We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #553

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We Are Social
TikTok overtakes YouTube for average watch time in US and UK
According to the latest data from app monitoring firm App Annie, the average time per user spent on TikTok in the UK and the US is higher than on YouTube. The data shows that in the UK, TikTok surpassed YouTube back in June 2020 – and has maintained its lead ever since; while in the US, TikTok emerged on top in April 2021. However, YouTube retains the top spot for overall time spent – not per user – as it has an estimated two billion monthly users, compared to TikTok’s 700 million (as of mid-2020).

Twitter unveils new invite-only Communities
Twitter is launching its rival to Facebook Groups and Reddit, in the form of Communities – designed for building groups who share specific interests. Starting this week, Twitter users can be invited to an initial batch of Communities – including #DogTwitter, #SkincareTwitter, and #SoleFood (a group for sneaker enthusiasts) – allowing them to tweet directly to other members, rather than to just their followers. Each Twitter Community will have its own moderators, who can set rules and invite/remove people, and only members of a Community will be able to like or reply to tweets.

Facebook introduces first-gen smart glasses, Ray-Ban Stories
Facebook has launched Ray-Ban Stories, its first-generation smart glasses with 20 different style combinations and dual integrated 5MP cameras – letting you take photos and record up to 30-second. You can also save content to your phone’s camera roll and edit and share it from there. The smart glasses are available for purchase online – starting from USD 299 – and in select stores in the US, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Italy, and the UK.

WhatsApp brings encryption to backups
WhatsApp has announced that it will soon let its 2 billion+ users fully encrypt backups of their messages stored on either Google Drive or Apple’s iCloud, making them unreadable without an encryption key. WhatsApp users who opt into encrypted backups will be asked to save a 64-digit encryption key or create a password that is tied to the key. The feature will be rolled out to users on iOS and Android in the coming weeks, following the publication of a white paper detailing the plan.

YouTube halves subscribers needed to unlock Community posting
Starting from October 12th, YouTube will be cutting the number of subscribers you need to make Community posts from 1,000 subscribers to just 500. Community posts are Facebook-like news or status updates from creators that can be found on a dedicated Community tab on their profile, and YouTube says this move will open up the option to millions more creators on its platform.

Twitter introduces new label for automated accounts
Twitter has confirmed that it is introducing a new feature that will allow accounts to self-identify as bots by adding a label to their profile, in a move to help people better differentiate between automated accounts and those operated by humans. The ‘Automated Account’ label will be made available to over 500 Developer Accounts who will test the feature and provide feedback, before it’s opened up more broadly to all Twitter developers.

LinkedIn calls time on Stories 
After first introducing Stories to its platform in September 2020 as part of a major visual redesign, LinkedIn has confirmed that from September 30th, Stories will be removed from the platform and members will no longer be able to create them for pages. Image or video ads that were scheduled to run between Stories will instead be shared to the professional network’s feed.

Ones to watch
Instagram is testing a new Favorites option to help users bring order to their chaotic feed; while Twitter is experimenting with emoji reactions for tweets.