We Are Social Asia Tuesday Tune Up #488


Snapchat unveils plans for AR at ‘Lens Fest’
Last week, Snap held its annual Lens Fest event, where the company debuted a number of changes coming to the Lens creation suite. A new sounds library allows creators to add Snapchat’s licensed music to their own Lenses, while Real-World Physics sees AR elements appear and react more realistically to forces like gravity and collision. Coming soon to the platform’s AR features will be the ability to make Custom Landmarkers, transforming local landmarks into AR attractions. Snap also teased the release of the next generation of Spectacles, with AR display opening up new perspectives on everyday life. 

Facebook is rolling out professional mode for profiles
Facebook is rolling out professional mode for profiles, allowing creators to take advantage of monetisation tools and growth tracking features available on the platform. Turning on professional mode allows creators the ability to partake in the Reels Play bonus programme. The programme lets creators earn up to $35,000 a month, depending on the popularity of their Reels creations. The professional mode also allows users to witness post and profile insights, seeing how many followers they’ve lost or gained.

Twitter is testing changes to the way it handles reported tweets
It’s about to get easier to report abusive or suspicious behaviour on Twitter, as the company has announced it is testing an overhaul to the way it handles reported tweets. The approach being tested streamlines the current process so that a person reporting a tweet doesn’t have to choose from a list of pre-selected descriptions of what rule a tweet is violating. Instead, Twitter will ask the user what happened in a “symptoms-first” approach to gather more complete information. Currently being tested with users in the US, a full rollout of this feature to a wider audience is due in 2022.

WhatsApp launches cryptocurrency payments pilot
It’s no secret crypto has been big business in 2021. Now, WhatsApp is launching a new pilot in the US that lets people send and receive money from within a chat using cryptocurrency. Powered by Novi, Meta’s digital wallet, payments can be made using Pax Dollars, a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar issued by Paxos. Sending a payment works just like sending any other attachment on WhatsApp; there are no limits on how often payments can be sent and no fees for sending or receiving money. Whether this feature will be rolled out to other countries is currently unclear, but crypto fans can get excited, as it’s clear money is on Meta’s mind.

Parental controls are coming to Instagram next year
Parents are about to get a little more control over their offspring’s socials, as Instagram has announced that new parental control features will land on the platform in March 2022. Parents will be able to see just how much time their kids are killing on Instagram, with the new feature allowing them to set time limits and see when their children have reported someone on the platform. Alongside the new parental controls, Instagram says it’s developing an educational hub for parents and guardians to offer them tips and tutorials about children’s social media use.

Twitter is testing a new way to add content warnings to post
Concerned that your content will be triggering to some people? Twitter is making it easier for users to add specific content warnings to their posts. Currently, the only way to alert people to sensitive posts is to label all of your tweets with a warning. This new test lets users add a single notification to individual tweets and apply specific categories to that warning. Category choices include ‘nudity,’ ‘violence’ and ‘sensitive,’ with the tweet blurred from view once posted. Users can click through the warning if they want to view the content.

Platforms look back at 2021
It’s nearly the end of another year, and social platforms are helping us get nostalgic with a few throwback features. Instagram has launched Playback, allowing users to relive their favourite Stories from 2021. The platform will share a curated Playback of ten stories for each user, but anyone can edit, add, or remove Stories from this list. YouTube has announced Escape2021, a 24-hour interactive live event that will take a look back on the platform’s biggest trends and videos of the year. This replaces YouTube Rewind, which came to an end last year, with Escape 2021 an attempt by the channel to offer more immersive online experiences.