Written by Denicia Lew, Wei Rong Loh and Alessio Laudato.

Facebook announces Facebook Shops: Helping Small Businesses Sell Online

Facebook has announced a new feature – Facebook Shops, that makes it easier for businesses to create an online store which customers can access on both Facebook and Instagram. As many physical stores are shutting their doors in these unprecedented times, Facebook aims to bridge the gap between businesses and consumers by making the online shopping experience more seamless.

Facebook Shops allows businesses to choose products to feature and customize the aesthetic of their online shop, and is free to create. Consumers will be able to access this via the business’ Facebook Page or Instagram profile, or discover them through stories and ads. 

From there, people can experience the whole shopping process, from browsing collections, to saving products, to placing orders. They will also be able to message businesses through WhatsApp, Messenger, or Instagram Direct to get support whenever needed.

Facebook is also looking to roll this out on Instagram, in the form of Instagram Shops, in the coming months.

Twitter Confirms Live Testing of New Controls Over Reply to Tweets

Twitter has officially confirmed to begin live testing with a limited group of users in audience control options for tweets, which enables people to restrict who can reply to their updates. 

As explained by Twitter, the feature aims to facilitate additional tweet discussion options - like interview-type conversations via tweet, which people can then follow without the distraction of a thousand other voices chiming in. Users can choose who can reply to their tweet via three options: 'Everyone' (standard Twitter, and the default setting), 'Only people you follow', or 'Only people you mention'. Tweets with the latter two settings will be labeled, and users who can't reply will still be able to view, Retweet, Retweet with Comment, and like the Tweets.

In the previous version, Twitter also included a fourth option - 'Statement' - which would not allow for any replies. It seems that the option has been removed in this version.

Stay Home, Stay Safe with Instagram Guides

Last week, Instagram announced it would be launching Guides, its way of allowing content creators to curate not just their own content but content from experts and other creators around them that they may want to share with their followers.

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Guides function much like a newsletter or pamphlet, where creators can put together videos and posts around general themes to provide their followers with a reliable resource with regards to that subject matter. 

For a start, Guides will be focusing on wellness content to help users struggling through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

A small group of wellness content creators are now using Guides to share resources on how to maintain one's well-being, manage anxiety and grief, and maintain relationships with those around them. 

You can locate Guides on a content creators' account by looking for the pamphlet logo (it's right where the explore tab is!) and scrolling through or sharing their posts within.

Check out the accounts of creators currently using Guides here: @afspnational, @heads_together, @vitaalere, @klicksafe, @headspace_aus, @deepikapadukone, @sudahdong, and @eenfance.

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Disclaimer: Featured image taken from WERSM.