Snapchat hosts Partner Summit 2021
It was a big week for Snapchat news as the platform hosted its Partner Summit. Making headlines was the unveiling of a new version of Spectacles that enables AR to overlay directly onto the world from within the lenses. This is the 4th version of the product but isn’t for sale quite yet. AR was a big topic at the summit, with the platform announcing the arrival of ‘Connected Lenses.’ This AR lens allows users to connect and enjoy an AR experience together, with Snapchat partnering with Lego for the first version of the Lens. Other new features revealed during the Summit included ‘Layers,’ which allows users to add data from developer partners directly to their Snap Map so that they can see the world from a particular view. The ability to tip popular creators will also be rolling out later this year. 

‘Live Shopping Fridays’ comes to Facebook
It’s fair to say shopping has had a bit of a makeover in the last year, with IRL stores closed and ecommerce surging. To capitalise on this, Facebook is now adding live streamed shopping to your options, launching a ‘Shopping Fridays’ event series which will see large brands live streaming beauty, skincare, and fashion content on a weekly basis. Brands like Bobbi Brown, Abercrombie & Fitch and Clinique have all jumped on board. During the live streams, viewers will be able to comment and ask questions which brands can read and respond to. Shoppers can also tap on products displayed in the stream to learn more without having to leave the video, with an option to buy and check out a purchase at any time. Currently only available to US users, Facebook is hoping to roll it out to other markets soon.

Twitter to revamp user profiles
Last week Instagram added the option for users to feature their pronouns on their profiles and now it seems Twitter is following in their footsteps with a whole host of changes to user profiles. The changes include an ‘About’ tab that appears to the left of the tabs for Tweets, Tweets & Replies, Media and Likes, as well as the ability for users to share pronouns, location and interests. Twitter hopes users will use these new features to ‘express’ themselves. The platform also opened up account verification to the public this week, meaning that blue tick may be well within your grasp. 

Twitch adds 350 new tags
350 new community tags are coming to Twitch. These will be related to gender, sexual orientation, race, nationality, ability and mental health. New tags include ‘transgender,’ ‘disabled’ and ‘veteran.’ Launched in 2018, Tags helped creators boost their discovery, yet the LGBTQIA tag was considered too broad. These new additions will be a welcome change to the platform, helping users to express themselves with more specificity. 

Idea Pins begins roll out on Pinterest
Idea Pins, once named Story Pins, have begun rolling out to creators with Pinterest business accounts in Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland, the U.K. and the U.S. The feature allows content creators to share multiple videos and photos in a single post, which unlike on other apps, will stick around for longer than 24 hours. Other features include voiceover recording, ghost mode tool, draft saving, topic tagging, and more. 

TikTok makes it easier to report harassment in bulk
Filtering through hundreds of nasty comments can be a chore to say the least. Now TikTok is making it easier for users to report harassing comments in bulk. You can now select up to 100 comments at a time, choosing to either delete them, report the remarks or block accounts. With anyone able to become a TikTok star overnight, this will be a handy tool for those targeted by trolls as they propel to notoriety.

TikTok holds first ever #MuseumMoment
There’s been a culture-shaped hole left in our lives over the last year, and whilst we’d love to hop on a train to Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum or explore Berlin’s Museum fur Naturkunde, the pandemic is still keeping our museum trips at bay. TikTok came to the rescue last week with an all-day live global event featuring some of the world’s most iconic institutions. Beginning in Singapore’s National Gallery and ending in Mexico’s Museo de Arte Popular, art fans were treated to tours, AR effects and talks from experts. Now that’s what we call a masterpiece. 

Instagram to host first-ever Creator week
It just gets better and better for creators as Instagram is hosting its first-ever Creator week from June 8-10. The week will bring virtual professional development programs for aspiring and emerging creators on the platform, helping them to build their careers, support their wellbeing and connect with peers. Sessions include Media Training 101, How to Break Into Entertainment and How to Get Discovered on Instagram. Creators have been getting their fair share of support as of late, with the week evidence that the platform is continuing to put creators at the forefront.