New stickers, enhanced message ID: Some of latest features on social networks
The leading social media platforms are frequently adding features to either heighten user experience or bolster security, and this week is no exception with Snapchat and Instagram adding to their fun factor, while WhatsApp and Facebook are working against spam.
More varied selfie fun on Snapchat
The platform is boosting one of its more popular features, the ability to wear animal ears or have an instant glamour glow through Snapchat Lenses, by introducing Lens Explore.
On Tuesday, a blogpost announced the rollout of the tool that gives users the ability to find and access Community Lenses created by other Snapchat users. Community Lenses are the results of Snapchat’s Lens Studio, which launched late 2017 and has seen over 100,000 submissions.
To discover the new offerings, iOS users can click on the new icon in the top right of the screen or browse Lenses in featured Stories, then unlocking a Lens by “swiping up on Snaps in these Stories.” It is unknown when the function will arrive for Android.
Sharing questions and answers more easily on Instagram
Instagram Stories get a new sticker for interactive questions. A new way to engage with friends and followers, now Instagrammers using iOS and Android versions can pose a question and get written responses rather than emoji reactions.
The answer to the questions can be read in the same window that shows story views, and if one of the private replies is catchy and gets shared, it will not show the sender’s username or photo.
Labels for message tracking on WhatsApp
The Facebook-owned messaging platform has just introduced a new label that will put a forwarded stamp on messages that have been passed on between users in order to “make one-on-one and group chats easier to follow,” says the company, but also to help determine potential spam. “You can report spam or block a contact in one tap” notes the announcement, which also encourages users to reach out to the WhatsApp directly as it “cares deeply about your safety.”
Testing a feature to help identify suspicious DMs on Facebook
A report from Motherboard details a “small test” that Facebook is doing to help users identify suspicious direct messages. The feature could provide extra information regarding an unknown contact, such as whether the account was created recently and what sort of phone number was used to log in. Furthermore, the report notes that it could also disclose “that the unsolicited user is different from a Facebook friend with the same name,” helpful if someone is impersonating a friend.
“We are testing a way to provide people with more context on folks they may not have connected with previously,” Dalya Browne from Facebook’s Messenger team told Motherboard in an email.
It is unknown if this feature will ever get rolled out. JB