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Instagram’s new practice mode will help you avoid live video goof ups

If you’ve attended an Instagram live video session, you know that the first couple of minutes are dedicated to the host and guests syncing up. Sometimes it all goes smoothly, but other times it’s just messy. To avoid live video startup mistakes, Instagram is adding a new feature called ‘practice mode.’ It’ll let you and your guests join the live video before it’s broadcasted to your followers. This will help you set up the video and check the sound, light, and stability of connections so it look...
Tags: Startups, Instagram, Plugged


Instagram is testing an outage notification, so you don’t whine on Twitter

A few days ago, residents of the internet flocked to Twitter to complain about Facebook‘s services, including Instagram and WhatsApp, being down. Looking at a ton of stories and people complaining about the outage, the company itself wants to inform you about outages in the future. For that, it’s testing a feature on Instagram that’ll show you information about a technical glitch or service problems in your Activity Feed. What’s more, the company will also notify you when the issue is resolved a...
Tags: Startups, Facebook, Instagram, Plugged


Facebook’s ‘mental health tools’ reek of half-assing

Facebook announced a bunch of tools and resources to spread awareness about mental health last night. This move comes ahead of Mental Health Day on October 10. But it also comes along with the recent allegations against the company about ignoring the mental health impact of Instagram’s algorithms on teens. The firm said that it has worked with experts on mental health all around the world to build these tools. Here’s what the company has launched: A new emotional health hub with resources relate...
Tags: Startups, Facebook, Instagram, Plugged


Snap thinks AR will become the new norm in online shopping

TNW Conference 2021 is live! You can check out the schedule here. Augmented reality effects and filters are fun to use on apps like Instagram and Snapchat. However, now many brands like Gucci and Nike have been using AR to promote new products. Speaking at the TNW 2021 conference, Jacqueline Rutgers, Head of Marketing, Northern Europe – Snap Inc., said that more than 200 million users engaging with AR every day. Plus, 94% of shoppers who’ve used any AR features, will be happy to do it again. She...
Tags: Startups, Instagram, Nike, Gucci, Snap Inc, Plugged


Instagram now lets you add Messenger contacts to groups

Facebook began merging Messenger and Instagram DMs last year. The company said today that more than 70% of Instagram users have opted into this experience. The company also launched the ability to create cross-app groups on both apps today. This means you can create a group on Instagram DMs with your Messenger contacts, and vice versa. There will also be group typing indicators to show you who’s tying the next message. This makes it easier to include some folks who might not be using one of the ...
Tags: Startups, Facebook, Instagram, Plugged, Instagram DM Facebook


Facebook won’t force WhatsApp and Messenger integration on you, VP claims

In 2019, Mark Zuckerberg kicked off the project to merge Facebook Messenger, Instagram DMs, and WhatsApp. Last year, the company started unifying Instagram and Messenger by allowing you to message contacts across both networks. But this is just the beginning of the work, and the final aim for the social network is to let you reach your friends across networks from any of the apps. I spoke to Loredana Crisan, VP of Messaging Experience at Facebook, about the company’s vision regarding messaging s...
Tags: Startups, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Instagram, Facebook Messenger Instagram, Plugged, Loredana Crisan


Google may have teased the Pixel 6’s release date in recent ads

Google has taken a laissez-faire approach to revealing its products of late. After teasing the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro very publicly on Twitter last month, the company is now already running a new ad featuring the phones. Behold: There’s not very much to it we don’t already know, as it mostly shows off the phone from the rear and gives us a look at Android 12’s Material You design. Still, it’s just another sign the company is finally getting serious about hardware. Separately, the company teased...
Tags: Google, Startups, Instagram, Pixel, Plugged, Next Featured


Instagram will demand your date of birth for safety — and ads, of course

Instagram is making a new change to its policy, that will require users to submit their date of birth to the company. If you don’t share your birthday after repeated reminders, you won’t be able to use the service. The company said that this feature will help it improve user safety, and allow the platform to build out more features to that end. Over the past few months, Instagram has built a ton of tools related to teen safety. In March, it rolled out an AI-powered feature to prevent adults from...
Tags: Startups, Instagram, Plugged


