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Digital Deep Dive: Hashtag Following, Facebook Pre-Roll Ads & More

The online landscape is ever-changing. New devices, platforms and features are introduced on what feels like a daily basis. We’ve put together a roundup of five of this week’s biggest stories to help you stay ahead of the curve!

Instagram rolls out hashtag following

Instagram has launched a new feature that allows users to follow specific hashtags. Previously, users rely on individual accounts and the Explore tab to find posts they’re interested in. This feature will make it much easier for users to keep up with more niche interests.

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Twitter officially launches thread feature

Twitter has announced the launch of a new feature that will allow people to more easily post “tweetstorms” — a series of connected tweets that have become popular among users for sharing longer thoughts.

The feature — which has been officially named “Threads — will be accessible through the composer screen, where a new plus button will allow users to add multiple tweets before posting as one self-contained thread.

Twitter has said that Threads will begin rolling out today to all users within the coming weeks.

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Facebook pushes pre-roll ads on Watch

In a bid to encourage publishers to produce more long-form video content and make payouts to video creators more sustainable, Facebook is introducing six-second pre-roll ads to some videos on the platform.

Users will be glad to hear that pre-roll ads will not affect any videos on the News Feed and will only appear on videos on the Watch tab, which is home to the platform’s longer video content.

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Snapchat launches augmented reality developer platform

Snapchat is opening its platform to outside developers with Lens Studio, a new AR developer tool that allows anyone to create World Lenses that place interactive 3D objects in photos and videos. Once created, brands and creators will be responsible for promoting their Lens using a unique Snapcode that will allow users to unlock the AR effect for 24 hours.

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Facebook new Sound Collection lets you add no-name music to videos

Facebook is launching a new video editing tool that will allow users to insert “songs, vocals, noises, and instrumental tracks spanning genres like hip hop, pop, jazz, country, and more” into Facebook and Instagram clips.

The release of Sound Collection comes shortly after the launch of Facebook’s Creator app, which offers a variety of tools to video creators. The social giant has said that this is part of their overall goal to help video creators build and grow on Facebook.

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