Friday Social: Snap Games Get Wimbledon Fever, YouTube Tackles Rabbit Holes and Twitter Thread Fun

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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 via Twitter – @Umpf

Exciting Updates for WhatsApp

WhatsApp is set to hold onto its title as the most popular messaging app with five new updates that will enhance user experience. The Facebook-owned app’s upcoming features will include fingerprint authentication, ranking of contacts by interaction and – the one you’ve been waiting for – Dark Mode.

The Dark Mode update, a craze which has taken over apps recently, will not only bring a striking new look to the messenger but will offer several other advantages too, as it saves the battery of your device and is easier on your eyes.

In addition, WhatsApp will introduce a QR code scanning feature which minimises the steps required to add a new contact and will soon allow users to share their status to Facebook, Instagram, Gmail and Google photos.

The updates are currently only available in the WhatsApp beta version of the app but are expected to roll out to users globally in the next few months.

Snapchat Launches Bitmoji Game

Snapchat has released its next big in-app game, Bitmoji Tennis, which was launched to coincide with the start of Wimbledon 2019 this week.

The game enables users to pit their beloved customisable Bitmoji characters against each other on the virtual court, where they can challenge friends, practice in solo mode and even hold group tournaments.

Snapchat’s games launch aims to boost time spent within the app, whilst also providing new potential for ad placement and games sponsors.

Bitmoji Tennis is Snap’s sixth original game for Snapchat, and its second Bitmoji game, since the games platform launched at the Snap Partners summit in April.

Twitter Enhances Search Tool

Twitter has just announced an improvement to its search listings, which will now include additional information relating to trends, mutual follows and recent tweets when searching for specific accounts.

The idea of the update is that the extra information will better guide users towards the results they’re after, making the decision of whether or not a profile is worth following much easier.

The update comes as part of Twitter’s recent algorithm tweaks and changes, which have been made in order to highlight relevant trends and get more people engaged in real-time discussion.

YouTube Customises Recommendations

This week, YouTube has announced new changes to its platform to prevent the infamous ‘YouTube rabbit hole’, following concerns that its automatic ‘Up Next’ recommendations were promoting harmful conspiracy theories, fake news and even radicalising people.

The changes will allow viewers to override recommended clips by introducing topic tags, which allow the platform to filter specific recommendations based on a chosen area of interest.

A new tool will also help tailor suggestions by enabling users to remove selected channels from their recommendations, whilst markers which highlight videos watched by users with similar interests also aim to filter out toxic videos.

And finally…

You may have seen a viral choose-your-own-adventure style Twitter thread recently, which challenges Twitter users to be Beyoncé’s assistant for the day without getting fired.

The thread blew up, gaining over 257k likes to date and even attracting the attention of celebs such as Chrissy Teigen, who got fired 3 tweets in. Abysmal.

Having seen its popularity, @AppleTV decided to have a stab at the thread format to help users decide what movie to watch, with another Twitter user even creating a Love Island variation. While the original is by far the best, they all make for some light-hearted thread-fuelled fun. Give ‘em a go below.