Instagram to add new age verification features

Adding to its existing tools to detect and protect young users, Instagram announced some new measures to ensure youngsters are adequately identified in the app.

Already a leading age verification provider for several industries, Yoti will work in partnership with Instagram on a new video selfie process that will use leading AI technology to estimate a user’s age and identify underage users.

In addition to this, Meta’s also adding a new ‘social vouching’ feature to confirm user ages where mutual followers will be asked to confirm how old you are.

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Meta’s develop new spatial audio tools for AR and VR to enhance virtual experiences

To facilitate more realistic AR and VR experiences, Meta is developing spatial audio tools that react to different environments.

Meta’s work revolves around how people expect sound to be perceived in certain environments and how that can be simulated digitally. This could make the metaverse much more immersive, and could actually play a key role in the overall experience.

In order to take these immersive audio elements to the next stage, Meta’s making three new models for audio-visual understanding open to developers.

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Snapchat is launching a mentorship and funding program for 25 black creators

A one-year accelerator program will provide funding, coaching, and other tools to 25 Black Snapchat creators, the firm said today. Similar efforts have been made by other major platforms to promote rising producers from historically underrepresented backgrounds.

Snap said it will provide chosen applicants with services ranging from monthly stipends and coaching to early access to product upgrades.

The initiative is a collaboration between Snap and Google Pixel, UNCMMN, and Westbrook Media, and it is part of Snap’s 523 project, which is ‘designed to support and spotlight small, minority-owned content companies and creatives that traditionally lack access and resources.’

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Clubhouse tests private rooms as it seeks to maintain relevance

Remember when Clubhouse was the thing in social media circles with people doing anything to get invited into the app? Recent reports suggest that the app is struggling to maintain relevance, which as a result has led to a shift in strategy toward facilitating virtual hangouts.

For more intimate interactions in the app, Clubhouse is now testing private groups. Some users’ phones have begun to show the Houses feature, formerly known as Social Clubs.

Additionally, Clubhouse is testing new in-app tools and features, such as Reactions within Rooms.

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Instagram is testing AR elements within Stories

Instagram has begun testing new AR stickers and text within Stories, which would enable users to place 3D objects into real-world scenes.

The previews, which have been leaked on Twitter, look similar to Snapchat’s World Lenses released in 2017. The popular Snapchat feature allows users to add virtual objects to real-world scenes.

Although it’s not a revolutionary idea, this expansion to Instagram’s billion-plus users is a big step and could see  AR elements become a lot more mainstream.

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