Here are the updates in the social media universe that you need to know about this week:
Micro blogging giant Twitter unveiled the newest update to the platform this week. Users can now send and receive photos through the direct messaging feature, which previously only allowed text to be sent. This update was prompted in reaction to picture sharing app Instagram’s latest update. They introduced a direct messaging feature this week as well that allows for users to send pictures to a select group of their followers instead of posting it to their feeds.
Twitter also initiated an update to the timelines. Now, instead of having the separate buttons on your home page, users can simply swipe between their “Home”, “Discover”, and “Activity” screens. “Notifications” and “Messages” buttons are now in place on the bottom navigation bar, making it easier to access the updated direct messaging feature.
The micro blogging site was also in some hot water this week when they removed functionality of their “Block” feature. It had previously allowed for users to disable other users from tweeting or direct messaging them. Twitter took away the feature originally because the company felt that it did not always offer the intended protection for the user, but in cases actually increased post-blocking harassment. Due to a large uprising, Twitter has reinstated the feature, but with the hopes that they will be able to create a better update in the future to ensure users’ safety and ultimately remove the feature.
Google+ has unveiled their newest advertising product, named +Posts. These new socially enabled ads will allow for brands to publish updates across the Google Display Network. Advertisers will only be paid if a user hovers over the ad for longer than two seconds, which would then prompt the ad to expand. Meanwhile, Google+ will remain ad-free to keep users content. They have already started displaying these ads of well-known brands such as Toyota, Ritz Crackers, and French telecommunications company Orange.