In social media this week Facebook introduce Live Audio and adds more moments, Messenger launches a new camera and group chats, Twitter goes live and Instagram adds stickers and hands-free video.
Building on the improvements made to Facebook’s Live experience including the announcement of Live 360 last week, Facebook have now added Live Audio. Starting with select broadcasters including BBC World Service, Harper Collins, and author Adam Grant, Facebook plan to make it more widely available in early 2017. Broadcasts have a maximum of 4 hours so could be used for many creative ways to communicate with your audience including live readings, radio station broadcasts, concerts or studio sessions and podcasts. Or if you are a bit camera shy but are happy to talk it could be a more comfortable way to use Live. For low connectivity areas, where live video is challenging, it is a more viable live option. If you want to listen and do more at the same time, Android users will be able to close Facebook and use another app while Live Audio keeps playing but for iOS users, they will only be able to browse Facebook but won’t be able to open another app.
To encourage more sharing Facebook will be adding more events and moments to our newsfeeds. Events will be highlighted to celebrate holidays or to commemorate historical moments or activities around the world. A new holiday card is also available with a choice of 18 custom designs to choose from.
With the latest Messenger update, Facebook have added a new, faster, easier to use and more fun camera. Art and special effects are included so you can now add 3D masks and special effects to your selfies and messages or choose from thousands of stickers and effects. You can still just text but you can also add art and stickers to your text to make it more exciting. Facebook Messenger has also collaborated with artists and influencers from across the world to create frames and tools you can use to customize your message. Holiday messages have become a lot more fun with the new update.
As part of the same update, Messenger have also added Group Video Chat. To start your group chat all you have to do is go into a group (or start a new one) and tap on the video camera icon. You can see up to 6 friends at a time but up to 50 friends can join in the conversation (the dominant speaker is shown when there is more than 6). When you tap the icon everyone in the group will be notified or you can ring either individual members or the whole group to prompt them to join in.
Twitter’s ownership of Periscope has always worked well but it has kept live video slightly separate from Twitter. This has now changed with the ability to “Go Live” from within a Tweet. Once you’re live your live video can be joined by anyone on Twitter or Periscope and you can comment and send hearts in the same you would during a Periscope broadcast. The new update is rolling out now. How will you #GoLive?
Can Instagram get anymore similar to Snapchat? With the latest addition of stickers, it would seem that it can! Take a photo and you can now see a stickers button with customizable stickers available for weather, time and location. Stickers can be moved around, made bigger or smaller or you can select a different style. Holiday stickers are also available for the next few weeks with another set promised for the New Year celebrations. At the same time, a new hands-free video option is available allowing you to create videos with just one tap (rather than press and hold). On iOS, you can also now save your story from the last 24 hours to your camera roll as a single video.
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