Cross-app communication introduced for Messenger and Instagram
Facebook will soon begin rolling out new functionality that will allow Instagram and Messenger users to communicate across apps, and will also bring a host of Messenger-inspired features to the Instagram inbox. The new messaging experience will offer users the ability to change their chat colour, react with any emoji, watch videos together, set messages to disappear and more. To support this move, Facebook has also added a new consumer-facing tool called 'Accounts Center', which gives users the ability to manage their connected experiences across Facebook-owned apps.

Pinterest upgrades shopping experiences
Pinterest has introduced new ad technology for UK Pinners and advertisers. It will enable consumers to make purchases within a home or fashion pin directly from a shop tab within search results or from within boards, while Lens camera visual searches will also allow ads within shoppable pins. The move comes as Pinterest has reported an increased demand for shopping on the platform, with the proportion of users visiting to make a purchase jumping to 50 per cent in the first half of the year.

Facebook extends Brand Collabs Manager to public groups
Facebook has announced that public groups will be added to its Brand Collabs Manager branded content tool, meaning that brands will now be able to connect with admins groups to help drive engagement. In return, Group admins will have the opportunity to earn money and support their work in managing their communities. To support this move, Facebook built a set of tools for group admins to create branded content, but they must disclose all content partnership to members, in line with the social network’s branded content policies.

Instagram prepares retailers for the holiday season
Instagram has released the Season for Shops, a complete guide for retailers covering how to create a digital storefront using Commerce Manager and use shopping tags, collections and shopping ads to showcase more of their offerings to their audiences and drive sales.

Twitch launches Soundtrack by Twitch to aid content creators 
Twitch has launched a new tool, Soundtrack by Twitch, that will allow creators on the platform to add licensed music within their streams. Creators will now be able to choose music from a set of stations and playlists curated by Twitch staff, by theme or genre, without having to worry about finding themselves muted.

LinkedIn expands its messaging service with video and more
As part of the ongoing roll out of its redesign, which includes the global introduction of Stories, LinkedIn has announced integrations with Zoom, BlueJeans and Microsoft Teams, a move which will bring video chat into its messaging service. Along with video options, the platform is also getting the ability to recall, delete and edit messages, respond with emoji, and tools that flag incendiary and other harassing content.

TikTok rolls out in-app 2020 Elections Guide
TikTok has begun rolling out its in-app 2020 Elections Guide to users in the US, which includes information about candidates at the federal, state and local levels. The National Association of Secretaries of State is also providing instructions on how to vote in every state, while information on voting as a person with disabilities is being provided by SignVote. The guide is available in dozens of other languages and it can be accessed either via TikTok’s Discover page or in election-related search results.

Apple puts a greater emphasis on diversity with new emoji release
Apple is already in the process of testing its iOS 14.2 in early beta, which includes a new set of emojis. Among the emojis included in this update are: a transgender flag; a smiling face with tear; pinched fingers; a Mx Claus, a gender-inclusive alternative to Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus; a woman wearing a tuxedo and a man wearing a veil; a 'Woman with Beard' and a gender-neutral 'Person with Beard'; an array of mixed-race, same-sex couples in a variety of skin tones; and an emoji summing up the modern mood, a 'Face with Spiral Eyes'.

Ones to watch
Discord has hit a lifetime high for downloads every day since September 5th, averaging 800,000 installs a day, to which the platform credits the surprise success of InnerSloth’s new game, Among Us.