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TGIF, Spark Biters! We hope you’ve had a productive week. You can kick back and relax this weekend knowing the latest batch of social media updates is here to help make your life easier.


This week on Spark Bites, Facebook wants to make remembering birthdays fun again, Instagram wants to keep you on top of all the consumer trends, Match provides you with your own personal dating coach, Snapchat premieres an in-app feature called YOLO, and Spotify rolls out a new voice command feature.


Unless it’s your best friend or your mom, it’s almost impossible to remember everyone’s birthday.


Well, there’s an ageold trick to it… literally.

The solution is simple: let Facebook remind you!

However, we’ve reached a point where writing on someone’s wall to wish them a happy birthday just doesn’t feel special enough anymore.

In an attempt to increase engagement across the platform, Facebook has created a new story feature called “Birthday Stories.” The feature will allow you to post images, videos, or digital cards to your friends’ story for a period of 24 hours, and the story will then be viewable to the celebrant’s friends list.

We hope you take advantage of this new feature and make all 12 of your distant aunties feel special on their birthday this year.



Instagram is really testing our will power.


In addition to the button that allows users to directly shop within the app, a new account has been created by the Instagram team that will encourage you to add items to the cart even faster than before.

@Shop is an account described by Instagram as a “celebration of small businesses and the creators behind them.” It is a curated place where users can discover the latest community trends, and features a range of products including but not limited to fashion, beauty, home and decor.



Watch out, Matthew Hussey…


Match Group—operator of Tinder, OkCupid, and Plenty of Fish—has created a service within the Match dating app that offers dating advice from real people.

And not just any people. These are certified matchmakers and professional dating coaches.

If you’re guilty of Googling “What should I text him back?,” “How fast should I respond?,” or even sending a friend screenshots of your conversation because you need some sound advice, this feature may be useful to you.

The idea of the AskMatch feature is to make online dating feel more personal. Members who want to utilize this service can make a call directly from the app and ask questions to professionals about modern dating. They can ask anything from how to send a great message to how to deal with ghosting. They can even ask for advice on how to set up a good dating profile.

No shame in your game if you need a little guidance!



As the name of this new app implies, if you have a secret you’ve been dying to share with someone, now’s your chance.


Last week, a new app that builds onto Snapchat (very à la Bitmoji) was released for iOS devices. YOLO allows Snapchat friends to ask and answer anonymous questions.

The feature looks almost identical to Instagram’s question sticker—except for the fact that everything is anonymous.

After a week, the app quickly became #1 in the App Store. Even to CEO Gregoire Henrion’s surprise, the app went “100% viral” and they couldn’t believe their eyes.

The app is popular with young generations and fulfills a similar void that the late social media platform Ask.fm once did. However, the app is already controversial for a similar reason as Ask.fm: anonymous answers make online bullying and harassment even easier. In response to this, the company is working on developing automated tools to weed out bullies.



Spotify is testing the implementation of voice-enabled ads which allow users to interact with content hands-free!


Upon hearing a voice-enabled ad, listeners can respond, “Play now,” and it will launch a new playlist or podcast within the app.

Currently, the feature is only being tested in select areas of the U.S. for people “who have microphone permissions granted in their settings and are streaming from the free, ad-supported version of Spotify.”

Hey Siri? More like, bye Siri.

Those are all the updates we have for you this week on Spark Bites. Until next time!  


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