Happy Friday! We’re ushering in fall with the four newest pieces of social media news you need to know from this past week.
Instagram is testing a new standalone-shopping app (which we’re psyched about TBH), Microsoft is redesigning Skype once again in an effort to keep up with its competitors, Twitter has hinted at a couple new features coming to the platform to make it more “conversational,” and Snapchat is now analyzing people’s emotions based on their selfies.
Instagram Is Reportedly Developing A Standalone-Shopping App
Is Instagram coming after Amazon? It seems that way! Looks like the highly visual social media platform is taking on the e-commerce giant with its new standalone app, which is focused on shopping. It is rumored to be called “IG Shopping.”
The proposed app would allow users to buy products directly from the retailers that they follow on Instagram, and since Amazon has already shown how third-party sellers can generate online revenue it’s a no-brainer! Instagram began testing a shopping feature in 2016 that allowed retailers to tag products in photos, which rolled out more broadly in 2017, but it’s unclear when this new app might launch.
Let’s hope this new app makes it to market, because we think this could be great for retailers and consumers alike!
Microsoft Is Redesigning Skype Once Again And Killing Its Snapchat-Like Feature
Microsoft’s Skype is getting a makeover, and is pulling away from its Snapchat-like feature “Highlights.” The video-communication platform wants to make it a bit easier for users to navigate and find contacts, and has removed its “Highlights” feature similar to that of Snapchat’s “Story,” as users didn’t seem to be readily using the function to document their day with photos and videos.
With the rapid rise of competitors such as Facebook’s WhatsApp and Apple’s FaceTime, Skype has struggled to retain dominance in the video-communication space. A statement from Peter Skillman, director of design for Skype and Outlook reads, “This past year we explored some design changes and heard from customers that we overcomplicated some of our core scenarios. Calling became harder to execute and 'Highlights' didn't resonate with a majority of users."
Fingers crossed that this re-design takes off, unlike the many before it.
Twitter Hints At New Threaded Conversations And Who’s Online Features
In an effort to make things more “conversational” on the platform, Twitter is considering the addition of two new features in the form of threaded conversations and status indicators. Sara Haider, Twitter’s director of product management, shared a couple screenshots last Friday showcasing these “rough” changes, which we re-tweeted by Twitter chief Jack Dorsey (Endorsement?? We think so!).
The nested, color-coded conversation threads are similar to Reddit’s and Facebook’s threads, as responses to responses are indented. The online status indicator is just as it sounds, and shows other users when you’re on the platform and ready to respond with a green dot, similar to that on Facebook and Instagram.
Personally, we’re fine with the new threaded conversations (no harm done there!), but not pleased with the online status indicator functionality. In today’s day there is far too much bullying and online trolling, and TBH we really don’t need another way for users to be barraged and targeted as soon as they’re “active.”
Let’s see what happens!
Snapchat Figured Out How To Analyze People's Selfies To Score Their Emotions
And we’ve reached a new level of creepy! Sentiment word analysis is one thing, but monitoring people’s emotions at events via their selfies is a whole other ballgame.
Snap has come up with a patented way to monitor exactly how people are feeling at events such as concerts and speaking engagements. The patent for this technology was originally filed in April, 2015, and it could use facial recognition through selfies on Snapchat, in addition to taking cues from messaging, to score people’s emotions.
Snapchat toyed with using a ranking system to score precisely how a human might feel across a complex range of emotions. The diagram from Snap’s patent documents shows an example model of human emotions in a sort of floral pattern. The patent filing suggests that Snap could charge event coordinators a fee to gauge the crowd’s overall emotion and sentiment.
There seems to be a payment model for everything these days! Just because Snap has the technology to monitor a crowd’s emotions, however, doesn’t mean it will actually be used. We’ll see!
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