Welcome back to another edition of The Weekly Download! Here’s what’s on the hot sheet today:
Facebook launches Messenger redesign for iOS and helps the World Health Organization fight coronavirus misinformation, Twitter tests its own version of Stories, Reddit connects users to mental health resources, Etsy cracks down on coronavirus-themed merchandise, a viral video draws attention to the unrealistic standards women face, and Knix celebrates women in honour of International Women’s Day.
Facebook Messenger Releases New Design for iOS
Facebook Messenger has undergone a redesign that aims to simplify the app and focus on friends and Stories.
The latest update gets rid of the Discover tab, which was a previous home base for chatbots, businesses and games. Although these features are a little more difficult to find when using the new iOS app, they’re still discoverable by users through search.
With reorientation around the app’s simple end-to-end encryption chat, the changes make Facebook Messenger feel a little more like WhatsApp — another Facebook-owned channel.
The update is currently rolling out across the globe and should be fully deployed by the end of this week.
Twitter is Testing its Own Version of Stories
Yet another social media app is jumping on the “Stories” bandwagon — Twitter is testing its own version of the feature, called “Fleets”, which will allow users to post limited content to its social network.
Unlike Tweets, Fleets can’t receive Likes, Replies, or Retweets. Just like their counterparts on other platforms, Fleets will disappear after 24 hours.
The Fleets feature itself is a little more basic compared to other apps. The process is text-centric, but users can add photos, GIFs, and videos to Fleets even without the extra editing tools.
Users will be able to post videos up to 2 minutes and 20 seconds in length. Whitelisted publishers will be able to publish videos up to 10 minutes in length.
Unlike Tweets, Fleets are a little less easily accessible. Fleets won’t circulate Twitter’s network, show up in Search, or Moments, and can’t be embedded on external websites. Fleets are only viewable by visiting user profiles or checking the top of your feed (similar to how you view Instagram Stories).
Twitter says Fleets is currently being tested in Brazil. The test will run for a few months before the company decides to roll it out to other markets.
With so many other Story options on social media, would you use Fleets?
Reddit Prioritizes Mental Health Support for Users
Another positive step toward mental health from the social media world! Reddit has teamed up with Crisis Text Line to connect users to live counselors.
The partnership allows Reddit users to flag someone they feel is struggling with serious self-harm or suicide. The flag will trigger an immediate private message from Reddit to the person in distress. The message will include mental health resources and a suggestion to text the phrase CHAT to connect with a Crisis Text Line counselor.
For now, the tool is only available to users in the U.S.
Facebook Gives WHO Free Ads to Combat Coronavirus Misinformation
Facebook is letting the World Health Organization run free ads on the platform to address misinformation on the coronavirus outbreak. According to a post by CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook wants users to feel confident that information is “credible and accurate.”
Zuckerberg said the company is also working with various countries’ health ministries, as well as UNICEF and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Facebook also plans to offer free ads to other groups amidst the coronavirus outbreak.
Etsy Cracks Down on All Coronavirus-Themed Merchandise
And in other coronavirus news, Etsy has “taken down hundreds of items that attempt to exploit the developing coronavirus situation.”
The online marketplace removed all items mentioning “coronavirus” or “COVID-19” after merchants posted or tagged items related to the outbreak on the site.
While some of the items were designed for science education (like coronavirus-shaped crochet art), others made light of the outbreak and used the coronavirus as a punchline.
According to Etsy, the team has also removed thousands of product listings that make medical claims to protect against the coronavirus outbreak.
“Be a Lady” Video Goes Viral
A new video circulating about impossible standards for women has gone viral. The powerful three-minute clip narrated by Cynthia Nixon aims to highlight the daily pressures and unattainable expectations placed on women.
Proud to be involved with this powerful film that has struck a chord with so many people around the world: https://t.co/IcK7Tco5T3 #bealady #girlsgirlsgirlsmag
— Cynthia Nixon (@CynthiaNixon) February 25, 2020
The video is based on written work by Camille Rainville that was published on her blog “Writings of a Furious Woman” in 2017.
Since being shared earlier this week, the video has garnered more than four million views and has received overwhelming praise. It should also be noted the video is actually a promotional ad for Girls.Girls.Girls.Magazine and has attracted some criticism as a result.
You can watch the video in full at girlsgirlsgirlsmag.com
This Sunday marks International Women’s Day, and as an all-women team, we couldn’t be prouder to celebrate!
We are LOVING this new ad from Knix to celebrate women of all ages from around the world in honor of the special occasion, and especially love the message of empowerment behind the video.
Check it out below!