Welcome back and Happy Friday – get ready for The Weekly Download!

Messenger Rooms arrive on Instagram, IGTV announces monetization for creators, a glimpse at our world post-COVID-19, plus, could media outlets be regulated or closed following fact-checking initiatives?

We’re wrapping things up with some cute Friday Fun you won’t want to miss!

Facebook Messenger Rooms Arrive on Instagram

Facebook is making it easier to use Messenger Rooms, allowing users to launch new chats for up to 50 people via Instagram Direct. Unlike regular video calls, which require a direct invite, Messenger Rooms can be joined with a simple click of a link, making them a little more casual. 

Although the update to Messenger Rooms makes it easier for people to initiate group calls via Instagram, the actual calls will still take place in Facebook’s Messenger app. Users can join Messenger Rooms even if they don’t have a Facebook account.

Have you tried Messenger Rooms yet?

IGTV Announces Monetization for Creators

Instagram is finally gearing up to share revenue with creators for the first time through ads in IGTV.

Next week, ads will begin showing up in IGTV for around 200 approved English-speaking content creators and several advertiser partners like Ikea and Sephora. Instagram will share an “industry standard” 55 percent cut with creators — the same amount it currently shares with Facebook Watch creators.

Ads will only appear when people click to watch IGTV videos via previews in a creator’s feed and will last 15 seconds long. Creators will have to adhere to an Instagram monetization policy which differs from normal platform conduct. For example, creators can swear in IGTV clips, but not if they want to monetize them. In this early phase, Instagram will be human-reviewing every IGTV video before it can be monetized. 

Another big change on its way – Live Shopping. This will allow people to tag their live videos with brands in order to assist creators who want to promote merchandise or other product partnerships.

Trump Threatens to Regulate, Close Social Media Outlets Following Fact-Checked Tweet

After being fact-checked by Twitter earlier this week, President Trump has threatened new regulation and potential closure for social media channels. 

Two of Trump’s recent tweets about mail-in ballots were labelled as “potentially misleading” by Twitter, a move that comes as part of the company’s initiative to police misinformation on the platform.

According to Trump, the label borders on censorship. The president is set to announce an executive order against social media companies, accusing platforms of “invoking inconsistent, irrational, and groundless justifications to censor or otherwise punish Americans’ speech.” 

How the order will work and what it means for social media companies is yet to be determined, but it’s something we’ll be watching closely. 

What Will Our World Look Like After COVID-19?

As more restrictions are lifted and countries begin to reach the tail end of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are wondering what our world will look like. 

Swipe through the collections of images below via CNN for a peek at what could be the new normal.

Brighten Up Your Zoom Meetings with Buckwheat the Donkey

Routine Zoom meetings getting you down? 

The Farmhouse Garden Animal Home, an Uxbridge-based sanctuary, is bringing their cows, chickens, donkeys, ducks, horses, and their 12-year-old donkey, Buckwheat, to Zoom meetings.

Without regular visitors to help raise money for the animals and their needs like food and vet bills, the sanctuary, like many other organizations, had to pivot. The new business model brings the animals (and the smiles!) directly to the people. 

For $75, you can chat with Buckwheat for 10 minutes, $125 for 20 minutes and $175 for half an hour. 

Now that’s a Zoombomb we’d gladly welcome!

Friday Fun

Meet Chef Kobe, Instagram’s cutest cooking star!

Kobe is just 1 year old, but he’s already amassed over 1.5 million Instagram followers, including Gordon Ramsay.

You can also find Kobe on TikTok, Twitter, and on his own website.