The Instagram and Facebook Messenger merger rolls out
Instagram and Facebook have officially launched their cross-platform messenger. This means people using the Messenger app can now reach contacts on Instagram without needing to download the other app, and vice versa.
Along with this huge update, Facebook also announced several other features that will be coming to the messenger services, including vanishing messages, custom emoji reactions and selfie stickers.
This merger has been on the cards for some time. Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, announced over a year ago his plan to merge his family of messaging apps, making it the unquestionable leader in global messaging, while it would also open new opportunities for marketing, eCommerce and more, all within this massive cross-platform network.
Twitter rolls out voice tweets
Twitter has unveiled its voice tweets feature, which lets users record a snippet of audio to include with a tweet.
When this feature was first announced it drew criticism for not being accessible and excluding hearing-impaired users. To address this, Twitter is now saying it plans to add transcriptions to the feature.
Voice tweets are available now for Apple’s iOS users of the app and will come to Android and the web by early 2021.
Facebook announces new automated group moderation tools
Facebook hosted its annual Communities Summit, last week, giving us a glimpse into the range of new group features which will be soon coming to the platform.
One of the biggest new features is Admin Assists. This is a new set of admin tools for, which will provide more ways for group admins to control their group discussions, and manage engagement. With this, admins will be able to set up automated rules for post moderation, saving them time in having to sort through common problematic posts.
With people seeking new ways to stay connected in lockdown, Facebook groups have seen a significant increase in usage. For brands, this could present new opportunities to maximize community engagement and increase discovery.
Reddit opens office in London to woo UK advertisers
Reddit has opened up a new HQ in London with the goal of alerting brands to their advertising opportunities and growing it’s local ad partnerships with Samsung, Netflix, PlayStation and Pringles.
The UK is home to Reddit’s second largest user base and growing at nearly 70 per cent in the past year and is already in the top five most visited websites in the UK.
According to Reddit’s newly appointed head of international, Tariq Mahmoud, their mission is to “bring community and belonging to everyone in the world. Brands looking to engage in an authentic and interesting way can be a part of this mission too, tapping into our 430M+ active users in the process.”
Can Facebook and David Attenborough help VR go mainstream?
A week today, Facebook will release its most affordable headset yet. The Quest 2 is a standalone ‘VR games console,’ that doesn’t require any additional hardware to play games or watch content and at £299, it will bring VR within reach for a lot more casual consumers.
Meanwhile, David Attenborough’s five part series ‘Micro Monsters’ is coming free to Oculus virtual reality headsets from today. This features content originally captured for a 2014 TV documentary series adapted into a virtual reality experience.
VR has been the great hope of the tech industry for years now, but it has struggled to live up to the hype. Time will tell if these new developments will encourage more users to embrace the technology.