In social media this week Twitter make it easier to share a Tweet, Snapchat moves to Chat 2.0, and Facebook improves Live and uses AI to make their newsfeed more accessible.
In their latest update Twitter have made it easier to share a tweet privately. Users can now click on the message icon under the tweet, select a contact, add a message and click on send. The Tweet is shared privately as a Direct Message allowing you to share with just your chosen one or few rather than all of your followers with just a couple of clicks.
Snapchat have rolled out their first major update in 2 years to their Chat function. In Chat 2.0, which is available now on iOS and Android, Snapchat are aiming to make it “the best way to communicate – second only to hanging out face to face”.
When you start sending chats, your friends can start video chatting with just one tap. If you receive a video call you can Ignore, Join or Watch with one click of the button (Ignore will cancel, Join will let you join with video and Watch lets you join without camera). Voice calls work similarly – tap the button and you mute your microphone so you can just listen.
It is also now much easier to move between the different options, just like being face to face. In the same update are Auto-Advance Stories. As soon as one story has been watched the other one will start straight away. Swipe to skip or pull down to exit.
Live has been rolling out across Facebook over the last couple of months and users will now start to be able to use a new range of features.
If you are watching Live video you can now react to them in the same way as your newsfeed choosing Love, HaHa, Wow, Sad or Angry. If it’s a video that you want to share with your friends you can invite them to watch by tapping the invite button and if a friend is watching at the same time you will see their profile pic and their reaction. All reactions will be seen in real time by the person broadcasting so they will get a sense of how their audience feels at any given time before the reaction disappears.
Facebook data tells them that Live videos have 10 times more engagement than regular videos so to make engagement easier they are adding the option of five different filters (similar to Snapchat) and when broadcasts are played back comments will appear as they happened when the video was live. With the Facebook Live Map on desktop and a dedicated place on their mobile app they are also making it much easier to find Live videos from across the platform.
Also new is the ability to also share Live in Facebook Groups and Facebook Events. This means that Live broadcasts can be shared in a very particular way with your chosen group of family, friends or those with a common interest and events can be broadcast Live to those who weren’t able to make the actual event.
To support Pages that are using Live, new metrics are available on Insights for how many unique viewers have watched your video. You can also see the number of viewers that were watching during each moment so you can measure where your audience left or joined your broadcast.
After Twitter’s announcement last week that you can add descriptive text to images which screen readers will recognise, Facebook has taken the next step in making itself more accessible.
The latest update of Facebook has introduced some important changes which uses Artificial Intelligence to help blind and partially sighted ‘see’ Facebook. Before now, users with screen readers would hear the name of the person and “photo” as the only description. With the change to automatic alternative text, Facebook will automatically recognise what is in the image and use a richer description “making technology more accessible for more people”.