Written by Ernie Sulastri, Javern Chua, and Jeremy Lim.

Highlight positive comments with Instagram’s new pinned comments feature

With pinned comments initially tested in May, Instagram has now rolled out this new feature to everyone, allowing users to choose which comments they want to pin to the top of their posts as announced by Instagram’s VP of product, Vishal Shah.

This feature is accessible to those with the latest version of Instagram. Simply tap on an existing post within your feed and under the comments section, find a comment that you’d like to pin and swipe left and tap on the thumbtack icon. 

Users will be able to pin up to three comments, and they will appear with a “pinned” label next to the comment under their Instagram posts. There is no limit to how many times you can pin a comment. However, users will only receive a notification when their comment is pinned. 

With this new feature, Instagram hopes to build more positivity within the platform’s community, curbing harassment, and bullying within the comment section. As pinned comments also “mask” the other comments on the post, this limits the comments that viewers will be able to view at a glance unless they tap to “view all comments”. This would hopefully steer users to share more positive comments, similar to the tonality of the ones that can be pinned!

A monthly subscription on Twitter? It may soon be a reality with Twitter’s new Gryphon project.

Twitter is looking to expand its sources of revenue by introducing a subscription model to the platform. Derived from a job description recently published on Twitter’s career website, Gryphon is looking for web engineers to work alongside their Payments teams and Twitter.com team.

Based on the job description alone, there is no indication as to what a subscription will entail. Previously, Twitter experimented with targeting power users with analytics and additional features in exchange for a monthly fee, as The Verge reported. However, that experimentation did not pan out. Whether it will be similar this time around is still unknown. Nonetheless, Twitter does seem to have a better idea with how a subscription model will be incorporated into the platform this time around, declaring that the work of Gryphon should be transferable and reusable to multiple teams.

It is not entirely a surprise that Twitter has once again dipped its toes in implementing a subscription-based revenue stream. After all, this business model has long been favored in silicon valley. If Gryphon passes the developmental stage, Twitter will be able to introduce a new source of revenue for its maturing social media platform. One that brings about enticing recurring cash flows to complement its existing revenue stream of ad sales and data licensing.

WhatsApp turns business-friendly as Facebook continues its push to make its platforms shoppable

WhatsApp has announced a slew of new features designed and catered to businesses. The announcement is in response to businesses around the world preparing to “re-open and expand online”. Among the new features are ‘quality-to-life’ updates that aim to simplify the communications process between businesses and customers. 

One of the features WhatsApp introduced is sharable QR codes that customers can scan to connect with businesses for customer support. In contrast, customers had to add the business' phone number manually, an undeniably cumbersome process. Another feature introduced by WhatsApp enables catalog sharing. Catalogs created by businesses provide an easy way to show customers the products they offer, but it could not be shared previously. Now, catalog links can be easily shared on websites or across Facebook’s suite of social platforms.

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The introduction of e-commerce friendly capabilities onto WhatsApp is in alignment with Facebook’s social commerce push on Facebook and Instagram. With many businesses and customers turning to digital channels, Facebook is looking to cater to this market and capitalize on it. These introductions would be a welcome addition to WhatsApp’s 2 billion users and WhatsApp business 50 million monthly active users.

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Disclaimer: Featured image taken from WERSM.