Weekly Digital News Roundup: December 13-17
Instagram Launches Direct Messaging feature
- According to The Washington Post, Instagram has added a new feature that lets users share photos and videos with up to 15 people rather than everyone who follows them on the popular Facebook-owned photo-sharing app.
- Called Instagram Direct, the feature is available for Apple and Android phones, CEO Kevin Systrom said at a news event in New York City. Previously, the only way to share content on Instagram was to post it to your feed, which can be either visible to everyone or locked so only people you approve can see it.
- Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia thinks the new feature will help Instagram compete with Snapchat, the disappearing-message app that Facebook reportedly tried and failed to buy for $3 billion recently.
Twitter Test Shows ‘Nearby’ Tweets
- According to the Wall Street Journal, Twitter has an eye on your location — and is testing ways to share it with other nearby users. The short-messaging service appears to be testing a new timeline for its mobile app, called “Nearby.” It shows recent nearby tweets, whether you follow the tweeter or not.
- The new experiment appears to try to solve the problem that the “discover” tab and search function have struggled to do: organize the millions of tweets into something digestible and locally relevant for each user.
- The apparent test could be part of an effort to prompt more users to share their location. That would make the network more locally relevant, in the manner of Foursquare. It also would allow Twitter to offer advertisers more precise targeting capabilities.
Google Launches Four New AdSense Features
- According to WebProNews, Google announced on Thursday that it would begin showing images automatically in Gmail. It has always hidden them until the user has told it to show them. It has done it this way, the company says, as a precautionary measure for users aimed at protecting them from those who might try to use images to compromise security.
- When Google made the announcement, there was some concern from the email marketing industry. The concern was reported in an Ars Technica article, which suggested that email marketers wouldn’t be able to get information from image actions.
- TechCrunch has since reported, after talking to Google, that marketers who track open rates through images will still be able to do so, and that the data might even be more accurate now. User IP data, however, won’t be tracked.