This week in social media news, Facebook expands its Messenger API for Instagram to all, TikTok may now collect “biometric data” such as images and audio, Instagram adds insights to Reels and Live, Twitter launches its inaugural subscription service, ‘Twitter Blue,’ and more.

Facebook Expands Its Messenger API For Instagram

At its annual F8 Refresh conference this year, Facebook expanded its Messenger API for Instagram, which will enable businesses to connect messaging to existing third-party tools like CRM applications and help turn inquiries into sales.

Why it matters: As TechCrunch notes, the main takeaway Facebook gleaned from the program’s closed beta, launched last October, is that businesses wanted a central place to manage customer communications and that many were investing more in software to efficiently manage messages and workflows.

The details: To start, all developers globally will be able to use the Messenger API to interact with Instagram users. After that businesses will gain access in a phased rollout, according to TechCrunch.

As part of Phase 1, Instagram accounts with an audience of over 10,000 followers and under 100,000 followers can connect to the API. In July, phase 2 will make it so accounts with 1,000 to 100,000 followers can use the API. The remainder of accounts will get access by Q3.

In a company blog, Instagram says that as a result of connecting to the API, Kiehl’s Malaysia is now driving 30 percent more qualified leads on Instagram messaging compared to other channels. The brand is also now converting 20 percent of consultations into sales.

Instagram also cites H&M’s success in partnering with Sprinklr to detect languages to automatically organize and send messages to the correct support team. In doing so, H&M increased customer satisfaction by over 9 points while increasing agent efficiency by 31 percent, according to Instagram.

TikTok May Now Collect Biometric Data As Part Of A New Privacy Update

TikTok recently added a new section to its privacy policy titled “Image and Audio Information” which notes that it may now “collect biometric identifiers” such as faceprints and voiceprints from users.

Why it matters: It seems TikTok’s goal with this latest privacy change is to deliver more personalized experiences for it notes that collecting such data will enable special video effects, demographic classification and content and ad moderation and recommendations.

The details: TikTok explains:

“We may collect information about the images and audio that are a part of your User Content, such as identifying the objects and scenery that appear, the existence and location within an image of face and body features and attributes, the nature of the audio, and the text of the words spoken in your User Content.”

Pinterest Expands Shopping Features To Four New International Markets

Pinterest is rolling out its shopping features to Australia, Canada, France and Germany, the company announced. The expansion will enable users to shop directly from Pins, boards, search and real-world inspiration captured via Pinterest’s Lens camera search.

In the same company announcement, Pinterest detailed the launch of ‘Shopping List,’ a new way for Pinners to save their product Pins in one place.

Why it matters: Pinterest’s research shows that people who visit Pinterest weekly outspent non-Pinners by 2x every month and have an 85 percent bigger cart.

In addition, advertisers that include shopping ads drive 3x the conversion and sale lift as well as twice the positive incremental return on ad spend.

The details: After research revealed that Pinners are over 7x more likely to buy products they’ve saved on the app, Pinterest is introducing a new feature called ‘Shopping List.’ This gives Pinners a way to have their products Pin automatically saved in one place and get notifications about deals for those products. The feature will first be available in the US and UK then come to Australia, Canada, France and Germany later this year.

Pinterest is also expanding its Verified Merchant Program in the UK, Australia, Canada, France and Germany. Plus, retailers in the latter four countries will see the shop tab on profile and be able to utilize product tagging.

Lastly, Pinterest announced a new two-week Shopping Spotlight called “The Goods by Pinterest” in the US, UK and Canada. The virtual event will let Pinners shop limited edition products exclusively sold through Pinterest from emerging brands like Outdoor Voices, Olive & June and Lucy and Yak.

Facebook Adds Insights To ‘Rights Manager’ For Images

After launching in September ‘Rights Manager’ for images—a feature that enables creators and publishers to protect and manage their image content on Facebook and Instagram—Facebook is adding new features to it including insights on protection activities, metrics and demographics.

Why it matters: Facebook first launched ‘Rights Manager’ in 2016 as a way to give users with a large amount of content more control on how and where their content is shared. Since then, it has added video insights, an ad earnings feature to claim in-stream ad earnings and ownership links.

The details: The first new insight Facebook is introducing for its images Rights Manager is protection insights, which gives users an overview of total blocks and monitors across Facebook and Instagram by territory.

Next, performance insights will provide metrics such as impressions, likes, comments and shares.

The third new insight covers a user’s audience location, language and their engagement behavior.

Instagram Adds Insights For Reels And Live

Instagram is rolling out insights for Reels and Live plus other new features for Insights such as more detailed information about Reach, new preset time frame options and desktop support.

Why it matters: These new updates will give creators and publishers alike the chance to improve their content, and for the former group, the ability to land more brand deals.

For those wondering how Reels and Live content impacts their overall account, Instagram says it will add these new metrics in Account Insights to paint a broader picture of their performance.

The details: For Reels, Instagram will be showing new metrics including Plays, Accounts Reached, Peak Concurrent Viewers, Comments and Shares. For Live, users will be able to check all the aforementioned except Plays.

Instagram is also enhancing information about Reach to show which types of accounts people are reaching and the content formats most effective at driving Reach.

Over the coming months, Instagram plans to support Insights on desktop and roll out new preset time frame options in Insights beyond the last 7 and 30 days.

Twitter Launches Inaugural Paid Subscription, ‘Twitter Blue’

Twitter has launched its first-ever subscription offering, ‘Twitter Blue’ that will provide access to exclusive features and perks, starting with users in Australia and Canada for the monthly fee of $4.49 AUD or $3.49 CAD.

Why it matters: As per Twitter:

“We’ve heard from the people that use Twitter a lot, and we mean a lot, that we don’t always build power features that meet their needs. Well, that’s about to change. We took this feedback to heart, and are developing and iterating upon a solution that will give the people who use Twitter the most what they are looking for: access to exclusive features and perks that will take their experience on Twitter to the next level.”

The details: The features Twitter Blue subscribers will have access to include BookMark Folders, an Undo Tweet feature, Reader Mode, customizable app icons for their device’s home screen and color themes for their Twitter app.

Additionally, the subscription includes access to dedicated customer support.