This New Year, popular social media websites and applications are upgrading to change the way we meet and talk with new people online. Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have been adding new features.
With the new Instagram updates, users can post their own Instagram story where the post will stay up for 24 hours then automatically delete. Originally this was very similar to Snapchat but without the animated filters; however, with the new update you can now also mention other accounts in your stories or use boomerang shots. For some verified Instagram users, you can add links where if you swipe up from the story you will be automatically taken to it.
You can also add links to the “see more” button. Whether this will be rolled out to unverified accounts isn’t yet confirmed, but this is a possibility for the upcoming year.
YouTube kids has been updated to have even more protection for the upcoming year, with a timer that allows you to limit your kids’ screen watching time, select an age-based customisation and an easy way to block videos using the three dot symbol underneath them.
YouTube is also beginning to get on board with new virtual reality technologies, saying they are “committed to giving creators the space and resources they need to learn about, experiment with, and create virtual reality video”.
They have already begun helping creators create virtual reality videos for their platform, more of which we are sure to see in 2017.
YouTube has also reached a landmark agreement with the Germany-based music rights organization, GEMA. Previously, it was very common for German’s to have YouTube music related videos blocked in their country. Because of this change, German artists will now be available to view worldwide.
YouTube has also recently acquired the website “Famebit”, a platform that links influencers to brands who want to sponsor them. With YouTube now owning the platform, Internet content creators will be able to easily put some more money in their pocket through sponsorships, promotion and advertising.
With the death of Twitter-owned company “Vine” in 2016, Twitter is going into the new year with a new service, live sharing on Twitter. Powered by Periscope, to go live just go to compose a tweet and tap “LIVE” which brings you to a pre-broadcast screen where you can frame your shot. When you’re ready, press “Go Live” to start broadcasting.
Despite exaggerations of it ceasing to exist, Vine is also going to be integrated into Twitter posts as a way to make 6-second videos under the name “Vine Camera” in January. Rather than being a standalone social network, it will be integrated into the Twitter system.
Facebook has said it will be combating fake news sites by having streamlined fact-checkers (ABC News, AP, FactCheck.org, Politifact and Snopes) and a flagging system. They have also said they will not be advertising any false news sources.
A new Facebook feature of coloured status updates has also been rolled out for Android users of the Facebook app globally (although all users will be able to see the colours). The feature for iPhone and the web will follow.
Text by Sarah S.