We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #571


Instagram rolls out a new profile banner to display users’ upcoming livestreams
Want to know when your favourite creator will next be going live on Instagram? The platform has introduced a new profile banner that will display the user’s upcoming Lives. Followers can then subscribe to get reminded about the livestream. There’s no limit to how many can be displayed at one time on the banner, with the events appearing as a side-scrolling list. The badge will be visible to anyone who visits a user’s profile. Previously, only a user’s following would be told of an upcoming Live, with this new feature opening up the opportunity for vast viewership.

Snapchat upgrades its AR Shopping features
Shopping on Snapchat is getting a glow up, with updates to its Shopping Lenses and to the analytics shared with the platform’s brand and retail partners. The AR shopping features will now display key product information that can be updated in real-time. This includes details like pricing and colour details, giving users everything they need to know about their chosen garment. For brands, Snap is dishing out the data, providing an insight into how your AR shopping features are performing. These analytics are now provided in real time as the AR shopping Lenses are linked directly to the company product catalogue.

Spotify to direct listeners to accurate Covid information
There’s been plenty of drama for Spotify in the past week, as musical legend Neil Young removed his music from the platform, citing misinformation about Covid-19 from Joe Rogan’s podcast. This led to Joni Mitchell following in Young’s footsteps, forcing Spotify to respond before more musicians took their music off the app. New content advisories will direct listeners of any podcast that discusses coronavirus to a dedicated website that “provides easy access to data-driven facts, up-to-date information as shared by scientists, physicians, academics and public health authorities around the world, as well as links to trusted sources”.

YouTube details new ways creators can make money
In the latest blog post from YouTube’s CEO Susan Wojcicki, a few gems were dropped, indicating that the platform will be offering new features for short videos and shopability, giving creators even more ways to make money. YouTube plans to distribute $100 million over this year to encourage more Shorts creation, through what it is calling its Shorts Fund. The platform also appears to be looking into how it can help creators cash in on NFTs, following in the footsteps of other social apps getting to grips with all things crypto. 

Twitter tests ways to limit your tweets to close friends
Prefer to keep some of your tweets away from the entire Twittersphere? You may be in luck, as Twitter appears to be testing a ‘Close Friends’ equivalent, named ‘Flock’. Users can choose up to 150 people to include in their Twitter Flock. Only these users can view or reply to tweets sent out to your selected friends list. If you want to drop someone from your Flock, you can do so discreetly, as people removed from your list will not get a notification telling them about your change of heart. 

YouTube announces 135 creators in its 2022 Black Voices Fund
YouTube has announced who will take part in the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund. The fund provides one year of support, including seed funding for channels, development programs, workshops and networking opportunities. The participants range from bakers, teachers and athletes, to doctors, filmmakers and entrepreneurs. 40 of the 135 taking part in the fund hail from the US and Canada, with other creators coming from Africa, the UK, Brazil and more.

Reddit tests allowing users to set any NFT as their profile picture
Last week, Twitter unveiled its new feature, allowing Twitter Blue subscribers to set their profile pictures as an NFT. A week later, Reddit appears to be on the same wave, testing a feature that allows its users to use an NFT as their default image. This isn’t the first time Reddit has explored NFT-focused initiatives, having set up a dedicated page for NFT-related activities which showcases CryptoSnoos, which are Reddit’s own digital collectibles.

Instagram releases Lunar New Year features
As January draws to a close, people are getting ready to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Instagram is aiding celebrations by releasing new stickers and a custom AR effect. Commemorating the Year of the Tiger, stickers by Hong Kong-based Ophelia Pang will be available until February 15th. A #MyLNR2022 AR effect is also another way that Instagram users can draw in the new year.

Digital 2022 lands
It’s that time of year again. The time of year when data enthusiasts get to dig into a treasure trove of stats about the state of our evolving digital world. With 12 ½ trillion hours spent online, a new milestone in internet adoption, and new records for social media use, this year’s report is stuffed full of juicy stats that you won’t want to miss. Read our analysis of the key headlines here. Sign up to the webinar here.

Ones to watch
TikTok is testing Bitmoji-like avatars, keyword filtering for the For You Page, group chats, audio-only livestreams, screen sharing on livestreams, Twitch-like subscription features and a new inbox tab.