Wednesday Wrap-Up #494

Nick Carolan

WhatsApp launches ‘view once’ disappearing photos and videos
WhatsApp has entered the world of disappearing images and videos, launching its ‘view once’ feature which deletes photos or videos from your chat after they’ve been opened by the recipient. If you’d like your content to be more permanent, you can still send images and videos as normal but to make them disappear, you can tap the ‘1’ button to the left of the send button. WhatsApp believes this will be useful for those sending sensitive information, such as WiFi passwords.

Twitter Spaces now lets you invite co-hosts
There’s more chances to take control in Twitter Spaces, with the platform adding the ability to allow hosts to invite co-hosts. Twitter’s audio feature will allow one main host, two additional co-hosts and up to ten speakers. This will make the task of moderation much more manageable, with co-hosts able to vet speaker requests and kick anyone unruly out of a Space. With Fleets a thing of the past, Twitter is placing its efforts into Spaces, with the popularity of audio still going strong.

Twitter algorithm proven to show bias toward lighter, slimmer, younger faces
An investigation by a graduate student at Switzerland’s EFPL university has proven that Twitter’s image cropping algorithm prefers younger, slimmer faces with lighter skin. After Twitter formally apologised for the issue last year after reports of racial and gender bias, it launched the algorithmic harms bug bounty for researchers who could demonstrate harmful outcomes of the company’s image cropping algorithm. The student proved the bias by first artificially generating faces with varying features, and then running them through Twitter’s cropping algorithm to see which the software focused on. He was paid $3,500 for his troubles.

YouTube will default video uploads to private for users under 18
YouTube will start adjusting the default upload setting to the most private option available for users ages 13-17. Content will only be seen by the user and specific other individuals they choose to share the videos with as part of the new default setting, which parent company Google has implemented as part of a raft of new features responding to critics urging the platform to improve child safety in its services.

YouTube creators can now get $10,000 per month for making Shorts
Fancy $10,000 a month? YouTube is now coughing up the cash to creators who make popular videos on its short-form video feature, Shorts. However, payouts aren’t guaranteed. They’re dependent on just how many people are making and watching Shorts each month, and where each creator’s audience is located. You’ll also have to ensure that your content is original- any re-uploads from other platforms like TikTok or Snapchat will not qualify for cash. Payments are available in ten regions, including the US and the UK, but YouTube is planning on expanding that list in the future.

Three screenshots showing the interface of YouTube Shorts in beta. One shows a video, another shows a carousel of videos on the YouTube app’s main screen, and the third shows a grid of videos using the same sound.

Instagram expands ad options in Shop
Instagram is testing single image and carousel ad formats as part of its expansion of its Shop tab’s capabilities. Select U.S.-based advertisers will receive a test of the new mobile-only format ahead of an expansion to other markets in the months to come. Like Instagram’s other advertising products, ads in Instagram Shop will launch with an auction-based model.

TikTok is testing a Stories feature
It was only a matter of time before TikTok took on Stories, with the platform confirming that they are testing a feature called ‘TikTok Stories.’ The feature will live in a newly added sidebar, where you’ll be able to see stories posted by accounts that you follow for 24 hours before they are automatically deleted. TikTok has described the addition as a ‘new way for users to interact with fans,’ yet details on a full rollout haven’t been released yet.

Why Avatar style is the next fashion frontier
Avatars have moved beyond the generic. They allow a user to create a fantastical representation of their personal style – sometimes reflecting what they look like, more often what they aspire to look like. This makes them extremely relevant for brands and influencers connected to the fashion industry. Senior Creative Technologist Sam Cox, took a look at what fashion brands need to know about the digital figures that are growing in importance for a large segment of consumers, in our blog. 

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