Facebook is checking up on us
Safety has always been at the forefront of Facebooks efforts to improve the quality of the user experience. Their safety feature is switched on during a crisis and allows people to mark themselves as safe in the event of a disaster, natural or not. It lets you check in socially as safe and check whether your friends are safe following a crisis. In the light of recent events the ‘safety check’ feature is here to stay for good. The change to the feature comes after the recent attacks in Barcelona, Spain and Charlottesville, USA.
Now this new feature is a bit bittersweet. Yes, this means that the world is becoming more dangerous and safety features are becoming a necessity in everyday life. But hey, at least we are dealing with it.
The dedicated button is now available to users in the app menu, and as a menu item on the Facebook website. According to Facebook the features will be rolling out to users as of a few days ago.
The safety button will give users a glimpse of all the disasters around the world, and users will be able to check updates from their friends who marked themselves as safe. But will also allow users to view offers of help for people near the crisis locations.
Breaking News! On YouTube
For a lot of us, YouTube is a place to find new music, cat videos and twenty something year olds living luxurious lives in LA. It’s no secret that one quick video often turns into hours and hours of video hopping. And now there’s another reason to be hooked, YouTube is launching a breaking news feature on its homepage across all devices, where breaking news will be shared on all users’ homepages.
Breaking news may sound a bit strange to be added to the platform at first, but this feature actually makes a lot of sense. Breaking news not only keeps current users on the site, but will also bring in a new possibly older audience who are looking to YouTube to get their news. Other than this, it also gives Google one more way to reel in publishers, as they will be keen to strike deals with the platform for their news to be featured.
It only makes sense, people are watching less and less television, especially news channels and shows, with most young people getting their current updates from social media platforms. If YouTube sharing ‘breaking news’ keeps the younger generation interested and up to date with what’s going on in the world then it’s all good.
Instagram adds to its stories feature
Instagram has added a new feature which makes replying to story a lot more interesting. Users will now be able to reply to stories with photos or videos and re-shared posts in Direct.
Back in July, Instagram gave its users the ability to reply to the stories that they see on the platform, with photos or videos. As an addition to that feature, Instagram is introducing a new way to reply to photos, videos and re-shared posts in direct. When users reply in direct, the reply will now automatically include the photo or video that they are replying to as a sticker, for this to happen all users must do is take a picture with their camera in Direct.
Users can also reply with a split screen that includes the content of the sticker. All you have to do is tap on the sticker and it will be turned into one half of a split screen reply. Along with this, users can also draw on the sticker leading to more creative replies. From this it can only be assumed that Instagram is pushing to involve a younger audience, increase the use of messaging on the platform, in the hopes of taking snapchats user base.
Facebook Marketplace is bigger than we thought
We all thought that Facebook launched Marketplace to cater to the buying and selling between its users, but looks like we were wrong. After launching in 17 more countries, Facebook looks to have a lot more coming.
Recent plans show that Facebook plans to do a lot more with their marketplace, other than just using it for another ad placement. Marketplace could be used for other e-commerce categories – job listings, products from retailers’ shopping Pages, ticket sales and so on.
Facebook has confirmed this, and a spokesperson told The Verge that the company is ‘conducting a test to determine if people are interested in shopping for discounted products when they visit Marketplace.’
This news also comes after the recent appearance of eBay Daily Deals within Marketplace in the Facebook mobile app. The purchasing process actually takes place on eBay but the products are purchased on Marketplace. However, this feature is still in testing, and may not be rolled out to all platform users, but it’s a sign of how far the feature is going to be taken.