Welcome back to The Weekly Download! Happy Pride to all those who are celebrating – if there is one thing we’ve learned over the last year, it’s that we’re better together.
Here’s the news that should be on your radar this week: an online community provides comfort amid a deadly second wave of COVID in India, Instagram gives users the power to see (or not see) likes, Twitter launches its subscription service test run, and a very talented helping of Friday Fun.
How a COVID Discord Group is Helping Indians Find Lifesaving Supplies & Community
India is still in the grips of a devastating second wave of COVID-19.
When Arnab Biswas noticed the many pleas for life savings supplies on Instagram back in mid-April, he turned to Discord, a group chat service, to connect people with necessary resources to save lives.
Less than two months later, Biswas’ group called “COVID Fighters (India)” has amassed more than 12,000 members from across the country. According to Mashable, what started as group chat to share supplies has become a resource for those who are anxious, confused, and afraid to chat, share advice, and offer support during trying times.
The story is one of many about how technology is bringing people together at a time when we’ve never felt further apart. Read the full story here.
Users Can Now Control Whether They See Likes or Not on Instagram
Not interested in seeing how many likes your friends are amassing on Instagram? Or perhaps you do want to keep tabs on the number of red hearts your competitors are generating daily? Whatever the case may be, the good news is that now users can control their like counts on Instagram.
Last week the platform was updated to give users more control over their settings. Going one step further, users can also hide the like counts on their own posts – meaning others won’t be able to see the number of likes you get.
After a lengthy test period of hiding like counts to determine if a more “enjoyable” experience would result, Facebook (which owns Instagram) found that “not seeing like counts was beneficial for some and annoying to others, particularly because people use like counts to get a sense of what’s trending or popular.”
Now the choice is entirely up to you!
Say Hello to Twitter’s Premium Subscription, Twitter Blue
The rumours are true – Twitter has launched a test of its premium subscription, Twitter Blue, for users in Canada and Australia. According to TechCrunch, the subscription will allow Twitter users to access premium features, including tools to organize your bookmarks, read threads in a clutter-free format, and take advantage of an “Undo Tweet” feature – did we get your attention?
There’s no information yet as to when the service will launch on a more widespread basis. In Canada and Australia, the service will cost $3.49 CAD or $4.49 AUD, respectively.
Talk about talent! Please allow us to pick our jaws up off the floor after watching this one.