Instagram tests a new standalone messaging app called Direct
Instagram is testing a standalone app for private messaging called Direct, which if you install causes the inbox in the original Instagram app to disappear. It is available in just six countries so far: Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey and Uruguay. The rationale being that Instagram could never produce a 'best in class' messaging app when it is inside an app designed for broadcasting publicly. As well as this, Facebook is also testing a feature in Messenger which lets users import their contacts from Instagram. Confused yet 🙃?

Instagram introduces Story Highlights and Archive
Instagram has introduced two new features which makes its disappearing Stories, less ... disappear-y. Now after Stories expire, they will automatically be saved to an archive which handily doesn't take up room on your phone. As well as this you can now pin your 'highlights' to your profile page, so people can explore your best bits.

Did you know about Did You Know ...?

Facebook has rolled out a new feature called 'Did You Know?' which encourages people to answer questions about themselves which they can then share with their friends. Answers can be customised with background colours, patterns and photos, and once shared friends can chip in their thoughts on your answers too.

Facebook celebrates a year of Instant Games with new games and features
How time flies when you're gaming your little fingers off. Facebook is celebrating a year of Instant Games in Messenger by announcing that it'll be introducing Angry Birds to the platform in early 2018. As well as this you'll be able to live stream your playing to your friends (if you think that'll be interesting to them ...) and also start a video chat with your gaming buddies while you're playing. The first game this will be possible with is Words With Friends.

FBInstantGamesOneYearVideo from SocialTimes on Vimeo.

Pinterest launches a Facebook Messenger bot
Pinterest has launched a Facebook bot to power Pin searches, which means that any pin shared in Facebook Messenger will now automatically link to the Pinterest chat extension. The chat extension is meant to be used when brainstorming ideas with friends in group chat. The bot will suggest related ideas if users share a Pin and, according to Pinterest, over one million Pins are shared per week this way.

Snapchat and Coach partner to create Snapcode badges
Behold the latest accessory from Snapchat since Spectacles: badges. Consumers can get their hands on them by taking an online or in-store (in 20 Coach locations across the U.S.) quiz. When scanned, the users are taken to an online arcade game based on Coach's holiday video campaign. Also pinned onto the pins, is the hope that they could help Coach in another area - in-store visits. According to a Nielsen Buyer Insights study commissioned by Snap, Snapchatting households spend 39 percent more at retail stores than the national average and are more likely to try new products.