Tuesday Tune-Up #489

Nick Carolan

TikTok extends video length
TikTok is extending its one minute video limit to three minutes, a significant increase that’s bound to change the way people use and engage with the app. The platform has been testing the longer video length with creators around the world and the feature will be made available to all users over the coming weeks, giving creators more flexibility whilst filming and limiting the need for multi-part posts.

Instagram doubles down on video
Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, has shared an insight into the future of Instagram, saying that it is no longer a “photo-sharing” app. Mosseri said that the platform is now focusing on four key areas: creators, videos, shopping, and messaging, and that as part of its focus on video, Instagram will start to experiment with recommendations and new formats of video.

“Let’s be honest, there’s some really serious competition right now – TikTok is huge, YouTube is even bigger, and there’s lots of other upstarts as well,” Mosseri said. “So people are looking to Instagram to be entertained, there’s stiff competition. There’s more to do and we have to embrace that. And that means change.”

Twitch Watch Parties come to iOS and Android
Parties are coming to your devices, with Twitch Watch Parties now available on iOS and Android. The feature, which lets streamers host viewing parties for movies and TV shows on Amazon Prime, first launched on desktop back in September. Watch Parties have gained popularity thanks to the pandemic, but you have to have Amazon Prime in order to join in on the fun.

Snapchat adds new ad control options
Sick of seeing the same ad every two minutes? Snapchat is making it easier for users to control the ads that they see with a series of new tools and resources. Users can now opt out of seeing content that may be sensitive to them, such as alcohol or gambling. If an ad causes particular offence, the platform has added the ability for people to report them, with the Snapchat team deciding what action to take next.

Twitter tests ‘Close Friends’ feature
Twitter has shared three early design concepts for new features it’s considering adding to its service. The first, “Trusted Friends”, would let users limit the audience for select tweets to a smaller circle of close friends, while “Facets” could let you categorize your tweets when you send them. Finally, the service is also considering letting users list certain phrases that they’d rather not see in their replies.

Threads might be coming to Facebook
Facebook is testing a new feature that gives public figures on Facebook the ability to thread related posts so fans can more follow updates over time. Facebook hasn’t confirmed if or when the test would roll out more broadly to other public figures on its platform or if it would later expand to other Page categories, like Businesses or Facebook Groups.

Pinterest bans weight loss ads
With guidance from the National Eating Disorders Association, Pinterest is updating its ad policies to ‘prohibit all ads with weight loss language and imagery.’ This includes ads that promote appetite suppressants, weight loss surgeries and any imagery that idealises or denigrates certain body types. Speaking of the change, Pinterest explained how they’re “empowering Pinners to plan for a summer and beyond without weight loss ads, so they can focus on what matters most.” It follows the introduction of legislation in Norway which makes it illegal for influencers to share retouched photos of their body’s size, shape or skin.

Pinterest Bans Weight-Loss Ads 07/02/2021

Telegram adds group video calling
It’s been a long time coming, but Telegram has finally added group video calling to its array of features. Teased since April 2020, group video calling is now available on the platform’s desktop and mobile apps. Unlike audio calls, which can feature an unlimited number of people, video chats are restricted to 30 participants. However, this limit is likely to increase in the coming months.

Twitter dabbles with NFTs
Last week, Twitter offered users a chance to win one of seven free NFTs minted on Rarible in editions of 20, making for 140 NFTs in total. The NFTs were offered to those who replied to a post from the company’s main account, and could signal Twitter’s plans to invest in making NFTs more a part of its platform in the future.

The Tuesday Tune-Up features additional reporting by Hannah Currey.