Social media platforms are always exploring new features and tools. We’ve collected a few of the latest updates on some of our favorite platforms for December 2017.
Messenger Kids, a New App For Families to Connect
One of the bigger stories to come out this week, at least for parents on social media, is the news that Facebook has created a new app for children 13 and younger. “Messenger Kids” is a privacy-focused app that still lets kids text and chat their friends and families with allowing parents to control who they are permitted to talk to.
This standalone app lets parents download it on their child’s phone or tablet, create a profile for them, and approve friends and family. This is not signing them up for a Facebook account. The app “lives on kids’ tablets or smartphones but can be controlled from a parent’s Facebook account,” the social media platform said in its news release. “(It) lets kids connect with people they love but also has the level of control parents want.”
Kids will only be connected to other Messenger and Messenger Kids accounts, as approved by parents. In other similar apps, kids would need a phone number or could potentially contact or be contacted by anyone.
Safety appears to be Facebook’s number one goal. Special proactive detection safety filters are designed to prevent children from sharing nudity, sexual content or violence. Additionally, a dedicated support team will respond quickly to reported or flagged content.
Messenger Kids will encompass a variety of communication tools, including text message and video chat. Kids can send or receive photos and videos and there is a library of kid-appropriate GIFs, frames, stickers, masks, and drawing tools to let them decorate content and express their personalities.
New Tools for the Creator Community
As part of Facebook’s commitment to helping content creators, they’ve now added new tools for the community, which are located in the Facebook Creator App. The app will now be the one stop shop for creators of all kinds, whether it be original video, live videos, or other ways creators connect with their audiences.
Facebook Creator has a range of features, including:
- A Live Creative Kit with access to exclusive tools to create live broadcasts with a personalized fun feel. Add intros, outros, live stickers, and graphic frames.
- A community tab that allows you to connect with fans and collaborators with a unified inbox. It also centralizes comments from Facebook, Instagram, and messages from Facebook Messenger.
- Camera and Stories let you use fun camera effects and frames and crosspost content to other platforms. Use Stories to engage with fans.
- With Insights, access metrics to inform your content creation, get analytics about pages, videos, and fans.
Facebook has also created a dedicated website for content creators who would like to learn more and get support on creating videos, connecting with fans, and growing on Facebook. On the website, you’ll find techniques and learn skills, find answers to common creator-specific questions, and can join the community to be considered for early access to new features and tools. Learn more here.
Facebook tests “Messenger Broadcast” for businesses
While still unreleased, Facebook may be considering a “Messenger Broadcast” feature that would allow businesses to mass-message marketing communications and calls-to-actions to people on Messenger.
The social media platform has been testing the feature internally, but it remains to be seen whether it will get released or not.
If they do release it, it appears functionality may include options for a title and subtitle, a welcome message, and include the option for a call-to-action. Potentially, you could suggest people view your website, ask a question, or send a preset reply designated by the business. While creating these messages, you appear to be able to preview the message within the Broadcast interface itself, or in Messenger.
Facebook is dropping fee on donations
Facebook has announced they are eliminating the 5 percent fee on donations, which means now 100 percent of the money sent through its donate buttons will be going to the desired non-profit. In the past, there was a 5 percent fee to pay for credit card processing and verifying for the 750,000 charities on its platform. One exception is personal fundraisers, which can incur fees anywhere from 6.9 percent to 8.8.
Facebook is also setting up a Donations Fund which will match up to $50 million dollars per year. This will benefit causes such as natural disaster relief. In addition, charitable giving tools will be expanded in 13 countries.
There will also be a Fundraiser API that will allow syncing of Facebook fundraisers to offsite campaigns. This will begin with Susan G. Komen, JDRF, National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Movember. Facebook plans to have 500 nonprofits by end of Spring 2018.
Finally, Facebook will add a Mentorship feature through partnered non-profits starting with iMentor for education and The International Rescue Committee for crisis recovery.
YouTube is launching its own take on Stories with a new video format called ‘Reels’
YouTube is the latest social media platform to add their version of a stories feature, which they are calling Reels. It’s not exactly like other stories. It won’t live at the top of the app. Instead it will be found in a brand new tab on a creator's channel and Reels will not expire.
YouTube is trying to introduce a new video format that will let creators express themselves and engage will fans, without creating a whole video. With Reels, creators can shoot a couple short videos on their mobile device (up to 30 seconds), then edit it with filters, music, text, and stickers.
Another big difference from Facebook or Instagram’s Stories? Viewers will have to seek out Reels on the creator's channel, similar to the community tab. However, if a viewer begins interacting with Reels, YouTube will take that as a sign they are interested in them and they will begin to appear in the recommended feed.
Periscope is expanding their Super Broadcaster program
Periscope launched Super Hearts back in June, and now the company is working to expand their efforts to bring Super Hearts to more people.
Super Hearts is in-app purchase of virtual goods that users buy for real money. These are then sent to creators as animated hearts that get them attention in the comment reel. Broadcasters redeem Super Hearts for a monthly cash payout.
Super Hearts are now available in Canada, Ireland, and the U.K, and Periscope will soon expand that reach to more countries soon.
There you have it! The latest news in the social media sphere. Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments.
We discussed these topics during our weekly #TrainingTuesday live stream. Watch it here.