Instagram releases a new set of features
Instagram has released a new set of features that allows users to block comments from specific people. In addition, users can change their settings so that they can only receive comments from people who follow them and/or anyone they follow. Also, in an attempt to tackle mental health, you are now able to anonymously report live videos. If you choose to report a live video, the person you report will receive a message pop up that offers free help and advice, such as calling/texting a friend and anonymous helplines. Over the next few months, Instagram is also going to add various heart shaped stickers and murals created by artists from around the world, to encourage people to post kind comments. Moreover, when users post with the hashtag #kindcomments on Instagram stories, the murals and stickers will appear.
Twitter increases its character count
Following a recent study that found around 9% of tweets in English are interrupted by the 140 character limit, Twitter is now testing out a new limit of 280 for a small number of accounts. Twitter hopes this will become a permanent feature for everyone in the near future, and will be determined by the feedback gained from users. Users in Japan, China and Korea however, will not be seeing this change roll out, as their languages are structured in a way that allows them to write more in the same amount of characters.
Snapchat debuts Sponsored 3D World Lenses via ‘Snap ads’
During Advertising week in New York, Snapchat’s chief strategy officer, Imran Khan, announced that advertisers can now sponsor Snapchat’s new 3D World Lens; Warner Bros are among one of the first companies to use them. The Lens enable you to view products and characters in the Snapchat camera, as if you are actually in front of them. You will also be able to move, re size and lock them into place on the screen, giving advertisers the opportunity to showcase their assets in a fun and interactive way. This feature is now available in ‘Snap ads’.
Hey! VINA will soon be available as an Android app
The app Hey! VINA, currently running in 158 different countries, is going to be made in to an Android app. This is due to more than half of the current app’s users being on Android. The app has almost the same set up as Tinder, except it is specifically for females who wish to find friends rather than dates; 1 million people have already been matched on the current app. Another difference between VINA and Tinder is that it only shows one photo of each person. Whats more, there is a matching algorithm that compares people’s mutual friends, places they go and their interests, using BuzzFeed type quizzes to find some of this information. Users will also be able to see social statistics, create friend lists, take part in quizzes and manage their community memberships. They will also be able to use group messaging.
Google’s ‘Family Link’ software is now available
Google’s ‘Family Link’, a parental control app, is now available for Android and iOS users in the US. Both Android and iOS users can use ‘Family Link’ to either block or approve their children’s app downloads, and can use their web browser as well as the app to do so. Android only features include allowing parents to filter their children’s apps (only if they are created by Google), as well as set screen time limits and bedtimes. For example, if bedtime is set for 10pm, the child will be locked out of their phone when it is 10pm. Parents are also able to view weekly and monthly reports on their child’s activity. The iOS version offers a “Restrictions” section that allows parents to control what apps their children use, as well as the ability to change their privacy options. However, parents are unable to set time limits, remotely lock their child’s device, or view activity reports regarding app usage.