There are tons of new tools and policies that are taking place on Facebook these days. Let me narrow it down:
- Facebook launched its own Clubhouse-style live audio rooms and a way to find and play podcasts on its platform, marking a push into social audio by the world’s largest social network. Facebook’s rollout of a potential Clubhouse rival follows the explosive early success of the invite-only live audio app. Facebook, which has said it wants to make audio a “first-class medium” on its platforms, joins Twitter Inc and messaging platform Discord which have already launched their own live audio offerings. Spotify debuted its own version, “Greenroom,” last Wednesday. Slack, Microsoft Corp-owned LinkedIn and Reddit are also working on similar products.
Facebook is testing a video speed-dating app called Sparked. The app, which requires a Facebook profile to create an account, is developed by the company’s NPE Team, Facebook’s in-house group that works on experimental apps. It describes the app as “video dating with kind people.” It also promises no public profiles, no swiping, no DMs, and that it’s free to use. The app will seemingly cycle people through speed video dates that last four minutes. It’s unclear how many video dates a person will go on per event, but the app says that if “you both have a great time” daters will then be scheduled for a 10-minute second date. After that point, Sparked suggests they can exchange contact information and stay in touch through Instagram, iMessage, or email.
- Following a recommendation from its Oversight Board, Facebook says it will update its community standards to be clearer about how it handles satirical content. We’ll add information to the Community Standards that makes it clear where we consider satire as part of our assessment of context-specific decisions,” according to the post. This change will allow teams to consider satire when assessing potential Hate Speech violations. The Oversight Board pointed out in its recommendation that while Facebook has said it will make exceptions for satire, it doesn’t specify how or what qualifies as satire in its guidelines. Facebook said in its post that in addition to making its guidelines around satire clearer, it would “initiate a review of identical content with parallel context,” and may take further action.
- Instagram is bringing ads to its short-form video service and TikTok copycat Reels on Thursday, following a test. Instagram’s chief operating officer, Justin Osofsky, said the company wanted to get the organic experience for users right first, then moved on to how advertising would work. The company declined to share usage figures on Reels. The ads will be full screen and vertical, and appear in between individual posts. They’ll be up to 30 seconds long and will run on loop. They’ll pop up wherever people watch Reels — whether that’s the Reels tab or via Stories, Explore of the main Instagram feed — nestled in between individual clips. Users can interact with the ads as well to comment, like, view, save or share them. Instagram gives people some control over their ad experience through user settings, and that approach extends to Reels as well. And should an objectionable ad show up, they can tap the “…” menu interface to hide or report it. Reels ads will also be available through an auction-based model, similar to other Instagram ad products.
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