The Weekly Download — September 23, 2022

Welcome, fall! Our favourite season has finally arrived (pumpkin spice latte, anyone?), and to celebrate, we’re kicking off another edition of The Weekly Download.

On the docket today: 

Instagram crashes (again) and how it’s working to make direct messages safer, a viral TikTok trend raises red flags for the FDA, YouTube introduces new ways to support creators, and some Friday Fun.

Thousands of Users Report Instagram Issues

Yesterday was flooded with a number of reports detailing Instagram app issues. And of course, people flocked to other social media platforms (like Twitter) to discuss their frustration.

Although Instagram didn’t clarify why exactly some users were experiencing issues with the app, they did release a statement (captured below) to reassure that the outage had been fixed.

According to The Verge, other Meta applications — WhatsApp, Facebook, and Messenger — didn’t seem to be affected.

Instagram Is Developing Nudity Protection for Direct Messages

In another move to (hopefully) make the app a little safer for its users, Instagram is reportedly testing a new way to filter unsolicited nude messages sent via direct message.

According to app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi, the app’s filter will cover photos that may contain nudity but won’t have access to the photos themselves.

Meta spokesperson Liz Fernandez confirmed that the optional user controls will help people protect themselves from unwanted DMs. The feature is in the early stages of development, with no testing happening just yet.

FDA Issues Warning Over “Sleepy Chicken” Viral Video

Sigh… Another day, another dangerous TikTok trend gone viral. This one involves chicken and NyQuil (yes, you read that right).

The original video shows a chicken breast cooking in a pan that’s then doused in NyQuil. Referred to as “Sleepy Chicken,” the video has since been deleted, but that hasn’t stopped people online from talking about it and wondering what it would be like. Gross.

The video, which began as a “joke,” prompted the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to release a PSA about trendy online challenges:

“The challenge sounds silly and unappetizing — and it is — but it could also be very unsafe,” says the FDA. “Boiling a medication can make it much more concentrated and change its properties in other ways.”

TikTok is also on danger patrol, encouraging users to follow their recommended safety check for viral online challenges.

YouTube Introduces New Ways to Support Creators

Announced earlier this week, YouTube is introducing updates to reward the platform’s entrepreneurs for their creativity

The three big takeaways from the announcement include:

  • Updates to the YouTube Partner Program so creators can make more money from their content
  • New opportunities to make money on YouTube’s short-form content platform (known as Shorts), including revenue sharing on ads
  • New ways for creators to monetize content that uses popular music

To get the full breakdown of what’s to come for YouTube creators, check out the blog post.

Friday Fun

The world looked on as Queen Elizabeth II was laid to rest earlier this week. This feature from A Current Affair remembers the monarch’s fun sense of humour and shares clips from her stint as a “Bond Girl” and that time she shared a marmalade sandwich with Paddington Bear.

Line drawn peony from Spodek & Co Digital marketing site