Wednesday Wrap-Up #496

Nick Carolan

Instagram swaps ‘Swipe Up’ for link stickers
Instagram is planning to retire its ‘Swipe up’ feature on Instagram Stories, which allows people to visit external webpages, starting August 30th. Instead of the swipe-up link, Instagram says people will be able to use link stickers, which are tappable stickers that take people to external websites. The move is being made to “streamline the stories creation experience” and offer more “creative control,” given that uses can format the look of stickers. It follows the introduction of a test of the stickers in June, which gave select users the chance to add links to their content and not just those with ‘Swipe up’ privileges (previously, users had to be verified or have at least 10,000 followers to gain access to the feature).

TikTok tests AR filter development access for creators
TikTok is testing an experimental AR developer initiative that would let creators build augmented reality effects. TikTok Effect Studio is currently in private beta and would encourage developers to build new camera effects in the same way that Snap and Facebook’s Spark AR encourage the developer community to create content users want to take advantage of on the app.

Snapchat launches Snapchat Trends
Snapchat Trends have landed! Trends spotlights the most popular keywords being shared within the Snapchat community via both public Stories and My Stories. The homepage highlights the top terms organically trending for the past week and shares examples of public Snaps related to those terms. Users can enter any keyword, moment, product or topic into the search bar on the Trends page, as well as combine up to four additional keywords in order to compare their conversation volume relative to one another. This is likely to be a useful tool for businesses who want to get in on trending topics. 

Facebook unveils most popular posts
A new report has been released by Facebook that reveals the most popular posts on the platform. The new ‘widely viewed content reports’ will come out quarterly, reflecting the most viewed top News Feed posts every three months. According to the data, 87% of posts that people viewed in the US during Q2 of this year didn’t include an outside link, and YouTube is the top domain in terms of ‘content viewers’. The reports are currently only focused on the US, but give an interesting indication of user habits and engagement.

Pinterest is adding search filters for different hair textures
Pinterest is making it easier to find inspiration that is specific to your hair texture with a new search tool. When you search for hairstyles, new filter options for coily, curvy, wavy, and straight textures will pop up, as well as options for shaved/bald styles. Pinterest says that the filters have been created with all hair types in mind. The feature uses ‘computer vision-powered object detection’ to determine which hair types are showing hairstyle pins. Time to get styling. 

Screenshot of a Pinterest search for “summer hairstyles” showing filter options for protective, coily, curly, wavy, straight, and shave/ bald. Protective is selected, showing various pins of people with braids and twists.

Twitter is making it easier for other apps to point to Spaces
Twitter is adding more support to allow developers to share information about Spaces more easily outside of the app. The platform has updated its API v2, allowing developers to look up live or scheduled Spaces using criteria like Spaces ID, user ID, or keyword. You’ll still only be able to attend a Space on Twitter, but this update points to future opportunities for the app to expand listening abilities on other platforms. Watch this space. 

The Facebook family gears up for the Paralympic Games
Facebook has teamed up with the International Paralympics Committee on initiatives across its family of applications. A Paralympics hub will be accessible on Facebook and will include highlights from official broadcast partners, as well as a Paralympic Games quiz. There’ll also be an AR effect available on the Paralympics Instagram, which allows users to mirror the movement of the official Paralympics mascot, Someity. There’s also an immersive WebXR visual and spatial audio experience and plenty of other features that are bound to get you in the Paralympics spirit.

Ones to watch
Twitter tests putting users’ Revue newsletters on their profiles.

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