Facebook makes Groups privacy settings clearer
We all know that Facebook is going big on Groups this year. Its latest update is designed to bring more clarity to Groups' privacy settings by getting rid of 'secret' and 'closed' options. Now, admins will only have two options - either 'public' or 'private' as well as the ability to make private Groups either visible or hidden. By default, Groups that were secret will now become private and hidden, and those that were closed will now be private and visible. Public Groups will remain public and visible.
Facebook opens its AR effects tool, Spark AR, to all users
Following an announcement at its F8 conference earlier this year, Facebook has confirmed the end of the closed beta test for its augmented reality effects tool, Spark AR - which allows users to create and upload their own AR filters to Instagram - and has now opened it up to all users. To support the wave of new filters likely to emerge over the coming weeks and months, Instagram will add a new 'Browse Effects' option to the end of its effects tray, helping users to discover and try new AR filters.
Instagram is also introducing an Effect Gallery tab on artists’ profiles, letting creators display their work.
Facebook adds more advertising options for movie studios
Facebook has added two new advertising options, movie reminder ads and movie showtime ad, to help get more bums on seats at local cinemas. Available to all film studios in the US and UK, the new movie reminder ads allow users who see ads for films to tap an 'interested' button and receive notifications when those films are released. The notifications will bring users to the detail page for the movie, where they will be able to research showtimes and purchase tickets.
Working in a similar way, the movie showtime ads will include a 'get showtimes' button for movies already released, which will also send users directly to the film’s detail page.
Instagram lets users report posts containing false information
Instagram has announced that it will now allow users to report posts which contain false information to its team of fact-checkers, that could eventually lead to the post being be hidden from Instagram's Explore and hashtag pages. Unlike its parent company, Facebook, Instagram currently hasn't announced any plans to downgrade or remove posts labelled as containing false information from its News Feed.
Snap launches Spectacles, again
Let's hope the third time's a charm. Despite poor past performance, Snap - the parent company of Snapchat - has announced that it is launching Spectacles 3. Along with a luxury makeover, 4GB of storage, a second camera for better AR capabilities and four microphones, the ‘limited release’ Spectacles come in either Carbon (Black) or Mineral (Rose Gold) and at a price of $380 per pair. To round out the luxury revamp, the new Spectacles also have a new flat leather case which will recharge your glasses in 75 minutes.
Snapchat is also creating a number of 3D effects to support the second sensor, including ‘3D viewer’ - its version of Google Cardboard – to let you watch your recordings scenes in 3D.
YouTube updates how it handles some copyright claims
In a move to make its system fairer to video creators, YouTube is changing the way it handles copyright claims around brief or unintentional clips of music. Under the new rules, when a copyright claim is filed for 'very short clips' or for music that is 'unintentionally' playing in the background, the rights holder will no longer be allowed to earn money from ads placed on the video. Instead, they will have to choose between leaving the video up and blocking the creator from making money, or blocking the video entirely. The new rules apply to audio copyright claims only, so short clips of videos are not covered.
Twitter plans to remove third-party data from its ad-buying system
Twitter has announced plans to remove outside data sources from its ad-buying system. From early next year, the company will end its integration with outside data suppliers and require advertisers to buy data on their own. The social network has also reserved the right to approve the data sources that marketers choose.
Verizon sells Tumblr to WordPress owner, Automattic Inc.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Verizon has agreed to sell Tumblr to WordPress owner Automattic Inc. for less than $3 million, according to Axios - a far cry from the $1.1 billion Yahoo paid for it in 2013. Commenting on the future of the platform in an interview with The Verge, Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg said he wants Tumblr to bring back the best of old-school blogging.