In social media news this month, Facebook is in your neighbourhood, Tik-Tok goes shopping, Instagram celebrates its tenth birthday and YouTube tweaks playback options. It’s time for another monthly social media news roundup!
Facebook sets up ‘Neighbourhoods’ feature
If the Covid-19 crisis has achieved anything, it’s to make us more connected digitally. Local lockdowns and social distancing mean that travelling to meet up with friends and loved ones has become almost a thing of the past. People are now heading online for that connection instead.
Facebook have leaped into action to work on a feature that helps with just this. ‘Neighbourhoods’, currently only live in Calgary, Canada, aims to connect people with other individuals, activities and businesses which are nearby. The team at Facebook have taken the success of Groups, and transformed it into another way to unite communities and bring people together, at a time when loneliness is rife.
The feature is currently being rigorously tested, and it’s not known when it’ll be more widely available. Watch this space for more!
TikTok goes shopping
If you thought the ‘shops’ feature announcements were over and done with, think again. This month TikTok popped up and announced it was hopping on the (already straining) bandwagon.
Following in the footsteps of Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, the video-based social network is the latest to bring buying power to its platform. Partnering with ecommerce platform Shopify, users will be able to shop content as they scroll through the short videos posted by other users.
It’s thought that the move could help businesses grow online, allowing them to reach larger audiences and boost sales. Currently being rolled out in the US this week, Europe and south-east Asia will have to wait until next year to see the feature in their feeds.
YouTube tweaks playback options
Video giant YouTube introduced the incredibly popular ‘chapters’ feature back in May, and this month they’ve expanded the feature.
A welcome move for viewers, you can now see a list of chapters included in the video listed directly underneath. There’s also a handy thumbnail included in the listing, making it easier for users to find the content they really want to watch.
Additionally, they’ve made it even easier to enter full-screen mode. Users can now swipe up to get the full viewing experience, and then swipe down again to leave it. Admittedly, you can just rotate your phone to get the same experience – but we think it’s nice to have options!
Instagram celebrates 10th birthday with new features
Finally, in this months social media news roundup, we’d like to take this opportunity to wish Instagram a very happy tenth birthday. It’s hard to remember life before the photo-based social network – what on earth did we do before Reels and Stories?
To celebrate a decade of photos, videos and influencer marketing, Instagram released a few fun birthday features. Firstly, they introduced the Stories map, which allows users to see where they’ve posted stories from over the last three years. Secondly, they’ve made it even easier to customize the home screen on your phone with a new range of varied icons. From classic Instagram to monochrome and multi-coloured, there’s something for everyone.
Finally, they’ve also pledged their commitment to tackling online bullying. In early October, they introduced a feature which automatically hides negative comments. Recognizing that many users appreciated transparency, however, they’ve included the option to ‘view hidden comments’.