Social Updates: October 2021 - Facebook Changes Corporate Name & Twitter Rolls Out More Updates

Social Updates: October 2021 - Facebook Changes Corporate Name & Twitter Rolls Out More Updates
Photo by Brett Jordan / Unsplash

Facebook

From now on, Facebook’s overarching company name will be ‘Meta’. Facebook, the app, will remain the same. All of Facebook’s various projects and businesses will now fall under the ‘Meta’ banner, reflecting its evolving focus on the next generation of digital connections.

The timing of the rebrand comes at a time when Facebook is again under government scrutiny. Earlier this month, whistleblower Frances Haugen leaked documents and appeared before Congress to testify about the social network's effects on the public at large.

The recent internal Facebook documents leaked by Frances Haugen prompted Patagonia CEO, Ryan Gellert to reaffirm its boycott on Facebook ads. Patagonia’s boycott of Facebook started in June 2020, as part of the #StopHateforProfit campaign. The CEO tweeted a series of statements reaffirming his company’s commitment to stop all paid advertising on Facebook platforms and hopes to encourage other businesses to join their boycott. However, with the busy holiday season upon us, it remains to be seen how many advertisers support these actions in practice and not only in spirit.

Facebook is also facing antitrust woes by the Federal Trade Commission in the U.S. and beyond. The complaint filed by the FTC alleges that Facebook violated antitrust regulations by purchasing rising rivals Instagram and WhatsApp to eliminate competition. The FTC is asking the court to break up Facebook's social media empire. Facebook responded by asking the federal court to dismiss the complaint, arguing that the agency has not provided enough evidence to show that the company is a monopoly.

Facebook held its 2021 "Connect" conference, where the Horizon Home was Facebook’s key push with the new platform built into the Oculus VR experience.

  • Another major announcement is the development of a VR version of ‘Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas’, providing a more immersive experience for millions of GTA fans worldwide.
  • Facebook is also developing new VR tools to better enable home working, leaning into the WFH shift.
  • Facebook will soon begin testing its new ‘Quest for Business’ platform, which will enable users to log in to their Quest VR headsets with a Work Account, and will facilitate collaborative work environments, giving you the sense of being in the same physical space as colleagues while working remotely.
  • Services like Slack, Dropbox, Facebook and Instagram, and many more will soon work in VR as 2D panel apps in Horizon Home, and you’ll be able to download them from the Quest Store.
  • Details of upcoming AR development initiatives, including new training programs for aspiring digital creators and advanced spatial understanding in AR, will facilitate new forms of display and engagement.
  • In development is an advanced AR capacity, with body tracking to facilitate more immersive AR features, and ‘World AR’ geo-anchored experiences.

It was also announced that Facebook will now be counting people who’ve not connected their Facebook and Instagram accounts in its Accounts Center as separate entities for advertising planning and measurement purposes – i.e. if your accounts are not connected, Facebook will now assume that your Facebook and Instagram profiles are two different people.

Facebook has announced that it’s shutting down its facial recognition program and that it will also delete all facial recognition files as part of a company-wide move to limit the use of facial recognition in its products.

Lastly, Facebook is kicking off the holiday shopping period with a new series of eCommerce-focused events that aim to encourage the use of Facebook and Instagram shops, while it’s also looking to provide more support for SMBs, with a focus on Black-owned businesses.

Instagram

It’s been a long time coming, but finally, Instagram has announced that it’s adding an image and video posting functionality from the desktop version of the platform as of October 21st, providing a more centralized way for social media managers to maintain their IG presence.

Instagram also added a new way for users to collaborate on feed posts and Reels, while also adding music-focused, AR-aligned features to encourage music engagement. Its new ‘Collabs’ option gives users the ability to invite others from the tagging screen in post composer to collaborate on a post or Reel.

It was recently announced that links are now available to use in Instagram Stories for all users, not just those with 10k followers or verified accounts.

Twitter

Twitter has opened up its new ‘Super Follow’ option to all users on iOS, which will provide more monetization potential for creators, expanding the capacity for them to draw direct income from their biggest fans.

After first providing ticketed spaces to select iOS users back in August, Twitter is now making ticketed Spaces available to all iOS users in the US, while the option is now being rolled out to Android broadcasters as well, providing another monetization option in the app.

TikTok

Amazon recently announced that it has acquired the exclusive U.S. rights to a connected-TV TikTok app, allowing Amazon Fire TV users to stream videos from the app on their televisions. Although the connected-TV app rights are exclusive, Apple users can still stream TikTok videos to their televisions by screen-mirroring their iOS or macOS devices to their Apple TVs while the mobile app or website is open.