This week in social media platform changes

  1. Facebook is testing “Wi-Fi discovery,” a feature that will tell you where to access free and public WiFi. This will presumably roll out internationally first, as an additional benefit of the data light version of Facebook in developing countries (Facebook Lite).
  2. New commenting control for all accounts (profiles and business pages) in Instagram: 1) "Likes" on individual comments is enabled; 2) Turn off comments on individual or all posts; 3) If you're private, you can remove followers (w/o notifying the user); 4) Anonymously report an account where the user might be or are putting him/herself in danger.
  3. Facebook is patenting a tool that could help identify and automate the removal of “fake news.” Elements that will be considered: the record of the person reporting the content, profile verification, the age of the account itself, and the number of people reporting the content as fake.
  4. Instagram will now notify users if a screenshot is taken of any image/video sent on their new temporary messaging feature.
  5. Google ingeniously hacks Twitter to respond automatically to emoji mentions with relevant results. For example, if you tweet the burger emoji and tag @google, it will respond with a link to a Google search for “burgers nearby.”
    I tried this with the snowflake emoji and it replied with a pun (“Need to snow basis”) and linked me to a Google search of “will it snow” in NYC (close – I live in Boston).
  6. I neglected to mention last week: The List got a sweet new update! New feature include the ability to update lists, new support for portrait and landscape image sizes, and a 😎 new interface.
  7. Snapchat content update: More TBS Snapchat exclusive “shows” are on their way. Also, Bleacher Report is launching on Discover on January 4.
  8. Reports that Yik Yak is losing its popularity is bolstered by a Verge report this week that the company has laid off 60% of its employees. Apparently the app started losing its power among its core demographic – college students – when it began requiring users to add handles to their posts (a requirement they rolled back in November).
  9. Facebook is slowly rolling out a new navigation bar to its mobile app, one that includes “Live” as a separate tab for discovery.