TikTok facing bans in two of its most prominent markets is only putting pressure on competitors to step up and fill that gap. Instagram jumped at the chance and quickly expanded its own TikTok clone, Reels, to international markets. The feature currently lives inside the Explore tab, but the photo-sharing app doesn't want things to stop there. Instagram is now trying to push users towards Reels even more by giving it a prominent position on the home screen.
Early last year, Facebook promised that it would create a unified backend for all of its messaging platforms. Messenger, Instagram direct messages, and WhatsApp are all supposed to be interoperable, so you wouldn't have to worry about which Facebook app to use with which of your contacts. It looks like the company is getting ready to make these cross-platform chats a reality, as it has started distributing a popup on Instagram that advertises a Messenger integration.
This story was originally published and last updated .
Instagram, and then all of Facebook, famously and shamelessly copied the feature that made Snapchat stand out of the crowd: Stories. Now, Instagram is turning its attention toward the latest hot social media platform, TikTok, and has released its own take on it called Reels. The feature, which has been in testing since at least November and seeded to Brazil, is now available globally.
Early last year, we got word that Facebook was considering cross-platform chats between WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger, running on a unified, encrypted backend. After the first small steps towards compatibility in the form of Messenger Rooms in WhatsApp, we now see this cross-app integration taking shape. According to WABetaInfo, a few hints have appeared in Facebook Messenger that reveal how the company is working on a way to contact WhatsApp users through the app.
Social media platforms have maintained slimmed-down versions of their apps in the past few years to grab more users from developing markets with low-end hardware. Facebook, however, has decided to shut down Instagram Lite and is now redirecting users to the main app. The company has not said why.
As more of us are stuck inside during the novel coronavirus pandemic, Instagram is rolling out a number of new features. The most interesting among them is the ability to watch videos live with friends during video calls, but the social network is also adding links to coronavirus resources from the World Health Organization, plus a "Stay Home" sticker (seen above) that adds posts to one big story.
Facebook doesn't have the best reputation when it comes to minding its users' privacy, and Cambridge Analytica exploiting the social network's third-party APIs for unchecked data collection surely hasn't helped. Now, we've found another service called Ghosty that takes advantage of Instagram's API to create a stalker paradise. By crowdsourcing the data of all of its users' Instagram accounts, it lets anyone view many private profiles.
Chasing like counts on social media and seeking approval from your friends are known to have a toll on your mental health and self-esteem. Instagram took it upon itself to curb such prevailing behavioral ramifications when it began hiding likes from posts for some of its users earlier this year. This change is being tested in seven countries worldwide, and the US will join the list as soon as this week.
Not long after revealing its new, inclusive, and color-shifting corporate logo, Facebook is taking another step toward unifying its various social media applications through Facebook Pay, a payment system like Venmo that will work across Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram apps. With Facebook Pay, the company says the payment process will become easier for its users to buy and sell things online, and it will help businesses to grow.
Today Facebook has unveiled its new logo that attempts to clearly differentiate between Facebook the company and Facebook the social media service that Facebook owns. In addition, it is continuing to push more of its branding on apps, such as Instagram and WhatsApp, by marking Facebook ownership in a more conspicuous manner. We thought the company had already made things pretty clear when it rebranded earlier this year but clearly that was just the beginning.