What’s new: what kind of updates 2020 has brought to us in respect to social media

21 May 2020

More functional, more convenient, more attractive – these are the main principles for social media developers when they make new updates struggling for customers’ interest. There were plenty of updates at the beginning of 2020, so we’ve created a list of them. Because it might be not only of interest but also of help to you.

Instagram updates

Users’ age

In December 2019, Instagram issued a regulation that requires a new user to indicate their age.

If your age is under 13 years old, then the network will politely but firmly reject your try to create a new account. This update is observed only in some countries. If a user already has an account on Facebook, then the network will synchronize their date of birth with Instagram when creating an account. Thus, if one’s age is under 13, then the system will forbid registration.

The management team of the service positions this restriction as an “additional safety measure for young people”. It is difficult to say if it’s for good or not. It seems to us that it is naïve to think that teenagers will not knowingly exaggerate their age when registering. Especially, if they know about this restriction.

By the way, there is a tiny exception for those who are under 13 and want to create an account on Instagram. It is possible if they will mention in their bio that there will be a parent or a manager to administer the account. But if the network will find out that a kid manages the page, then it will probably be blocked.


Automatic identification of offensive texts and images

Instagram continues to fight against web bullying, including harassment, insults, and social media shaming. As part of the campaign, the platform has developed a special algorithm based on artificial intelligence.

This is how it works: imagine that you want to post some offensive content on your account or you are about to leave an offensive comment on someone’s page. In this case, the system will automatically identify harmful information and will send you a notification about your attempt to post something inappropriate. So, you can make your choice. You can either edit the text, delete the negative content, and learn more about fighting against bullying or ignore the notification and publish the original version of your post.

Developers claim that such an approach definitely allow people to think twice before hurting others. The database of abusive words and expressions is regularly updating and increasing, algorithms are improving and becoming more efficient and flexible.

Предупреждение об оскорблении


Facebook updates

New video call masks and filters timed to the Super Cup

Do you live in the USA, Great Britain, Brazil, Canada, Germany, or Mexico? Are you a great fan of baseball and cannot wait for the Super Cup to start? Then, you will certainly enjoy a new Facebook update and its new masks and filters.

They look very funny and also show that the developers totally understand that baseball is really important because it is a part of American national identity. This update is going to resonate with the audience deeply.


Parental control messenger

In 2017 Facebook has developed Messenger Kids for safe communication between children that is also transparent for parents. In 2020 the network presented updates that are meant to make online control even more convenient and accurate.

New monitoring features include:

  • The list of users a person contacted recently and the chat history for the last 30 days. You can also see if there was a chat or a video call.
  • Now you can see recent photos and videos that were used in your child’s chat. If parents don’t like anything about the content, they can delete it from the conversation.
  • Parents will get notifications about users that their kid blocks or unblocks, moreover, they will see the whole list of blocked users.
  • Remote access: now you can see the devices your kid uses to log in to Messenger Kids. If needed, a parent can log out of the app using the parental dashboard.
  • Facebook has a feature that allows downloading a copy of your account data, such as contact list, conversations, photos, and videos from chats. Now, this feature is also available for parents in Messenger Kids, while the child will get a notification about the download.

We should be grateful to Zuckerberg’s corporation for paying so much attention to the right way of engaging children in technologies and providing their web security. Messenger Kids can decrease bullying and harassment towards children and reduce contacting potential criminals and emotionally unstable people.

about.fb.com


Pinterest updates

One of the most inspiring platforms will allow users to try on lip makeup that they come across on the Internet.

This update includes lip makeup products of such beauty brands as Estée Lauder, Sephora, bareMinerals, Neutrogena, L’Oreal, NYX Professional Makeup, YSL Beauté, Lancôme and Urban Decay.

This is how it works:

  • When you see a lipstick of one of the above-mentioned beauty brands, press the “Try it” button.
  • The app will open your camera, and you will literally be able to try on different shades of lipstick using the augmented reality technology and to see which suits you most. You can access the store through the app and quickly purchase a product you like.

The platform developers promise that the camera of the app will show your face most accurately, without smoothing your skin or changing its tone. So you will be able to find a perfect lipstick.

This technology totally changes the whole approach to buying beauty products online. Now users don’t have to go to a shop to try on a product, and they can also avoid buying products not being sure if the shade suits them or not.

According to Cowen and Company’s research, Pinterest is ahead of social media companies, when it comes to searching for products and buying them. Furthermore, 48% of responders in the USA say that Pinterest is a platform that influences customer choice strongly. With the new update, the service will provide customers not only with assistance in selecting a product but also with fast and easy online purchases. As for bloggers and brands, they will get integrated most efficiently.

newsroom.pinterest.com


TikTok updates

Stadying requests and offering help

Now the social network is carefully studying all users’ search requests and react to those that contain words or phrases that are dangerous for life and health. The app sends a notification advising to call a recommended hotline number and ask for help.

We want to believe that this update will save lots of lives and help those, especially teenagers, who tend to do reckless things.

Pinning stickers on videos

Now TikTok has a function of pinning a sticker on your video, it will remain pinned and will keep moving with the object. The sticker will even change its size if you zoom in or zoom out the object.

To pin a sticker, choose the desired location on your video and then set the duration of keeping the sticker on screen.

