The social media stories you missed: April recap

media update Taylor Goodman reveals the latest updates from some of your favorite social media platforms.

1. Facebook launches virtual meetings on Messenger

The news: Social media heavyweight Facebook is planning to introduce a video calling feature that allows users of the Facebook Dating service to connect via Messenger.

This feature will allow users to invite a person they match with on a virtual date. It will appear as a pop-up notification on the side of the other user, which he can choose to accept or refuse.

If the guest chooses to accept, the two parties will be connected via a video call where they can get to know each other better.

Why is this making headlines: The introduction of this feature not only promotes social distancing, but paves the way for innovation in online dating in general. This will allow users be more engaged when trying to establish a connection rather than just sending you messages.

2. WhatsApp is launching a group video chat option

The news: The WhatsApp instant messaging platform has announced a new update that will allow users to participate in an encrypted video chat with up to eight participants.

For users to access this new feature, all participants must have the last version of WhatsApp installed. Updated video chat functionality is also available through Facebook’s portal

Why it’s making headlines: Having new ways to communicate with our loved ones, during quarantine, will continue to be relevant as staying in touch is a top priority for many.

Facebook explains the update by saying that “many of us are isolated from friends and family, and as a result, we’ve seen people turn to voice and video calls on WhatsApp more than ever. Group calls have been particularly helpful and our users have been asking to connect with more people at once.

3. Zoom introduces new updates that address security issues

The news: As Zoom continues to thrive globally, it announced a massive update that will address multiple security and privacy issues which have come under intense scrutiny over the past week.

According to Zoom, the update “provide increased meeting data protection and resistance against tampering” with the use of AES encryption. This will provide users guarantees of confidentiality and integrity during their Zoom calls, preventing anyone from stealing important data or accessing your content.

This security update will also be:

  • make it easier for users to report problems
  • include security toolbar icon
  • allow hosts to “report a user”
  • added password complexity
  • set meeting passwords to default mode, and
  • secure account contact sharing

Why it’s making headlines: The video conferencing app has recently come under fire for unknowingly sharing user data with LinkedIn and Facebook through its software development kit.

Zoom released a statement on this saying that “the data collected by the Facebook SDK did not include any personal user information, but rather included data about users’ devices.”

With that in mind, it is undoubtedly worthy that the app goes to great lengths to fix this error and keep its users safe.

4. Twitter Bans Suspicious 5G Tweets

The news: Twitter has updated its guidelines for removing tweets that include false information regarding 5G or encouraging people to act on conspiracy theories regarding 5G.

Twitter further explains that tweets of the type “5G causes the coronavirus – go destroy your neighborhood cell towers” will be a violation of its policies because it disseminates misinformation regarding COVID-19.

The platform validates the modification of these directives by saying: “unverified claims that encourage people to engage in harmful activitiescould lead to the destruction or damage of critical 5G infrastructure, or could lead to widespread panic, social unrest or large-scale unrest.

Why it’s making headlines: 5G has always had a lot of controversy about it, with many believing it causes health issues.

Conspiracy theorists have taken the opportunity to attribute cellular technology to the spread of the coronavirus. It went so far that vigilantes set out to destroy cellphone towers across Europe.

5. TikTok surpasses two billion downloads

The news: Popular video streaming platform TikTok, known for its interactive interface and unique 15-second clips, is thriving amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The application has now accumulated more than two billion downloads worldwide from Google Play or the Apple Store.

As people seek entertainment in quarantine, TikTok appears to be the perfect distraction, with the app booming India, China and the United States.

Why it’s making headlines: TikTok reaching this milestone is making headlines due to its degree and explosion, with the app surpassing two billion downloads just five months after hitting the 1.5 billion mark.

TikTok will be the first application not owned by Facebook (Whatsapp, Instagram and Messenger) to exceed two billion downloads since January 2014a very impressive feat indeed!

Are there any social media stories that caught your eye? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Want to keep up to date with important social media news? Be sure to check out Seven trending hashtags about COVID-19 on social media

*Image courtesy of Vector