[February 2022]: Overview of the new social network features not to be missed!
Instagram offers the possibility to convert stories into Reels
Instagram continues to promote its Reels format to the maximum in order to face the huge competition represented by TikTok. In this sense, Instagram has just presented its brand new option that allows its users to transform their highlights into Reels. The process then allows users to sync their old stories with music, offering a whole new way to create Reels content.
Although the option is not yet available to everyone, it confirms Instagram’s desire to put more emphasis on the video format and particularly on Reels, as Adam Moseri already stated last December: “We’re going to focus on video and consolidate all of our video formats around Reels”. The possibility of creating longer Reels (up to 90 seconds) should also appear soon. Watch out for this!
Twitter tests "articles" for long posts
Great news for Twitter! While for years the social network has maintained the character limit for its tweets, it seems that Twitter is now working on a brand new feature that will allow users to publish “Twitter articles” without having to respect the 280-character limit that is currently imposed.
In 2017, Twitter had already evolved its character limit from 140 to 280, but the social network seems to want to go even further now for these next few weeks to offer Twittos more flexibility to share their ideas on the social network.
At the time of writing, there is no way to get around the 280 character limit set by Twitter other than creating a “thread” which consists of “stacking” tweets one under the other. However, this feature has a limit as only the first tweet is directly visible to users.
Things could soon change, as a spokesperson for the network announced in a tweet that new information on Twitter articles would soon be revealed. For the moment, little information has been leaked and we only know that Twitter articles should offer relatively classic formatting possibilities such as:
- Use of code
- Writing in italics
- The possibility of crossing out or underlining your text
We’ll have to wait and see what the Twitter articles have in store for us and how they will be received by the community.
TikTok strengthens controls to protect minors and LGBTQ communities on its platform
After being lambasted numerous times over the safety of its platform in recent months, TikTok today announced a series of updates and new features aimed at making the social network safer and more secure especially for its youngest users and LGBTQ communities.
Here are some of the key updates announced by the social network that are expected to be implemented over the next few weeks:
- Tighter controls on posting videos of dangerous actions, including through certain “challenges”,
- The deletion of all content highlighting eating disorders,
- Clarification of the types of hateful ideologies prohibited on the platform, such as content that supports or promotes conversion therapy programmes,
- The consolidation of the policy to protect the security, integrity, availability and reliability of the platform.
In addition, a new system to identify and restrict teenagers’ access to certain types of content according to their age should soon be introduced.
Updated 3D avatars coming soon to Instagram
Already available on Facebook, Messenger and in the metaverse with Meta Quest (ex-Oculus) headsets, 3D avatars will soon be rolled out on Instagram in stories and direct messages! In a recent tweet, Meta also stated that these new avatars would benefit from new customisation options including new face shapes, skin tones, hearing aids and wheelchairs.
For now, these new avatars are only available in the United States, Mexico and Canada, but should soon be available in Europe as well.
Meta goes into NFT and cryptocurrency
You’ve probably already heard about it over the past few weeks, or even months, but do you really know what NFTs are? “NFT” is, in fact, short for Non Fungible Token. A token is a digital asset issued by a blockchain.
This unique “virtual token” serves as a certificate, so that only its holder can justify its possession. An NFT can therefore be used to justify a purchase and prove its authenticity. Some NFTs are selling at a high price, such as the NFTs of the anonymous artist Pak, which sold at auction for $91.8 million last December.
NFTs have been around for several years now, but the phenomenon has been gaining momentum since 2021. This market has more than enough to pique the curiosity of large companies as it amounted to $40 billion last year. It is therefore no surprise that Meta, always at the forefront of what is happening on the web, has decided to invest in these NFTs.
Facebook and Instagram teams are preparing a feature that will allow users to display their NFTs on their social networks. Instagram could be used as a showcase to display digital objects. It would even seem that the Meta Group is currently working on the creation of a marketplace dedicated to NFTs following the example of OpenSea (the website that allows users to sell or buy NFTs).
In addition to NFTs, the Meta group is also very interested in cryptocurrencies. Facebook announced last December that it would be integrating a home-grown cryptocurrency wallet into the WhatsApp application to allow users to send money (using cryptocurrency) directly through the instant messenger.
Nevertheless, Meta’s cryptocurrency project “Diem” (formerly named Libra) and its wallet “Novi” are already the subject of much criticism, especially since the revelations made by whistleblower Frances Haugen at the end of 2021, who accused the group of having chosen “profit over safety”.
For now, Meta is still in the early stages of its NFT and cryptocurrency ambitions, but rest assured that Mark Zuckerberg will not let this opportunity pass.
Youtube offers a new alternative to TikTok with its Youtube Shorts
All social networks are shaking their heads at the sheer power of TikTok, which has taken over a huge market share in a very short time. While Instagram is banking on its Reels to limit the damage, YouTube is also launching its short video format called “YouTube Shorts”.
Launched in September 2020 in India, the new feature offered by YouTube has been a quick success. By the end of February 2021, the CEO of Google and Alphabet, announced that YouTube Shorts videos were receiving 3.5 billion cumulative daily views in the Indian market.
The new format was also a huge success when it was first introduced in the US, as by the time the beta version was launched in March 2021, the new feature had already exceeded 6.5 billion daily views!
The “YouTube Shorts” feature was finally launched a few months later in more than 100 countries worldwide. Similar to what already exists on TikTok or Instagram with Reels, “YouTube Shorts” offers users the possibility to publish 60-seconds videos or less. The options of speed, timer and segmentation of videos are also available directly via the creation tool offered by YouTube.
For the time being, revenue generated by ads in the Shorts player is not shared with the creators, unlike the “classic” videos that can be published on the social network. Maybe things will change in the future, to be continued!