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Talk Social: 22 March, 2022 – Snapchat launch new custom AR features and NFTs are coming to Instagram

Credit: Snap


Snapchat’s new feature lets users build their own custom AR experiences

Snapchat is releasing a new feature called ‘Custom Landmarkers’ that lets users build unique AR experiences for landmarks in their local communities.

Select creators have already had early access to the feature and have produced several of their own AR experiences. One transforms an independent New York bookshop into the pages of a pop-up book. Another transforms an iconic pink wall outside the Los Angeles Paul Smith store into an AR animation set to the song ‘Sweetest Pie’ by Megan Thee Stallion and Dua Lipa.

The platform says the launch is part of its efforts to continuously advance its AR platform and enable its community of 250,000 Lens creators to build new experiences that enhance the way users learn and explore.

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YouTube to launch five new livestream features

A video from YouTube’s product developer Katerine Lam has previewed some of the upcoming updates for YouTube Live, including live stream guests, live rings, cross-channel live redirects, full-screen mode, and live Q&As.

The first feature mentioned is ‘Go Live Together’ – this is a collaborative streaming feature that allows influencers to invite guests to the streams before they go live. ‘Live Rings’ are an update to profile icons that will help influencers signify to their followers when they have an active livestream. ‘Cross-channel live redirects’ will allow influencers to direct viewers from one livestream to another on their own channel. ‘Full screen mode’ will improve the display format based on how a user is holding their phone. And finally, ‘Live Q&A’ will allow users to submit a question during a livestream that will be temporarily pinned to the top of the chat.

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Meta is developing reactions for Reels

Meta is working on a new feature for Reels on Facebook that would allow users to go beyond liking the post. The new reaction feature will allow users to respond with one of the seven emoji symbols already available on other Facebook posts.

Post reactions have been a successful way for Meta to encourage more engagement on its Facebook platform. Options such as the laughing or frowning emojis allow users to express their emotions rather than simply like the content.

It is understandable why Meta would want to bring this feature over to Reels, however, part of the appeal of short-form video content is its quick and disposable nature. Time will tell if users take to this feature or if it just proves to be an unnecessary complication. 

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Twitter is working on a new podcast tab 

Twitter is continuing to make podcasts a much bigger focus in the app, with a new test underway that would provide a dedicated tab for podcast discovery and engagement.

Twitter has worked on a number of podcast-like features to expand the capabilities of its live audio Spaces. Like Clubhouse, Twitter now allows users to listen to Spaces after the live recording, helping hosts earn greater engagement from a non-live audience.

The test has been uncovered by several reverse engineering experts who search the code of mobile apps to spot features in development and YouTube has yet to confirm if and when the feature will roll out.

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NFTs are coming to Instagram

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has revealed Instagram’s plans to introduce NFTs. Although he didn’t offer much information on how this integration will work, he described how the Instagram team are currently working out some of the technical challenges this presents.

“We are working on bringing NFTs to Instagram in the near term,” Zuckerberg said at the SXSW conference. “I’m not ready to announce exactly what that’s going to be today, but, over the next several months, the ability to bring some of your NFTs in, and hopefully over time be able to mint things within that environment.”

With many artists, musicians and fashion designers using Instagram as a platform to showcase their creations, the introduction of non-fungible tokens could present a lucrative monetisation option for users and brands alike.

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