Our updates this week, in the ever-evolving world of social media, range from big changes like Facebook’s app release, to bold moves like Instagram’s emoji hashtags and Messengers Video Chat function, to a little convenient change in Twitter’s Trend appearance.
Not satisfied with dominating the social media world, Facebook wants to get involved with mobile search and calls. The Messenger team has designed a new app,
currently exclusive to Android, which allows users to identify callers. Sounds simple and perhaps a little redundant, given that caller ID has been around for years.
However, the twist is that Hello pulls data from your Facebook account, so you can identify callers even if they aren’t in your phone address book – depending on how public their Facebook profile is. It shows you useful things like their name and their birthday, so when a friend calls you on their birthday, you don’t have to wait for any awkward hints during the call before you remember to wish them a happy birthday.
What is more, the app also has a convenient feature that allows users to search for people and businesses and call them, with the click of a button. If you were to search for a business, for example, Hello would display their details all in a nice, neat, interactive box – click the phone number and it will call the business, click the address and get directions, there’s even a handy ’Go to Profile’ button, to direct you to the business’ Facebook page.
Not only that, but you can also adjust your settings to block specific callers, and there is a setting which allows you to block calls from commonly blocked numbers – no more automated message calls!
Messenger Video Chat
Messenger is evolving rapidly at the moment, and its latest development is set to rival giants like Skype and FaceTime. This week, Messenger announced a new feature for both iOS and Android users that allows users to video chat from within the Messenger app, so long as they are connected to 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi.
The timing of this release is seems to be rather convenient, following the rise in awareness and popularity of video in recent months, following the recent releases of apps like Periscope and Meerkat.
Clearly the recent video craze has not passed the developers at Facebook by, but will it progress into live broadcasts, like its competitors?
Instagram emoji hashtags
Instagram is boldly going where no platform has gone before: emoji hashtags. In their blog, Instagram explained the move, “Over the past few years, emoji have become part of a universal visual language. And just as we share photos and videos, we use emoji to communicate emotions and feelings in ways that anyone can understand, regardless of language or background.”
With the new Instagram update 6.11.0, users are now able to hashtag emojis, and search them in the Explore page. We wonder if Twitter will take its lead from Instagram on this one…
Twitter has revamped the way that ‘Trend’s appear and the feature has finally rolled out to all users, on both desktop and mobile. Where previously, users would see just the #trendingphrase, now Twitter offers a short description of what this trend is referring to. Pretty handy when Trends such as #Unfriended appear, where previously we may have been wondering why the sudden Facebook friend purges, now the description tells us that this is a new horror film release.
This feature, along with the Tailored Trends feature, is a welcome change, as it lets us wade through trends which may be useless to business users, and find Tweets that are actually relevant to each individual user.
Have you heard of any other updates this week? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @SocialBuk