And just like that, October is here.

Welcome back to the Weekly Download where we keep you up to date on all things digital!

On the docket this week: Instagram announces they’ll be “pausing” the development of Instagram Kids, Facebook announces new group chat functions, YouTube targets vaccine misinformation, TikTok celebrates 1 billion users and some Friday Fun!

Let’s dive in.

Instagram Holds Out on “Instagram Kids” Development

This week, Instagram announced that they’re hitting pause on the development of its  “Instagram Kids” platform.

Kids are being given access to cellphones earlier than ever, and as a response, Instagram started developing an app for the appropriate age group. The current age expectation to join that app is 13 years old. However, they noticed that kids have been “misrepresenting their age, and downloading apps that are meant for those 13 or older,” says the company.

While they still plan to create this new platform that is designed for younger audiences (ages 10-12), Instagram has decided to hit pause on the development. Instagram recognizes that there are already kids online and on their app (regardless of the age requirements in place), so they’re shifting their focus. Instead, the company plans to further focus on targeting teen safety online (like making all accounts for users under 16 private by default setting, etc.).

As details continue to roll out, we’ll keep you posted!

Facebook Announces New Group Chat Functions

Yesterday, Facebook announced several new functions that will help users connect.

After last year’s rollout of cross-app messaging, the company has decided to further the functions for group chat messaging after their initial success. Facebook has also announced that they’re adding tools to let groups customize their chat with unique themes and custom reactions.

Oh, and our favourite new addition…

“We’re also introducing polls to your Instagram DMs and group chats with friends across Messenger and Instagram, making it easier for the group to decide which new show is most binge-worthy or which restaurant you all go to next weekend.”

So fun!

YouTube Announces New Efforts to Combat Vaccine Misinformation

On Wednesday, YouTube announced the platform will begin to remove content that questions the efficacy of any vaccine that has been medically approved.

According to Bloomberg:

“A year ago, YouTube banned certain videos critical of Covid-19 vaccines. The company said it has since pulled more than 130,000 videos for violating that rule. But many videos got around the rule by making dubious claims about vaccines without mentioning Covid-19. YouTube determined its policy was too limited.”

However, YouTube has stated that there are two exceptions. First, it’s allowing “scientific discussions” about vaccine trials, results and failures. And second, video testimonials on experiences while getting vaccinated under the parameters that they do not question the vaccine’s medical effectiveness.

Learn more about YouTube’s new policies here.

TikTok Celebrates One Billion Users

To say TikTok has blown up is an understatement – the company just announced it reached ONE BILLION users worldwide.

TikTok has inspired the transformation of many long-standing social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more, by crafting new and creative ways to share bitesize video content. Which seems to be the most popular method of consumption these days.

The company has helped incredible musicians catch their big break, provided “regular people” with a voice of influence, started countless trends, blown up brands, shown us some of our new favourite recipes, taught up countless life-hacks and so much more!

Congratulations, TikTok!

Friday Fun

Here is some heartwarming content to send you into your weekend.

And a laugh…