Twitter Introduces new ‘Fleet’s feature

This week Twitter surprised everyone be announcing the global launch of ‘Fleets’. At its most basic level, Fleets is a Stories clone, borrowing all of the best ideas implemented by Instagram and Snapchat. You can share text, respond to others’ tweets, or post videos with the same background color and overlaid text options you get on other messaging apps with ephemeral features, with every message disappearing after 24 hours. You can also respond to others’ fleets by tapping on one and sending a direct message or emoji to the creator, which will start a DM conversation similar to how the story reply process works on Instagram. Twitter says it will also be introducing stickers and live broadcasting at some point in the future.

Any mobile Twitter user, regardless of where they live or what platform they’re on, will have access to the disappearing messaging feature, which will sit right at the top of the timeline in a row of Stories-like bubbles.

Twitter have said that they hope the new feature will help reduce the pressure around tweeting by letting users express more casual thoughts and feelings while also concerning themselves less with saying something profound or racking up likes and retweets. Fleets starts rolling out today on Android and iOS and should be available for everyone in the coming days, the company says.

Instagram Redesign Sparks Anger

Instagram users are around the world after the app rolled out a major redesign across the globe last week. The update changed the home screen for the first time in years, adding new tabs for shopping and Instagram’s TikTok-style video feature, Reels.

But despite the alteration representing a relatively minor adjustment to the photo-sharing app’s layout, fans are not happy. Users complained to social media over the weekend to blast the update, which they described as “ugly” and” annoying”.

Instagram boss Adam Mosseri announced the major redesign in a blog post on the firm‘s website last week. In it, he explained the new Shop and Reels tabs give users faster access to two of Instagram‘s more recent features. “We don’t take these changes lightly – we haven’t updated Instagram’s home screen in a big way for quite a while,” Mr Mosseri wrote. “But how people create and enjoy culture has changed, and the biggest risk to Instagram is not that we change too fast, but that we don’t change and become irrelevant.”

He added: “We’re excited about the new design and believe it gives the app a much-needed refresh, while staying true to our core value of simplicity.”

Time will tell if the backlash surrounding these changes dies down and people start to welcome the redesign!

YouTube Trials Audio Ads

It seems YouTube wants a slice of Spotify‘s metaphorical pie: the company has announced its introducing audio-only ads on its platform.

In a blog post, product manager Melissa Hsieh Nikolic said the feature, which is still in beta, was “designed to connect your brand with audiences in engaged and ambient listening on YouTube.”

Audio ads are creatively led by the voiceover or other sounds that feature in a YouTube ad, and the visual component is typically a still image or simple animation.

Similar to video ads, audio ads are bought via auction with Google Ads and Display & Video 360 on a cost-per-thousand basis. YouTube said they will feature the same audience-targeting options, bidding strategies, and brand lift measurement capabilities.

YouTube expects the moves to boost ad revenue it generates from music on the platform, which includes over 70 million official tracks plus remixes, live performances, covers and other music content. And it stands to put YouTube in more head-to-head competition with Spotify, which has been selling audio-only ads and offering targeting by music genres for years.

Lyor Cohen, global head of music at YouTube, said that the Covid-19 pandemic had “fundamentally changed the music industry forever” due to music concerts being cancelled, which encouraged people to consume more music on online platforms.