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Ee Sa Leong

Published on

December 8, 2020


Social Media

In this edition of Social Tech Updates, Instagram explores a new feature for users to express their reactions, WhatsApp stages a disappearing act, TikTok encourages learning and YouTube gets creative with personalisation.

Instagram Stories is Exploring a New Way To Show Your Reactions

Image Source: Shutterstock

Earlier this month, Instagram tested a new feature which would display user reactions to Stories on the story frame itself, as opposed to sending the creator a DM.

What does this mean for users? Currently, when you allocate an emoji response to an Instagram Story, the user gets an individual notification in their inbox. This makes it harder to track the actual emoji response for a particular story and also provides limited context of content one is responding to with said reaction.

While it is still unclear at the moment on how Instagram will be displaying this data for the future, it will be interesting to see this feature in full action, as it allows for more varied and immediate interaction between audiences and creator’s alike – as the platform finds new ways to drive engagement in ways that don’t involve the like button.

WhatsApp Messages Can Now Disappear After 7 Days

Image Source: WhatsApp

With the intention to give people more control on how their words and pictures live within the app, WhatsApp now allow ephemeral messages — including photos and videos — to be marked to disappear after seven days. This seven-day limit will exist regardless of whether the message gets read or not. It’s also likely that there will be more flexibility in the future, exploring different time frames for disappearing messages.

The update on disappearing messages is being rolled out globally across Android and iOS progressively. Users can turn on the feature for direct messages, but in groups it’s the admin that has to enable disappearing messages for it to work.

TikTok Introduces New ‘Learn’ Feed to Boost Educational Content

Image Source: Social Media Today

Following its #LearnOnTikTok program that was announced in May, TikTok is now testing a new, dedicated ‘Learn’ stream of videos within the app. The new ‘Learn’ feed would be an alternative to the current ‘Following’ and ‘For You’ streams, giving TikTok users access to a dedicated, vertical-scrolling flow of the platform’s educational video clips. The feature is currently in testing and appearing for selected users only.

Initially launched to help students to learn during the pandemic, the Learn feed could be another way for TikTok to better connect with the community, and showcase its social good, and the benefits it can provide.

New Listening Options in YouTube Music

Image Source: Mari Smith

YouTube Music is adding a new set of personalised music mix options to align with the user’s mood or activity. As explained by YouTube, users will now see an activity bar in home page that gives them easy access to music for four featured activities including: Workout, Focus, Relax, and Commute. Users can also access up to seven new and distinct personalized ‘My Mix’ playlists, ‘with each playlist capturing a different corner of your music world.’

YouTube have also renamed the current ‘Your Mix’ to My Supermix’ – which will combine all of the user’s music tastes into one listening experience. YouTube music had grown from 8 million active users in 2017, to more than 77 million active users by the end of 2019.

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