As 2021 is nearing its end, we see certain trends emerge. From Instagram playing favourites to LinkedIn investing the big bucks in creators, it seems this kinetic industry shows no signs of slowing down. 

Here, media update’s Taylor Goodman gives you the scoop on the latest social media developments.

Instagram tests ‘Favourites’ 

The news

Do you ever get tired of scrolling through your feed and seeing posts that don’t really grab your interest? ‘When will I get to the good stuff’, you wonder? Well, Instagram is here to solve that problem with its ‘Favourites’ feature!

Alessandro Paluzzi, a mobile developer, explains that this feature allows users to ‘Favourite’ the Instagram accounts that are a priority to them (like family or friends) so that they can see their content first on their feed. 

Why it’s making headlines

Instagram’s ‘Favourites’ solves a problem that its users have had for a while, which is not seeing content they are actually interested in due to the app’s algorithm. 

This feature, used concurrently with something like ‘Close Friends’, can make all the difference in improving the user’s Instagram experience. This is because both features allow users to tailor their feeds and choose who sees their content. Essentially, it gives the users more control — resulting in a happier user experience and content that is more likely to receive engagement.

Twitter introduces ‘Safety Mode’ 

The news

Twitter is also making users feel more in control of their social media experience with the introduction of its Safety Mode.

According to Twitter’s blog, this Safety Mode “temporarily blocks accounts for seven days for using potentially harmful language — such as insults or hateful remarks — or sending repetitive and uninvited replies or mentions.” 

The user will be able to turn on this feature in the Settings tab and Twitter’s systems will assess whether an engagement is negative. It does this by taking the tweet’s content and the relationship between the author and replied into consideration. 

If the system concludes that the tweet is negative or the interaction is uninvited, it will autoblock the offender. 

Why it’s making headlines

Safety Mode is bound to make a major difference in facilitating healthy dialogue on the app. 

In addition to users gaining greater control over their interactions online, Safety Mode sees the platform aiming to regulate hateful and harmful discourse — something that is plentiful on Twitter.

LinkedIn invests USD$25-million in creators

The news

LinkedIn has launched its Creator Accelerator Programme, which sees the platform devote USD$25-million to “help creators build their audience and amplify their voice.” Now that’s a serious investment! 

In this 10 week-long programme, 100 US creators will be treated to “coaching, a built-in creator network, opportunities to be featured on LinkedIn channels, [as well as] a USD$15 000 grant to help them share content, spark conversations and build communities.” 

For more on LinkedIn creators, be sure to check out LinkedIn influencers: Your FAQs answered.

Why it’s making headlines

LinkedIn’s Creator Accelerator Programme is a part of the platform’s greater effort to uplift its creators, similar to its series of creator-centred events that is running throughout September. 

The platform’s increased focus on creators aims to encourage more people to join LinkedIn and start meaningful conversations. 

Seeing as LinkedIn recently acquired Jumprope, a how-to video platform, this programme forms part of the push to incentivise users to create video content on the platform.

Facebook launches smart glasses

The news

Always the innovators, Facebook has decided to venture into the (checks notes) ... eyewear game? 

Yes, you read that right! The social media giants are partnering with famed eyewear brand Ray-Ban to create Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses.

*Image courtesy of Adweek

Although this may seem to come out of the left-field, this innovation gives consumers a whole new way to “capture photos and video, share their adventures and listen to music or take phone calls.” 

Why it’s making headlines

Facebook and Ray-Ban’s smart glasses making headlines comes as no surprise because many of us have never heard of something like it. With this being said, it also breaks major boundaries in wearable tech. 

So, how does it work? The glasses are fitted with a camera on each arm, allowing users to capture five-megapixel images or and up to 30-second long videos.

Additionally, “open-ear speakers are built-in, and Ray-Ban Stories’ three-microphone audio array delivers richer voice and sound transmission for calls and videos.” 

Users will be able to share anything captured on the smart glasses on the new Facebook View app, which is available on iOS and Android. Talk about seamless integration!
*Image courtesy of Facebook

What recent social media news has grabbed your attention? Let us know in the comments below. 

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Want to stay clued in on the latest and greatest developments on the digital scene? Then be sure to check out these 2021 Social media stats for South Africa.
*Image courtesy of Unsplash