We’re back with your monthly social scoop. From deepfake restrictions on Facebook to Playlist Stories on Spotify, February’s been wild and we’re eager to tell you all about it. Let’s go!

 

Facebook

Zuckerberg has ditched his annual personal challenge in favor of long-term plans; each year Zuckerberg sets himself a personal challenge which he shares in a post on his profile. Take 2011, for example, where he swore to the world that he’d ‘only eat meat from animals that he’d killed himself.’ This year, he’s scrapped his personal challenge and opted to look at the technology industry as a whole, revealing a number of tech-related goals for the next decade. Zuckerberg touted a goal of a “new private social platform”, focusing on private interactions on networks to “help us reconstruct all kinds of smaller communities to give us that sense of intimacy again”. In the post, he also put an emphasis on augmented, virtual and mixed reality and their ability to enable “the feeling that you’re right there with another person or in another place”. It’ll be interesting to see how Facebook decides to action this in the coming year. You can read the full post here.

 

 

Facebook has also vowed to remove and ban all videos generated by artificial intelligence that depict people saying fictional things. Whilst it’s a long overdue move from the platform, the ban doesn’t come without its limitations. Remember this video that surfaced of Nancy Pelosi where she appears to be slurring her words? The video itself isn’t necessarily ‘fake’, it really is Pelosi talking and saying those words, but the timing of the video has been manipulated making it appear as though she is struggling to speak coherently. In this instance, despite the tampering, this isn’t a video Facebook would take down under their new guidelines. So there are some loopholes in their decision, and hopefully something they’ll consider further down the line.

 

 

Instagram

We’ve got some great news for all you Community Managers out there; after nearly 6 years on mobile, Instagram has brought direct messages to desktop. The function is still being rolled out, but will hopefully add an element of ease to those in community management roles, responding to consumer DMs on their computer or laptop, instead of on mobile. 

 

 

Instagram has also added new Boomerang effects. In an attempt to battle against the competition that is the rising popularity of TikTok and getting users to share more engaging video content on the platform, Instagram have added the new effects, which include SlowMo, Echo & Duo, the latter of which gives you that digital Blade Runner aesthetic we didn’t know we needed, but here we are. Check them out in action below.

 

 

Youtube

YouTube Gaming has taken on Twitch in the e-sports live-streaming battle; they’ve invested in three massive e-sports leagues; Call of Duty, Overwatch and Hearthstone all of which will be streamed exclusively on the platform in the hope of bringing in more users. As it stands, competitor streaming platform Twitch has three times as many daily users as Youtube Gaming; let’s see how these stats change in the coming months with Youtube’s battle for dominance in the streaming field. 

 

 

Byte

The co-creator of Vine has secretly launched ‘Byte’, a 6-second video platform (much like how Vine functioned back in the day). Alongside the launch, they’re in talks of introducing a ‘Partner Programme’ with the purpose of getting users and content creators to work with them to create content. Word on the street states that, in some cases, 100% of the ad revenue will go to those creators, in an attempt to establish this ‘content creator focused’ partnership. The response from the public has been conflicting; some are happy that there’s a focus on the creators and the content, whilst others see it as a copycat version of Vine. Watch this space.

 

 

Whatsapp

Whatsapp have announced that they’ll remain ad-free, in what’s deemed a drastic U-turn after last year’s comments on potentially rolling out ads for the messaging platform. Ads will remain within the story function on the app, but not within the feed… for now. 

 

 

Spotify

Spotify has done a ‘Facebook circa March 2017’ on us and started testing a Spotify Stories feature on the app. The aim of the feature is to showcase your favourite songs by curating a string of short clips with your chosen playlist. At the moment, the feature only applies to users that curate playlists on the platform, as opposed to the artists themselves. They're hoping this will drive more people to the platform by allowing people to share and discover new music as well as interact with other users on the app. 

 

 

See you next month!