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Twitter Makes Fleets Stickers Available to All Users

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After initially testing them out with users in Japan, Twitter is now bringing its animated stickers for Fleets to all regions, providing a new option to enhance your posts within its Stories-like tool.

As you can see here, users will now be able to add animated Twemojis and GIFs to their Fleets, providing an additional visual element to the option.

Users will be able to access the new Fleets stickers by tapping on the smiley face icon within the Fleets composer, which also includes a search bar to help users locate the right sticker for their image or video update.

Fleets stickers

As noted, Twitter began testing the option with Japanese users last month, and the addition is not a huge surprise, given the breadth of enhancement tools available in other Stories options, which is where Fleets, at least at this stage, is lacking in functionality.

It’s actually a little strange that Twitter chose to launch Fleets without any visual enhancement tools, given that Stories on Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram all feature cutting-edge AR filters, which have helped them boost usage. Heck, even LinkedIn Stories has stickers, so why Twitter began with so few options for its take is strange, but these new, animated visuals are the first addition on this front, and will likely be the jumping-off point for more tools in Fleets in future.

Twitter increased the expectations around its potential Fleets tools last year, when it acquired Chroma Labs, the developer of Chroma Storieswhich provided stylistic frames and filter options for Stories content on other platforms. Twitter hasn’t transferred those additions into Fleets yet – but again, given the availability of other Stories tools, it seems inevitable that the Fleets toolset will expand over time.

Will that expand Fleets usage? It’s hard to say. Right now, it doesn’t seem like Fleets is a major consideration for most Twitter users, but the top of app placement is a good opportunity for exposure, which has proven to be a good lure for at least some users.

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We’ll have to wait on Twitter to get some real usage stats on the tool, but now, you can add in these bright, pulsing images on top of your Fleets. 

Fleets stickers are now available on iOS and Android. 

Socialmediatoday.com

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UK teen died after ‘negative effects of online content’: coroner

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Molly Russell was exposed to online material 'that may have influenced her in a negative way'

Molly Russell was exposed to online material ‘that may have influenced her in a negative way’ – Copyright POOL/AFP/File Philip FONG

A 14-year-old British girl died from an act of self harm while suffering from the “negative effects of online content”, a coroner said Friday in a case that shone a spotlight on social media companies.

Molly Russell was “exposed to material that may have influenced her in a negative way and, in addition, what had started as a depression had become a more serious depressive illness,” Andrew Walker ruled at North London Coroner’s Court.

The teenager “died from an act of self-harm while suffering depression”, he said, but added it would not be “safe” to conclude it was suicide.

Some of the content she viewed was “particularly graphic” and “normalised her condition,” said Walker.

Russell, from Harrow in northwest London, died in November 2017, leading her family to set up a campaign highlighting the dangers of social media.

“There are too many others similarly affected right now,” her father Ian Russell said after the ruling.

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“At this point, I just want to say however dark it seems, there is always hope.

“I hope that this will be an important step in bringing about much needed change,” he added.

The week-long hearing became heated when the family’s lawyer, Oliver Sanders, took an Instagram executive to task.

A visibly angry Sanders asked Elizabeth Lagone, the head of health and wellbeing at Meta, Instagram’s parent company, why the platform allowed children to use it when it was “allowing people to put potentially harmful content on it”.

“You are not a parent, you are just a business in America. You have no right to do that. The children who are opening these accounts don’t have the capacity to consent to this,” he said.

Lagone apologised after being shown footage, viewed by Russell, that “violated our policies”.

Of the 16,300 posts Russell saved, shared or liked on Instagram in the six-month period before her death, 2,100 related to depression, self-harm or suicide, the inquest heard.

Children’s charity NSPCC said the ruling “must be a turning point”.

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“Tech companies must be held accountable when they don’t make children’s safety a priority,” tweeted the charity.

“This must be a turning point,” it added, stressing that any delay to a government bill dealing with online safety “would be inconceivable to parents”.

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