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Reddit Launches Enhanced Video Tools, Announces Shutdown of Dubsmash

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Reddit has announced that it will shut down the separate Dubsmash app, which it acquired last December, as it looks to merge the creative functionalities of Dubsmash into Reddit itself, and lean further into video engagement.

Dubsmash, which will still be available till February, enables users to create videos aligned with music clips, including effects and filters which can help your clips stand out in user feeds.

Dubsmash screenshots

Reddit’s now looking to build those tools into the Reddit camera, with a view to capitalizing on rising video engagement in the app.

Indeed, Reddit notes that:

To date this year (January 2021 to November 2021), video content has soared on Reddit. We’ve seen nearly 70% growth in overall hours watched, and a more than 30% increase in daily active video viewers.”

In addition to this, Reddit says that it’s seen a 50% increase in quarter-over-quarter short video viewership via its new, TikTok-like video feed option.

Reddit video feed

Given broader content consumption trends, it’s no surprise to see video rising on Reddit as well, and now, with the merging of Dubsmash, Redditors will get a new set of video creation and editing tools for use in the app.

The updated Reddit camera will provide recording speed options, video timers, the capacity to upload clips in both landscape and portrait mode, as well as new clipping options.

Reddit’s also adding its first AR lenses, featuring ‘Bread Cat’ and ‘Snoo’ effects.

Reddit AR effects

Users will also be able to add stickers, use drawing tools and add voiceovers to their clips, expanding the creative options for Reddit videos.

Reddit camera effects

Which could help to further improve video engagement in the app, and better align it with the latest trends – an important step as users continue to gravitate towards enhanced video engagement.

And while Reddit’s AR options are relatively basic at this stage, it may be just as relevant that the platform simply keeps up with the evolving AR landscape, which is set to become a much bigger consideration once fully-functional AR glasses become available sometime in the next two years.

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That will also align with the rising metaverse shift, merging our physical and digital worlds.

No one knows exactly how that will work just yet, but AR looks set to play a key part, and the introduction of its own AR features will ensure that Reddit remains connected as this element evolves.

But for Dubsmash users, time will soon be up. The app, at one stage, was facilitating over a billion video views per month, and has been particularly popular among underrepresented communities.

Now, they’ll have to move over to Reddit instead, or find another app more aligned with their interests.

But that loss is Reddit’s gain, as it enhances its video tools to facilitate further growth in this area.

Reddit users can access the new camera features on both iOS and Android from today.

Socialmediatoday.com

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Ahead of World Cup, influencer ‘Mr Q’ lifts veil on Qatar

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Khalifa Al Haroon, known to his followers as Mr Q, has become a social media hit by partially lifting the veil on World Cup host Qatar

Khalifa Al Haroon, known to his followers as Mr Q, has become a social media hit by partially lifting the veil on World Cup host Qatar – Copyright AFP KARIM JAAFAR

Raphaelle Peltier

At a time when prickly questions are being asked about Qatar and its hosting of the World Cup, Khalifa Al Haroon offers a smile, a sigh and a shrug as he seeks to explain its mysteries.

Known to his growing number of followers as Mr Q, the 38-year-old has become a social media hit by partially lifting the veil over the tiny but mega-rich Gulf state that describes itself as a “conservative” Islamic country.

The first World Cup in an Arab nation has put a spotlight on Qatar’s treatment of foreign workers, gender rights and even the use of air conditioning in stadiums.

Haroon’s cheerful #QTip videos broach everything from saying “Hello” in Arabic to the right way for men to wear the flowing ghutra headdress. There is also an edition on labour rights.

With less than 60 days to the November 20 start of the tournament, he now has more than 100,000 followers on Instagram and more than 115,000 on YouTube. And the numbers keep growing.

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Qatar has dozens of online influencers on topics ranging from “modest” but expensive fashion, to the latest sports car being imported into what is now one of the world’s wealthiest nations.

Haroon carved out his niche by elucidating Qatar’s unknowns to its growing expat community — and now the hordes of football fans expected for the World Cup.

Haroon — who was born to a Qatari father and British mother and spent 16 years in Bahrain — said he was first confronted by global stereotypes about Qatar and the Middle East while studying for a law degree in Britain.

He had wanted to become an actor, but instead launched his social media presence in 2008 with a blog.

“I was in the perfect position because I was a Qatari who has never lived properly in Qatar,” he said.

– ‘Trust your own eyes’ –

“In essence, I was like a foreigner in my own country and so I had the same questions that foreigners did, and so it just made it easy for me to start putting together information.”

Haroon said there has to be a distinction between “negative news” and misinformation about his country.

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“When it comes to fake news, obviously, I think everybody understands that it’s not true and so the only thing that I could do is show people videos and pictures and show them what we’re really like because you can trust your own eyes.”

Some people, he said, have told him they decided to move to Qatar after watching his videos.

Haroon, who is now a consultant to the Qatar Football Association and an eSports entrepreneur, said he is excited about the World Cup “because people can now come here and experience it for themselves and make their own judgements instead of just believing what’s written”.

His main grouse is how outsiders see something negative about Qatar and then believe that all Qataris “accept it or we all agree with it”.

Many supporters of the 31 foreign countries who will play in Qatar have raised concerns, however, about the welcome awaiting them. Can they drink? And what will happen to same-sex couples in a country where homosexuality is illegal?

The government has insisted that beer, normally restricted, will be available and that everyone is welcome. Haroon wants outsiders to experience “real Qatari hospitality”, with its food and coffee culture.

“Of course there are going to be certain social norms,” said Haroon. “What we are asking for is just respect the country. And of course the country will definitely be respecting everyone that comes.”

“Some people might make mistakes because they don’t know what the rules are and that’s OK,” he added.

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“The point is our culture is all about intention, our religion is about intention, so as long as you have good intentions and you want to do the right thing, you have nothing to worry about.”

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