Social News Jan 19th: Ads, apps and algorithms
Instagram shaking things up
In a bid to make life easier, Instagram is testing a host of new features including a native Regram button; allowing users to search for and add GIFs to their Stories and regular posts; an Archived Stories feature; as well a new Close Friends list. Explore all the new features here.
YouTube’s version of Stories
YouTube is now adding its own version on Stories, called ‘Reels’. Reels is a spin off of the popular stories features used by Instagram and Snapchat. They’ll appear in a brand-new tab on a creator’s channel. Creators make new Reels by shooting a few quick mobile videos of up to 30 seconds each, then adding filters, music, text and more, including new “YouTube-y” stickers.
Reels will soon be introduced into beta for a handful of creators for feedback and further testing.
Save your Instagram Stories (finally)
Instagram announced this week two new features to its popular Stories. The first new feature is a Story Archive. This will let you save your past Stories beyond their traditional 24-hour expiration date.
The other update is Story Highlights, which lets you display your favorite archived Stories on your profile. You can save your highlights into individual Story reels which appear as circles on your profile.
Both updates have been rolled out on the iOS and Android apps.
Facebook launches Messenger for kids
Facebook announced this week it’s launching a new app, Messenger Kids, which allows children to use Facebook’s messaging software — the first time the company has allowed children younger than 13 to have an official presence on any of its platforms. Messenger doesn’t have any tie-ins to the company’s advertising network. Maybe, now, the company can convince kids that Facebook is pretty cool, again.
Facebook Messenger tests ‘Customer Chat’ plug-in
Customers can now seamlessly continue conversations across businesses’ websites and Messenger with one plug in. Making ease for communications to stay in one preferred platform. Air France, Argos, Aviva and KLM are some of the brands already using the customer chat plugin.