Nick Carolan

Facebook launches new COVID-19 Community Help hub
As part of their ongoing COVID-19 efforts, Facebook have expanded their Community Hub with a new feature. First launched in 2017, the Community Hub helps users who have faced man-made, accidental and natural disasters. Now, the new feature allows Facebook users to request or offer help to those impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, as well as to donate to non-profit fundraisers. It will launch first in the US, Australia, France, UK and, you guessed it, Canada. Keep your eyes peeled. 

Facebook releases several updates for video content on its platform
In non COVID-19 news, Facebook has announced a range of updates that aim to help video creators streamline process and boost discovery. This includes ways to store and promote videos on its platform, as well as changes to its playlists feature including a new option, called Series. The new video tab provides users with a central destination for a Page’s series and playlists. My take? This new layout suggests Facebook is emulating TikTok’s user experience, with endless video scrolling opportunities.

YouTube working on TikTok competitor called Shorts
On that note, YouTube is reportedly working on a competitor for TikTok called Shorts, which will allow people to upload brief videos into a feed inside the mobile app. Watch out TikTok, YouTube’s coming for you. 

Snapchat pre-empts clones, unveils new App Stories 
Snapchat recently launched Snapchat App Stories, allowing users to share their content in select partner apps, such as Tinder. Unlike on Snapchat itself, where content lasts for 24 hours, App Stories will default to a seven-day expiration. Prepare your Tinder Stories carefully, people. 

Snapchat reports engagement records during coronavirus pandemic
Snapchat has recently noted that engagement figures have compounded amid the current pandemic. The app reached an all-time high in the number of Snaps sent, Snap Games and time spent watching Shows, beating the platform’s previous peaks during Christmas and other major holidays. Time spent on video and voice calling via the app was up more than 50% in late March (compared to late February), whilst time spent in AR lenses was up more than 25%. 

Tumblr provides the necessary escape for users during the pandemic
If you’ve forgotten about the quasi-infamous social platform, then now is a good time to remember what you once used to use it for. Tumblr has launched an official new blog, Cozy.Tumblr.com, which is full of your favourite art, memes, photography and loads of other wholesome content to help its users cope with the current climate. Need your daily cosy fix? Check out the new blog here

We Are Social creates Snap Safe in response to UN’s global creative call
Last week, the UN put out a global call to creatives to help support COVID-19 efforts. In response, the team at We Are Social London got straight to work addressing one of the six outlined challenges – to educate people around physical distancing. The team have since launched Snap Safe – a new Snapchat AR lens to help people keep a safe two-metre physical distance in public during the coronavirus outbreak.