Instagram’s 2018 year in review shines a light on where our hearts are

igtv stand alone app vs inside instagram 3

2018 was a year for the hearts — at least on Instagram. In the year in review shared on Thursday, December 13, Instagram shared that the heart emoji was used more than 14 million times on the platform, while the Heart Eyes filter appeared in the most Stories. The Heart Love Sticker by Arita earned a nod as the most-used Giphy GIF.

Trending on the platform, ASMR was the biggest niche community this year. ASMR, or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, uses visual and auditory stimuli designed for calming. On Instagram, the trend ranged for videos of slime popping to soap cutting.

The fastest growing global hashtag went to the game Fortnite, while the BTS Army was the top fan community. The #InMyFeelingsChallenge also made the trending list as the biggest dance challenge, where @willsmith had the biggest video. All three trends also weren’t exclusive to Instagram, popping up in the trends for YouTube and Twitter as well.

#MeToo was shared around 1.5 million times as the biggest advocacy hashtag of the year, followed by #timesup with 597,000 posts and #marchforourlives with 562,000 posts.

For places, Instagram calls Disneyland Tokyo the happiest place on earth because the geotagged photos had the highest use of the smiley emoji.

Instagram says the prevalence of those heart emojis and GIFs shows users prioritizing love and kindness on the network. The company also gave a shout out to the #bodypositive hashtag trending in 2018.

Unlike previous years, Instagram didn’t share what filter was most popular among images shared in the feed. (Clarendon was the most popular filter in both 2016 and 2017.) The most popular face filter last year was the puppy face, while this year’s top filter was the Heart Eyes. Instagram also didn’t go into detail on the biggest accounts of 2018.

For app updates, 2018 brought several new features to the app, including Instagram’s home for vertical video, IGTV. The Instagram camera also added a portrait mode called Focus. Instagram also gained the closest thing yet to a share button on the platform with a sticker that allows users to share others posts in their Stories, along with a new tool to tell you how much time you spend on the app.

Product Review

4K and 144Hz? Yup, the Acer Predator XB3 will max out your gaming PC

The Predator XB3 isn’t for the faint of heart. But if you have a system that can push over 100 frames per second in 4K screen resolution, this monster of a monitor might be the perfect match for your overpowered gaming rig.
Smart Home

Sony’s Aibo robot dog can now patrol your home for persons of interest

Sony released the all-new Aibo in the U.S. around nine months ago, and since then the robot dog has (hopefully) been melting owners' hearts with its cute looks and clever tricks. Now it has a new one up its sleeve.
Cars

Can electric cars be S3XY? Tesla says yes with the new Model Y crossover

Tesla introduced a crossover named Model Y at its design studio in Los Angeles. It's a more spacious alternative to the Model 3 it shares 75 percent of its parts with, and is a smaller sibling to the Model X.
Social Media

Federal investigation digs into Facebook’s data-sharing deals

Facebook confirmed it is cooperating with a federal criminal investigation. According to a report, the company is under investigation for sharing user data with smartphone and tablet companies.
Social Media

Twitter takes a cue from Instagram and Snapchat with new quick-swipe camera

Twitter is giving the "what's happening" treatment to photos and video by allowing users to access the in-app camera fast enough to catch and share the moment. The new Twitter camera is now accessible with a swipe.
Social Media

Yep, it’s not just you. Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are down for many

Facebook's family of apps has been suffering issues for much of the day. Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Facebook itself have been out of action for users around the world, with the company scrambling to sort it out.
Social Media

Facebook may soon let you watch live TV with friends in Watch Party

Facebook Watch Party is designed to allow friends to watch together, even when they can't be in the same physical space. Now, that feature could be expanding to include live TV. Facebook announced a test of the feature, starting with live…
Social Media

Facebook explains its worst outage as 3 million users head to Telegram

Facebook, if you didn't already know it, suffered a bit of an issue on Wednesday, March 13. An issue that took down not only its social networking site, but also Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. On Thursday it offered an explanation.
Gaming

Snapchat could soon let you play games in between your selfies

If a new report is accurate, Snapchat will be getting an integrated gaming platform in April. The platform will feature mobile games form third-party developers, and one publisher is already signed on.
Social Media

Twitter is testing a handy subscription feature for following threads

Twitter has recently started testing a feature that lets you subscribe to a thread so that you’ll no longer need to like a comment or post to it yourself in order to receive notifications of new contributions.
Social Media

Your Google+ public content will remain viewable on the web, if you want it to

Google's failed social network — Google+ — will soon be wiped from the internet, but there's a team of volunteers working right now to save its public content for the Internet Archive.
Computing

There’s more space on MySpace after ‘accidental’ wipe of 50 million songs

MySpace is no longer a safe refuge for music and media produced in the 2000s. It said that almost any artistic content uploaded to the site between 2003 and 2015 may have been lost as part of a server migration last year.
Computing

Intel and Facebook team up to give Cooper Lake an artificial intelligence boost

Intel's upcoming Cooper Lake microarchitecture will be getting a boost when it comes to artificial intelligence processes, thanks to a partnership with Facebook. The results are CPUs that are able to work faster.
Social Media

New Zealand attack shows that as A.I. filters get smarter, so do violators

The shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand were livestreamed to social media, and while stats show networks are improving at removing offending videos, as the system improves, so do the violators' workarounds.