The Social Short: Week 34

AR Filter Creation Tools Open To All Users

Creativity for all! Facebook’s tool for building augmented reality effects, Spark AR, now allows anyone to make custom face filters and other effects for Instagram Stories. Previously, the platform was limited to approved creators.

AR filters was first introduced in May 2018, but the filters only exploded in popularity in October of that same year, after more creators joined the closed beta. Filters have since helped boost AR creators’ followings and will now continue to grow in popularity even more.



Facebook Finally Launches Its ‘Clear History’ Tool

In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook announced they would be releasing a new ‘Clear History’ tool which would give users more control over their data privacy, even if this meant negatively impacting advertisers’ targeting capabilities. After months of delays, Facebook’s ‘Clear History’ is now rolling out in Ireland, South Korea, and Spain, with more countries to follow in the next coming months.

Those in the aforementioned countries will now be able to see, through the “off Facebook activity” page, which apps and websites are tracking their activity and reporting back to Facebook for ad targeting purposes. Users will then be given the chance to dissociate that information from their accounts (see below).

It is clear that Facebook continues to reorient the company around privacy and it would not be surprising for the company to continue rolling out similar services/tools in the future.



YouTube To Stream Its Original Shows For Free, With Ads

It was announced this week that as of September 24th, YouTube Originals will no longer be exclusive to YouTube Premium subscribers. YouTube Originals will now be available to everyone to view free of charge, and will be supported by ad revenue.

Premium subscribers, however, will continue to watch the content ad-free and will enjoy exclusive benefits; from access to all the episodes in a series upon its release to downloading them for offline viewing.

YouTube had previously announced plans to make its original programming available for free, following a larger shift in strategy for the video platform. In an interview with Adweek, YouTube chief brand officer Robert Kyncl stated that the reason for this change in strategy relied in wanting ‘Originals’ to be in line with their core business, rather than focusing on driving subscriptions. “One of the changes that we’ve gone through is to align our Originals with the way YouTube works, which is that everything is available free”, stating that



Apple Card Available To Everyone In The US

The Apple Card was announced back in March of this year as part of Apple’s push into services. The company also announced a new television streaming platform, gaming portal and enhanced news app.

Earlier this month, Apple launched a “preview rollout” of its credit card, which has now been made available to all iPhone owners in the US. Anyone that owns an iPhone is eligible to apply for the Apple Card through the Wallet app on iOS.

Apple’s vice president of Apple Pay, Jennifer Bailey, noted how “thrilled” they were over the “overwhelming interest in Apple Card and its positive reception”, stating that “costumers love Apple Card’s simplicity and how it gives them a better view of their spending.”

Apple has now also published a guide advising customers on how to “safely store and carry” their Apple Card seeing as this one can easily get damaged or discoloured. Storing it in a leather wallet, for instance, could cause “permanent discolouration”. This is not the first time, however, that Apple has been criticised for favouring aesthetics over practicality.