Social media and messaging giants TikTok and WhatsApp separately added new features to their respective platforms last week.
TikTok began on Thursday allowing users to post videos up to three minutes long, tripling the previous cap to stay ahead of the competition. TikTok is said to have one billion users worldwide, including over 100 million in the United States, and is particularly popular with young smartphone users.
“With longer videos, creators will have the canvas to create new or expanded types of content on TikTok, with the flexibility of a little more space,” said product manager Drew Kirchhoff in a post.
The option to post videos longer than the previous one-minute time limit will be offered to all TikTok users in the coming weeks, according to Kirchhoff. “Some of you may have seen a longer video on TikTok before – we’ve let creators around the world experiment with the expanded format,” Kirchhoff said.
TikTok, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, remains one of the world’s most popular social media apps, but faces competitors such as YouTube. Triller and others. Instagram, owned by Facebook, will experiment with video features to keep up with the trend, Chief Adam Mosseri said in a Twitter post.
Video sharing and viewing is driving strong growth on online platforms, Mosseri says, and Instagram needs to be more interested in it. “We are no longer a photo sharing app,” Mosseri said in a video shared on Twitter. “There is serious competition now. TikTok is huge; YouTube is even bigger, and there are plenty of other upstarts as well. “
US President Joe Biden in June revoked executive orders from his predecessor Donald Trump to ban Chinese TikTok and WeChat apps from US markets on national security grounds. A statement said that instead of banning WeChat and TikTok, the Biden administration would implement a “criteria-based decision framework and rigorous, evidence-based analysis to address the risks” of Internet applications controlled by foreign entities.
WhatsApp: now you see it, now you don’t see it
Once again, the Facebook group – to which Whatsapp belongs – takes inspiration from the Snapchat app, offering a unique way to read messages. Available in beta, the new feature will soon be available to all users of the messaging service.
The “Show once” feature, which allows users to send ephemeral files, is expected to roll out to Whatsapp users soon. The WaBetaInfo site announced it on Thursday, claiming that Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, and Will Cathcart, director of Whatsapp, had themselves confirmed the information.
For now, the version is only available on Android version 220.127.116.11. Once the update is complete, users just need to check if the “see once” mode appears when sharing media. As soon as the recipient opens a shared message in this mode, the file disappears.
With this new feature, the messaging platform emphasizes privacy. However, the new functionality has a number of limitations. Whatsapp has confirmed that it is still possible to take screenshots of sent files, without the app notifying the sender. The recipient will be able to see if the media has been opened, even if read receipts are disabled; however, the sender will not know when the recipient has opened it. Also, in the case of a file sent to a group, it will always be possible for the blocked contacts of the group to open it.
Hero and signature image by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash
The story is published via AFP Relaxnews