Instagram turns 10
A whole decade has passed since everyone’s favourite photo-sharing app burst onto the social scene. To celebrate, Instagram has launched several new features, including a private “Stories Map” which offers a retrospective of the Stories you’ve shared over the last three years, custom app icons that allow users to opt between a range of icons in varying colours, and wellbeing updates.

Our Global Head of Cultural Insights, Lore Oxford, reflected on the app's achievements in The Drum: “The past 10 years have seen Instagram draw an impressive breadth of creators – it doesn’t matter if you’re a fashion student seeking information, a civil rights advocate looking for education or a wired parent looking for some homeschooling advice."

TikTok overtakes Instagram as second most popular app for U.S. teens
It's been a mammoth year for TikTok, with teens flocking to the app in their millions. The proof of its popularity has been documented in the Piper Sandler report, with 29% picking the platform as their favourite app. Snapchat leads with 34% but Instagram dwindles, with only 25% picking the photo-sharing app as their favoured social platform. The soaring popularity in video hasn’t gone unnoticed by Instagram, who recently unveiled Reels as a way of introducing short-video to its users.

Snapchat brings augmented reality to London's Carnaby Street
Calling all wannabe graffiti artists! Snapchat has welcomed its first Local Lens- City Painter. By using the camera on Snapchat, the lens allows you to spray paint above Carnaby Street’s shops, all without the threat of legal consequences. The experience is collaborative, with users able to see each other's spray paint creations in real-time. Local lenses are a significant step up from Landmarkers, the company’s first foray into AR at scale.

Snapchat takes on stress with two new Headspace Minis 
Snap's recently commissioned survey discovered that their U.S users were feeling stressed so often that it was taking a toll on their emotional wellbeing. To mark World Mental Health Day (10 Oct.) Snapchat is offering users two new guided meditations from Headspace through their relatively new Minis feature. ‘Choose Kindness’ and ‘Take on the School Year’ are the dedicated themes for each meditation and last for around six minutes each.

Google adds ‘Stories’ to its search app for iOS and Android
The success of ‘Stories’ has been no secret when it comes to social and now Google is jumping on the bandwagon. So what’s the difference? ‘Web Stories’ is focused on publisher content, allowing users to have control over monetization, hosting and sharing. Web Stories showcases some of the best visual content from the web and is currently only available in the United States, India and Brazil, with plans to extend worldwide. With the app reaching 800 million people per month, Google is making moves in transforming the way we consume and interact with news.

Facebook Portal adds support for Netflix and Zoom
Facebook is adding a number of new features and services to its family of Portal devices, including support for Netflix and Zoom. By expanding its repertoire of features, Facebook is increasing Portal’s attraction to a range of audiences, from streaming addicts to home office officials.

Ones to watch
Time for a follower refresh? Twitter is making it easier for you to build your network by testing ‘Suggested Follows,’ which uses algorithms to determine which accounts may be of interest to you.