Tuesday Tune-Up #443

Nick Carolan

TikTok pulls out of Hong Kong market
TikTok has confirmed that it will shortly cease operations in Hong Kong, following the recent passage of China’s broad new national security law for Hong Kong, enabling authorities to limit political dissent. Facebook, Google, Twitter, Telegram and WhatsApp have also temporarily halted all government data requests from Hong Kong while they review the new law and its sweeping legal implications.

WhatsApp for Business announces a number of new features 
WhatsApp for Business has unveiled its latest tools aimed at helping organisations to better connect with customers. Among these updates is a new QR codes feature, aimed at helping customers easily connect with businesses on the platform, and a series of Stickers to kick off the platform’s ‘We’re open for business’ campaign.

WhatsApp has also made it possible for businesses to start sharing WhatsApp-based catalogues as links outside of the platform itself. The announcement comes as WhatsApp for Business reaches a new major milestone of 50 million monthly active users, according to parent company Facebook.

Instagram swaps ‘Activity’ tab for ‘Shop’ in new global test
Instagram has confirmed it is running a small global test of its new Shop tab, first announced in May. In this version of Instagram Shop, users will be able to filter items by brands they follow or by category, such as Beauty, Home, and Travel. The Activity tab won’t disappear – for those in the test, the tab will now be accessible either at the top right of the Feed or by going to your profile and clicking the usual heart icon. Instagram states they will use the results of the test to determine how they roll out Shop further down the road. 

Facebooks adds monetisation options for video creators 
Facebook rolled out several updates last week aimed at enabling creators to better monetize their video content on its platform. The new features include making its Fan Subscriptions and Stars options available to more creators. Along with the improved metrics for video insights in Creator Studio, including Hourly Metrics and Comment Insights, creators will also now get access to mid-roll ads for Facebook Live content and image and post-roll ads for videos of 60 seconds to 180 seconds.

Instagram opens its pinned comments feature to everyone 
Instagram has officially opened up the rollout of the pinned comments feature, following initial testing. The platform is now allowing users to pin up to three comments to the top of your in-feed post, allowing users to better manage the conversation. 

LinkedIn aims to help people get back into work with digital skills
In a move to aid job-seekers during this crisis, LinkedIn has determined the 10 jobs that are currently in demand and well positioned to grow, making the LinkedIn learning paths available to everyone free of charge until the end of March 2021. The move comes as part of the platform’s wider commitment to bring digital skills to 25 million people by year-end. 

The platform has also recently rolled out new features to help members find work via its community. The rollout includes a new Open to Work feature that enables members to let others know they are looking for employment.

Byte is seeing a surge in downloads amid debate of TikTok’s future
Byte, the second coming of Vine, has seen a massive surge in downloads in the US, even reaching the top spot on the App Store charts on Thursday last week. This surge comes amid concerns from US authorities who are considering a ban on TikTok due to concerns that users of the app were putting ‘private information in the hands of the Chinese’. Will Byte be the new TikTok? Watch this space. 

Ones to watch
Twitter is hiring people to build a subscription based platform, whilst Facebook expands Instagram Reels, a feature that allows users to create short-form videos to audio, among TikTok bans in India. 

This edition of the Tuesday Tune-Up was prepared by Chana Perlgut, with additional reporting by Ryan Dubras.