Every Sunday we will be recapping what happened this week in the world of social media, keeping you up to date!

Facebook is monetizing WhatsApp

WhatsApp is rolling out three new ways for businesses and customers to connect and interact with each other in a way that is quicker and more convenient.

  1. Shortcut button to start an instant conversation.
  2. Businesses will have the ability to send you information (like a boarding pass e.g.)
  3. Real-time support.

The platform revealed on their blog that they want users to retain control over the messages they receive by being able to block businesses whenever they want by simply tapping a button. This move by the platform is to attract new businesses to the app.

WhatsApp group calls

WhatsApp has also announced group calls for both voice and video. Group calls can now be made with up to four people. To add someone else in, just tap the “add participant” button in the top right corner.

The platform is following the footsteps of Snapchat who introduced group video chat earlier this year.

Source: WhatsApp

Snapchat launches new voice responsive lenses

Snapchat first introduced us to sound responsive lenses back in May, where users could make sounds and the lenses would move in response. The platform has revealed new augmented reality lenses that now respond to users saying particular words, such as “hi”, “love”, “wow”, “yes” and “no”. The platform, which is currently at around 191 million monthly users, is planning on releasing between 5-6 voice-activated lenses in the upcoming weeks.

Snapchat’s augmented reality technology has always set it apart from other platforms that haven’t quite yet followed in their footsteps. The platform seems to be trying to differentiate itself from Facebook and Instagram in a bid to attract users back to the platform.

Facebook’s API changes

Twitter announced on Wednesday that due to a Facebook update, tweets and retweets will no longer be able to automatically post to Facebook accounts. The platform posted a tweet with instructions on alternative ways that users can share tweets, such as direct message, SMS or email.

Wednesday was the official deadline for any apps using the Facebook platform APIs to put their app through a more “comprehensive” review. This review is an extra precaution taken by Facebook to ensure the protection of user information.

These changes follow the Cambridge Analytica scandal and consequential data protection concerns. They announced on their blog for developers that once the deadline has passed, they would be “cutting off API access for hundreds of thousands of inactive apps,” that did not submit an updated review.

That’s all for this week.

Check back next Sunday for another weekly recap!