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Spark Bites: Catch Me on My Video Phone

Welcome to this week’s edition of Spark Bites! Instagram’s new long-form video hub IGTV is finally here! Read on for all the details and for other exciting social media updates.

The long-anticipated Instagram video hub we’ve been reporting on is finally here! At an event in San Francisco, Instagram announced the launch of 60 minute videos and the hub that will house them, IGTV. However, posting to IGTV is reserved for big-name celebrities only. On the bright side, IGTV is ad-free…for now.

Instagram also reportedly stopped notifying users of screenshots taken of their stories, so now you can secretly save a shot of your favorite stories!

We previously reported that Instagram was working on a tool to help you manage how much time you spend on the app, and now we finally have a first look at the tool before its official launch. The feature will allow users to set a daily time-spent limit and get alerts for when they exceed that amount. With all its new usage insights features, Instagram is making a push for healthier social media behavior.

Datally, Google’s data-saving android app, is rolling out several new features. The updates include a map of nearby Wi-Fi networks, a feature to limit the amount of data you use on a daily basis, and even a guest mode function to limit how much data is used when someone borrows your phone.

Google is introducing a new app for Android call Google Podcasts. On launch day, over two million podcasts will be available to download. The app will also have a “For you” section that will have a customized list of podcasts recommended for you based on your listening habits.

Google Adwords also announced a few updates. In taking steps to ensure a safe and secure online experience everywhere, AdWords will now automatically redirect  from unencrypted URLs to HTTPS instead.

AdWords also unveiled several new shopping features. Google announced that users can now highlight store locations, local catalog ads, and new price benchmarks in AdWords reporting.

Uber created quite a stir with its latest news about potentially tracking when its users are under the influence. This week, they’re making news again. Uber is now testing cheaper fares for users who are willing to wait longer for their ride to arrive. Especially during its infamous “surge pricing,” Uber can get costly. This new feature can help users save money by waiting a few extra minutes during busy times!

Did you know Facebook prohibits ads for guns and firearm modifications? Sellers of weapons are only able to place ads for gun accessories, like holsters, cases, and scopes, and Facebook is working on further restricting who sees these items. Starting on June 21st, Facebook will be implementing age restrictions so only users ages 18 and over can view ads for guns accessories.  

Facebook is also launching a new gameshow platform where users can participate in quizzes, polls, and other games in which they are eliminated for wrong answers. Creators will be able to write out their game questions, assign correct answers, and even create videos for a more interactive experience. Get your game face on!

Earlier this week, Facebook launched its Brand Collabs Manager – a search engine to help connect brands and creators. Creators will be able to post their portfolios so brands can browse freely, and even search by demographics and target audiences.

YouTube Music has finally gone live in 17 countries! For $9.99 a month, users can experience ad-free streaming of music videos, hard-to-find music, and even live performances. Current YouTube Red and Google Play Music members will get the new YouTube Music features with at no additional cost.


Thanks for tuning into another edition of Spark Bites, your one-stop shop for all your social media updates. See you next week!