Instagram Reels launches globally
Instagram is officially launching Reels: a new way to create and discover short, entertaining videos on Instagram.
Similar to TikTok, Reels lets users record and edit 15-second multi-clip videos with audio, effects, music and new creative tools. Reels is built right inside the Instagram app and can be shared with your followers who will find them directly in their feed. All Reels will also live in a new Reels tab on your profile and you’ll have the option to share your Reels to your Story, which will disappear after 24 hours if it’s shared this way.
Messenger launches chat plugin for businesses to reach non-Facebook customers
Facebook has announced a major update to the Facebook Chat plugin, a free tool for businesses to connect globally with customers on their website. Now, customers will be able to talk to businesses without logging into Facebook. The update also sees a new design which makes conversations easier and more intuitive, which Facebook claims have resulted in a 45% increase in customer chats with businesses during its tests. Businesses with a Facebook Page can install the free Chat plugin on their website simply with a few clicks in their Page settings.
Facebook’s new music videos feature
Facebook is introducing a new official music videos feature to its platform in the U.S., giving artists more ways to promote their work and interact with fans.
The launch will be accompanied by global music premieres which will be taking place on Facebook, including exclusive music content from artists. Facebook hopes that the new official music videos feature will help people come together around music on its platform, creating new social experiences beyond just watching the video. Over time, the experience will become more personalised to your tastes based on artists you follow and videos you engage with.
Snapchat is adding a TikTok style music feature
Just as Facebook launches its music video feature, Snapchat is also coming on board with a new music feature, allowing users to add music to the videos they record, making it the latest social app to take on TikTok by offering the ability to embed songs.
While the feature wasn’t designed to be a full-on TikTok competitor, Snap is designing the feature in a way which labels might prefer: when users swipe up on a video, they’ll get to song’s title and artist, plus a link to listen to the track on their streaming platform of choice. The feature is set to launch to English-language users in the upcoming months, however, users in Australia and New Zealand can already access the feature from this week.
Melbourne residents are turning their curfew restrictions into memes
When things are this bad, it can only get better. Since the announcement of tougher Stage 4 restrictions, Melburnians have been well-versed in making the best out of the situation – namely in the forms of some really great memes. Most of these come from Twitter, with a handful on TikTok. Check out the best ones here.
Paintings by raccoon artists are taking the world by storm
Meet Piper, Cheeto and Tito, three rescue raccoons who have launched a very successful art career. Their colourful abstract hand painting masterpieces are taking social media by storm and are sold out before they even hit the market. According to animal behaviourist Suzanne MacDonald at York University, Toronto, raccoons could be trained to paint and all that is needed is patience and a steady supply of food rewards. These paintings are definitely one-of-a-kind!
Australian reporter’s hard-hitting Trump interview goes viral
You’d think this was a comedy sketch, except it was a serious political interview between US President Donald Trump and Australian journalist Jonathan Swan from news outlet AXIOS, and it was all very real. In the interview, Swan didn’t let the American President distract him with tangential questions.
Instead, he kept pushing and pushing, holding Trump to his illogical answers and trying to get him to tell the truth about the US’s disastrous coronavirus numbers. Seriously, you have to watch the interview and you’ll understand why it went viral on social media. Needless to say, Swan has become a meme hours after the interview aired, with many featuring Swan’s iconic pure unrelenting confused face as he ruffled through the pieces of paper that Trump has handed him.
Cloud bread is TikTok’s latest viral food trend
Despite the bans, sales and acquisitions, TikTok remains a breeding ground for viral trends and this cloud bread is the latest hit on TikTok right now. Cloud bread is at the crossroads of the many trends which mark our current moment – it’s a TikTok trend, a Gen Z trend and a bread trend all together! The viral recipe video gained traction really quickly, with more than 4.1 million likes within a few hours after it was posted. It’s a really simple recipe too – all you need is sugar, flour and cornstarch!