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The Social Short: Week 35

Snap Updates its Lens Studio, Gives Creators More Options To Build Their Own AR Experiences


Snapchat has released an updated version of its Lens Studio desktop app. This new update comes a few days after Instagram opened its Augmented Reality Filtering Software; Spark AR, to the public.

These new features will be available via Lens Studio, the desktop app that allows creators and marketers to build their own AR effects on the platform. Among the new releases are 14 new Landmarker templates as well as 6 new facial templates. The Landmarkers feature launched only a few months ago, with locations such as the Buckingham Palace or the Eiffel Tower.

Moreover, Snapchat has also introduced a new interactive tour for first-time Lens Studio users. These new features have now been rolled out to 11 countries, including the U.S. and the UK. 



Facebook May Hide Total Like Counts On Posts, Mirroring Instagram’s Test



First Instagram, now Facebook? The social networking site is considering mirroring Instagram’s hidden like count test, which rolled out to seven countries earlier last month.

Reverse engineer, Jane Manchun Wong, was the first to spot the test like display (see above) in which the post like listing shows an “…and others” summary with an indicator of Reactions as opposed to a full like count.

According to Instagram, the aim behind removing public like counts was to reduce social comparison and the negative effects that come with it. An expansion of this program to Facebook, the largest social media platform in the world, would be a significant step towards achieving this. However, is Facebook willing to take this risk? Only time can tell.


Instagram Is Developing A Separate Messaging App Called ‘Threads’



In May of this year Instagram said goodbye to Direct, a standalone messaging app that it had been developing since 2017. The company has remained interested in building new messaging experiences and appears to be working on a new app called ‘Threads’.

Announced by The Verge and seemingly inspired by Snapchat’s ‘Maps’ feature, which shows the realtime and exact locations of your friends, ‘Threads’ will offer your closest friends an interrupted look at your life, sharing your status, location and more.

“Threads, which is designed as a companion app to Instagram, invites users to automatically share their location, speed, and battery life with friends, along with more typical text, photo, and video messages using Instagram’s creative tools,” reported The Verge.

The app, designed for sharing with your ‘close friends’ list on Instagram is now being tested internally at Facebook. It is therefore unclear when it might launch.


Facebook Stories Get Spotify Music-Sharing Feature



This sharing capability was introduced to Instagram Stories last year and has since increased engagement on users’ Stories and lead to more traffic flowing back to Spotify. It is no surprise, therefore, that the feature would eventually arrive to Facebook as well.

This new Facebook Stories integration includes 15-second song previews for viewers. The viewer can tap the “Play on Spotify” button in the story to open the Spotify app. According to the music giant, “every story, even a 15-second one, deserves a proper soundtrack.”