Wednesday Wrap-Up #488

Nick Carolan

Facebook adds Shops to WhatsApp
Shops are coming to WhatsApp, helping brands to reach more people. This feature has been added alongside Shops Ads and Instagram Visual Search. Shops Ads aims to provide a more individualised shopping experience based on a person’s shopping habits. So, for example, if you’re trying to find a designer jacket for a fraction of the price, an AI-based Visual Search feature can help you find a more affordable version. Shops on WhatsApp is now available, but you’ll have to wait a little longer before you can start using Visual Search.

Facebook’s newsletter platform Bulletin is now fully operational
Mark Zuckerberg has officially launched Facebook’s next big bet: Bulletin, a newsletter subscription platform. Built on a separate platform from Facebook, Bulletin aims to “[enable] creators to grow their audience in ways that are not exclusively dependent on the Facebook platform.” However, the platform does lean on Facebook Pay for premium subscriptions and other features like audio live chats.

Instagram trials ‘Swipe Up’ Story links for all
Instagram has revealed that the ‘swipe up’ Instagram Story option is no longer limited to those with thousands of followers or blue tick verification. Everyone will have the ability to link from a story, though it will follow a slightly different format. Instead of the existing ‘Swipe Up’ mechanic, you’ll be able to add a sticker that your mates can tap.

Instagram’s desktop app tests image and video uploading
Instagram has launched its first round of testing for video and image upload on desktop for some users. A lucky few are now able to see a “+” icon in the top bar of the app’s desktop platform. When opened this allows users to upload videos and images straight into the app. From there, you’ve got all the same tools available to you as you would from the mobile app, minus Reels and Stories – those are still exclusive to the mobile app.

Snapchat strikes deal with Universal Music Group
More music is coming to Snapchat. The platform has struck a multi-year deal with Universal Music Group to bring major artists to the app. Users can now search for music from artists like Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and The Bee Gees, and include them in their content. This move is sure to increase the popularity of the platform’s Spotlight feature when it comes to competing against rivals like TikTok, which is known for its vast music catalogue.

Twitter unveils Super Follows and Ticketed Spaces
Twitter is helping its users turn their content into cash by opening applications for Super Follows and Ticketed Spaces. Super Follows allow users to generate monthly revenue by offering paywalled content to their followers. Ticketed Spaces are an exciting addition to the platform’s Clubhouse competitor, with creators able to set ticket prices. You can also limit how many tickets are sold, allowing creators to host more exclusive events. It’s a bold move from Twitter, offering a feature not currently available on other competing platforms.

TikTok brings Pride month to a close with global event
As June nears its end, we say goodbye to another Pride month. TikTok bid farewell with a live global event, TikTok Pride Finale, featuring 12 hours of content, including makeup tutorials, musician performances and Q&A sessions. Singer Kesha performed three of her hits, as did Tinashe, a vocal supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. The platform also revealed that the #lgbt hashtag had over 120 billion views.

YouTube launches Olympics originals
With just weeks until the Olympic games kick off in Tokyo, YouTube has launched four originals. The nonfiction films feature American gymnast Gabby Douglas and the Try Guys, a comedy foursome. There is ‘Strive’, a six-part docuseries hosted by Gabby Douglas, ‘How To Olympics,’ an eight-episode series that gives viewers an insight into select Olympic events, ‘World Debut,’ a feature-length film that tracks the Olympic journey and ‘Break the Record,’ a UK series in which kids interrogate some of the most extraordinary Guinness World Records title holders.

YouTube Olympics originals - How to

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