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The Social Short: Week 49

YouTube to roll out Stories feature to eligible creators

After having tested a Stories feature with a selected group of creators, YouTube is to roll out Stories across the platform to content creators with over 10K subscribers. The feature promises to be similar to existing versions on Instagram and Snapchat.

Creators will have the ability to add items like filters, music and stickers and use Stories to reply to users’ comments, offering a centralised place for users to see Q&A content.

YouTube Stories, while also disappearing like those on other platforms, will be visible for up to seven days and will be accessed from the Subscriptions tab or on the Home/Up Next for those who don’t subscribe.

Instagram Stories to Close Friends

Instagram now offers the option to share a different set of Stories with a select group of their followers (Close Friends).

Users can build a private list to send Stories to and followers will not be notified of being removed or added. Stories for Close Friends will have a green circle instead of a pink circle around the user’s profile picture in the Stories tab.

The motivation for this has been internal research showing the difficulty to form meaningful connections as social networks grow increasingly large.

Facebook to allow keyword blocking

Having tested a more moderate feature of snoozing comments, Facebook will now allow users to block comments containing certain keywords.

The comments would still be visible to the users who posted the comments and their friends, but would allow those who face harassment to automatically hide these comments.

Facebook to grow ‘Today In’

Facebook is now to offer ‘Today In’ to 10 cities in Australia and 400 cities in the US. The feature works by aggregating news related to local areas.

Communities located in rural areas with a low supply of traditional news will be supplemented with relevant material from neighbouring areas. The move follows research that more than 50% of people wanted more local and relevant news on the platform.

Facebook is continuing to test allowing government pages to communicate time-crucial information to people e.g. hurricane news.

Facebook giving sellers ‘Live Video’ option

Facebook is planning to give an option for sellers to promote via live video. After showcasing products, users will be able to screenshot the products they want to buy, allowing sellers to then ask for payment from their inbox.

The move follows a general trend across companies such as Snapchat and Instagram to create a more fluid and integrated shopping experience.

Facebook is yet to add the mode to the platform, so watch this space for the latest updates.