Facebook unveils new Business Suite Features
Business brains, listen up! Facebook has added new tools to its Business Suite, the platform’s feature that helps you to manage your company across Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. Sure to be a welcome addition for social media managers is the new ability to create, publish and schedule Stories, meaning that you no longer have to post live. Soon, you will also be able to save posts in drafts, allowing you to keep your genius ideas for a later date. With time a precious commodity for most business busybodies, Facebook is working to maximise productivity, considering the ways in which the platform can assist growth.

TikTok funds public health series ‘VIRAL’
With #LearnOnTikTok becoming a major marketing point for the platform, TikTok is taking another step toward getting people clued up on all things public health, by financially backing the production of media publisher NowThis’s new series, ‘VIRAL.’ ‘VIRAL’ will feature interviews with public health experts and a live Q&A session focused on answering questions about the pandemic. The partnership marks TikTok’s first-ever funding of an episodic series from a publisher, with each episode being hosted by infectious disease clinical researcher Laurel Bristow. The series began airing last week and will run through to May 13th, giving you ample time to get the low down on all things COVID-19. 

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Facebook brings software subscriptions to the Oculus Quest
VR developers are getting another way to rake in the cash, with subscription pricing landing on Facebook’s Oculus Store. Developers will be allowed to add premium subscriptions to paid or free apps, enabling them to monetise content on Facebook’s Oculus Quest Headset. The platform’s recent Quest 2 headset has proved a hit, outselling every other Oculus headset sold to date. With this apparent popularity, subscriptions indicate there are enough Quest users out there to be able to profit from, with a few developers already debuting subscriptions for a number of different app types. It’s early days yet, but with the promise of profit, this move is sure to conjure up interest from developers worldwide.

Roblox to introduce content ratings for games
With games varying from tame Tetris to more graphic shoot-outs, it’s understandable that parents can get concerned about what their little ones are getting up to when it comes to gaming. Virtual gaming platform Roblox is working to put parents’ minds at ease by developing content ratings for games and easier-to-use parental controls. With half of Roblox’s audience aged under 13, the platform has at times struggled to contain sexually explicit content. Under the new system, parents would be given more information about what kids may find in a given game, allowing them to decide whether the type of content would be appropriate for their child. This is sure to be a welcome move, with Roblox demonstrating responsibility when it comes to graphic gaming.

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How social media has framed the pandemic
With feeds filled with photos of friends sharing their first pub drink of the year, it’s interesting to look at how our social media habits have changed during the pandemic. Whether it’s the photo dump or an increase in activist content, 2020 transformed our social behaviours, as well as our lives. Our Global Head of Cultural Insights, Lore Oxford, spoke to The Guardian about these changes, explaining “we didn’t see people post less, we saw people change what they were posting about. And sometimes that was posting about their darker days – Let’s not feel pressured to be baking bread, some of us are barely holding it together.’ You can read the full article here.

Clothes recycling island comes to Animal Crossing
When it comes to fashion, we all know that reuse and recycle is key to preventing harm to our planet. H&M have jumped on board this mission, enlisting actress Maisie Williams for its debut on Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The brand has created a sustainability-themed island designed to promote its recently launched garment recycling machine Looop. Players exploring the island will be able to recycle their game outfits into new ones at the Looop machine. The island will also provide information about recycling, allowing players to share their thoughts about circular fashion by leaving a note on the H&M Looop Island notice board. Fashion, gaming and sustainability, count me in!

Chichester University teams up with Twitch for esports degree
Move over maths and English, Chichester University has created the first degree in the UK to examine the impact of gaming through scientific study; an esports degree. First launched in 2019, the course will now be provided in partnership with Twitch, who are providing expert tuition from Twitch professionals and opportunities to stream across the world. The partnership will be embedded into the academic modules of the degree, giving students access to the gaming industry worldwide. Brb, just logging onto UCAS.

Ones to watch
Facebook is testing a video speed-dating app and is to introduce dynamic ads for streaming. Instagram is testing hiding Like counts on users' posts.