Happy New Year! We look forward to exciting possibilities in 2022 and first and foremost, hope you and your loved ones are safe and well. With the first week of a new year behind us, it’s business (almost) as usual and we’re here to keep you up to date with all the latest news.

In today’s edition of The Weekly Download: Instagram starts testing new feed changes, Twitter tests new topics bar, Facebook tests story highlight clips feature in Creator Studio, Betty White’s final interview, plus some Friday Fun.

Instagram Starts Testing New Feed Changes

Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri’s latest post confirms Instagram’s commitment to prioritizing user experience by testing new ways for users to have more control over what they see in their feed.  

Specifically, Instagram is  testing the ability to switch between three different views on your home feed:

1. Home

This is the view we’re all currently using. It ranks content based on how interested the Instagram algorithm thinks the user is in every post. But in this view, users don’t get to view most of their feeds. 

2. Favourites

This view features a chosen list of accounts that gives the user easy access to posts that they most want to see.  

3. Following

This view features a chronological list of posts only from accounts followed by the user.

Pending test results, Instagram has promised to launch these changes within the first half of the year. Who else is excited to have more control over their Instagram experience? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Twitter Tests New Topics Bar

In other news, Twitter is testing new ways to improve tweet discovery in the app. With the introduction of a new topics bar above the main Tweet timeline, Twitter aims to provide a quick link to real-time discussions, with easy tap-through tabs that connect to the latest discussions on a given topic.

The idea is to help Twitter maximize engagement by enabling users to get more involved in expanded discussions. By implementing these changes, Twitter is addressing its content discovery challenges and is taking steps towards improving the mobile user experience.  

The new look is shown in the example below, image credit by user Chloe Korzh.

We’ll keep you posted on any results or further changes.

Facebook Testing Story Highlight Clips Feature in Creator Studio

Although Creator Studio is currently only available on desktop, Facebook has begun testing a new feature, Story Highlight Clips. This new feature gives the user the ability to share a video highlight clip to their Story, which has the potential to increase views of the full video.  

Story Highlight Clips is fairly basic at the moment, allowing for a maximum of 20-second clips. Actual creating or editing of the video clip is not yet available, however, you are able to choose a segment from your video to use as a preview. The segment chosen is posted to your Facebook Story with a “See More” Call To Action button to drive viewers to your primary video.  

The addition of the new feature provides the user with more posting options and can help drive more views to video uploads. 

RIP Betty White

Betty White will forever be our Golden Girl. Thank you for always being our friend Betty, and for all the laughs that you have given us. RIP. Here is her last interview, held at the Vancouver Comedy Awards.  

Friday Fun

Starting 2022 on a positive note!

Ryan Reynolds having some fun behind the scenes, on set of the movie The Proposal. Everyone, including Betty, loves Ryan.