Social Updates: November 2021 - Facebook Expands to Brick & Mortar While Twitter Connects With Sports And Entertainment

Social Updates: November 2021 - Facebook Expands to Brick & Mortar While Twitter Connects With Sports And Entertainment
Photo by Joshua Hoehne / Unsplash

Facebook

Earlier in November, Facebook announced that it’s shutting down its facial recognition program and that it will also delete all of its facial recognition files, meaning that we’ll no longer be able to identify people in posted images. Facebook hasn’t ruled out future use of face ID, potentially through alternate tracking means and data collection.

Meta, formerly known as Facebook, is discussing opening its first retail stores as it looks to break into the metaverse, according to The New York Times. The stores, which have no slated opening date in the US, will allow the company to showcase devices like virtual reality headsets and teleconferencing gadgets that allow people to video chat through Facebook. Facebook Hong Kong launched its first pop-up store in the territory, introducing its ‘Your Profile, Your Home’ campaign.

Instagram

Instagram’s leaning further into live-stream commerce with the launch of a new series of shopping-based broadcasts heading into the holidays, which will also incorporate exclusive product launches and influencer recommendations to help maximize interest. Instagram will host a range of shopping-based broadcasts over the final two months of the year, including weekly interactive live streams.

Instagram is once again adding more TikTok-inspired features into its app, with the addition of a new "Text to Speech" option in Reels, which provides an artificial voice-to-read text overlays you add to your clips, and new voice changer options to alter your vocal tones.

Twitter

Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced his resignation from Twitter in late November with current CTO Parag Agrawal succeeding him in the role. The incoming CEO has been with Twitter for more than 10 years, after starting as a software engineer, he now has a chance to potentially swing Twitter in a new direction. Agrawal has been involved in all of the platform’s major decisions of late, so we shouldn’t expect a significant change in direction.

Twitter has solidified its partnership with the National Basketball Association, signing a new content deal that will have the NBA provide exclusive content, highlights, and free live game segments as part of a multi-year agreement.

The company went on to announce a new video content deal with ViacomCBS, which will see Twitter host streaming content from the network’s stable of TV shows and live sports. ViacomCBS incorporates TV channels and film studios, including CBS Sports, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, and more. Twitter will now be able to tap into the popularity of these brands via dedicated content offerings, while the deal will also include the company’s OTT offering Paramount+.

Twitter is taking steps to add more safeguards into its processes that utilize user data, with the appointment of a new Internal Data Government Committee (DGC)which will analyze and rule on all changes relating to the usage of user info and insights.

As explained by Twitter: “[The DGC] will ensure that we’re making consistent and balanced decisions around how we use and protect your data. The Committee will oversee all decisions to collect, maintain, use, disclose, or provide access to customer data internally. They will also review and approve updates to our Privacy Policy, ensure that teams are adhering to those policies, and make the decisions on what is and is not acceptable use of your data.”

Pinterest

Pinterest is leaning into the rising live-stream commerce trend, with its series of live shopping events, via a new initiative called "Pinterest TV."

As explained by Pinterest: “We’re announcing Pinterest TV, a series of live, original and shoppable episodes featuring creators on Pinterest.”

Snapchat

Snapchat is expanding its eCommerce offerings with its evolving AR tools. Snapchat partnered with big-name brands on several AR-focused shopping initiatives, the biggest of which being its ‘Snap Holiday Market’, which includes immersive AR shopping experiences from Amazon, Coca-Cola, Hollister, Under Armour, Verizon, and Walmart. Accessible via the Lens Carousel in the app, the integrations will provide dedicated product showcases, including interactive and Try-On elements.

In addition to this, Snapchat has partnered with fashion and beauty brands to add more AR try-on and eCommerce Lenses. Snap now facilitates over 6 billion AR Lens plays every day and this new showcase will spark a lot of interest in the app’s next-level connection tools.