Nick Carolan

Facebook Gaming provides early access to Tournaments feature
Facebook Gaming has provided users with early access to its Tournaments feature, which allows gamers to livestream tournaments and create, play and watch competitions all on one primary hub. Creators are also given the option to use tournaments in support of important causes via Facebook Gaming’s charity live-streaming tools.

Facebook introduces new messaging app for couples
Developed to help those navigating relationships during times of social distancing, Facebook has launched Tuned, a new messaging app designed to create a ‘private space for couples’. Couples both distant (and perhaps even those too close for comfort) can choose to connect their Spotify accounts, send photos, postcards and voice memos.

Facebook debuts new experimental messaging app for Apple Watch
Facebook has introduced another new messaging app called KIT (short for “Keep In Touch”) this week. It was developed specifically for Apple Watch, and operates in a similar way to iMessage. It’s main purpose is to help people stay connected in the easiest and most efficient way possible without having to touch a device. 

Instagram gives IGTV a new look
Instagram has revamped its stand-alone IGTV app in an effort to help content creators and boost discovery. Updates to the home page include a new section at the top where a popular creator is featured and content from accounts users follow now appear. The discover tab is similar to Explore, whereby users are shown IGTV content in line with their interests. Additionally, users are now able to share a preview of the first 15 seconds of their IGTV video to their Stories, with the option to tap to see more instead of sharing the clip as a static sticker. 

Instagram makes DMs available to desktop users
All Instagram users can now officially send Direct Messages via desktop, a long-awaited feature that was only available to a small percentage of users back in January. 

WhatsApp fights the spread of fake news with new feature
WhatsApp has rolled out a new limit on the number of times a message can be forwarded in a bid to battle the spread of misinformation around COVID-19. Any message that has been forwarded five or more times will face a new limit that will prevent a user from forwarding it to more than one chat (contact) at a time.

Snapchat debuts new donation Lens to mark World Health Day
In support of the World Health Organisation, Snapchat last week launched the first-ever augmented reality global donation tool to raise funds for the United Nations Foundation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. Users can scan up to 23 international currency notes across 33 countries, which triggers an AR visualisation of the ways their donations can support the WHO’s immediate response efforts to the coronavirus pandemic.

Twitter share more data with advertisers
Twitter has notified users of the removal of a privacy feature that was once in place to protect the sharing of private information. Advertisers will now have access to data such as the tracking identifier for a user’s phone. This will now be shared by default and can’t be turned off, with the exception for users in the UK and Europe who will have the option to opt in.  

Twitter sees a significant spike in gaming conversation on platform
Twitter saw a 71% spike in gaming conversation in the second half of March 2020, with this number jumping to 89% in conversation volume in the US. Video Games such as Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Final Fantasy are among the top ranking games most talked about on the platform. 

Pinterest adds new shopping features in a bid to help retailers
Pinterest has introduced new shopping features in a move to help retailers of all sizes to reach potential customers – particularly small businesses. Pinterest reported searches for “helping small business” are up three times compared with two weeks ago. Some of the key updates include: a new shop tab for search; curated style guides based on searches such as “Living room”; and a ‘shop similar’ feature when users hover over Pins. 

Just Launched: ‘Do the right thing: the role of social in COVID-19’
More people are on lockdown than were alive in WW2. In order to help brands across the globe figure out how they can fit into this new routine that we’ve all been forced to accept, last week, we launched ‘Do the right thing‘. It covers not only the changing landscape, but also the practical ways that brands can engage with their communities. Check out the full report on our website.

YouTube launches a new DIY tool to help businesses create video ads
YouTube has launched YouTube Video Builder, a free DIY tool aimed at helping businesses without the funds or creative know-how to create impactful video ads. Features include animation of static assets and users will have access to music from YouTube’s free audio library as well as a variety of layouts and customisation options. 

This edition of the Wednesday Wrap-Up was prepared by Monika Lee.