The Social Short: Week 28

Instagram Unveils Two New Anti-Bullying Features

Bullying has become one of the most critical issues in today’s society. This is particularly prominent among users of social media. Instagram is hoping to minimise and address these issues by implementing two new features.

As seen below, this first feature notifies users when Instagram’s algorithms suspect that their comments might be considered offensive before they actually post them. As explained by Instagram: “This intervention gives people a chance to reflect and undo their comment, and prevents the recipient from receiving the harmful comment notification. From early tests of this feature, we have found that it encourages some people to undo their comment and share something less hurtful once they have had a chance to reflect.”



The other feature is called Restrict. This one will allow users to secretly block bullies. As per Instagram: “Once you Restrict someone, comments on your posts from that person will only be visible to that person. You can choose to make a restricted person’s comments visible to others by approving their comments.”



Reducing the reach to others is significant, however, the damage can still be done for users will still be exposed to said comments. These features may therefore still need some refining. All in all though, they’re a good starting point for Instagram to start addressing these issues where possible.


Spotify’s Lite app debuts in 36 markets


Spotify, which had been testing a smaller version of its app since mid-2018 has finally launched Spotify Lite. This lighter and simplified version is now available on Google Play for 36 markets with more to follow. Launched in the hopes of expanding its reach to regions where internet connections are slow, this new version of the app wants to appeal to those users with older devices or limited data plans.

Kalle Persson, senior product manager at Spotify, said the following; “Spotify Lite was built from the ground up based on user feedback from around the world, allowing millions more to enjoy the world’s best music experience — especially in areas with limited bandwidth and phone storage.”

Spotify Lite supports all the usual features, from searching and playing your favourite songs to personalised playlists, and it does this at just 10MB in terms of size. Moreover, it will also allow users to set a specific data limit, receiving a notification once that limit is reached.


Instagram Introduces New ‘Join Chat’ Sticker, A Direct Link To Group Chats

In another attempt to promote Stories and direct messaging, Instagram announced last week that they would be introducing a new ‘join chat’ sticker which will let users invite their followers to a new group chat.


Users will be able to start private group messages around specific Stories. If followers tap the sticker, they’ll be added to a private group chat controlled by the author of the post, who will be able to approve or deny requests as well as end the chat altogether. The chat itself will happen within the Instagram Direct inbox. Users and their followers will be able to have more private conversations, discuss specific topics or make plans.



Snapchat Adds to Gaming Options By Launching Bitmoji Tennis


Snapchat continues to add to its gaming options since its games platform was first announced at its partner summit this April. Their latest release; Bitmoji tennis. This one enables users to play against each other on a virtual court and adds more customisation, with the capacity to utilise your own likeness in the match. As seen above, the game will let users challenge friends or even hold tournaments. Users will also be able to practice in solo mode, with in-game upgrades and rewards.

The release shows Snapchat pushing Bitmoji and hoping to achieve more on-platform engagement. It is no coincidence that the game has coincided with Wimbledon, which is currently being played in the UK.

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