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Social media is forever changing which makes it easy to miss an update from time to time. Twice a month, we look into three of the latest key updates from the past few weeks from the various social media giants. Here’s what’s been happening recently…

Instagram Adds Stories Likes to Provide Insight on Viewer Engagement

Instagram has this week added a new, simple way for users to engage with Stories content with Stories likes, which enables you to ‘like’ any Story in your feed, and let the creator know, without having to start up a DM conversation. Subtle but cool huh?

As demonstrated above by Instagram chief Adam Mosseri, now, down the bottom of your Stories view in the app, you’ll see a new heart icon, which, when tapped, will send the creator of that Story a like.

Stories likes are not public and only the creator will be able to see them. Creators will be able to view their Story likes in their Story insights, with a small heart icon added next to the viewers’ name in the view listing.

And as noted, Stories likes will not come through as a DM, so you’re not suddenly going to get an influx of DMs as people use the function to react to your Stories.

Which is good, because it’s pretty annoying to have to send somebody a DM to let them know that you liked their Story. This adds a simple, low-touch way to indicate your interest, without having to send a new message alert every time you want to signal such.

The new like for Stories button is being rolled out to all users from today, so keep an eye!

Facebook Renames ‘News Feed’ to Just ‘Feed’

Here’s an update that pretty much has no impact on anything, other than the name itself. Facebook has announced that it’s renaming the ‘News Feed’, the main element of the app, to simply ‘Feed’ in order to simplify branding.

Why, we hear you ask?

Primarily, Facebook is making the change because the mention of ‘news’ in ‘News Feed’ was apparently confusing for some.

As reported by Alex Heath from The Verge, the “news” label has led some to believe that there are only news stories in the main stream, but not necessarily posts by friends.

For the majority of us, this seems hard to believe that there are still Facebook users that are unfamiliar with how it works, but for Facebook to make the change, must mean something! But having said that, it’s just a title switch, and given that many Meta execs have referred to it as ‘Feed’ for some time anyway, it seems like a fairly minor update.

Twitter Expands New ‘Safety Mode’ Auto-Block Option to More Users

After four months of testing, Twitter has announced that it’s now making its new ‘Safety Mode’ feature available to more users.

To clarify, Safety Mode does not provide you with the capability to shut people up in real life via a plasma-like bubble that emanates from your core when called upon. It’s only restricted to Twitter, and it’s not a super power of any kind.

Safety Mode is essentially auto-block at scale, based on automated system detection.

Twitter Safety


As you can see here, within your ‘Privacy and Safety’ options in the app, some users will now have access to ‘Safety Mode’ which, as described above, will autoblock potentially problematic accounts for 7 days.

Problematic accounts in this context are those that are using potentially harmful language, as well as those that have been sending repetitive, unresponded to replies or @mentions your way.

The idea is that this can help users avoid negative impacts – so if you’re getting a heap of replies to a controversial tweet (intended or not), you can switch on Safety Mode, and Twitter’s systems will then shield you from those mentions. And given that the Twitter rage cycle tends to only last for hours at a time, it’ll likely only take a day or so for things to blow over – so if you do slip-up, the option could provide a means to alleviate some of the psychological stress that can be associated with on-platform pile-ons and abuse.

As Twitter notes, it’s now bringing Safety Mode to ‘several new English-speaking markets’, so it could be available in the UK very soon.

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