12 Major Updates From Facebook, Twitter, Vine, & Instagram

Social network news of the week - Hootsuite adds new APIs, Facebook adds Dropbox support, Instagram now recommends videos, Tagging now on Facebook Videos

1. Instagram’s New Feature Hints at Its Video Marketing Potential for Brands: Instagram today unveiled a new feature that recommends videos in its Explore section based on a user’s interests.

2. Twitter is testing a much better design for its Android app: Twitter tests new designs from time to time in the beta version of its Android app. Some of those designs roll out widely — others don’t. But the design it’s testing right now really ought to, because it’s much better than what’s in use today.

3. Twitter Seva: Government’s helpline for startups seeking funds and support: The government is following up the big-bang launch of the ‘Start up India, Stand up India’ initiative with setting up a hotline for entrepreneurs on micro-blogging site Twitter. Called the ” Twitter Seva” service, it will act as a helpline of sorts for entrepreneurs seeking funding, support or government assistance of any kind. According to government officials in the know, San Francisco-headquartered Twitter is being roped in for the service that is likely to be launched on April 21.

4. Facebook demos taking selfies in VR: Facebook chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer just showed how to take a selfie of yourself and a friend inside a virtual reality 360-degree photo.

5. Facebook gets silly with animated profile videos from Vine, Boomerang, and more: Facebook today announced that it has partnered with several third-party video apps to allow people to customize their profiles with videos and creative animations.The new ‘Profile Expression Kit’ rolls out today with support for six iOS apps, among them the popular video-looping service Vine (owned by Facebook competitor Twitter), Boomerang by Instagram, Lollicam, BeautyPlus, Cinemagraph Pro, and MSQRD.

6. Vine now lets you automatically play all videos in a channel: Vine has added a new button to channels that allows you to watch every video back-to-back without having to manually scroll through individual posts. This “watch” button appears next to the follow button on a channel and performs the same functionality as the “Play All” button that YouTube offers.

7. Facebook wants to automatically tag you and your friends in videos: Facebook envisions a future dominated by mobile video. So it’s no surprise the company is working on a feature toautomatically tag you and your friends to make those posts more searchable.

8. Facebook delivers new ways for publishers make money (and get readers) from Instant Articles: Facebook is trying to sweeten the deal for Instant Articles publishers, who have been challenged in making money so far on the social network. At today’s F8 developers conference, one of Facebook’s main areas of focus was monetization for all the content makers, who have been investing resources to create for Facebook but have yet to strike it rich there.

9. Facebook exposes Page posts’ Reaction counts through new API: Brands are about to get a much better idea of how people feel about feel about their Facebook posts and who those people are.

10. Facebook Messenger positioned as replacement for mobile web, apps & SMS: As expected, at Facebook’s F8 developer conference today, the company announced Messenger Platform for third-party developers. It also announced a related “bots for Messenger” tool set that allows creation of scalable, AI-powered interactions with companies on Messenger.

11. Social management system Hootsuite adds new APIs to open up its platform: The Vancouver-based company is announcing three new open APIs that expand on previous integrations, for publishing, user management and URL management. This is “absolutely” a new phase for the company, vice president of platform Patience Yi told me, as it becomes “more of an open platform.”

12. Facebook adds Dropbox support and video Chat Heads to Messenger: Good news, everyone. Facebook Messenger has two new features! The first inches it (as happens to all messaging apps) one step closer to just emailing someone: you can now pop files from your Dropbox account directly into conversations. Just hit the “More” button in a conversation as if you were going to drop in one of those horrible Bitmoji. Dropbox should be right there, and you’ll be able to go through your files and directories.