Facebook’s plan to integrate its messaging apps has taken another small step forward this week, with Instagram testing out a new option that would enable you to view your Messenger messages in your Instagram Direct inbox.
Instagram has confirmed the test, though it also says that it’s not ready for a consumer roll-out just yet.
As we’ve mentioned before, we’re working on making our messaging services work across our apps. This is an early prototype, which we aren’t testing externally.
— Instagram Comms (@InstagramComms) June 3, 2020
The function, as noted, is part of Facebook’s broader plan to enable full cross-messaging functionality between Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp, which will mean that users will eventually be able to send and receive messages to and from any of these services. That’ll also likely mean that your inbox will need to be replicated within each app, which is a significant undertaking for Facebook to undertake – but the end result will be that any message you receive, in any Facebook messaging app, will also be available on the other two platforms.
Given this, you can also expect that for any new messaging feature introduced on any of these apps, the other two will also soon enable the same.
Facebook hasn’t made a lot of noise about the ongoing project, but this test confirms that it is still in progress, and Facebook is very much pushing ahead with its messaging integration plan.
In addition to this, Facebook is also testing out a new sticker type with some users.
As you can see in these screenshots, posted by marketing consultants FDT, the new ‘Plans’ sticker enables users to set a schedule for an online meet-up, which may link also into Facebook’s new Rooms offering.
When you add the Plans sticker, you’ll be able to add a date, as well as info on how your Stories viewers can join the meet-up. Your Stories viewers will also be able to see who else, among their friends, has registered interest in the event.
Aside from setting up hangouts among friends, the option could also be good for webinars or product announcements, with the added context of seeing who, among your connections, is also attending.
There’s a range of ways it could be used to help promote different types of meet-ups. We don’t have a lot of context on the option as yet, but FDT is based in the US, so it may be in the process of rolling out to US users.
Neither of these updates is major, but they do provide new considerations, and new opportunities, with messaging set to become easier across Facebook’s apps, and online events gaining momentum amid the COVID-19 lockdowns.
We’ve asked Instagram for more info on each, and we’ll update if/when we hear back.
Social media: Past failures provided the steps for today’s giants to climb
Social media operators face a conundrum dealing with content labeled satire, which may also be harmful misinformation. — © AFP
When you consider successful social media there is a tendency to veer towards platforms like TikTok that have seen astronomical success in their short availability, or perhaps YouTube and the ability it has given creators to generate a steady income from uploading content.
However, not all social media is successful. Some platforms were successful for a period; others straightforward ‘failures’, although each arguably paved the way to establish what the collective entity of social media.
Recently the firm Higher Visibility analyzed social media sites over the past thirty years in a bid to discover those that ‘failed’ by losing popularity or ceased to exist altogether. Following this, Higher Visibility monitored where these sites sat when compared to modern social media platforms that continue to be widely used. By social media, this refers to platforms that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.
After assessing the social media sites over the past thirty years, High Visibility gathered information from Statista and site information pages to discover the year they were created, the year they closed down or lost popularity (if applicable), and their highest monthly active users.
Whether any social media platform truly failed is contentious, since many of these platforms offered learning opportunities and paved the way for the platforms in common use today.
Taking some examples, Vine, a platform launched in 2013 saw rapid growth due to 6-second looping videos that could be experimented with to achieve creative results. Yet what was once the attraction point of the platform quickly became its downfall, with former executives citing the introduction of Instagram’s 15-second video clips in 2013 as one of the big issues. Vine came in as the 15th most successful social media on the Higher Visibility list, despite its ‘failing’.
One of the apps born from this new preoccupation with video content was Musical.ly. The platform allowed users to create videos lip-syncing to popular music, and there was a great emphasis on the promotional aspect of these through the app. Musical.ly was ultimately wildly successful despite ‘failing’ due to closing down, as it went on to be acquired by ByteDance and eventually merged into TikTok.
Friendster is often touted as an ‘early version’ of Facebook, boasting 51,010,000 monthly active users at its highpoint, paving the way for the platform that would come. The platform took off in 2003, reaching up to 4,470,000 members, and received a 30 million dollar offer from Google to buy the site. The founder, Jonathan Abrams decided instead to pursue venture capital investment. Users fell out of favour with the platform as it was not able to manage the pace of new subscribers.
MySpace followed Friendster as the brainchild of Tom Anderson, Chris DeWolfe and their friends. They modelled the site on Friendster, removing redundant features and centring the site around personal communities. MySpace was purchased in 2005 for 580 million dollars, however, later suffered due to the rising popularity of Facebook.
Of all the ‘successful’ social media platforms of the past 30 years within the full study, Facebook continues to have the highest monthly active users.
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