
We've all been down the YouTube rabbit hole, right? Now the platform's owner, Google, is helping tackle the growing problem of screen time addiction with a new feature that will track how much time you spend watching YouTube videos. When the feature launches, you'll be able to check out your stats and see how they compare to the average person in your account's 'Time Watched' section. It's part of Google's push to help internet users take charge of their digital wellbeing.
YouTube adds more transparency measures
In another move towards greater transparency, YouTube will put notices below news clips that state if the video was produced using public or government funds. The notices will mainly appear on videos produced and shared by public broadcasters, such as the BBC, Al Jazeera and Russia Today. A link to Wikipedia will also be provided when the notices are used, so anyone who's curious can find out more about each broadcaster.
Pinterest's friend feed gets all Instagrammy
Pinterest's friend feed is getting a redesign...but will look a lot like Instagram. The feed, where you can follow posts from other users, will now show a single column of posts instead of tiled images. It will also have horizontal rows of Pinterest-recommended accounts that you can follow. You'll still be able to tap on a red “Save” button to save an image to a board, or tap on the image directly to be linked out to a piece of content.
LinkedIn updates encourage diverse workplaces
LinkedIn is doing its bit to promote more diverse workplaces with the launch of new gender diversity insights across its talent products. The tools have been designed to help businesses find, hire and develop more diverse teams. They include the addition of more gender information and data into both Talent Pool reports and the platform's flagship Recruiter search tool, as well as a number of courses on diversity to help hiring managers and leaders tackle unconscious bias.
LinkedIn plans Events tool for connecting IRL
As the leading online networking platform, a move into helping people connect IRL makes sense for LinkedIn. The platform has announced that it’s starting to test a new events tool with a select group of users in San Francisco and New York City and plans to roll out the feature globally in the next few months. It will work a lot like Facebook's events offering - users will be able to see who else is attending, invite other people, and chat with other users in the event page feed.