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This week in Spark Bites: Facebook gets dark, LinkedIn jumps on the Stories bandwagon, YouTube officially nixes annotations, and much more! Strap in as we take you on a tour of what’s new in the land of social media updates.


  • Watch, the Facebook streaming service, now boasts more interactivity as they roll out Watch Party for all users (previously only available to groups). Users can create and join playlists, and watch, react and comment in real time. You can join a Watch Party for your favorite fitness guru and get live answers to your questions, or just react with friends while you binge your favorite shows together. It’s my Red Table Talk party and I’ll 😭 if I want to.

  • More news, but the news you care about. 400 US cities now have a “Today in” section which connects you to local and community news. This could include breaking news, community events, the latest from local governments and weather predictions.
  • Soon, Dark Mode will be rolled out. Facebook is the latest app to create a version of night mode to reduce sleep-cycle disruption caused by harsh blue light. In Dark Mode, the appearance of the app will change to shades of black and grey and is meant to be easy on the eyes.



  • As of January 15th, 2019, all video annotations on YouTube will be deactivated. Remember those pop-up boxes in videos with jokes or links to other videos? You may not, given that you haven’t been able to add any since May 2017. Either way, they’re history. End screens feature links to other videos and are much less annoying, so retiring video annotations is more of a formality at this point.





  • A change to LinkedIn privacy settings now makes it the default that other contacts are blocked from exporting your email address. Users can still see your email on your profile, but we predict that very few will be downloadable in a handy spreadsheet since it’s unlikely many people will bother changing the default to download.

  • A Snapchat-style story feature has been added just for university students in the US called “Student Voices.” Students can post short videos to their Campus Playlists, and while they’ll disappear after a week, they will still be visible on the user’s own profile in the Recent Activity section. Students can also access the Campus Playlists of nearby universities through their own school’s slideshow. LinkedIn held out for a while, but it seems that eventually, everyone joins the stories dark side.


We hope you enjoyed the tour! That’s all for now. Until next week, we’ll be on the lookout for all things social.



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