Tuesday Tune-Up #422

Nick Carolan

WhatsApp hits two billion users globally
Big numbers from the dark side – Facebook-owned dark social app WhatsApp revealed last week that it now has two billion users globally. Along with the announcement, WhatsApp also launched a new privacy website. It aims to inform users about all the sexy stuff, from end-to-end encryption to two-factor authentication, and the other privacy features and settings available.

As our Digital 2020 Report shows, WhatsApp (green) is the most active messaging platform for a large portion of the world, though Facebook Messenger (blue) rules for the US, Australia and more.

Digital Report 2020: Australia’s social media use is growing
Drum roll, please. Our annual 2020 Australian Digital Report report is out. Take a look at the results and dive deep into the analysis to gain a comprehensive insight into Australia’s social landscape, like the fact that one in three minutes online are spent on social, or that Australian brands spent a total of $9.4 billion on digital ads in 2019, up 7.1% on the previous year. The latter factoid is the subject of a deep dive on AdNews today, which you can explore here.

Facebook introduces Hobbi, Pinterest’s share price falls
Look out Pinterest, Facebook is coming for you! Facebook has announced the latest in its group of experimental projects with the launch of Hobbi, a photo and video sharing app designed for documenting personal projects and hobbies. The new app is currently available on iOS in the US, Columbia, Belgium, Spain, and the Ukraine. While Hobbi doesn’t yet have much of a social component, its likeness to Pinterest did cause the discovery platform’s share price to drop more than 4 per cent in after-hours trading when the news broke on Thursday. Ouch.

YouTube tests ‘viewer applause’ to help creators monetise content 
YouTube is currently running an invitation-only beta test of a new feature aimed at helping content creators earn more cash. The new feature, officially known as Viewer Applause, allows fans to purchase a clapping animation that appears over the video (privately to the buyer) they’re choosing to support. The feature is currently only available on desktop in Australia, Brazil, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, and the United States.

Positive vibes only please: TikTok shares ‘safety tips’
TikTok is on a mission to educate their users on privacy and safety on the platform. The social disruptor updated its community guidelines to prevent the spread of fake news and spell out their policy on appropriate behaviour last month. Now, the platform has launched a new account, @TikTokTips, which shares tips on user safety and wellbeing.

Could Snapchat be getting a facelift?
Snapchat doesn’t have the most intuitive UX, but that could be about to change with a redesign that would organise the app into five sections rather than the current three. Check out the potential new look here

This edition of the Tune-Up was prepared by Anita Brabham, with additional reporting by Ryan Dubras.