Social Updates: January 2022 - The Popularity of NFTs Drives Changes on Platforms and Meta Works on Boundaries for Digital Characters

Social Updates: January 2022 - The Popularity of NFTs Drives Changes on Platforms and Meta Works on Boundaries for Digital Characters
Photo by Andrey Metelev / Unsplash

Full digital characters have evolved into social media influencers and online platforms are looking to establish clear markers as to what’s real and what’s not, and how these creations can be used in their apps. Meta is now working to establish ethical boundaries on its application. At first glance, you wouldn’t realize a profile is not an actual person, which makes these characters a great vehicle for brand and product promotions, as they can be placed into any environment.

Meta is facing another antitrust probe in the US, with the FTC being granted permission to present its case against the company over its acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp, which the FTC says were specifically aimed at eliminating competition in the market. There’s a strong case to suggest that Meta has built both apps into what they are because of its investments using its resources and reach to boost them both beyond a billion users. Now a court will need to decide whether Meta’s conduct is in breach of the antitrust law.

Meta is currently working on ways to tap into the popularity of NFTs, as they envision a bigger future for digital goods and eventually expand the functionality of the NFT transaction process to facilitate the transfer of various digital goods within its planned Metaverse. The latest element in this process includes attaching a digital wallet to your account, as there will likely be far more opportunities to purchase digital products and services in the future.

Meta is looking to educate kids on key elements of digital literacy and safe online behavior as part of a new program in Messenger Kids, which will help kids learn about avoiding harmful actions and protecting themselves online.

Instagram

After announcing the return of its reverse chronological, algorithm-free post feed late last year, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri shared a preview of how its new options on this front will work. They plan to add two different chronological feed options: one in ‘Favorites’, which would enable you to view a listing of accounts based on those you add to your ‘Favorites’ list, and another in ‘Following’, which will display the accounts that you follow, free from additional recommendations, in reverse timeline order.

Twitter

Twitter’s taking the next steps with a full-screen video reply option. The launch of a live test on iOS will enable users to ‘Quote Tweet with reaction’. Users will be able to add a full-screen video or image to respond to a tweet, with the original tweet then embedded in the visual.

Twitter’s looking to give users more control over the content they see in the app with an expansion of its keyword blocking and mute tools, which will now apply beyond the main timeline. This will provide users with more control to avoid topics and/or people that they don’t want to see.

Twitter is launching its NFT profile display option, though only to Twitter Blue subscribers in iOS during the initial phase. Twitter Blue users will be able to show off their NFTs in a more certifiable capacity, with the images directly linked back to the ownership data on OpenSea. This could also limit unauthorized NFT use, as people who don’t own the image won’t get the new hexagonal logo or additional linking options.

TikTok

The platform has announced a new deal with video content provider Atmosphere, where curated TikTok content will appear on TVs in restaurants, bars, gyms, and more, providing new exposure potential for TikTok creators. Atmosphere provides licensed and curated video content for commercial venues, like Westin, Taco Bell, and Burger King.

TikTok is testing a new feature designed to help creators grow their following by inviting connections on other apps to view content within their TikTok profile. Creators can invite users from various third-party apps, such as Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp, to watch their videos and follow them on TikTok.

TikTok is reportedly working on bringing back the option to see who viewed your profile in the app within the last 30 days, which would provide more transparency over user interest. This would be an opt-in functionality that could be switched off and on.

TikTok will also be testing a new digital avatar feature that will enable users to create their own based on a selfie, with facial expressions that will match your actual look. You would then be able to customize your avatar’s expressions, providing new ways to share emotion and responses in the app.