11 major updates from Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, & Instagram

Major social network news of last week - Twitter letting brands sponsor stickers, Snapchat acquiring mobile search app Vurb, Pinterest reveals Promoted Video, and more

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Twitter fights abuse by making it easier to hide abuse: Twitter is tackling its harassment concerns by making changes to the user experience. Today, the company announced ways users can enjoy Twitter without the abuse. Changes include being able to limit notifications only to people you follow on Twitter (if opted in; otherwise, the experience remains unchanged) and a quality filter, now open to all users. This option can also be turned on to improve the quality of tweets, focusing on account age and user behavior.

Instagram draws inspiration from Snapchat’s Live Stories feature as it launches Event Channels: Image-sharing platform Instagram has taken inspiration from Snapchat’s Live Stories feature to introduce its own Event Channels functionality which bears more than a passing resemblance to its Snapchat equivalent.

Pinterest gets serious about video as it unveils new ad format with General Mills, bareMinerals and Kate Spade as launch partners: In its ongoing quest to woo advertisers, Pinterest has revealed a ‘Promoted Video’ product for brands. The new ads will let companies share video content with the platform’s 100 million users.

Snapchat wants more TV-like content for Discover: Snapchat is interested in getting moreHollywood content on Discover. While that may go a long way in turning Discover into a destination for TV-like programming, Snapchat’s move also creates headaches for Discover publishers already devoting resources to creating daily, magazine-style content.

Google Hangouts On Air moving from Google+ to YouTube Live on September 12: According to an update posted on the YouTube Help site, users will no longer be able to schedule Hangouts On Air events via Google+ accounts in the coming weeks. Starting September 12, Hangouts On Air events will be scheduled using YouTube Live.

Facebook restricts Messenger bots to 24-hour window, adds subscriptions: On Monday, Facebook announced that its restricting how long Messenger bots have to respond to someonebefore they’re muzzled but is relaxing its rule forbidding promotional messages. Some Messenger bots will be able to sidestep the time limit with the introduction of subscription-based messaging.

Twitter Is Now Letting Brands Sponsor Its Emoji-Like Stickers: In June, Twitter launched stickers that let users overlay searchable emojis and graphics on top of their photos. Now Pepsi is the first to launch a paid ad campaign using the visuals.

After redesigning Discover, Snapchat finds viewers grow but engagement drops: Two weeks after Snapchat launched a redesigned Discover section, channel partners noticed a significant uptick in overall viewers even as total views, completion rates and time spent per user declined.

Instagram gives marketers a new tool to muzzle haters: Brand media accounts are frequent targets of customer complaints, offensive slurs and hashtag trolls. Now Instagram is hoping to contain that by giving users — including brands — greater control over the moderation of their comments. As the Washington Post reported, the platform has started allowing “accounts with high volume comment threads” to filter their comment streams, and even turn off comments entirely.

Snapchat is acquiring mobile search app Vurb for $110M+: Snapchat could help you organize a night out with friends or get a digest of the day’s news thanks to its acquisition of mobile search startup Vurb.

Google launches video calling app Duo for Android and iOS: Google today launched Google Duo, a one-to-one video calling app for Android and iOS. You can download Duo from Google Play and Apple’s App Store, though you may have to wait a bit as this is a gradual rollout — “it will be live worldwide in the next few days.”