Facebook threatens to block Australians from sharing news over ACCC media laws
Facebook has threatened to block Australians from sharing news content if the ACCC's landmark proposal to make digital platforms pay for news content becomes law.

The managing director of Facebook Australia & New Zealand, Will Easton, said in a blog post on Tuesday that "Facebook products and services in Australia that allow family and friends to connect will not be impacted by this decision" and neither will the sharing of news by Facebook users outside of Australia. The draft media bargaining code has been backed by all the major Australian media companies as a way to offset the damage caused by the loss of advertising revenue to Facebook and Google.

"This is not our first choice – it is our last," continues Easton. "But it is the only way to protect against an outcome that defies logic and will hurt, not help, the long-term vibrancy of Australia’s news and media sector [...] Instead, we are left with a choice of either removing news entirely or accepting a system that lets publishers charge us for as much content as they want at a price with no clear limits. Unfortunately, no business can operate that way."

Facebook prepares to expand Facebook News outside the US (and Australia)
Elsewhere in the world, Facebook is planning to bring Facebook News, its dedicated tab for curated news content, to the UK, Germany, France, India and Brazil “within the next six months to a year” - as part of an expansion beyond the US. Publishers in each of these regions will need to register as news pages and follow the company’s publisher guidelines and community standards, which means they will be forbidden from posting misinformation.

In the Facebook blog post responding to the proposed ACCC legislation, Easton explained that, "We had also hoped to bring Facebook News to Australia, a feature on our platform exclusively for news, where we pay publishers for their content. Since it launched last year in the US, publishers we partner with have seen the benefit of additional traffic and new audiences." But instead, "these proposals were overlooked."

Facebook updates Messenger Rooms
Facebook is rolling out a number of new features aimed at making Messenger Rooms easier to both create, discover and further personalise. The new version of Messenger Rooms will now display the Rooms you’ve been invited to at the top of your Chats tab to make them easier to find. It will also make the ability to create a new Room more visible, by placing the option front and centre in the Chats tab, and a Share Rooms option will also make it easier to send a notification to a friend.

Ecommerce features expanded on Facebook and Instagram
Facebook has announced a number of new ecommerce features for both the main Facebook app and Instagram. They include a new section called Facebook Shop (currently being tested in the US) where users will be able to can find products from a variety of different businesses.

For Instagram, the company has also been testing a live shopping experience called Instagram Live Shopping, where businesses can show off products in a live video.

Facebook makes its content recommendation guidelines public
For the first time ever, Facebook has made public how its content recommendation guidelines work. The new document, available in Facebook’s Help Center and Instagram’s Help Center, details how both platforms' algorithms work to filter out content, accounts, Pages, Groups and Events from its recommendations.

TikTok creators will soon be able to sell items via the app
TikTok has confirmed that its creators will soon be able to sell merchandise they design and create directly to fans on the platform. The move will be made possible via an integration with commerce platform Teespring, which already works with a number of TikTok influencers, and is currently being tested with a group of 7,000 TikTok creators in the US. The full integration is set to roll out later this month.

First comes shopping, then comes gaming - allegedly.

TikTok reveals global user numbers
TikTok has revealed global growth milestones for the first time. The platform confirmed that, in August, it surpassed two billion global downloads and reported nearly 700 million monthly active users in July. The data was revealed in its lawsuit challenging the U.S. government over an effective ban that is set to take place next month.

Per CNBC, TikTok said it had about 55 million global users by January 2018. That number ballooned to more than 271 million by December 2018 and 507 million by December 2019. This month, TikTok surpassed 2 billion global downloads and reported nearly 700 million monthly active users in July.

Twitter helps users track quote tweets
Twitter is officially rolling out its new quote tweets counter, which lets users see every time a tweet has been retweeted with an additional comment. Quote tweets will now sit alongside the Like and Retweet counters underneath the content itself.

LinkedIn details new updates around user safety
LinkedIn has shared some upcoming changes to help ensure the safety of its members on the platform. According to LinkedIn, policies are being updated to reinforce that “hateful, harassing, inflammatory or racist content has absolutely no place on our platform", while AI tools will be implemented to help stop inappropriate or hateful content from being sent via private messages. As part of these updates, users will see a warning that enables them to view and report the content, or dismiss the warning and mark it as safe.

Burger King gets Twitch all kinds of wrong
Burger King upset audiences on Twitch last week by using the platform's donation feature to hijack streamers' feeds to promote its $5 value meal, without paying anything meaningful for its advertising. If you want to understand more about what went wrong here, and how brands can get platforms like Twitch right, check out our latest blog.

Ones to watch
Pinterest is testing the addition of more information to Product Pins, including new 'Popular' and 'Best seller' labels; Instagram is developing new tools that will allow creators to build Guides for tips and recommendations outside of mental health; and Spotify is working on Virtual Events, a new feature aimed at connecting artists with their fans through ticketed music events.

This edition of the Tuesday Tune-Up was made possible with additional reporting by Ryan Dubras. Image via WIRED.