Digital Deep Dive: Messenger Broadcast, Instagram Direct & More

The online landscape is ever-changing. Companies introduce new devices, platforms and features on what feels like a daily basis. So, we’ve rounded up this week’s biggest stories, including Messenger Broadcast. Stay ahead of the curve!

 

Facebook prototypes Messenger Broadcast for businesses

Facebook is carrying out internal testing of Messenger Broadcast, a new self-serve mass-messaging interface.

Messenger Broadcast allows businesses send marketing messages to users. The functionality is currently unclear. However, the feature would offer businesses a new way to reach customers on the platform.

A Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch: “We often test products, features and ideas and are always exploring new ways to make it easier for businesses to deliver great experiences to their customers. Once we’ve tested them internally, we make a call as to whether or not to ultimately release them. As such, we don’t comment on unreleased features.”

 

Instagram tests a standalone app for direct messaging

Instagram has revealed that it is currently testing a standalone Instagram Direct app. Upon its global launch next year, the app will allow users to create and share private stories.

Hemal Shah, an Instagram Product Manager said: “We want Instagram to be a place for all of your moments, and private sharing with close friends is a big part of that. To make it easier and more fun for people to connect in this way, we are beginning to test Direct — a camera-first app that connects seamlessly back to Instagram.”

Unlike Messenger Broadcast, this messaging feature focuses solely on personal use of the platform.

 

Facebook launches ‘Did You Know’ social questionnaire

As well as Messenger Broadcast, Facebook recently launched a new feature called ‘Did You Know’. The feature encourages users to answer questions about themselves. As a result, these answers will clue friends into various secrets, dreams, goals and feelings.

In recent times, users have backed away from sharing statuses; instead, focusing more on articles, videos and photos. This feature aims to offer an alternative: the opportunity to answer questions about themselves more directly.

 

Instagram adds new feature for archiving and highlighting expired Stories

Instagram recently launched its own version of Snapchat’s Memories, available globally on both iOS and Android.

The new feature not only allows users to archive Stories privately before they disappear; it also enables them to create Story Highlights. Story Highlights are named collections of past Stories that show up at the top of user profiles.

 

Facebook adds support for live streaming and video chats to Messenger games

Messenger Broadcast is not the only update coming to Facebook Messenger. Facebook recently announced some new features for Instant Games, its Messenger-based gaming platform. These new features are arriving to mark its 1-year anniversary.

These include video chat, allowing users to chat while gaming. Furthermore, there is live streaming, giving users the option to broadcast their gameplay.

 

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