Facebook reportedly wants to securely mine your encrypted data to target ads

There’s no secret that Facebook loves ads. It has stuffed the blue app and different features of Instagram with them. And the company has contemplated many times inserting ads in WhatsApp. Now the company is trying to make a match of an odd pair: encryption and ads. According to a report from The Information, the tech giant is building a team of AI researchers to explore possibilities to analyze data without breaking encryption. This will allow Facebook to insert targeted ads on WhatsApp, and le...
Tags: Startups, Facebook, Instagram, Plugged


Instagram tests a notification to remind you that Facebook still exists

Facebook may technically have more users than any other social media platform, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the most popular. Now it looks like someone at Facebook is at least a little jealous of Instagram‘s success. At least, that’s what a new test hitting the Instagram app suggests. As noted by Engadget, Instagram is testing a blurb at the top of users’ feeds that reminds them of features that are only available on Facebook. Among these are “how to find a job, date online, buy and se...
Tags: Startups, Facebook, Instagram, Insider, Engadget Instagram, Plugged


Stop screenshotting, Twitter can now share your tweets straight to Instagram

There’s always that ONE friend who posts screenshots of their tweets to Instagram to score some much-needed validation. If you don’t have such friends, you probably are that friend. Now, Twitter is testing a way to share tweets directly to Instagram. The company announced last night that it’s rolling out this feature to its iOS app for now. When you’ll hit the share button under a tweet, you’ll see the Instagram Stories option pop up. pls stop posting screenshots of Tweets on IG Stories. you can...
Tags: Startups, Instagram, Plugged


Facebook turns WhatsApp into a shopping hub with virtual storefronts

Facebook has slowly but surely been looking for ways to monetize its investment in WhatsApp, adding new several features for businesses over the past few years. Now the company is turning it into a straight-up shopping hub — in a few countries, at least. Facebook introduced Shops in 2020 as a way to turn Facebook and Instagram pages into digital storefronts, with a particular emphasis on small businesses. The company noted at the time that the feature would be coming to WhatsApp (and Messenger),...
Tags: Startups, Facebook, Instagram, Insider, Plugged


Clubhouse accidentally leaked its Backchannel for DMs feature

While Clubhouse is very popular among live-audio social network enthusiasts, it lacks one major feature users would give anything for: direct messages. It’s annoying when you’re engaged in a lively room, and want to connect to someone, you have to go to their profile, find their Twitter or Instagram handle and message them there. That’s probably about to change. [Read: Why entrepreneurship in emerging markets matters] Clubhouse accidentally leaked its under-development chat feature called Backch...
Tags: Startups, Instagram, Plugged


Instagram will now pack ads into your Reels binges

In the movie Avengers: Endgame, Thanos says, “I am inevitable.” If you think of the internet, Thanos is ads. If you’re using a free product, it’s usually just a matter of time before ads creep into it. That is what’s happening with Instagram Reels — the company’s TikTok rival. Facebook is now introducing ads as long as 30 seconds in between Reels on the app. These ads will have a small “Sponsored” label with the advertiser’s name. Instagram first introduced ads in Reels back in April to users in...
Tags: Startups, Facebook, Instagram, Australia, Thanos, Tiktok, Plugged, India Brazil Germany


How to hide like counts on Instagram — for your own posts and others

Instagram and Facebook have been testing hiding like counts for years now, but the social networks are finally ready to bring the feature to everyone. The company today announced that every Instagram and Facebook user will be able to hide their like counts from the public. The feature is rolling out to Instagram first, with similar functionality launching in Facebook in the coming weeks. On Instagram, you can opt to either hide likes for your individual posts or for all posts — both yours and th...
Tags: Startups, Facebook, Instagram, Basics, Plugged


