Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, his plans for the service and their massive layoffs continue to dominate the headlines, but there have been major announcements from other platforms. Some will make your life easier and others are interesting trends to watch.
Here’s what you need to know this week:
Instagram creators can sell NFTs to users
Meta is testing a tool to trade digital collectibles to help content creators monetize their presence on the social media platform.
Users can back creators by buying NFT digital tokens directly from them on Instagram.
Meta said it hopes to expand the test to more countries soon.
Snapchat partners with fitness app Strava on AR Lens
Snapchat has started a new AR Lens integration with fitness app Strava to allow users to provide interactive, visual updates of their activity .
“With a few taps, the Strava Activity Lens allows Snapchatters to take a Snap or post a Story that instantly tells the tale of recent workouts,” Snap said in a statement. “Whether you’re walking around the city with friends or training for your next race, this AR experience helps you better tell the story of every effort on Snapchat.”
Snap hopes that the partnership with over 100 million registered Strava users can help increase its appeal to older audiences.
“(We want to Increase our penetration in at least one new large country or demographic and onboard more 30- to 40-year-olds,” Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel told workers in a September memo to his staff. “Funneling more users into the Map and Spotlight sections of Snapchat helps to make our service more compelling for our community, harder to copy, and more resilient to competition and increases our monetization opportunity over the longer term.”
TikTok says workers in China can see personal data from European users
TikTok updated privacy policies for European users last week, saying that personal data from the app may be viewed by employees in China.
The announcement applies to users in the European Economic Area, the United Kingdom and Switzerland — not the United States.
TikTok data may be handled by employees in countries including Brazil, Canada, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea and the U.S., the company said.
“In order to operate a global platform designed for sharing joyful content, we rely on a global workforce to ensure that our community’s TikTok experience is consistent, enjoyable and safe,” Elaine Fox, TikTok’s head of privacy in Europe, wrote in the company’s announcement.
Brendan Carr, a commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission, said that the U.S. government should ban TikTok rather than negotiate a national security agreement with the social media app.
“Perhaps the deal Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States ends up cutting is an amazing, airtight deal, but at this point I have a very, very difficult time looking at TikTok’s conduct thinking we’re going to cut a technical construct that they’re not going to find a way around,” Carr told CNN last week.
Mastodon gaining in popularity after Elon Musk buys Twitter
Mastodon, an open-source decentralized social network, has seen gains after Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter, according to a TechCrunch report.
The network has seen 230,000 sign-ups last week and now has 655,000 active users, both records for the service.
With all that growth comes difficulty, including reports of lag and downtime on the network, as well as user confusion about picking a server to use the social network.
Each Mastodon server is operated by a different individual or organization and can set its own moderation policies. But users can find and follow friends anywhere on the network.
As some look for greener pastures amid the Twitter chaos, Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey is also working on the new social networking protocol Bluesky, with over 30,000 sign-ups on its waitlist.