Broadcast channels on Meta, Instagram chat widgets, TikTok’s new app and more

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Some really interesting developments in social media news this week. Broadcast channels on Facebook, a Surgeon General warning for teenagers on social media, constant AI developments, and even a new app from TikTok.

Let’s dive in to this week in social media.

1. Meta is opening broadcast channels to Pages with over 10k followers

Broadcast channels are expanding to Facebook. This tool is meant to help creators connect more deeply with their audience, and it will now be available to eligible Pages with over 10k followers.

From Meta:

We’re excited to share broadcast channels are now available globally for eligible Pages with more than 10,000 followers. In the coming months, we’ll also be rolling out broadcast channels for professional mode creators with more than 10,000 followers.

  • Share channel messages from Instagram to Facebook: This feature will enable you to automatically share updates from your Instagram channel to your Facebook channel, saving you time and effort previously spent on repetitive tasks and extending your reach.
  • Early access to channel content: This feature will allow you to share Facebook posts to channel members before anyone else as an exclusive perk for channel members or to collect early feedback on content.
  • Share to Stories: Creators and members can share channel content via Facebook stories to reach even more people.

2. Chat widgets on Instagram are being tested

In an effort to keep people talking on the platform, Instagram has started to test chat widgets. This isn’t a public test yet, but here is the info from SMT.

The current chat widgets listed (in development, not in public testing as yet) are:

  • Countdown widget – Create a countdown in the chat
  • Timezone widget – Display the local time of each chat participant
  • Pinned content widget – Quickly access pinned content

3. TikTok is trying out a new app

TikTok has a new image-sharing app in the App store, but we don’t know much about it. With no active advertising, the app has had dismal downloads at this point. The timing is interesting, with a TikTok ban hanging over the company.

From TechCrunch:

Whee’s arrival could be a plan B of sorts that allows ByteDance to maintain a social presence in the U.S., even if TikTok’s ban is upheld.

4. Meta is allowing influencers to create AI versions of themselves

This has been in the works for a while, but the testing is in progress. Meta is working with creators on an AI tool that allows them to make AI versions of themselves.

From The Verge:

Instagram’s new “AI Studio” will let creators make AI chatbot versions of themselves, and Meta is starting to roll it out as an “early test” in the US, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on his broadcast channel on Thursday.

As part of the test, “you might start seeing AIs from your favorite creators and interest-based AIs in the coming weeks on Instagram,” according to Zuckerberg. “These will primarily show up in messaging for now, and will be clearly labeled as AI.”

5. The Surgeon General has called for a tobacco-style disclaimer for social media

This is an interesting perspective. The Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, has used the NYT to call for action.

From Forbes:

In an op-ed for The New York Times on Monday, Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy called for a warning to parents about the hazards of social media to younger users.

“It is time to require a surgeon general’s warning label on social media platforms, stating that social media is associated with significant mental health harms for adolescents,” Murthy wrote.

A Surgeon General’s warning requires Congress to regularly post health warnings for public safety, and would regualrly remind parents and teens that social media has not been proven safe.

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