Twitter rolls out disappearing tweets, called Fleets
There has been plenty of buzz around the global launch of ‘Fleets’ on Twitter this week, the disappearing messaging feature that sits right at the top of the timeline in a row of Stories-like bubbles. You can use Fleets to share text, respond to others’ tweets, or post videos with the same background colours. You can also respond to others’ Fleets by tapping on one and sending a direct message to the creator. However, it has been a fleeting moment of glory for the new feature (see what we did there), with a bug leaving some Fleets accessible after their expiration dates. Twitter is working on a fix.
Instagram expands new 'Guides' feature and adds keyword search
Long-form content has been making its mark on Instagram this year. Now the app has launched a new feature called ‘Guides’ that allows creators to share tips, resources and other longer-form content in a dedicated tab on their user profiles. Initially limited to a select group of creators, the platform is expanding the feature to make it available to all users and increasing its content to include products, places and posts. Instagram's search format is also getting an upgrade, with users now able to search the platform using keywords. Previously hashtags were king when it came to defining your search, but now a post can be found even if a specific hashtag is not included.
Instagram revamps its mobile messaging app, Threads
Instagram is continuing to place its energy into its standalone messaging app, Threads, releasing a redesigned version that features updated navigation and a status tab. The new navigation bar at the bottom of the screen makes it easier for users to view and interact with friends’ statuses and their Stories, or quickly switch back to the Camera interface or their messaging inbox. These changes follow a period of overhaul for Facebook’s family of mobile messaging apps, demonstrating the company’s focus on this area of social.
Twitter to introduce voice chat rooms in testing later this year
Tired of trolls dominating the conversations? Twitter is planning to make things a little easier to control, creating ‘spaces’ for invite-only voice based chitchat. In these spaces you’ll be able to see who is a part of the room and who is talking at any given time, with the creator of the space having full control over who can participate in the conversation. First access will be given to women and people from marginalized backgrounds, permitting them freedom to speak to one another without fears of abuse and harassment that can be tossed their way by aggravated keyboard warriors. A Twitter without trolls is a Twitter we can all get behind.
YouTube targets music fans with new audio ad format
We’re all ears for YouTube’s latest development in its ad products. With screen-time fatigue on the rise, some of us have been doing less watching and a lot more listening. The new ad products are designed to help marketers reach YouTube visitors who are listening rather than watching the platform’s content. Audio ads are designed for videos where audience members may only be glancing at the screen occasionally, or might be ignoring the visuals altogether. The company says that in early testing, more than 75% of audio ad campaigns resulted in a significant lift in brand awareness. Not too shabby.
TikTok now lets parents make their teens' accounts more private
Concerned about what your teen has seen on TikTok? No need to stress as the platform is expanding its parental control to give parents more options over what their teen views on the app and how private their account is. Parents can now restrict who comments on videos, who can view their child's account and who can see what videos they’ve liked. They can also stop their child from searching for videos, users, hashtags or sounds.
Facebook launches collage making app, E.gg
It’s time to channel your inner Picasso as Facebook has released its latest app, E.gg, a freeform creation tool described as a ‘digital zine creator.’ Users can create and share canvases that appear like a mixed media collage, combining text, images and GIFs. Want to show off your collage creations? Anything made in E.gg can be given its own unique URL, allowing others to view your content even if they haven’t installed the app themselves. E.gg users however can browse through other people’s work directly in the app. So far the app , which is available as a free download in the US, has been used to create fan pages, guides, tributes, profiles, collages, recipes and more.
Ones to watch
WhatsApp is introducing a new Read Later function. Even when chats have been archived or marked for reading at a later time, new messages will arrive and be added to the archive so you won’t be distracted by noisy notifications.