Social Feed: Messenger adds shortcut for group calls, Instagram expands privacy

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Social media is a fluid technology — nearly every day, the major social media networks are announcing a big change, coming under fire for the latest controversy or moving forward in smaller ways. Social Feed is a collection of those smaller changes that you may have missed with this week’s biggest news — like Twitters’ bot purge, Facebook’s enhanced 3D support and Snapchat beginning to respond to user complaints on the new design. Find Social Feed every weekend for the latest social news tidbits.

Facebook Messenger makes group calls easy

Starting a group voice or video call on Facebook Messenger no longer requires hanging up the current call to add more friends. A seemingly small update to Messenger is making the process of starting group calls much simpler. Now, while on a video or voice call, all users have to do is tap the “Add person” and choose the friend you want to join. No more hang-ups and new group messages in order to start a video chat. The update is now available for iOS and Android worldwide.

Ephemeral chats on Instagram now have privacy options

Like one message to disappear, but another to stick around? Instagram Direct now has three privacy options when sending messages using the app’s built-in camera. Now, before sending a Direct message from the camera, users have access to allow the recipient to view once, allow replays, or keep visible in the chat. The options are located at the bottom before sending a message in the camera mode. The send button changes with the privacy settings to make it easier for users to remember the type of message they are sending.

Facebook allows users to share videos with music without getting into legal trouble

ICE Services, a licensing company based in Europe, has joined the growing list of record labels that now have deals with Facebook. The deal means Facebook users can share videos that use music from an ICE artist, which includes several different record groups, on Facebook, Instagram, Oculus, and Messenger while the artist will still receive royalties. The deal joins an earlier agreement with Sony/ATV and Universal Music Group — leaving many to wonder if Facebook is working on a streaming service, or if all that trouble is really just for Facebook users to lay popular tracks over their videos before sharing.

Twitter continues to strengthen policies against self-harm

After adding the ability to report tweets, direct messages and profiles for making a self-harm statement or encouraging others to harm themselves last week, Twitter updated its self-harm policies. Twitter will continue to reach out and support users expressing thoughts of self-harm. Users encouraging self-harm can be temporarily locked out for a single violation while continuing to ignore the new guidelines could get the account suspended. The change comes after Twitter made a several-month overhaul of rules against harassment after #womenboycotttwitter last year.

Social Media

Twitter keeps your direct messages, even years after you delete them

Twitter is keeping copies of direct messages sent through the social network even years after users delete them, according to security researcher Karan Saini who discovered an archive containing old DMs from deleted and suspended accounts.

Photography news: Wacom’s slimmer pen, Leica’s cinema special edition

In this week's photography news, Wacom launches a new slimmer pen for pro users. Leica's upcoming M10-P is designed for cinema, inside and out, with built-in cinema modes in the updated software.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Norsemen’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.

Apple's wild TV service, Jason Momoa joins Dune, Alita's epic battle

This week on Between the Streams, we'll talk about Apple's radical new TV streaming service, Robert Rodriguez and James Cameron's epic new CG adventure Alita: Battle Angel, Hulu's multiple new Marvel series, and much more.
Social Media

Periscope tool adds guests to feeds so streamers can become talk show hosts

Periscope users can now invite viewers to chime into the conversation with more than just the comment tool. By enabling the option to add guests, livestreamers can add guests to the conversation, in audio format only.

Crouching, climbing, and creeping, the perfect Instagram shot knows no bounds

Just how far will you go for the perfect Instagram? A recent survey shows just how willing Instagram users -- and Instagram husbands -- are to climb, lie down, embarrass themselves or let their food go cold for the perfect shot.
Social Media

Facebook’s long-promised ‘unsend’ feature arrives. Here’s how to use it

Send a message to the wrong person? Messenger now gives you 10 minutes to take it back. After an update beginning to roll out today, users can now retract messages if they act within the first 10 minutes after sending the message.
Social Media

YouTube boss admits even her own kids gave the ‘Rewind’ video a thumbs down

YouTube's 2018 Rewind video went down like a lead balloon at the end of last year, becoming the most disliked video in its history. And now YouTube's CEO has admitted that even her own kids thought it was pretty darn awful.
Social Media

Snapchat finally recovers from its redesign — so here comes an Android update

Snapchat's drop in users after launching a controversial redesign has finally stagnated. During the fourth quarter and 2018 earnings report, Snapchat shared that the company is rolling out an Android update designed to increase performance.
Social Media

Skype’s new ‘blur background’ feature could help keep you from blushing

Skype's latest feature for desktop lets you blur your background during video calls. The idea is that it keeps you as the focus instead of distracting others with whatever embarrassing things you might have on show behind you.
Social Media

Twitter users are declining but more people are seeing ads every day

Twitter's end-of-the-year report for 2018 is a mix of good and bad news. The good news is that more users are seeing adds daily, the metric the company will focus on moving forward. But the bad news is that monthly active users are…

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.

YouTube beats Apple, Netflix as the most trusted brand by millennials

The popular video sharing website YouTube climbed up in an annual Mblm study, moving up from third place in 2018 and coming ahead of both Apple and Netflix in final 2019 rankings. 
Social Media

LinkedIn finally gets around to launching its own live video tool

Live video is coming to LinkedIn for businesses and individuals on the site. The livestreaming feature is launching in beta in the U.S. before rolling out to the entire community.