Instagram might soon send you 2FA codes via WhatsApp

Two-factor authentication is one of the most basic steps you can take to make your account more secure. A lot of apps use SMS-based authentication to send you a One Time Password (OPT) as the second factor of verification. However, researchers have noted that that relying on SMS can be less secure, as hackers have been using techniques like SIM Swapping to redirect 2FA codes. To solve that problem, Instagram is working on a feature to send you 2FA codes through WhatsApp. App researcher and leake...
Tags: Startups, Instagram, Plugged, Alessandro Paluzzi


Instagram now has audio-only livestreams, because Clubhouse (probably)

Oh hey, Facebook is taking a page out of Clubhouse’s book. Again. Times two. Instagram has added the ability to run audio-only broadcasts on Instagram Live. It doesn’t quite turn Instagram into Clubhouse, but it’s hard not to look at the update through the lens of the meteoric rise of audio-centric platforms like Clubhouse and Twitter’s Spaces. Who’d have thought that glorified conference calls would be the next big thing? Granted, maybe this update has nothing to do with Clubhouse. At its core,...
Tags: Startups, Facebook, Instagram, Clubhouse, Insider, Plugged


Report: Sonos and Ikea’s next Symfonisk speaker may double as wall art

Sonos and Ikea’s Symfonisk line has been pretty popular due to their quirky looks and surprisingly good sound — showing that even lamps can make for good speakers. Now it appears the companies are following up their partnership with an updated table lamp and a new product altogether. According to The Verge, Ikea and Sonos are preparing to launch a speaker that doubles as wall art. Ikea teased the updated Symfonisk speakers on its Instagram account, although it didn’t say what specifically was co...
Tags: Startups, Instagram, Fcc, Ikea, Insider, Plugged


Instagram will soon let you save Stories as drafts to edit later

Instagram Stories are a great way to share candid moments. I often use that format to show off what songs I’m listening to, or share a picture that might not be “feed worthy”. Currently, if you use Instagram’s Story camera tool, you have to take a photo, apply effects, and post it immediately. The app will soon get a ‘drafts’ feature that’ll let you save your Stories within Instagram, so as you can edit them later. The social network’s head, Adam Mosseri, tweeted yesterday that Story drafts are ...
Tags: Startups, Instagram, Adam Mosseri, Instagram Stories, Plugged


Facebook is budding to build a kid-friendly Instagram

Facebook has had many problems in dealing with content moderation when it comes to children on Instagram. The EU even started a probe last year into the social network’s data storage practices for kids. To tackle all these problems, the company is now looking to build a special version for users under the age of 13. BuzzFeed News reported last night that in an internal note, Instagram’s VP for product, Vishal Shah said that as a priority, the company wants to make the platform safer for teens an...
Tags: Startups, Facebook, Instagram, Eu, BuzzFeed News, Vishal Shah, Plugged


Instagram Lite is rolling out in 170 countries — no Reels support for now

Starting today, Instagram is launching its 2MB lite app in 170 countries across the world. The app, built by Facebook’s Tel Aviv-based team, is another addition to the company’s “Lite” apps, which cater to phones with limited specs and regions with low connectivity. The company launched Instagram Lite initially in India last December. Last month, it introduced support for Reels to the app. However, sadly, this support is just limited to users in India, and the global version won’t have that feat...
Tags: Startups, Facebook, Instagram, India, Tel Aviv, Instagram Lite, Plugged


Facebook is now testing Reels…because how else will it beat TikTok?

When TikTok was banned in India last June, Instagram jumped on the short video bandwagon very quickly and launched Reels. The company rolled out the feature globally in August 2020. Now, its parent company Facebook is integrating Reels in the blue app. The firm is testing the feature in India by giving access to select creators to share Reels they created on Instagram to the Facebook app. If they share the short video, it’ll have their Instagram handle attached to it. Plus, these users will also...
Tags: Startups, Facebook, Instagram, India, Tiktok, Plugged


