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Spark Bites: Social Apps Continue to Leverage Smart Technology

We’ve been grabbing coffee and saving the digital world, all in a brief hiatus’s work. But now we’re back with your recommended dose of social media updates in another edition of Spark Bites! This has been a big week for many social apps, what with new food ordering features, beta tests of facial recognition and increased character limits flying around. There’s plenty of exciting stuff going on in the social world -— read on to find out more!


Facebook

  • Facebook has launched a new “Order Food” feature in the US. It allows you to explore restaurant options in your area for take-out or delivery. Apart from partnering with restaurant chains, the social network is collaborating with other food ordering services so it doesn’t really face competition. So go ahead, stuff your face(book)!

 

  • The time has come for Facebook to start taking its name very literally. The social giant has begun testing facial recognition software as a possible account recovery step when users get locked out or hacked. Although the possibility of a global roll-out depends on the test results, the feature has already sparked yet another safety and privacy debate.

 

  • Facebook has rolled out its Messenger Lite Android app to Canada, U.S.A., U.K. and Ireland. The app is a basic, no-frills version of the original content-rich Messenger. The intent is to facilitate users to stay connected even in areas with bad cell reception. The only surprising downside is the Lite version isn’t available for iOS users (yet)!

 

Instagram

  • Instagram Stories now give you the option to get opinions from your friends in real time. You can put up an interactive two-answer poll in which people can answer conveniently while watching your story. This was originally Polly’s idea that was integrated into Snapchat. However, we have a feeling it might be more popular on Instagram as it has a much larger user-base. Oh, snap!

 

Twitter

  • Twitter, which has always defended and taken pride in its 140-character limit, released an update to beta users that doubles the tweet limit to 280 characters. It plans to collect this beta test’s results in the coming months and then make a decision about rolling out the higher character limit across all users and languages. In the meantime, we’re bemused at the immediate invention of a Chrome extension that blocks tweets longer than 140 characters…because, of course, there are already complaints!

 

Snapchat

  • Google had some epic product announcements at its Pixel event and obviously at least one social media app wanted in on all the fun. Snapchat has teamed up with Google to create a laptop version of the app for the Pixelbook. This will be a huge milestone for Snapchat as it’s been mobile-only thus far, despite its rival social media apps having long had desktop versions.

 

  • Snapchat has launched a new feature called “Contact Cards,” which will give you more information about the locations featured in business ads or your friends’ snaps. Whether it’s contact details, reviews or Uber hiring, you’ll see it all. Pretty neat, don’t you think?

 

LinkedIn

  • LinkedIn is all set to seriously up its recruiting insights game. It announced a beta test of a new tool called Talent Insights with an official launch set for 2018. The tool will leverage all the data that LinkedIn has collected over the years, to make talent-search easier for recruiters. The tool will make searches highly selective by showing recruiters where they can find the most skilled workers sorted by school, location, employer, industry, and more. The entire search process will be primarily data-driven, which means results will be highly relevant and eliminate the need of extensive manual sorting.

 

  • The employment-centric social network has now decided to sell video advertising. It’s finally jumping onto the autoplay-on-mute video ads bandwagon, which is already being smartly leveraged by other social sites. This move is sure to significantly bump up LinkedIn’s advertising revenue.

 

Pinterest

  • Pinterest announced that it has partnered with Target to integrate its visual search technology called Lens into the retailer’s mobile apps. This is the first time Pinterest will be partnering its Lens technology with a retailer. What this integration will mean for you is that you can click a picture of any Target product and then quickly find similar products available with the retailer, possibly on sale. We personally love it when apps come up with ways to make retail therapy even more enjoyable than it already is!

 

And that’s a wrap for this week, folks. Don’t fret, another edition of Spark Bites will soon be on its way to quench your thirst for digital marketing news!

Sana Ahmed
Sana Ahmed
[email protected]