Friday Social: Facebook Photos, (More) InstaAds and Samaritans Radar

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Our #FridaySocial is a weekly round-up of the key social media news stories from the previous seven days. Let us know your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter – @Umpf or @Allllliiiii

1. Facebook Improves Photos

IMG_5081Earlier this week, Facebook unveiled an update to its mobile apps that allows users to add and organise small groups of photos (not albums) much easier than previously.

The new features allow users to have more control over the way imagery appears in the news feed. Photos will now be previewed before uploading, and users can rearrange or add tags, locations and descriptions.

Rose Yao, Facebook’s product manager for photos, told Mashable: “This is a culmination of all the work we’ve done in the last year around storytelling. It’s not just about the weddings and big trips. It’s about the silly daily moments, too.”

 

2. Instagram Adds More Ads

Following its launch of photo ads earlier this year, Instagram will be rolling out video ads from today.

Instagram has reportedly been testing the video ads for a few months and as The Verge points out, they might not fit in to Instagram’s feed the same way that still ads have – they look and sound like adverts. Disney and Lancome are among the first brands to roll out the ads – have you seen one yet?

 

 

3. Facebook to be Bigger than China

Facebook revealed its third quarter results this week, and despite this year’s complaints about the social media giant it’s reporting good news all round.

Impressively, Facebook is reporting a monthly active user base of 1.35 billion – around the same population of China! The number of active users has increased 14% over the last year.

 

4. Samaritans Launches Twitter App

A new app created by charity Samaritans is aiming to alert users to friends’ tweets that could be seen as troubling or hinting at thoughts of suicide and depression.

The app, named Samaritans Radar, can be downloaded by individual Twitter users, who will then receive alerts when friends post worrying tweets. An algorithm detects words and phrases that are often used in tweets of those who may be suffering with depression, and the app will also give the user advice on how to approach their friend to share their concern.

Joe Ferns, of Samaritans, said: “Social media has changed how we talk to each other. It has created a dis-inhibition effect that means people are being more honest online.

“We know that people struggling to cope often go online looking for support, however, there is still so much we need to learn about why this happens and how we can make the online environment safer for vulnerable people.”

 

5. Facebook Unveils its Rooms

Facebook has launched a new app allowing users to join chat room-style groups based on their interests.IMG_5080

Users can sign up without a Facebook account and can use different nicknames in different rooms, but there’s a catch – unless you create a room, you have to be invited to join it. Invites work by saving or screenshotting invitations from around the web – Rooms then pulls the invitation code from your camera roll and adds you to the relevant group. For the time being, there’s no way of searching for groups to join.

The app is currently only available on iOS – but users who have been plagued by the iPhone 5’s lock button problems (like Umpf’s Adrian and I!) may struggle with the long-winded screenshotting process involved. Have you signed up to Rooms yet?