We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #676


Instagram is testing unskippable video ads 

Instagram is testing a new video ad format that cannot be scrolled past until the user has watched the video. Labelled as an ‘ad break’, users will need to watch the video until the timer at the bottom of the ad has run out.

Image credit: @thedanlevy on Threads

As you can see in this example, Instagram explains that ‘ad breaks’ are a new way of viewing ads on the platform and that ‘sometimes’ you will need to watch the ad before you can keep scrolling. The feature is still in the testing process and Instagram are yet to confirm if it will be a permanent change in the app. 

Threads launches new desktop 

Meta has announced it is rolling out its new Tweetdeck-style Threads desktop globally. The new desktop allows users to create custom streams of Threads based on their topics of interest. These are then displayed in one feed, next to the ‘Following’ and ‘For you’ feeds. 

Image credt: @mosseri on Threads

The new desktop has dedicated columns for searches, tags, and accounts, as well as saved posts, and notifications. There is also an “auto-update” option which will automatically refresh the feed for real-time updates.

Instagram is testing “trial reels” with select creators

Instagram is testing the option for select creators to create and publish Reels without having them displayed on their profiles. The “trial reels” feature will allow creators to test different types of content without the pressure of the content performing well. After posting a Reel using the feature, Instagram will share insights about the post’s performance including metrics like plays, likes, comments and shares. Based on those insights, the creator could then choose to share their reel with their followers or archive it.

Image credit: @alex193a on X

YouTube launches its free games catalogue to all users

YouTube is rolling out its free games to all users on both the platform’s app and home page. The “Playables” feature was made available for Premium subscribers last November. There are currently over 75 minigames in YouTube’s catalogue including Angry Birds Showdown, Trivia Crack and Words of Wonders. Users that play the games will be able to save game progress and track their best scores. 

Image credit: YouTube

Instagram introduces new features for Notes 

With more and more Gen Z users making the most of Instagram’s Notes feature, the platform is adding new capabilities to Notes. First up, “Notes Prompts,” will allow users to start conversations based on templated questions. For example, users can ask questions like “What music are you listening to right now?” on Notes and friends can directly respond to it. Instagram is also adding a “Like” option and users will be able to add @ mentions to Notes. 

Image credit: Instagram

TikTok celebrates Pride month

TikTok is celebrating Pride month with its “Visionary Voices” group. The group consists of 15 LGBTQIA+ creators, chosen by TikTok, who “inspire, educate, and make an impact” on the platform. These creators will be featured more on the app throughout June and have opportunities to be featured on official TikTok channels and live streams.  

Image credit: TikTok

TikTok Shop is also partnering with the #PrideTok community by highlighting LGBTQIA+-owned businesses with the hashtag #ShopWithPride. And, TikTok is sponsoring the Gayming Awards’ “Best LGBTQ Indie Game” category, and hosting a #PrideAnthems playlist on the Sounds page in the app.

Tumblr launches Communities feature  

Tumblr is launching a “Communities” feature which will offer a dedicated space for users to connect with others on different topics, outside of Tumblr’s main dashboard. These will be “semi-private” areas on the platform with moderators and privacy settings. The feature is still in development but users can now request to create a new community and be added to a waitlist. There are currently over 5,800 communities on the waitlist. 

Image credit:  Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket / Getty Images

Tumblr has also shut down its “Tips,” feature after not seeing as much usage as it had hoped for. The feature allowed creators to receive one-time payments from their followers. Creators will need to withdraw any money earned by the 15th of June. 

In other news

LinkedIn has a new dashboard for Pages. Instagram adds new limit options for teen accounts. TikTok is testing DM streaks. X tests adding Communities link in bottom navigation bar. Discord is focusing back on gaming. Telegram adds new features in its latest update. Instagram has added an ‘Inspiration’ tab.