Written by Lee Ai Yun, Clio Goh and Benjamin Oi.

Dark mode hits Instagram.

Instagram’s new integrated Dark Mode was officially launched on 9 October 2019 for iOS13 and Android 10. The Dark Mode allows the user to change the background of Instagram to black, allowing the user to scroll through their Instagram feed with ease on their eyes in low light conditions. This could have significant health benefits for users and is one of the app’s most requested for features. 

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Initially, Instagram experienced some complications around the implementation of this feature within the coding of the app and hence, was hesitant to enable the Dark Mode option. As a result, some users had taken the liberty to create a workaround on the app, to varying extents. However, now with improvements made in iOS13, Instagram is able to officially make the highly sought-after Dark Mode a reality.

Detailed technical elements of how to switch on Dark Mode on Instagram can be found on the Instagram Engineering blog.

Users will have to update their phone’s operating system to the latest version in order to try out this new function on Instagram. This also means that Dark Mode has become an option that is also available on Messenger, Twitter, Pinterest and is also in various stages of development for Facebook's main app. The addition of a new option for Dark Mode not only brings the users a new look to their favourite mobile apps but also health benefits.

Why Time Doesn’t Exist on TikTok

Unlike other social media platforms, TikTok, named after the sound a clock makes, boasts a simple facet - it exists outside of time - a feature that ripples across the entire platform. It presents an endless stream of algorithmically chosen videos without any way to discern when they were posted.

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Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter prioritize recently uploaded content, unlike TikTok, where a user’s profile will display videos in chronological order and view counts only. Videos that are weeks or even months old can suddenly go viral, with viewers blind to their age. It also prevents users from keeping track of time by covering the clock display, making it dangerously easy to fall into a social media time vortex.

TikTok relies heavily on learning algorithms to learn about your preferences and past behaviour to determine the content it serves. It ultimately hopes you’ll forget what day it is entirely while scrolling through your feed and stop caring when a video was posted. After all, there’s no time to waste.

Like that pair of virtual shoes in your game?
Purchase them directly on Snapchat.

In a first for Snapchat, users can now purchase products directly within a game. As part of a recently-launched interactive campaign on Snapchat, Adidas created a retro-style 8-bit game titled “Baseball's Next Level”, where Snapchat users play as some of Adidas' Major League Baseball athletes in a homerun-derby challenge. The game features a collection of 8-bit cleats which users can buy directly from the game.

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Although the game was not released on Snap’s recently launched gaming platform Snap Games, what it presents is a new way brands can interact with consumers in an immersive and engaging manner on Snapchat. In addition to an expansion of Snap’s eCommerce capabilities, this highlights Snap’s move towards gaming in a bid to increase its appeal to its predominantly younger user base.