Social Web Recap 06.08.18

My weekly annotated summary of significant social web platform developments from the previous week, with links and carping marginalia as needed . . . Posted every Monday morning or thereabouts. 

Fabric

With the closure of Facebook’s Move location tracker, the door opened for a new tool “to record your activities, photos, memories and other moments shared with friends and family.” Hence the transformation of personal journaling app ‘Fabric’’, which already has the advantage of being private by default. As Sarah Perez summarizes in TechCrunch: “But while other journaling apps may offer a blank space for recording thoughts, Fabric automates the process by pulling in photos, posts from elsewhere on social media, places you visited, and more, and put those on its map interface.”

WhatsApp 

The messaging app announced last week that users can now make a group voice or video call with up to four people “anytime and anywhere” simply tapping the ‘add participant’ button in the top right corner.

YouTube

YouTube updated its desktop player to display vertical videos without black bars on the side by automatically adjusting the video’s aspect ratio to suit a computer’s screen size. But The Verge’s Shannon Liao reports that user “response has mostly been unfavorable . . . complaining that the update makes videos even smaller, cutting off parts of the video or lowering the quality.”

Instagram (+ Facebook)

Both Instagram and Facebook have made some changes intended to help us manage our time including "an activity dashboard, a daily reminder and a new way to limit notifications." Useful? Yes. But I'm not sure about their assessment that this helps make the "time people spend on Instagram and Facebook to be intentional, positive and inspiring." Is that what drives people to stare fixedly at their screens every minute of every day?  :)

Facebook

According to CNET (and reported in The Verge) Facebook has redesigned the mobile app navigation bar so that  "everyone will still see the News Feed, notification, and menu icons, but the other slots will be replaced with icons for what you use the most, like links to your profile, friend requests, or groups. The app will shoot you an alert when one of these new shortcuts is added."

Snapchat

Snapchat has added some new augmented reality Lenses that respond to a user's voice: "Some lenses will ask users to say words like, 'hi,' 'love,'or “wow,' which will cause the lenses to animate." I hope this is just a test for some salutary future updates . . . otherwise there are some really good GIFs that capture my frame of mind on this one.