In this simple way, you can easily make your video more attractive and funny. By the way, Instagram and Snapchat have similar features.

@tiktok

Now Introducing: STICKER PINNING! Pin stickers to your videos and make magic happen.

♬ original sound - tiktok


YouTube updates

Everything you need for your children

Now the social network is taking care of children and their mental and emotional state. This explains a new rules related to the content for kids. this update relates to all users and bloggers on YouTube. New rules are subject to the COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act), (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act), in its turn, the social network has to obey these regulations because of the pressure of FTC (Federal Trade Commission of the USA).

So now, those videos that are regarded as content for kids will not support the following options:

  • Target advertising;
  • Comments;
  • Chat;
  • Push-notifications.

Moreover, every viewer of this category will be considered a person under 13 years old, regardless of their real age.

In September 2019 the social network’s representatives announced the coming changes and asked video creators to define their content as “intended or not intended for children”. However, the specific criteria which allow regarding content as intended for kids are still missing.


Twitter updates

Campaign against fakes

There is a post about the new campaign against fake tweets on Twitter’s official page. From March 5, Twitter will highlight all posts containing fake information, photo, or video with a bright orange color. Besides, experts that have tentatively got relevant permission of editing fake information will leave their comments under this kind of post.

All tweets with fake, invalid or fabricated content that might be harmful to others (threaten their freedom, one’s or people’s safety, break one’s privacy, being a cause of mob violence, bullying, humiliation, intimidation, social unrests, persecution, etc.) will get this kind of reaction.


Removing the edit button

Jack Dorsey, one of the Twitter social network developers, has disappointed users because, despite their expectations, a tweet edit button will not be added until the end of the year. This was announced in an interview with “Wired”.

Dorsey emphasized that the unavailability of this button was planned from the beginning because developers were guided by the principle of sending an SMS via mobile phone where you are not able to edit the message you sent. Thus, the purpose of sending this kind of publication will be grossly distorted.

It should be reminded that in February 2019, Dorsey shared a possible way of the new tweet editing option functioning. Then he said that it will be an additional intermediate space that would allow users to reread their messages for 5-30 seconds and edit it before publishing.

We have no choice but to guess, whether there will be new updates like that or not.

LinkedIn updates

Real-time video conversations

This extremely relevant function was added to the social network in 2019 but it was available only for users from the USA by then. Precisely in 2020 it was finally fully completed and now is available for everyone.

In general, everything is similar to other social networks here: the option of connecting with a few people at once, organizing corporate meetings, chat conversations. But it’s always good to have an extra platform for video conferencing in our modern world.


Changing a publication author’s name

One more useful function from LinkedIn is the option of publishing a post on behalf of your name or of the whole company. Moreover, the system will save a name that has been used before so that the social network will automatically offer you the most frequently used name.

This allows developing and promoting not only a personal brand but also the whole company’s brand.

VK updates

Live covers

The main Russian social network now offers using video covers for communities on iOS and Android. The trend for videos is holding its positions so this update will be useful for those communities that want to attract more audience’s attention.

The live video cover can be made of up to 5 images or short videos that will rotate dynamically and transfer the focus on it. After thinking about the content of your cover, you can create a whole story that will be shown in a few seconds and will demonstrate your products or will simply attract people’s attention. Users will not even have to scroll your community’s page for that, your video will say everything for you. It is important that, if users get interested, they can open the video in a full-screen mode just in one click.

So, VK developers have created a nice and useful tool for communities’ and public pages’ growth. Live covers are already being used by big and local brands which demonstrate that this technology is efficient and helpful.

This function works only on iOS and Android platforms. Both mobile and desktop version will display a live cover as static content.

vk.com


Them-based feed

One more trend of social media is the algorithm development. Algorithms create a personalized content feed for each user. VK went further and created theme-based feeds – recommended compilations that contain publications of certain topics from different sources. For example, education and science, fashion, travels, cars.

These compilations are formed not only by neural networks but also by real experts in different topics that VK demands to evaluate new content. As far as they are competent specialists, they have become a part of an editors’ group and can choose which materials are worth being on top and which are not.

Photographs and operators evaluate materials related to their activity, at the same time, artists do the same thing in their sphere. And so forth for every sphere. Experts vote to approve the publications. The more positive votes it gets, the upper its Recommendation rate is.

Developers claim that every user only needs to publish interesting materials and then, algorithms will identify the topic and will direct them to the professionals’ examination. When creating and editing a post you can choose a topic of the content by yourself.

VK’s administration offers users, that consider themselves an expert in one of the spheres (no matter if it is an esports or cooking), to try their hands at being a part of an editorial group. To do this, you need to publish your materials regularly and to send an application to the “VK Experts” group, and then take a test. You might even get a bonus if you are an active moderator.

This update is good because it gives a chance to small authors or small audience communities to get their publications supported at the beginning and to appear on the top of Recommendations. At least, it may lead to initial success.

It will also be convenient for users – now, if you are tired of your feed you can always switch to a topic that interests you and enjoy only worthy content, which was evaluated not by artificial intelligence but by a real person that can understand aesthetics and humor.

vk.com


As you see, social media are developing and adding new functions to keep users attracted. Thus, according to the data of Wearesocial’s research, at the end of 2019 45% of the population were using social networks, it is 3,5 billion people, and this number keeps growing.