A round-up of new features to look out for from your favorite platforms
Social media is constantly changing, and over the past month, it feels as if every major social media network has launched a new feature or update, helping us remain inspired and connected while we shelter in place. While some of these updates were already underway, we understand that many of these updates were sped up in response to the widespread stay-at-home orders in place due to the coronavirus.
Here’s some news you might’ve missed:
Facebook Messenger Rooms: According to Facebook’s announcement, between WhatsApp and Messenger, more than 700 million accounts participate in calls every day, with video calling doubling, and views of Facebook Live and Instagram Live increasing. Looking to capitalize on the demand for video conferencing, Facebook introduced Messenger Rooms. Users can create a room from Messenger or Facebook, and invite up to 50 people to join the call. The rooms will not have time restrictions, can be locked for privacy, and guests do not need to have a Facebook account to join, among other features.
Live With: Facebook is bringing back ‘Live With,’ a built-in co-broadcasting feature for Facebook Live that lets you invite another person into your live broadcast. We’re really crossing our fingers for the presidential debates to take place in this format. 😂
Charging For Online-Only Events: Soon creators and small businesses will be able to mark their Facebook events as “online-only” and integrate Facebook Live for broadcasting. Creators will have the ability for Pages to charge for access to events. We foresee many businesses adding this tool to their sales strategy as many will choose to avoid crowded places as the government continues relaxing restrictions on gatherings.
Live Donations: Facebook has also announced that users can now add the donate button to live video for fundraisers, the option to only listen to the audio of live broadcasts, livestream games, and expanding Stars to more Pages and countries.
Live Videos On Desktop: With desktop search on the rise, this update couldn’t have come at a better time! Users will now be able to watch and comment on live videos from their desktop.
Sending DMs On Desktop: While a small percentage of users have had access to DMs on their desktop since January, Instagram has now made the feature available to all users. Now you’ll be able to shoot your shot from mobile and desktop. What a time to be alive!
Challenge Stickers: Social media challenges have become increasingly popular (because we have nothing else to do while quarantined), and taking part in them just got easier! Users can now add the challenge sticker to their Instagram Stories and nominate their friends by tagging them.
Small Business Stickers: To help small businesses and restaurants, Instagram introduced interactive Stories stickers to encourage the followers of these businesses to order gift cards or place online orders
Live Donations: For those looking to support their favorite nonprofit during this time, Instagram has introduced Live Donations, which allows users to easily create a fundraiser on their live broadcast, with 100 percent of the proceeds going directly to the nonprofit of choice.
Messenger Kids: Your kids will be able to find out what their BFF Jill had for lunch while socially distancing thanks to Messenger Kids, a video chat and messaging app allowing children to connect with their friends and family in a parent-controlled environment.
Group Calls: The Facebook-owned company plans to roll out group voice and video calls with up to eight people. As before, these calls will be secured with end-to-end encryption.
New Shop Tab: You’re a few Pins away from mid-century modern perfection. Given the rise in popularity in online shopping, Pinterest introduced the Shop tab, where users will be able to browse through in-stock inventory from stores including IKEA, Wayfair, Target, Pottery Barn, Walmart, and others.
Donation Stickers: Similar to Instagram, TikTok launched interactive Donation Stickers which can be embedded in videos and TikTok LIVE streams. When users click on the sticker, they’ll be guided to a pop-up window where they can easily submit a donation without leaving the app. TikTok will match up to $10 million in total donations through May 27.
Video Builder: As businesses shift how they’re communicating with their customers, some have found that they do not have the right tools to do so. Video Builder is for businesses that do not have the capability to create videos from scratch. The free beta tool can animate static assets such as images, text, and logo, with music from YouTube’s library.
We will continue to update this list as we learn about new updates on social media.