By Andy Lim, Erasmus William, and Kelson Ong

Instagram Tests Payment Feature

Instagram is testing a new feature which will allows users to make transactions directly on the platform by registering a debit or credit card and setting up a security PIN code. This is a feature which their parent company, Facebook, had previously launched on their Messenger platform which also provides similar services for their users.

Instagram hopes to provide users with an additional tool to make cash transactions with ease and potentially widen the business opportunities between brands and their consumers. Such opportunities for instance could include reserving a high end product directly off the brand’s official Instagram page and making a deposit, or brands sending cash gifts to selected users for use at the next purchase directly off their profile page.

Facebook wants you to look and move like you in Virtual Reality

Facebook is building a new type of technology that allows users to use a photo to their face into virtual reality (VR). Sensors in the technology will detect then facial expressions and movements to reanimate them onto an avatar.

This technology can bring real world identity in VR, which will eradicate barriers of distance and add realistic emotions. Facebook is also inching closer with their technology by training its artificial intelligence on how to turn a photo into an accurate avatar. Being able to incorporate realistic emotions and expressions into VR may mean a whole new level of social VR, which may very well become thing in the near future.

Instagram to roll out a redesigned Explore layout

Instagram is set to revamp its Explore section, which organises all content into ‘topic channels’ displayed across the top of the screen, as well as filters based on your interests. Though it will still be personalised for each user, this will impact how users find brand’s content and which tags or key terms brands may choose to use.

For brands, the new layout will enable research on what is showing up in each topic and what hashtags people are utilising, in turn better informing their campaign or platform strategies.