The EU asks tech giants to report on fake news around COVID-19
The EU has requested that US tech giants, including Facebook, Twitter and Google, begin producing monthly reports containing “detailed data” on how they are combatting fake news about COVID-19 on their platforms. While the exact details and starting date of these reports are currently unknown, Facebook, Twitter and Google have all confirmed that they will be complying with the EU’s requests.
Messenger From Facebook gets a Business Inbox
Messenger From Facebook is getting a new Business Inbox which will allow businesses to easily respond to messages from customers in app, and will enable users to easily switch between business and personal accounts. The new feature began rolling out on iOS last week and will be extended to Android shortly.
Snapchat announces big changes at its Partner Summit
At the annual Snap Partner Summit last week, Snapchat announced some big changes to the platform, including the addition of a new action bar at the bottom of the screen which lets you access Snap Map and Snap Originals in just a tap. Snap Map is also getting some new features to compete head-to-head with Google Maps, while a new banner called 'Happening Now' is being rolled out in the US with a curated selection of Stories at the top of the Discover tab.
Along with the changes to the layout and functionality of the platform itself, Snapchat also revealed a series of updates to its AR-powered Lenses, including Lens voice search, a bring-your-own machine learning model update to Lens Studio, and a geography-specific AR system that will turn public Snaps into spatial data. The move comes as figures show that more than 170 million people - over three-quarters of Snap’s daily active users - now access the app’s AR features on a daily basis.
Snapchat debuts Minis, bite-sized third-party apps
At the same Partner Summit, Snapchat also unveiled its latest effort to entice third-party developers to the platform, called Minis. These lightweight third-party programmes live within the app’s Chat section, allowing users to quickly pull them up without having to deal with switching apps. Currently, Snapchat has a fairly limited set of partners - including Headspace, Atom Tickets, and Coachella - and has said that first seven Minis will begin rolling out to the app next month.
YouTube creates $100 million fund to support Black creators
YouTube has announced the creation of a multiyear, $100 million fund which will be used to amplify and develop Black creators and artists on the platform. As part of the announcement, YouTube's CEO also said that YouTube’s Spotlight channel will feature content on racial justice issues throughout June, including the latest perspectives from the Black community, historical content, and coverage of the ongoing protests.
Twitter aims to cut down on RTing articles without reading them
Twitter has confirmed that it is testing a new feature that will nudge users to read an article before they retweet it. While it won't stop users from sharing content they haven't read, the platform says the move is aimed at promoting 'informed discussion' and 'healthier conversations' online. For now, the limited test feature will only appear for some US-based Android users.
Sharing an article can spark conversation, so you may want to read it before you Tweet it.
To help promote informed discussion, we're testing a new prompt on Android –– when you Retweet an article that you haven't opened on Twitter, we may ask if you'd like to open it first.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) June 10, 2020
Tea brands show #solidaritea for Black Lives Matter
In response to a tweet praising Yorkshire Tea for apparently not supporting Black Lives Matter, the brand took a bold step and publicly replied saying "Please don't buy our tea again". The discussion which followed sparked the hashtag #solidaritea, as brands including PG Tips and Teapigs also weighed in.
Please don't buy our tea again.
We're taking some time to educate ourselves and plan proper action before we post. We stand against racism.
— Yorkshire Tea (@YorkshireTea) June 8, 2020
— PG tips (@PGtips) June 8, 2020
— teapigs (@teapigs) June 8, 2020
Ones to watch
Instagram is testing a new format for its suggested follow listings which would appear within your main feed; Twitter is working on a new system for verifying users; LinkedIn appears to be testing a temporary status feature for its profiles; and Pinterest is taking its second shot at a Stories format with a new test of Story Pins with some creators in the US.