Social media news you missed: April recap | #facebookdating | #tinder | #pof

media update’s Taylor Goodman reveals the latest updates from some of your favourite social media platforms.

1. Facebook launches virtual dating over messenger

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

This feature will allow users to invite someone they match with on a virtual date. This will appear as a pop-up notification on the other user’s side, which they can choose to accept or decline. 

If the invitee chooses to accept, both parties will be connected through a video call where they can become better acquainted.

Why it’s 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 to be more engaged when trying to make a connection compared to merely messaging each other. 

2. WhatsApp launches a group video chat option 

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

In order for users to access this new feature, all participants need to have the latest version of WhatsApp installed. The updated video chat feature is also available through Facebook’s Portal 

Why it’s making headlines: Having new ways to communicate with our loved ones, while in 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 that people are turning to voice and video calling on WhatsApp more than ever before. Group calling has been particularly useful and our users have asked to connect with more people at once.”

3. Zoom introduces new updates that address security concerns

The news: As Zoom continues to flourish globally, it has announced a massive update that will address multiple security and privacy concerns that have come under scrutiny this past week. 

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

This security update will also:

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

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

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

With this in mind, it is no doubt newsworthy that the app is going to great lengths to amend this error and protect its users. 

4. Twitter bans suspicious tweets about 5G

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

Twitter further explains that tweets along the lines of “5G causes coronavirus- go destroy cell towers in your neighborhood” will be a violation of its policies as it spreads misinformation regarding COVID-19. 

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

Why it’s making headlines: 5G has always had a fair deal of controversy surrounding it, with many believing that it causes health issues.

Conspiracy theorists have used this as an opportunity to attribute the cellular technology for the spread of the Coronavirus. This has gone so far that vigilantes have taken to destroying cell 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 long clips is thriving amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

The app has now amassed over two billion downloads globally from either Google Play or the Apple store.

As people look for entertainment while in quarantine, TikTok seems to be the perfect distraction, with the app booming in India, China and the United States.

Why it’s making headlines: TikTok reaching this milestone is making headlines because of the degree and which it is blowing up, with the app surpassing two billion downloads just five months after it reached the 1.5 billion mark. 

TikTok will be the first non-Facebook owned app (Whatsapp, Instagram and Messenger) to surpass two billion downloads since January 2014, a very impressive feat indeed!

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

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

*Image courtesy of Vecteezy 

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