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 New ‘Map Search’ Tool
Instagram has launched a live test of a new feature called ‘Map Search’ in Australia and New Zealand, which enables users to discover businesses and locations of interest on the in-app map, and find info on each listed business, as well as post public posts tagged with that location.
Users with access to the new option are being prompted to tap on the map icon at the top right of the Discover tab. That then connects through to the new Map Search experience, which highlights cafes and restaurants primarily, but also shops, entertainment venues and more.
You can see in the last frame above that when you tap on one of the new location markers, it then expands and displays more information about that place. For businesses, that includes hours of operation, address and price info, as well as connection through to their IG profile, and a grid display of public posts tagged at that location.
It’s an interesting addition, providing more direct connection between Instagram and businesses, which is an element that Instagram’s increasingly seeking to emphasise, via tools like in-stream shops and new promotion options. Instagram says that more than 200 million businesses use Instagram each month, while 90% of its users follow at least one business, and as such, streamlining that connection works in alignment with both usage habits and increased business demand.
Instagram removed Location Stories in October last year, seemingly as part of the platform’s temporary pre-election changes in the US, which were designed to limit the spread of misinformation. After 10 months absence, it seemed that they were likely gone for good, but now, in this new iteration of the Instagram Map, you can view Stories by location once again, which has been a much-requested reinstatement among users.
There’s no word on a planned full roll-out as yet, but the option will reportedly be tested in more regions over time.
TikTok Adds New Resources to Provide Additional Pathways to Support for Mental Health Concerns
TikTok has announced a new set of resources to provide support for users who may be experiencing mental health issues, specifically related to eating disorders, self-harm and suicide.
First off, the platform is expanding its well-being guides to support people who choose to share their personal experiences on the platform.
As explained by TikTok: “While we don’t allow content that promotes, glorifies or normalises suicide, self-harm or eating disorders, we do support people who choose to share their experiences to raise awareness, and help others who might be struggling and find support among our community. To better facilitate such, we’ve developed new well-being guides to support people who choose to share their personal experiences, with the guidance of the International Association for Suicide Prevention, Crisis Text Line, Live For Tomorrow, Samaritans of Singapore and Samaritans (UK).”
The new guides, now available in TikTok’s Safety Center, offer tips to help users communicate their experiences, as well as how to responsibly engage with others who may be struggling or in distress.
In addition to this, TikTok’s also highlighting a new set of curated content from its partner organisations in-app, providing more information, up-front, about important well-being issues.
The new programming is currently live and will be running through September 16th.
TikTok’s also expanding its in-search prompts when users enter eating disorder related queries, which will help to guide them towards professional support tools and resources.
“We’ve added a new Safety Centre guide on eating disorders for teens, caregivers, and educators. Developed in consultation with independent experts including the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), National Eating Disorder Information Centre, Butterfly Foundation, and Bodywhys, this guide will provide information, support and advice on eating disorders.”
Facebook Announces New Support Initiatives for SMBs to Help Them Manage Through the Pandemic
With small businesses still struggling to cope with the compounding impacts of the pandemic, Facebook has announced two new initiatives to provide support for SMBs, and help them better manage their cash flow in their time of need.
First off, Facebook’s launching an expansion of its Invoice Fast Track program, which enables SMBs to apply for Facebook to buy up their outstanding invoices, providing immediate cash flow benefits.
As explained by Facebook: “For a low, fixed fee, eligible businesses can get cash immediately for the goods and services they’ve invoiced their customers for but would otherwise have to wait months to get paid – time and capital they can now use to invest in the recovery and growth of their companies. We will fund up to $100 million in invoices on an ongoing basis and are operating the program in partnership with Supplier Success and Crowdz.”
Through the program, eligible businesses can submit their invoices to Facebook, which Facebook will then pay immediately. Facebook then notifies the relevant customers that they’ll pay the Facebook Invoice Fast Track program when the invoices reach term – so essentially, Facebook becomes a debt collector of sorts on the business’s behalf, while the business doesn’t have to wait around for the cash.
Facebook first launched the program with diverse suppliers last year, but from October 1st, more US-based small businesses will have the opportunity to apply.
Businesses can find more information on the program at the dedicated Invoice Fast Track mini-site.
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