May brought upon many updates from social media giants, some of which were rolled out as a response to the coronavirus pandemic, while others were aimed to give content creators more control or curb cyberbullying on different platforms. Whatever your social media platform of choice is, be sure to take a gander at all the new features that have been announced over the past month.
Transfer To Google Photos: You can now easily remove and transfer your embarrassing middle school photos from Facebook and upload them to your Google Photos account! The photo transfer tool was initially announced in December 2019 as part of the Data Transfer Project, a collaborative effort between some of the biggest tech companies including Apple, Twitter, and Microsoft.
Giphy Acquisition: While many companies around the world have tightened their purse strings amid the coronavirus pandemic, Facebook acquired GIPHY for a cool $400 million. Facebook characterized the acquisition as a way to “further integrate their GIF library into Instagram and our other apps so that people can find just the right way to express themselves.” Critics of Facebook’s track record on issues like privacy are worried about what the acquisition will mean, as competitors such as iMessage and Twitter use the app as a GIF search provider.
Give Yourself To The Dark Side: As part of its desktop redesign, Facebook now lets users opt-in to dark mode, which can be toggled on and off through a switch in the Settings menu. The setting is designed to minimize screen glare while maintaining contrast to give your peepers a rest. 👀
Facebook Shops: Positioned as a solution for retailers feeling the impact of little to no foot traffic, Facebook Shops will enable retailers to create a virtual storefront and sell products directly to consumers on Facebook and Instagram without ever leaving the apps. The feature is available to all sellers, no matter the size or budget. Facebook also announced that brands will be able to tag a product from their Facebook Shop or catalog before going live, so that the products are shown at the bottom of the stream, and users can tap on the item to learn more.
Instagram Shops: This summer, Instagram will begin rolling out Instagram Shops, a new way to discover a buy product on Instagram Explore. Users will be able to browse through selections from their favorite brands and purchase them all in one place. Instagram will be adding a new shop tab in the navigation bar later this year.
Wellness Guides: Instagram introduced a new type of post format which can be found within the Explore tab. Guides will enable select content creators, public figures, and organizations to share resources during the coronavirus pandemic, including tips on how to look after your well-being, and managing anxiety or grief. Some of the participating accounts include headspace, a national youth mental health foundation funded by the Australian government, and Heads Together, a campaign coordinated by The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Giving Content Creators More Control: In their continued efforts to maintain Instagram a positive environment and curb online bullying, Instagram is launching the ability to delete up to 25 comments at once, block or restrict multiple accounts at the same time, giving people control over who can tag them or mention them in a post, and testing the ability to pin comments to the top of a post.
Monetization Partnerships: Almost two years after launching IGTV, Instagram has announced monetization partnerships with content creators, offering two initial offerings, ads, and badges. For now, ads from large brand name advertisers like Puma and Ikea will be showing and monetized for an initial group of 200 approved creators, with 55 percent of the cut going to the creators. Live badges will be tested out on a small group of creators, and once a badge is bought, it’ll show in front of a user’s name and their comments will populate higher than others.
You Might Want To Rethink That: In early May, Twitter announced that it would be conducting an experiment for a few weeks in which it would test sending users a prompt when they reply to a tweet using “offensive or hurtful language.” Once the user tweets their reply, they’ll be notified that their language matches the language used in reported tweets, and asked if they would like to revise the tweet.
Limit Who Replies To Your Tweets: Twitter is testing a way to limit who can reply to your tweets, by allowing users to allow replies from everyone, people you follow, or only people you mention. Other accounts will still be able to like or retweet the tweet, should they be excluded. We’re not sure if this is the answer to fight hate speech on the app, or if it will just reinforce dangerous groupthink and echo chambers.
Putting a Stop To Misleading Information: Earlier this year, Twitter introduced a new label for tweets containing manipulated media. This month, they’ve introduced the labels on tweets that contain potentially harmful, misleading information, and will link to a Twitter-curated page containing additional information on the claims made within the tweet. We saw this feature in action as Twitter marked one of President Trump’s tweets with a fact-check warning label for the first time this week.
Scheduling Tweets: Twitter announced a new feature that lets users save tweets as a draft and schedule posts for a later time or date. The feature which began as an experiment last fall has now been rolled out to all users.
Shop Til You Drop: With just a few clicks, Shopify merchants will now be able to upload catalogs to Pinterest and turn their products into shoppable Product Pins. The Pinterest app on Shopify includes shopping features like tag installation, catalog ingestion, automatic daily updating of products, and an ad-buying interface.
Organizational Features: Pinterest’s new features promise to keep you organized as you scour the app for the latest recipes, crafts, or tips. The app introduced the ability to add a date or personal notes to a board, as well as automated ways to better organize pins on any given board.
New Features For Video Creators: YouTube announced four new features to help video creators enhance their videos and moderate engagement. For the first time since launching, YouTube is giving creators access to data, including hours during the week, letting them know when their audience is most active. The second update makes the previously optional setting to hold inappropriate comments for review a default setting. Creators will now have the ability to draft and schedule community posts on the desktop web app, and they will receive access to the new video chapters feature which allows creators to break down their videos into different chapters a viewer can jump to.
We will continue to update this list as we learn about new updates on social media. Thank you to Feedspot for including us on their list of top social media blogs in 2020!