Wednesday Wrap-Up #449
Instagram launches QR codes globally
Following the feature’s initial launch in Japan last year, Instagram is now making QR codes available to all users globally. Scannable via all supporting third-party camera apps, the idea is that businesses will be able to print individual QR code and have customers scan it to open their account.
Instagram brings suggested posts to your feed
Instagram is adding ‘suggested posts’ to your news feed. These posts, made up from accounts you don’t follow, will show up after you’ve reached the end of your feed and will give you the option to keep scrolling with Instagram’s suggestions. However, unlike Explore, the suggested posts will be related to the content that people already follow, instead of pointing users to discover new content.
Facebook Portal adds more teleconferencing apps
Facebook has announced that its smart display device, Portal From Facebook, will be getting apps from four of the top teleconferencing companies – including BlueJeans and Zoom, in addition to Workplace From Facebook. While the apps won’t be coordinated to arrive on the same day, they will be made available at some point in September across the Portal Mini, standard Portal, and Portal+. Portal TV support will be coming later.
Facebook calls time on its classic design
After it was first announced at Facebook’s F8 2019 conference last May, the platform’s extensive redesign of its desktop experience is due to become the only option, sometime over the next month. Changes in the new layout will include dark mode, larger fonts, a more simplified layout, and easier access to sections – such as events, Facebook Watch, Groups, and Stories.
Oculus requires Facebook account log-in
Starting from October, anyone wishing to use an Oculus device will be asked to login with a Facebook account for the first time in the company’s history. Existing Oculus users will be given the option of choosing to login with Facebook and merging their Oculus and Facebook accounts, or continue using their Oculus accounts until January 1st, 2023. But while users may be able to continue with Oculus until 2023, they won’t be able to take advantage of the device’s full functionality without a Facebook account.
TikTok sets the record straight with new hub and Twitter account
TikTok has launched its own online informational hub, tiktokus.info, and a new Twitter account to give it a dedicated platform to share statements, news coverage, expert opinions, FAQs and other resources in a single destination. The move comes in light of growing international scrutiny and building pressure from the Trump Administration.
Facebook helps users search Black and minority owned-businesses
Facebook has announced that it is adding a new feature that will make it easier for users to find Black-owned businesses on its platform. Soon, Black-owned business will have the option to self-identify as such on their Facebook Page, which will allow them to appear in the ‘Black-owned Businesses’ subsection on the platform’s ‘Business Nearby’ tab. Other minority-owned businesses will also be given the option to identify as part of their listings.
TikTok outlines new approach to tackle hate speech on its platform
TikTok’s US head of safety, Eric Han has shared a new five-part plan aimed at reducing the spread of hate speech on its platform. These five areas include: evolving the platform’s hate speech policy; increasing cultural awareness in content moderation; and investing in its teams and partnerships, such as those in its Content Advisory Council.
Google fires back at proposed ACCC legislation
Google has rejected aspects of a proposed code of conduct drafted by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which would force the tech giant to make payments to media companies for search engine traffic. The code – which would apply to both Google and Facebook – would also provide media companies with information on changes that might affect their traffic, such as alterations to news rankings or the search algorithm, as well as requiring Google to share information on news users with the media companies.
Under the code, Google and news media companies have three months to negotiate a payment amount before it goes to arbitration. Read more here.
Ones to watch
TikTok has confirmed that it will file a lawsuit against the Trump administration over the executive order demanding its parent company, ByteDance divest its TikTok operations in the US. While Snapchat has confirmed that it is testing new ways for its users to share Our Stories, Publisher Stories, Snap Originals and Shows via sharable links.
This edition of the Wednesday Wrap-Up was prepared by Oliver Ryan, with additional reporting by Ryan Dubras.