There’s a lot of uncertainty in the world right now (for example, when we’ll all be able to leave the house again!) But, if one thing’s for sure, it’s that the world of tech will continue to innovate and evolve, no matter the circumstances. In these unprecedented times, the big social media players are finding new ways for us to make virtual connections — which is particularly important when we can’t connect face to face. So, without further ado, read on for 3 new social media updates that need to be on your radar.
1. Instagram’s co-watching feature
You’ve gotta give it to Instagram — they really do stay true to their motto ‘bringing you closer to the people and things you love.’ This week, they’ve announced a creative new feature that allows you to do just that, even when you can’t physically be with your nearest and dearest. Their ‘co-watching’ feature allows friends to look at pictures together, while still keeping your distance. To use this feature, you start a video chat with your pal. From there, you’ll be able to tap the photo icon in the bottom left corner of the chat to browse saved, liked and suggested photos and videos with each other. Essentially, it’s the closest you can get to chortling in unison at memes with your buddies right now. Or, you could get together to stalk some of these cute pets of Plann together — good vibes guaranteed!
2. Facebook’s new look
While we’ve all been decluttering our pantries or Kondo’ing our wardrobes, Facebook has been working on a little makeover of its own. In what is easily their biggest redesign in years, they’ve just unveiled a cleaner, more minimalist new look. Overall, the aesthetic is much brighter and whiter than what we’re all used to, across both mobile and desktop. But if you’re not really into that vibe, there’s good news — there’s also a moodier ‘dark mode’ for desktop users. Perhaps the biggest change is the layout of the newsfeed, which has far more of a focus on groups and messenger — the two biggest features Facebook users now use the platform for.
So, how do you try out ‘The New Facebook’? (that’s literally what it’s called) It’s actually available to roadtest right now! To give it a spin, just make sure you’ve downloaded the most recent mobile version of the mobile app. If you’re on desktop, go to your Settings drop-down menu, and click the option towards the bottom that says “Switch to New Facebook.” You will be brought to the all-new look and shown a card detailing the key changes.
3. Pinterest’s ‘Today’ feature
The quiet achiever of the social media world, Pinterest use has been quietly skyrocketing since the COVID-19 outbreak — with people using it for everything from lesson plan preparation to social isolation baking ideas.
Last weekend, the platform saw Pinterest get more saves and pins globally than any other weekend in its history. So, it’s good timing that they just dropped their newest feature — their ‘Today’ feed.
Designed to be a source of daily inspiration, this is a collection of curated topics and trending pins. Here, you’re likely to see timely ideas such as working from home inspiration or self-care tips, as well as safety tips and expert information from the World Health Organization. The TODAY tab will sit at the top of the screen on both iOS and Android devices, but currently is only available in the US and the UK.
Pinterest has also announced the launch of ‘compassionate searches’ amidst the Coronavirus outbreak. Basically, when you search for terms like ‘stress relief’ or ‘‘calming quotes’ you’ll see options that direct you to a collection of wellbeing activities designed to help you relax that come from expert sources. The platform is also banning the use of ads that claim to provide COVID-19 cures or profit off the crisis, instead of providing a banner that directs to WHO facts. You’ve got to respect a platform that takes care of their users!
Speaking of which, while we don’t claim to have a cure for COVID-19, we do have a little something that may help alleviate your stir craziness. We’ve put together The Ultimate Instagram Guide to help you uplevel your grid. You can sign up for free here!