February Social Media News

WhatsApp hits milestone of 2 billion users

This month, WhatsApp announced they’d hit 2 billion users worldwide, 0.5 billion behind Facebook, and 1 billion ahead of Instagram.

Nevertheless, it’s still one of the most secure online platforms, with the company highlighting how important it is for them to continue encrypting users’ messages. Their CEO, Will Cathcart, reassured users that they have no plans to disable encryption, “For all of human history, people have been able to communicate privately with each other, and we don’t think that should go away in a modern society.” The Facebook-owned company recently called off plans to bring ads to the app for now, but who knows what the future holds?

Read their full Twitter announcement here.

Instagram Creators will soon be able to earn money through IGTV

An Instagram spokesperson confirmed that they are testing a new way to help Creators monetise their IGTV content. With Instagram being such an important platform for influencers, this is a great incentive for them to share even more content on their accounts. The company is yet to reveal details, but it’s likely to follow the existing feature on Facebook Watch (Facebook’s equivalent of IGTV), where Creators keep 55% of the revenue generated by in-stream ads.

Facebook Pages can now apply to test the one-time notification API in Messenger

Through the ‘one-time notification’ API, a Facebook Page can request permission from a user to send them an important follow-up message. This is particularly useful for price-drop and back-in-stock notifications, or any other alerts that users might request from a business.

Here’s an example of how it works: a user messages a Page asking if one of their products is available. It’s out of stock, so the Page asks the user if they want to be alerted when it’s back in stock. The user asks to be notified, giving the business a token to send the user a follow-up message. The token can only be used once and expires after one year.

The feature is open for beta testing, and Pages can apply to use it via the ‘Advanced Messaging’ section of Page settings. Find out more about it here.

Bon Jovi used Instagram Stories in a unique way to promote new single ‘Limitless’ 

Shortly before the rock band was due to release their new track, fans could preview the lyrics and sing them how they thought the song should sound.

It gets better: they had to record a video of them performing it and post it to Instagram Stories, tagging @bonjovi along with the hashtag #SingBonJoviContest, for the chance to perform it live on stage with Jon Bon Jovi himself on the band’s 2020 tour!

Bank of England teams up with Snapchat to bring new £20 note to life 

A partnership between the Bank of England, Snapchat, The National Gallery and Tate Britain resulted in a new AR lens to celebrate the launch of the new £20 note, which features artist JMW Turner and his infamous painting ‘The Fighting Temeraire’. When the lens is activated, the design comes to life, complete with sound effects. The activation is supported by The National Gallery and Tate Britain who added installations to their venues. 

The UK general manager of Snapchat’s parent company said, “We want to make sure that Snapchatters are encouraged to take note, look at the cash in their wallet and appreciate these great paintings. Hopefully, this partnership will help introduce a whole new generation to one of Britain’s greatest ever painters.”

The new £20 note entered circulation on 20th February. If you haven’t got your hands on one yet, the AR lens also works on a picture of the note. Why not try it for yourself? Simply open Snapchat, then tap and hold the camera on the above Snapcode to unlock the lens. Point your camera at the note, or a picture of it, and watch it come to life!