Like counts return to Instagram and Facebook
After almost two years of trialling hidden 'like' counts in Australia, Instagram has announced the return of the feature. You can now opt-in to hide your like count on both Facebook and Instagram. You can either choose to hide all like counts on all posts in your feed, or decide on a per-post basis. Users can also decide whether they see like counts on other peoples' posts in their feed. Whilst some may find likes helpful to identify what’s currently trending or just as a way to boost their ego, others find it piles on the pressure. The new feature aims to please both of these audiences, giving greater choice to users. 

Applications open for Pinterest’s second Creator Fund Group
Pinterest has now opened up applications for the second round of its Creator Fund, which the platform introduced in April. Ten creators will be selected in the second cycle, with the chosen applicants undertaking a four-week workshop. This will feature hands-on training to help them succeed on Pinterest, receiving personalised consulting on boosting their Pinterest creative strategies, along with financial grants of $25,000 in cash and ad credits on the platforms. Following the first round, participants saw 2.9 times more Idea Pin impressions and 72% more monthly viewers than before taking part in the program.

Twitter pauses verification
Twitter has had to pause its verification program due to the volume of applications it has already received. The platform opened the program for applications on May 20th, with the new system meaning anyone can apply to receive the coveted blue check, not just the rich and famous. So it’s no wonder people flocked to Twitter to beg for a blue badge. Missed out? Don’t panic, the platform has said that they’ll be opening applications again soon.

Twitter prepares to release Twitter Blue
The rumours are true. Twitter has listed a new subscription service called 'Twitter Blue.' Details around a release date are pretty ambiguous at the moment, with the platform giving no further details on the feature's possible functionalities. Many suspect that the service could allow users to "undo" tweets. Watch this space.

Twitter tests tiered misinformation alerts
As part of its ongoing push to limit the spread of false and misleading content in the app, Twitter is testing a three-tiered labelling system that would alert users about the latest updates and info around topical subjects within tweets, while also providing links to authoritative resources on the same. Triggered by specific keywords, those labels are looking to be: 'Get The Latest', which would connect users with the latest reports from official sources on fast-evolving news topics; 'Stay Informed', which would apply as much to fast-evolving news as it would sustained stories, again linking-out to authoritative stories; and 'Misleading', which would flag tweets including questionable claims, and provide links, again, to official sources.

Instagram launches section for shopping product drops
Whether it’s trainers, tees or jewellery, drops are the best way to create a buzz around the launch of your latest product. This is something Instagram is tapping into, adding a new feature to help connect online shoppers to product drops. Drops will now have their own destination at the top of the Shop tab, where consumers can browse and shop all the latest product launches, as well as viewing upcoming drops. You can also sign up to receive reminders about products you’re interested in and buy from these launches directly through the app.

Nine Entertainment formalises deals with Google, Facebook
After months of negotiations and the introduction of landmark new media bargaining laws, Nine Entertainment Co has formalised deals with Google and Facebook for use of content on their platforms. “The deal with Facebook is for the supply of news video clips and access to digital news articles on Facebook news products,” a statement on the ASX said. “The 5-year agreement with Google includes the supply of news content (excluding video) for Google’s News Showcase and other products. Google will also expand its marketing initiatives across Nine’s platforms.”

Nine is the third major media company to strike a deal after News Corp Australia and and Seven West Media negotiated deals in February after the introduction of a framework that forces Google and Facebook to broker commercial deals with media companies for the value they gain from having news content on their platforms.

Ones to watch
Facebook Gaming is testing monetisation tools for creators who focus on video-on-demand content.

The Wednesday Wrap-Up features additional reporting by Hannah Currey.