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Talk Social: 25 January, 2022 – Meta’s patents reveal their plans for the metaverse

Meta’s patents reveal their plans for the metaverse

Meta has filed hundreds of applications for patents related to its metaverse, several of which have been granted and point to how the company plans to make money through its virtual world.

According to The Financial Times, which has reviewed many of the applications, Meta could implement hyper-targeted advertising and sponsored content, with certain patents suggesting advertisers could create even more personalised ads based on the likes and comments users leave on social media, and how long they look at specific ads.

Another patent talks about reading a user’s facial expressions and eye movement to adapt content around them. While another for an ‘avatar personalisation engine’ talks of creating digital replicas of people, with the aim to make the metaverse’s avatars seem indistinguishable from real people. 

While patents don’t necessarily guarantee this technology will definitely at some point exist, it does suggest Meta’s early plans for the metaverse and how it is planning to monetise the experience for brands to get involved.

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Instagram launches live test of fan subscriptions

Instagram has launched an initial test of its new subscriptions option, which will provide another option for influencers to make money from their fan base on the platform.

With the feature, influencers will be able to offer their followers paid access to exclusive Instagram Live videos and Stories. Subscribers will also receive a special badge that will help them to stand out in the comments section and creators’ inboxes.

In this test, only 10 influencers have access to the new feature. Instagram considers this an ‘alpha’ test meant to allow for feedback from fans and creators alike, which it will then act upon before rolling out more widely.

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Snapchat rolls out four new messaging features

Snapchat has rolled out four new messaging features that will make chatting with friends more fun and expressive, including Chat Reply, Bitmoji Reactions, Poll Stickers and Improved Calling.

Chat Reply allows users to respond to individual messages in an ongoing chat to help keep conversations on track and communicate with context. With Bitmoji Reactions, users can choose from seven Bitmoji directions to quickly respond to a message. Poll Stickers are a quick way for users to gather their friend’s thoughts within a group chat. 

Finally, another update to video calling makes it easier to add Lenses and preview who has answered a group call before you join.

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Twitter launches NFT profile image display option

Twitter is introducing non-fungible token (NFT) profile pictures as a new feature for Twitter Blue subscribers. That means collectors can now replace their circular avatars with hexagonal representations of their owned NFTs.

NFTs are predicated upon a particular understanding of what it means to ‘own’ digital art. Anyone can duplicate a given NFT with a single right-click, but for collectors and cryptocurrency enthusiasts, having proof of ownership recorded is important.

With this new feature, Twitter Blue users are required to connect to a cryptocurrency wallet which confirms they are the registered owner of the JPEG. So far thousands of users have already taken advantage of the feature.

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Meta plans to launch its own NFT marketplace

Like Twitter, Meta is drawing up plans to allow users to create and display NFTs on their Facebook or Instagram profiles. However, Meta is reportedly going a step further by potentially introducing its own platform to help users mint their own NFTs as well as buy and sell them in-app.

While having an NFT of a bored monkey or a smiling cat as your profile picture is the latest trend on social media, it is interesting to see how Meta is planning to build NFTs into the broader plans for the metaverse.

As the metaverse becomes a reality and users spend more and more time in digital environments NFTs will likely have more use and expanded application than profile pictures. These images are just the start of a new online marketplace.

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