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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…

WhatsApp Enables Voice and Video Calls via Desktop App

While it’s still working out the best way to convince users that its new privacy policy update is a good thing, WhatsApp has today announced a new option on another front, with the addition of voice and video calling capacity via its desktop app.


As explained by WhatsApp:

“Throughout the last year we’ve seen significant increases in people calling one another on WhatsApp, often for long conversations. Last New Year’s Eve, we broke the record for the most calls ever made in a single day with 1.4 billion voice and video calls. With so many people still apart from their loved ones and adjusting to new ways of working, we want conversations on WhatsApp to feel as close to in-person as possible, regardless of where you are in the world or the tech you’re using.”

WhatsApp doesn’t specifically note how many of those calls are occurring via its desktop app but the new capacity provides more ways for its 2 billion users to stay in touch, with fully encrypted voice and video options now available on your desktop PC.

Instagram Tests New Auto-Captions Option for Instagram Stories

A very welcome update for social media managers here! Instagram’s currently testing out a new ‘Closed Captions’ sticker for IG Stories, which generates automated captions for your Stories clips in a range of text formats.

As you can see in the example above posted by Matt Navarra, once you add the Captions sticker to your video clip, you would then see a ‘Transcribing audio…’ prompt on your screen. You’d then be able to view the text from your video, which displays in time with your speech.

Instagram appears to be testing four text style options, including typewriter-esque block text, larger words for added emphasis and basic block letters.

Some users are now able to access the tool in their Instagram app but when they go to post they get an ‘Internal only’ error message. Instagram has confirmed that the process is currently only in testing and is not supposed to be available to the public just yet.

The option is similar to the same tool that Instagram added to its separate Threads app late last year, which quickly saw Threads rise up the download charts. But it wasn’t because people wanted to send messages to their Instagram inner-circle – a large number of users downloaded Threads in order to make clips using the auto-captions feature, which they then uploaded to TikTok with the on-screen text.

Given this, it seems like a no-brainer for Instagram to add the same functionality direct into Stories. Instagram’s been developing the option since at least August last year, while it also added automated captions for IGTV uploads back in September.

Instagram hasn’t provided a timeline for a public release, but given the advanced nature of this prototype, you can likely expect to see it launched sometime soon.

Facebook Adds ‘Holiday Mode’ Option to Marketplace

Facebook has added a new ‘Holiday Mode’ to Marketplace. which effectively enables users to pause their Marketplace listings if they go away.


As you can see in the above screenshots, also shared by social media expert Matt Navarra, Holiday Mode will let potential buyers know that you’re not available to fulfil any orders, so you can pause your listing, as opposed to temporarily removing it.

“Buyers won’t be able to place orders or start new conversations with you. If you have pending orders that need to be fulfilled, turning on holiday mode does not cancel or pause these orders.”

So you will still need to meet any existing obligations as it doesn’t stop all activity associated with your profile unconditionally. But as noted, it could be a handy way to keep your listings active, while also communicating with potential buyers that there will be a delay.

This is relatively small addition in the wider scheme but it will certainly come in handy for those looking to maintain their Marketplace activity, with a simple switch that will put all of your various market posts on hold for as long as you choose.

Explore the option within your Marketplace settings.

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