Apple TV+ finally arrives on (some) Android TV devices

It’s hard to keep up with all the streaming services available these days, but for Android TV users, one of the big ones the’ve long been missing out on is Apple TV+. That’s finally starting to change today. Google announced that the Apple TV app is now available on the Chromecast with Google TV, as well as Sony and TCL devices running Google TV. The Apple TV app of course allows you to watch Apple TV+, but also includes your previous Apple TV purchases. Google TV is a customized version of Andr...
Tags: Apple, Google, Startups, Photography, Sony, Insider, Tcl, Plugged


Instagram won’t recommend Reels with a TikTok logo — and it’s unfair

In order to promote short videos created on its own platform, Instagram will stop recommending videos with logos of other apps, including TikTok. As noted by The Verge first, the company published a bunch of new guidelines for creators to get the best results possible on the platform. These tips, posted on Instagram’s creators account, suggested video-makers to use the vertical format, the app’s own sound library, and start a replicable trend. The post also noted that users shouldn’t upload clip...
Tags: Startups, Instagram, Plugged


Telegram grew its active user base by 110% in India last year

While Telegram might be gaining a lot of users this year due to WhatsApp’s controversial privacy policy update, the app was already impressive growth in 2020 in India. According to analytics firm App Annie, Telegram’s monthly active users increased by 110%  — in a 600 million internet user market —and made it the fastest growing social app in the country. WhatsApp was second in the growth list, followed by Instagram and short video apps MX Takatak and Moj. Both these apps launched last year foll...
Tags: Startups, Instagram, India, Plugged, App Annie Telegram


Instagram introduces its 2MB lite app in India

Instagram is introducing its lite app in India today in test mode on Android. The app is sized under 2MB to cater to phones that have memory and size constraints. Vishal Shah, VP of Instagram made this announcement at the Facebook Fuel for India virtual event. Earlier in May, Facebook killed the earlier version of the Instagram lite app and said that a new iteration is in the works. In September, a new version of Instagram lite came to the fore. However, this is the first time the company’s offi...
Tags: Startups, Instagram, India, Vishal Shah, Plugged, Facebook Fuel for India


The pandemic had Android users spending 25% more time on their phones than last year

Doomscrolling is real and it has consumed us this year. According to analytics firm App Annie’s year-end report, Android users spent 3.3 trillion hours stuck to their screens — up 25% from last year. However, the report suggests that mindlessly scrolling your Twitter or Instagram feed wasn’t the biggest contributor to this stat. On the contrary, it was spending time on video conferencing and work apps such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams. App Annie observed that due to the pandemic and work-from-hom...
Tags: Startups, Instagram, Microsoft, App Annie, Plugged


Messenger and Instagram’s ‘Vanish Mode’ makes chats self-destruct with a swipe

It was just last week that Facebook introduced ephemeral messages in WhatsApp that disappear in seven days. Now the company is going a step further by introducing “Vanish Mode” for Messenger and Instagram, which will automatically delete text messages and media as soon as they are viewed and you leave the chat. If that sounds familiar, it’s probably because it’s yet another feature Facebook is borrowing from Snapchat, which has offered similar functionality for years. To activate the feature, yo...
Tags: Startups, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Insider, Plugged


Instagram will automatically hide offensive comments on your posts using AI

On its 10th anniversary, Instagram is rolling out a bunch of visual features including allowing you to change the app icon. With that, the company is also introducing some measures to reduce abusive comments on the platform. The first feature is automatically blocking offensive comments using AI. The company said that it’ll detect these by using previously reported offensive comments. You can tap on “View Hidden Comments” to see them. The social network will automatically remove all comments tha...
Tags: Startups, Instagram, Plugged


Facebook will now let you message across Messenger and Instagram

Facebook has finally taken the first step towards merging its messaging services. The company will now allow you to message your contacts across Messenger and Instagram from any of the apps. You’ll be able to send messages or initiate video calls with your contacts using either app. Plus, the company is introducing features to let you watch videos from Facebook Watch and IGTV with Reels being added soon. In a blog post, the company said people using Instagram can choose not to opt-in to this exp...
Tags: Startups, Facebook, Instagram, Facebook Watch, Plugged



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