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Spark Bites: Social Media and Social Good

Spark Bites: Social Media and Social Good

Hey, Spark Biters! 

This week we’re taking a look at the newest weekly social media updates on Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. Instagram launched a new “join chat” sticker, Snapchat is rolling out another in-app game, and Twitter is partnering with UNHCR to raise awareness in a global campaign for Syrian and Iraqi internally displaced persons. 

Instagram 

Instagram has launched a new sticker for creating chats, which mean more group conversations and inside jokes. The sticker, appropriately named the “join chat” sticker, allows followers to request to be part of a private group conversation funneled directly from someone’s story. Once accepted by the creator of the story, they can participate in the group discussion. 

This can also be a way to keep friends in the loop about current or future events.

via GIPHY

We love a good group chat. 

Snapchat

Don’t say we didn’t warn you, but this might be our new favorite, intense, multiplayer tennis game (sorry, Wii Sports). 

via GIPHY

Bitmoji tennis is another in-app interactive game being rolled out by Snapchat on Snap Games to celebrate Wimbledon. 

The app allows users to play solo or with anyone on their Snapchat friends list in tournament-style matches.

The best news? All of this requires 0 physical activity, and just by tapping conveniently in your chat bar, and you can virtually face anyone in the world. 

Twitter

Twitter is “raising the bar”⁠—the search bar, that is. 

A new update on the mobile app is now providing users with more in-depth search information, stemming from the user’s recent tweet activity, and how they connect to your broader network. 

There are also reportedly plans to have an algorithm tweak, which would “aim to show users more content from users they don’t follow but might be interested in.” This could be a new way to get more people involved in trending news stories and real-time discussions. 

The second update for this week involves Twitter’s partnership with the UN Refugee Agency and Kniterate (UNHCR), to launch a global campaign #KnitForRefugees. The goal is to “proactively and collectively shed light on an important issue facing Syrian and Iraqi internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees in the Middle East North Africa region as winter approaches.” 

Currently there are 14 million Syrians and Iraqis displaced in the region. As freezing temperatures approach, the UNHCR argues that funding is needed to ensure these families and individuals receive the life-saving assistance they need.

Since Twitter is a social media platform known for time-sensitive news, trends, and community discussion, the goal for #KnitforRefugees is to encourage people to make a difference and bond a global community. This is through raising awareness of the hardships millions of refugees face, and proactively encouraging aid through donations. Specifically, prior to the winter season, when tens of thousands of families will be exposed to freezing temperatures. 

Through a partnership with London based @Kniterate, a compact digital knitting machine will also knit a scarf during the campaign of participating twitter accounts and represent the positive effects media can have when used for social justice. 

And those are all your updates for this week, Spark Biters! Have a wonderful week!

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Sophie Peralta
[email protected]