This week in social media news: Instagram launches Reels in Brazil to compete with Tik Tok, Facebook Pay drops for users to make purchases through Messenger, Instagram starts testing hiding likes in the US and Facebook tests out an Instagram-like feature for their app.
According to TechCrunch, Instagram is releasing a feature to rival Tik Tok, but it’s currently limited just to Brazil.
As it’s basically a clone of Tik Tok, Reels will let you make 15-second videos with music. Videos have the potential to go viral through the Top Reels on the Explore page. Users can include music from a catalog or take audio from anyone else’s video to remix it.
Reels are posted to your Story, shared with Close Friends or sent in the Messenger. Watch the demo video here.
They are starting in Brazil because the country has a big Instagram population and isn’t already obsessed with Tik Tok. They hope to get a better idea of how to customize the user experience and onboard people.
In a post on Facebook Newsroom, the platform introduced Facebook Pay, “which will provide people with a convenient, secure and consistent payment experience across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.”
Facebook will be rolling out this feature starting with Facebook and Messenger. This week, users in the US will be able to use Facebook Pay for “fundraisers, in-game purchases, event tickets, person-to-person payments on Messenger and purchases from select Pages and businesses on Facebook Marketplace.”
It looks a lot like other payment apps like Venmo and Cash App but people worry about the security of the feature.
Facebook says, “We designed Facebook Pay to securely store and encrypt your card and bank account numbers, perform anti-fraud monitoring on our systems to detect unauthorized activity and provide notifications for account activity.”
You can also add a PIN number or touch/Face ID as added security protection. But others have still raised questions about the integrity of Facebook and privacy issues.
They say they plan to roll out to Instagram and What’s App at a later time. In their post, Facebook makes it clear that this is not part of Calibra wallet that will run on Libra.
For awhile now, Instagram has been testing out hiding likes on the platform. They just announced that they have started testing globally now, specifically in the US.
They posted to Twitter saying, “Starting today, we’re expanding our test of private like counts globally. If you’re in the test, you’ll no longer see the total number of likes and views on photos and videos posted to Feed unless they’re your own.”
Users will still be able to click on who liked the photo and count the people if they really want to but the actual count will only be available to the person who posted the content.
The Twitter thread continued to say that their previous tests have had positive feedback and that they are thinking about other ways for creators to communicate value to their partners (as like count was probably a way influencers showed value).
For brands, this just means we need to focus less on vanity metrics and more on engagement and reach.
According to TechCrunch, Facebook has been testing out a feature called Popular Photos that gives users an Instagram-like experience right in the Facebook app.
The feature would be similar to when you watch videos and have the option to scroll to the next suggested video, but with photos. Popular Photos would allow users to scroll through just photos, without having to navigate through articles, statuses, videos, etc.
Facebook told TechCrunch that the trial has concluded and they plan to run more tests in the future, but didn’t disclose anything else. It is interesting that the parent company would design a feature that basically competes directly with Instagram.
Here’s some upcoming #holidays that serve as great filler content and get you in on some social media conversations:
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