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The Social Short: Week 19

Instagram Stories Introduces New Donation Sticker

Instagram launched its Stories feature in August of 2016, with stickers arriving at the end of that year. Fast forward to 2019, stickers have become more than just a way to further decorate your stories. Stickers with a wide variety of added functionalities have made their way into the app, from poll and question stickers to now a brand new donation sticker. Instagram Stories’ has added a donation sticker that allows users to raise funds for different causes. While making a Story post, you can select the donation sticker from the menu of add-ons and choose the organisation you would like to raise money for. Viewers won’t have to leave the Story to donate and can click directly to make a contribution. Once they give, the sticker updates to “donated.”

Starting last week, Instagram launched this new donation sticker across the platform in the United States. Although the new feature is currently only available in the US, Instagram hopes to bring the donation sticker to a more global community in the future. It is worth mentioning as well, that Instagram has made it clear that 100 per cent of the money being raised will go to the nonprofit you’re supporting. Social media activism is usually regarded as all talk and no action, so this is a very exciting start towards change.

Twitter Will Now Let Users Add Photos, Videos, or GIFs To Retweets

As of the start of this week, Twitter users can add images, videos, and GIFs to their retweets. Twitter is rolling out this new feature across Android, iOS, and Twitter’s mobile website. Though a seemingly minor upgrade, the addition is notable because retweeting with a comment has become an important part of user behaviour, therefore, opening up that feature to support media will likely impact the amount of non-text content we will see on our timelines. Twitter has noted that brands and creators are already using the new functionality.

Also, according to Twitter, while on the surface this seems like a small addition to their services, it was rather difficult to design. “We found it was challenging for people to quickly understand all the content in a Retweet with media. This was due to the layout; two large tweets stacked on top of each other,” a spokesperson said.

All in all, Twitter listened and delivered. “The most exciting part of this project was that we were working on a feature that many people asked for,” wrote the Twitter Engineering account. Users have also been asking for an edit button, an update we hope is on its way.


Facebook F8 2019: New Tools for Messenger and Focus on Privacy

Facebook hosted its annual F8 conference last week and showcased its coming additions, updates and more. Here’s what’s been announced for Facebook’s messaging tools.

Messenger Desktop App

Although it has already been announced, the app is only being tested at the moment, with Facebook hoping to roll it out at the end of the year on both MacOS and Windows. The app is meant to expand Messenger’s capabilities, allowing users to start group video calls, collaborate on projects or multi-task while chatting in Messenger.



As Facebook explains: “People want to seamlessly message from any device, and sometimes they just want a little more space to share and connect with the people they care about most.”

Facebook Messenger Will Focus on ‘Close Friends’

Privacy isn’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Facebook, at least in the past year. However, the social media giant wants to change this narrative and shift their messenger app towards more enclosed social media conversation, as opposed to posting your life for everyone to see. In order to do this, Facebook will also be adding a new option to limit your Messenger interactions to selected groups of close friends only. Facebook will therefore be reshaping, once again, the way users keep up with their friends. By focusing on close friends, users will be able to share photos and set statuses with the people they really trust.

Facebook explained it by saying the following: “Close connections are built on messaging, which is why we are making it easier for you to find the content from the people you care about the most. In Messenger, we’re introducing a dedicated space where you can discover Stories and messages with your closest friends and family. You’ll also be able to share snippets from your own day and can choose exactly who sees what you post.”



Group Video Viewing in Messenger

Group video viewing has been a popular trend in recent years, especially with the rise of gaming communities. Facebook is looking to give users the opportunity to consume on-platform video content at the same time as their friends, allowing them to discuss and chat about it in real time. Facebook announced that they will also be adding a new option which will enable people to view Facebook video content within chat groups in Messenger.

“You’ll be able to seamlessly share a video from the Facebook app on Messenger and invite others to watch together while messaging or on a video chat. This could be your favourite show, a funny clip or even home videos.”



Facebook F8 2019: Facebook Dating And Secret Crush

In their F8 conference a year ago, Facebook announced Dating, their very own version of a dating app where users can opt-in and then browse Events and Groups they are part of for potential matches. If they see someone they would potentially like to meet up with, they can send a text-only message based on something in their profile, which goes into a special Dating inbox. At this year’s conference, it was revealed that Dating will now be available in 14 more countries; the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Laos, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay, Guyana and Suriname. Facebook also announced that Dating will launch in the US by the end of the year.



At this year’s conference, it was revealed that on top of being made available to more countries, Dating will bring with it a new feature called Secret Crush that expands it beyond strangers and friends-of-friends. Users that have opted into Dating and reside in one of the 19 countries where this service is available can now choose up to 9 friends they like-like. If they’ve also opted into Facebook Dating, they’ll get a notification that a friend has a crush on them. If this is reciprocated and the person also adds them as a secret crush, they will both be notified and can chat on Messenger.

Facebook will only let users sub out one person per day after they reach their initial limit of 9 so that there are no spams in the hopes of finding a match.

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