Written by Lee Ai Yun, Jeremy Lim, Tricia Lee and Ernie Sulastri

Facebook’s Digital Wallet Calibra Could Be The Company’s Next Big Thing

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Facebook made an announcement this morning introducing its new cryptocurrency, Libra. The cryptocurrency will be managed by Calibra, Facebook’s nonprofit subsidiary which is launched to build financial services and software in addition to the Libra blockchain.  

Calibra is tightly integrated with Facebook’s enormous user base, giving it a significant advantage over any other rivals. It has the ability to leverage WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram thanks to its proximity to the technical development of Libra.

Calibra’s short term goal is to develop and launch its own digital cryptocurrency wallet and integrating it into other Facebook Products. The company will eventually become a member of the nonprofit Libra Association, having equal voting power as Facebook, Uber, Lyft, eBay and PayPal as well as other tech, finance companies and venture capitalists. It will be like the Bank of Facebook — an arm of the social network that will do the same for loans, credit, money transfer and commerce as it does for online communication.

When it launches, Calibra will become the avenue through which people interact with the cryptocurrency — that is until other competing wallets come about. It will most likely be the first cryptocurrency wallet that hundreds of millions of people will have access to given the nature of Facebook’s huge ecosystem with hundreds of times the user base of the world's most popular wallets such as Coinbase and others.

Your Facebook comments will now be ranked!

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Take a glance at any of the comments section on Facebook’s public posts, and you’ll quickly notice a cesspool of negativity, racial slurs and insults — easily stripping away the credibility of the content they’re commenting on.

A step up from “Emoji comment reactions”, Facebook is finally tackling this issue by introducing a new comment ranking system. The system filters and shows the most relevant and highest quality comments at the top by using the following metrics: Integrity Signals, User Surveys About Comments, Comments Interactions and Poster Controls.

While this approach isn’t new or revolutionary, it is an effort to tackle hate speech and fake news which are highly prevalent on social media. With this initiative, the social media giant hopes to make public comments more meaningful.

Brands should be reacting and engaging with the comments sections more so than ever as it will likely help to boost their post reach. More importantly, with this system in place, they should look to reply to those that will encourage more discussion, and prompt other users to either like or reply.

Instagram takes on #PrideMonth

With the growing awareness of the LGBTQ+ community, many brands have played around with the iconic rainbow colours in support of this movement. Instagram is no exception to this trend. In fact, this year, they are taking 'pride' to a whole new level. Basically, rainbows everywhere — from art installations in New York to rainbow colours on related hashtags to a guide to online safety for LGBTQ+ teens.

Prominent hashtags such as #lgbtq, #equalitymatters and #pride2019 will have a rainbow gradient displayed across the text.

Another fun Pride-themed feature being rolled out during June is Pride-themed Instagram camera effects. Users can also try out bright Pride-themed filters created by  LGBTQ artists, which include options such as trans flag colors, glowing rainbow skin, and rainbow-themed stars.

The social media platform even took it offline this year. In recognition of less commonly known LBGTQ+ pioneers, Instagram presented a series of art installations from these individuals who broke the social walls for the queer community in New York, encouraging the next generation to continue this movement.

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Despite this being a temporary change within the social feed, it is something that impacts people and drives social awareness to topics such as rising LGBTQ community.

From a marketing perspective, this opens us up to the endless possibilities of leveraging the interface of various social platforms to garner massive engagement in the future.

Google’s ‘Game Builder’ — A Backyard Sandbox for the Digital World

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‘Game Builder’ is the latest prototype by Google, a free and easy to use tool for users who “have an idea for a video game,” but have no experience whatsoever. For those who enjoy or are familiar with the classic simulation game of ‘Tycoon Roller Coaster’ or Minecraft’s drag-and-drop world building, you may find this familiar.  

To build more complex interactions, you use Game Builder’s card-based visual programming system. It’s pretty straightforward — drag and drop cards that end up creating the game.    

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One more cool feature here is that you don’t have to build things alone. Game Builder has a co-op mode where multiple people can build a game together at once. You can also share your creations and browse through the games made by others.

The gaming industry is booming day by day and it could very well be the future of social. With Fortnite emerging as the best new social network, it reminds us that socializing is way more fun and engaging when you’re actually doing something with your friends (i.e playing a game). Now, with Google’s effort to “make building a game feel like playing a game”, this could potentially catch on as the next “social” thing to do, encouraging users to participate in a fresh, new connected experience.