Happy Friday! Thank you for joining us for our second Friday Four blog post. This week Facebook and Instagram have been dominating the headlines, and we take a deeper dive into Facebook's new time management tool and its new keyword muting feature, as well as Instagram's AR/new video chat capabilities and the more accessible "Instagram Lite."
Facebook Is Developing a Time-Management Tool for Users
Facebook is making moves toward the goal of encouraging its users to better spend their time while on the platform with their new “time well-spent” feature. The company is in the process of developing and implementing a tool that will track and report users’ time spent on the platform each day. In addition, users will now have the ability to set an alert, which will let them know if they exceed their own allotted amount of time spent on Facebook. The program comes in response to the criticism that Facebook is receiving regarding unethical policies surrounding misinformation and privacy breaches. The real question is will Facebook’s popularity be impacted by this conscious limiting of users’ time, in turn affecting their ever-so-valued ad revenue?
Instagram’s Video Chat and New Custom AR Filters Arrive
Right behind the launch of IGTV, Instagram continues to keep new features rolling. Users in groups of up to four people will now be able to video chat within the Instagram. Similar to direct messaging, you’ll need to be mutually following accounts to video chat with them. Instagram also released an updated design for its Explore page, now allowing users to browse categories of posts in addition to hashtags. Lastly, it's clear that Instagram Stories are here to compete with Snapchat, and they're now offering third parties the chance to introduce their own AR filters. Celebrities and influencers will be able to create filters for others to interact with, post, and eventually, save to their own ‘Toolkit.’ How cool is that?!
Facebook Is Testing a Way to Mute Keywords
Facebook is trying out a new feature that will allow users to snooze keywords and phrases on their feeds. The ability to snooze content from certain friends has been available for a while, but now, you'll have the ability to snooze specific types of content, regardless of who posts it. Through a new option in the top-right drop-down menu on posts, users can mute keywords within any given post for thirty days. Currently, there is no way to search and select words to snooze, but Facebook says they are considering adding the feature. This will come in handy when you're trying to avoid spoilers when you've missed new episodes of your favorite shows!
Instagram Lite Quietly Launches to Find a Billion More Users Abroad
Only Instagram could launch a new global app with no announcement and make it a hit! Instagram Lite takes up much less space on your phone at 1/55th the size of its parent app. While it currently only allows the posting and browsing of photo content, Instagram Lite is much more accessible to people in the developing world, for example, with older phones and less network connectivity. This follows Instagram’s mobile website release which, additionally, has been tailored to provide more accessibility to this audience. Testing of the app has begun in Mexico and will include more countries in the coming months.
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