1. Facebook takes visual messaging to a new level

We all know that the way people communicate and message each other is no longer limited to a traditional text message. Visual messaging is increasingly becoming our new universal language – sharing photos of our experiences brings our conversations to life whether it be sharing holiday snaps, an incredible meal you just ate or your first day on the beach, images are far more expressive and powerful.

Facebook knows this, and therefore have updated Facebook Messenger to allow users to send and receive photos in 4K resolution (up to 4,096 x 4,096 pixels per image), the highest possible quality a smartphone can support. The good news is, this won’t affect loading times and you can send imagery just as easy as before.

Take a look at the difference in quality below.

Source: Facebook

2. Snapchat adds new ad options

With the aim of increasing their revenue potential, Snapchat has added a range of new ad options and tools. The most recent update is a significant change to their self-serve ads platform. The first is ‘Promoted Stories’, which is essentially exactly what the name suggests. The new sponsored stories will appear on the Stories screen for Snapchat users with a ‘Sponsored’ note above the preview pane.

The second is AR, which will allow users to place 3D products into real life scenes. The new ad format will allow users to re-size images, change colours and pin them to a spot. The aim is that users will get the ability to see what a particular item looks like in different situations, and brands have the advantage of having their products shared through Snaps.

These new additions demonstrate that Snapchat recognises the need to roll out new products and tools to show brands and advertisers that as a platform, it has potential to generate significant revenue from its users.

 

Source: SocialMediaToday

3. Users can now ask to join Instagram live-streams

Instagram now allows viewers to request to join a live stream. How does it work? When viewing a live video, a new request button will allow you to ask to join a live stream, if the host accepts the invitation, the screen will split with the bottom half containing a display that tells the new guest to get ready to go live with a short countdown before joining the live stream – guests can leave the stream at any time they choose.

For the host, for all requests to join their live stream a new smile icon at the bottom right of the screen will pop up, with a red notification icon showing the number of requests. At the same time, the host can also invite any viewer that is tuned into the stream to join in on the broadcast instead of waiting for requests to come through.

This is yet another example of Instagram expanding their live video offering, further enabling their users to connect in real-time.

Source: Digital Trends

4. Facebook adds new PayPal invoicing and payment options to Messenger

Facebook is continuing to add more features to encourage the use of their Marketplace feature through another partnership with PayPal, following their recent announcement of PayPal as a ‘peer-to-peer’ payment option in Messenger.

The new integration aims to build on providing a simple payment option to further streamline the process. With the aim of following the direction of Asian chat apps like WeChat into ecommerce, streamlining their payment processes is a key area for Messenger. The new PayPal chat extension will enable a seller to create and send their invoice without leaving the conversation.

Simplified payments could be a game changer for Messenger, and Facebook in general. This change could transform how business is done on Facebook, especially in terms of changing the perception of Messenger from a simple messaging app to a tool through which people can conduct a send and receive payments.

 

Source: Social Media Today

5. Facebook debuts web-based VR experiences within Facebook news feed

After a month of Facebook announcing they were testing web-based VR within news feeds, Facebook has now debuted examples of brands that have developed VR apps through the Facebook site and mobile apps, such as Sony and the British Museum. Facebook is calling these VR-enabled posts as ‘360 experiences’.

These experiences are similar to viewing a 360-degree video on Facebook, on mobile, but now people can tap the screen to move their phones to pan around it. On desktop, people need to drag and pan to change their view. The difference between a 360-degree video is that people can tap on or click on objects within their experience.

In regard to advertisers, this is an additional offering from Facebook allowing brands to create VR experiences to further engage and interact with their audience through a unique experience.

Source: Marketing Land