First off, well done to Twitter for setting the example of knowing when to quit while you’re ahead. The tech giant announced it will be retiring its widely disliked innovation, Fleets. In a string of tweets, the company’s Twitter Support page shared that it introduced the ephemeral Stories feature last year to help the average user feel more comfortable posting on the platform. However, data showed it was mainly used by high-profile users on the platform instead. Others have also speculated that the fleeting feature (sorry) was actually scrapped to make room for Spaces. This could be true considering live Spaces also appear at the top of the app in the same slot as Fleets.
Other headlines include…
- Discord bought AI anti-harassment company Sentropy.
- YouTube launches Shorts in all regions.
- Twitter agreed to “fully comply” to India’s new rules.
- Substack is offering classes to help writers earn their first $100.
- LeBron James is the latest celebrity to enter the Fortnite meta verse.
The platform is also working on a number of features, including a creator mode and “Twitter for Professionals” where users will be able to select a category to show on their profile the industry in which they work. Although this sounds a bit like LinkedIn, it could prove to be a useful tool considering the number of professionals active on the platform. It also lets you limit who can reply to a tweet after it has been sent.
As part of its efforts to be recognised as a creator platform, Facebook revealed plans to pay $1billion to creators by the end of 2022. The money will be allocated among creators of all types, which creators will be able to earn by using specific Facebook and Instagram features or by hitting certain milestones. As it stands, the program is invitation-only but it will be interesting if this will be the move to finally resuscitate both platforms. In other news, Instagram is testing a new comment limit to help reduce the impact of target abuse from groups of users as opposed to individual profiles. It also announced it will be adding new auto-captions options for Stories. This will be pushed in a handful of countries before expanding globally.
Meanwhile, it’s video competitor TikTok has become the first non-Facebook app to reach three billion downloads globally. The company itself is also introducing a new system that will allow the company to block videos that violate its policies automatically when uploaded. It will also change the way it notifies users when their content is removed. IRL, Westfield London will begin facilitating a pop-up venue called the TikTok For You House, allowing supporters to interact with creators on the platform. This will include sessions from Ehiz Ufuah, Jeremy Lynch and Poppy O’Toole who will share advice on how to make content for the app. The For You House pop-up store will open on July 22nd, and will be open for two weeks.
Drawing inspiration from streaming giant Twitch, YouTube rolled out a series of features for live-streaming. Streamers will now be able to limit their chats to subscribers only, design polls inside of their chats and create clips from popular gaming streams. The latter can also be done by their followers. While Twitch still reigns supreme in live-streaming, YouTube Gaming has seen a steady growth – hours watched on the platform doubled in 2020 compared to 2019.
Finally, Clubhouse has launched its instant messaging feature Backchannel for all users on both iOS and Android. For now, users can chat one-on-one, in groups and send links. This will help moderators and listeners chat among themselves during an active room – a widely used action many have adopted on Twitter. The audio app also announced its deal with TED to share exclusive content from the organisation’s roster of experts and speakers. Could this help curb Clubhouse’s growing decline? Possibly, TED Talks have found success on other platforms like YouTube so who knows where this could take the app in months to come.
By Jennifer Adetoro, culture editor of CORQ.