Today, we will take a look at some of the new and updated features recently announced and released by popular platforms including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Instagram Lite revamp
Instagram Lite, initially released in December, is an app that allows users in low connectivity regions to utilize most of the features of Instagram. Initially launching in India, the app will now be available to users in 170 regions.
The decision made by the Indian government back in June to ban all Chinese apps, including TikTok, left an opening for Facebook-owned Instagram to expand its presence in India. The relaunch of Instagram Lite comes at a time where the pandemic is making it harder for people to see and speak to their loved ones, and Instagram provides a platform for connection, albeit virtual.
Instagram Lite requires only 2 MB to download on Android – whereas the full version of the app requires 30 MB. All of the key features, minus some of the more advanced tools like AR filters, are included in the condensed version. With the lite version of the app being less data-hungry than the original, it is workable in regions such as India, where many users are in low connectivity regions, while also using restrictive data plans.
Twitter’s Clubhouse style feature
With Clubhouse celebrating its first birthday this week, and the popularity of the app undeniable, Twitter is working on its own Clubhouse style feature that we can expect to go live in April. Twitter’s new live audio feature, which started beta testing in late February, will be called ‘Spaces’.
The feature was initially tested on 1,000 users, beginning with women and people from marginalised groups – but when launched, the feature will be available to all Twitter users. Users will be able to tune into and host live audio chats, very similar to Clubhouse. Twitter is also working on support for using music in Spaces, and thinking about better ways of integrating tweets.
New ways to monetise on Facebook
Keeping up with the short video craze, Facebook has announced that creators on the app will now be able to monetise videos that are as short as 60 seconds. A spokesperson for Facebook said: “For videos three minutes or longer, an ad can be shown 45 seconds in. Previously only three-minute or longer videos could monetize with in-stream ads, with an ad shown no earlier than one minute.”
In the coming weeks, Facebook will be looking at how creators on the app can monetise their stories with ads that look like stickers, receiving a portion of the resulting revenue. Although Facebook is introducing monetisation opportunities on videos of one minute long, which is double the length of an Instagram Reels video, they are beginning to put tools in place to challenge rival platforms.
We can look forward to discovering how users and creators begin to utilise the new tools and features put in place by Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Constantly adapting the platforms and adding new tools for content creation and monetisation means that more people are able to start earning a living as a creator.