Facebook beats Wall Street expectations in Q1 earnings
Despite the growth of Facebook’s ad business slowing due to the coronavirus pandemic, the social network beat Wall Street expectations on revenue, reporting $17.74 billion (up 17% year-over-year) in Q1. Monthly active users on Facebook were up to 2.6 billion, beating expectations of 2.55 billion. And more than 3 billion internet users logged onto any Facebook service (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp etc) in the last month. The company’s shares rose upwards of 10% following the report’s release.
Facebook announces plans to let people charge for Live events
With the boom in live streaming since the start of the pandemic, Facebook has announced that it will be adding the option for Pages to charge for access to events with Facebook Live streams. Details are currently light, but the platform has promised that the feature will be made available in the coming weeks.
Instagram launches new Live Donations feature
In a bid to help its users fundraise for non-profits during the pandemic, Instagram has released a new Live Donations feature - allowing anyone to create fundraisers while live streaming. Instagram says the new feature can be used to create fundraisers for over a million non-profits, and that all of the money raised will go to the intended charity.
WhatsApp rolls out video calls for up to eight people
Last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the limit on participants on WhatsApp video calls would be expanded from four people to eight. According to WhatsApp, since the pandemic began, people have been spending an average of 15 billion minutes globally on calls via its app every day. To access the new participant limit, users should have the latest version of the messaging application installed.
YouTube brings video fact checking to the US
In a blog post last week, YouTube announced that it’s bringing its fact checking information panels to the US, after the feature was first launched in Brazil and India. In the post, YouTube specifically cites concerns around COVID-19-related misinformation as a driving force in the feature’s expansion. YouTube says the new feature will take some time to fully ramp up but that it will eventually roll it out into even more markets.
TikTok adds Donation Stickers and matches user donations
Following similar initiatives by Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook, TikTok has rolled out its own version of Donation Stickers to enable users to raise money for one of the platform's chosen charities via videos and live streams. When the Sticker is added to a post, #doubleyourimpact will be automatically added to the caption and TikTok will match user donations made before May 27th.
TikTok surpasses 2 billion downloads
TikTok has surpassed 2 billion downloads on Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store, following in the footsteps of Facebook’s marquee app, WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger. The milestone comes just five months after TikTok surpassed 1.5 billion downloads.
Reddit releases new Start Chatting feature, then removes it
Reddit began a limited roll out of group chats to its platform last week with the release of its latest feature, Start Chatting. The chat functionality was made accessible on desktop and mobile to those communities with subject matter that is considered “safe for work." However, upon its release, moderators on the platform quickly pointed out that there was no way for communities to opt out of the feature and no way for moderators to moderate chats. This has lead to Reddit rolling back the chat function, saying that it had "moved too quickly" to bring the feature wide.
Facebook celebrates the graduating Class of 2020
Facebook and Instagram are set to host a multi-hour livestreaming event, #Graduation2020 in honour of those students graduating without a ceremony this year. During the event, Oprah Winfrey will deliver the commencement address, followed by speeches from Awkwafina, Simone Biles, Jennifer Garner and Lil Nas X. Miley Cyrus will perform hit song 'The Climb'. The ceremony will take place on Friday, May 15th at 11am (PT).
Ones to watch
Instagram is testing an option that would allow users to simulcast their Instagram Live sessions to their Facebook Page - broadcasting to audiences on both platforms at the same time; while LinkedIn is making its new Stories feature available to users in Brazil as it prepares for a wider launch of the function.