This week in social media news, Houseparty reveals it received 50 million sign-ups amid coronavirus, YouTube says it’s testing a Video Chapters option, IGTV gets a makeover to benefit creators on the platform, YouTube officially lifts their ban on COVID-19 content and TikTok shares their relief efforts.

Houseparty Reveals It Saw 50 Million Sign-Ups Amid Coronavirus

The video chat app acquired by Fortnite maker Epic Games said that in the past month, its app saw 50 million sign-ups, as reported by TechCrunch.

Why it matters: Releasing data about its dramatic growth could be Houseparty’s way of diverting attention from a data breach it was recently accused of by users who claimed the app was using user data to access other accounts like Spotify and Netflix.

The details: By Houseparty’s estimates, the app also saw boosted mobile downloads—17.2 new downloads across iOS and Android. Due to the pandemic, Houseparty has also seen wide-scale penetration in international markets like Spain and Italy.

Snapchat Launches Coronavirus Business Resource Center

Snapchat’s new COVID-19: Business Resource Center includes resources on the pandemic’s impact on the mobile economy, insights on Snapchat user behavior, and ways brands can respond with new updates added over time.

Why it matters: On April 1, Snapchat reported a 50 percent increase in video calls and 25 percent more time spent playing with Lenses. With usage up, marketing on Snapchat amid coronavirus could prove lucrative for brands.

The details: Snapchat released three industry-specific trends on the dining, shopping and entertainment behaviors of Snapchatters: 66 percent of users are likely to use a select food delivery app in the next month, 35 percent expect to do more shopping on website and/or apps in the next month and 64 percent say they’re watching more live television during lockdown. The data also shows that time spent watching Snapchat Shows is at an all-time high. 

Facebook Rolls Out New Features To Ad Library

According to Facebook Integrity Team lead Rob Leathern, Facebook has started rolling out new features to the Facebook Ad Library to make ads more transparent and searchable.

Why it matters: The update will not only provide transparency on political candidate spend but also help marketers determine effective ad approaches. 

The details: Facebook added “potential reach,” which represents an estimate of the size of the audience that’s eligible to see an ad. It also plans to group similar ads together to avoid unnecessary scrolling and enhance search filters.

Instagram Is Testing A New Challenge Sticker

Reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong spotted a new Challenge sticker on Instagram that would allow users to nominate friends to different challenges.

Why it matters: Challenges are at the heart of content and engagement on TikTok so it was only a matter of time before Instagram attempted to create its own iteration.

The details: As per Wong’s findings, the Challenge sticker would be added to the sticker dropdown in Stories. When applied, users could tag friends to participate and also search challenges based on trending content. The feature is similar to TikTok’s Duet mode which lets users respond to clips of challenges. 

Twitter Releases Survey On What Consumers Want To See From Brands Amid COVID-19

Twitter conducted a survey in the US to understand how consumers feel about advertising during COVID-19. Just seven percent of respondents said brands should continue using their normal brand tone of voice.

Why it matters: The data can inform brand messaging during this stressful time and help brands avoid coming across as tone-deaf.

The details: Sixty-four percent of respondents said brands should continue advertising products as normal, 52 percent agreed that seeing/hearing ads gives them a sense of normality and 77 percent agreed they feel more positively about brands making an effort to support society right now. Additionally, 80 percent said brands should show how they’re supporting their employees. 

Facebook Is Testing Stories That Last Up To Three Days

Facebook is working on stories that would stay active for up to three days, reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong found.

Why it matters: On its Q1 earnings call in April 2019, Facebook said that Facebook Stories has 500 million daily active users. An option to prolong the life of stories could increase usage among and appeal to the older Facebook audience.

The details: Facebook Stories, like Instagram Stories, expire after 24 hours. Stories that are active for up to three days could potentially sour user experience or increase engagement on limited-time promotions from brands.

YouTube Tests Video Chapters That Would Provide A Description About Each Segment 

According to YouTube Creator Insider host Tom Leung, YouTube is testing a Video Chapters option that would section playback timelines into variable chapter lengths and include descriptions about each segment.

Why it matters: The tool would give viewers the ability to skip through videos and more easily find the section they’re looking for. Given Google prioritizes YouTube videos in search results, the Video Chapters option could become an SEO consideration as it contains more specific data on what each video clip contains.

The details: As Leung says in his video, “It helps viewers with more context and information associated with a particular time in your video – it’s basically making time stamps a little bit more official. [Video chapters] utilize the time stamp data that you publish in your description, and are completely opt-in.” YouTube is testing the Video Chapters feature on Android and desktop.

YouTube Makes Video Builder Tool Accessible To More Businesses

In a company blog, YouTube said it’s “accelerating the next stage of Video Builder availability” after working on it for the past few months. Its goal is to help businesses strapped for time and resources amid coronavirus to create videos through an advertising campaign, website or email. 

Why it matters: With creative studios closed, brands are seeking out ways to create promotions via nontraditional methods. YouTube’s Video Builder will help brands achieve just that, and in turn, strengthen their communication with consumers.

The details: Video Builder is free to use but businesses can only create videos of up to 15 seconds and they can’t download the videos—they can save the video to their YouTube channel or use it in an ad campaign.

Instagram Updates IGTV App With Redesign

The Verge announced that Instagram is redesigning its IGTV app with creators in mind.

Why it matters: While the company has declined to offer user numbers on the standalone IGTV app, it’s clear that moves are being made to make the app more appealing to potential users and speaks to content exploration challenges on the app.

The details: According to The Verge’s reporting, the IGTV app has been redesigned “to feature a creator up top, tailored to each user based on who they follow and whose content the app thinks might be interesting to them.” Additionally, the IGTV app is getting a Discover tab which will impact how users surface new content.

Facebook Is Testing A New Annual Data Use Check-Up Process

As part of its ongoing efforts to responsibly handle data, following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook has announced the early testing of “Data Use Checkup,” a new annual self-service tool that all apps using Facebook’s APIs will be subjected to for the purpose of ensuring API access and data use comply with the platform’s policy.

Why it matters: An enhanced version of Facebook’s current App Review system, Facebook’s Data Use Checkup will add an extra layer of protection to people’s privacy and potentially help prevent another scandal like Cambridge Analytica.

The details: As per Facebook, “Developers enrolled in testing should complete this request for each of their apps within 60 days, or risk losing their API access.” 

Instagram Live Becomes Viewable On Desktop 

According to Android Police, many users have noticed the ability to watch Instagram Live broadcasts on the web.

Why it matters: A desktop version of Instagram Live will give creators more ways to reach followers while they’re quarantined.

The details: Unlike Instagram Live streams on mobile, the desktop version positions comments to a scrolling window on the side for an unobstructed viewing experience. However, users can’t start live broadcasts using the desktop version.

Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, April 17. Have a news tip? We’re looking for changes to and news surrounding social media platforms as they relate to marketing. Let us know at