October proved to be an exciting month for the world of social media, with big changes across Instagram, YouTube, Periscope, Facebook and Snapchat. Scroll down for the latest…

Instagram expands group video chat option to six participants at a time

Earlier this month, the online platform Instagram announced that users will now be able to add up to six people to a video chat – a 50% capacity increase from the original four when the feature was initially launched back in June. When Instagram first launched their live streaming feature back in 2016, live product manager Shilp Sarkar noted that:

The use case that caught our attention was people just hanging out on live, particularly young people. After school, they jump on a live-stream and hang out. That use of live [video] is particularly interesting to us.

The rising trend of group video calls and hang-outs is what fuelled group-streaming app Houseparty‘s rapid growth, with the app reaching 20 million users not long after its launch. This minor update is part of Instagram’s wider ongoing push into video content.

YouTube opens up Premieres to everyone

YouTube has announced that its Premieres feature is now being made available to all users globally. The communal viewing option, which was first announced in June, allows users to create a scheduled broadcast inviting all your fans into a virtual viewing party. As explained by YouTube:

When creators choose to release a Premiere, we’ll automatically create a public landing page to build anticipation and hype up new content. When fans show up to watch the premiere, they’ll be able to chat with each other (and with the creator) in real time via live chat. It’s as if a creator’s entire community is in on theatre together their latest upload.

Periscope adds new features to boost replay engagement

The Twitter-owned live-streaming app Periscope has announced three new features as part of their latest update. The added features are all aimed at improving engagement with replays of streams. The first feature of the trio is thumbnail selection, you can now select a thumbnail that best highlights your stream. Up until now, users have only been able to use the auto-generated thumbnail which is taken from the start of your broadcast.

Social Media Round Up October

The second feature is title edit. You can now update your stream’s title after the broadcast has ended.

Lastly, users can now set a custom start point for their broadcast, so that replay viewers begin watching at the most engaging point. This will be of particular importance for those who like to wait a little for people to join the broadcast, giving replay viewers that few minutes of dead time at the beginning, where we’re all just waiting.

Facebook adds page and business recommendations to groups

Facebook have added a new ‘Recommendations’ panel to groups, which collects a listing of all the pages and businesses that group members recommend and could help facilitate sharing and discovery of businesses and brands. The new feature brings up a listing of all the pages and businesses recommended by members of that group.

Given the fact that users are more likely to trust the opinions of those they interact with, it makes sense for Facebook to add this as a discovery element. This update could have many positive implications for businesses and brands in the future.


Snapchat adds lenses to desktop cameras

In efforts to boost awareness of lens tools, Snapchat has introduced Snap Camera for desktops. The new desktop app will enable users to apply Snapchat lenses to their faces during broadcasts from their desktop camera, including integrations with Skype, YouTube, Google Hangouts and more.

This is a great way for Snapchat to boost exposure for its tools. You can download Snap Camera here.

This story was written by automotive PR and social media specialists Torque Agency Group.