The Weekly Download – February 18, 2022

It’s Friday! We’re back with your favourite digital news roundup.

This week on The Weekly Download: Google announces plans to revamp tracking for Android devices, TikTok bans deadnaming and misgendering, Instagram rolls out a new “Likes” feature for Stories, and Twitter helps identify #GoodBot accounts and adds a new “pin” feature to user inboxes. Plus some Friday Fun!

Let’s dive in.

Google Announces Plan to Revamp Tracking for Android Users

Following in Apple’s footsteps, Google is planning changes to Android devices in a move to improve privacy and limit third-party data sharing and selling by replacing its current ID system. Google says it will work with app developers and digital advertisers to find a balance between maintaining user privacy and generating ad revenue, particularly in light of the recent stock decline of Meta, Facebook’s owner, after approximately 75% of Apple users opted out of its tracking system.

TikTok Bans Deadnaming and Misgendering

In an important effort to protect its LGBTQ+ community, TikTok has expanded its Community Guidelines. The new policies ban any content that includes misogyny, deadnaming, or misgendering, in addition to explicitly prohibiting anything that “supports or promotes conversion therapy programs.”

As explained by TikTok: “Though these ideologies have long been prohibited on TikTok, we’ve heard from creators and civil society organizations that it’s important to be explicit in our Community Guidelines. On top of this, we hope our recent feature enabling people to add their pronouns will encourage respectful and inclusive dialogue on our platform.

We can continue to expect updates to TikTok’s Community Guidelines as the company works to make the app a safer space for all users.

Instagram Rolls Out New “Likes” Feature for Stories

Rather than sending reactions to your friends’ Stories, Instagram has started rolling out a new feature allowing you to “like” them instead. 

This feature aims to clean up user inboxes by showing a heart beside user handles on the Stories sheet rather than creating a chat message for icon responses. Likes on Stories will remain private, as reactions currently do.

We’re interested to see how this will impact user engagement and the algorithm.

Twitter Helps Identify Bot Accounts

Twitter is launching labels for accounts created by developers to help users identify tweets published by “good bots.”

As explained by Twitter: “#GoodBots help people stay apprised of useful, entertaining, and relevant information from fun emoji mashups to breaking news. The label will give people on Twitter additional information about the bot and its purpose to help them decide which accounts to follow, engage with, and trust.

Twitter Adds Feature to Pin DM Chats

Yesterday, Twitter rolled out a new feature that will allow users to pin up to six chats at the top of their inbox.

This feature will help users keep their most important conversations top of mind while using the app, even as they receive new direct messages. This can serve a special purpose for brands that are dealing with customer service inquiries, making them easy to locate. According to Social Media Today: “While 73% of Twitter users are likely to tweet at a brand to get a response, 52% are more likely to DM a brand account when it comes to more private info.”

Will this new feature make it easier for you to stay on top of your inbox?

Friday Fun

In case you missed it, Super Bowl LVI was a millennial’s dream.

Line drawn peony from Spodek & Co Digital marketing site