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Favorite Social Media Updates of 2017 (So Far)

Social media is constantly changing, sometimes even on a daily basis. From what I’ve seen, these updates are either a hit or a miss. Two of the most popular (and my personal favorite) social media platforms today, Snapchat and Instagram, are always updating in order to improve their user’s experience. While there have been a lot of Snapchat updates so far this year, the Snap Map and the ability to record longer videos have greatly changed and improved my Snap game. The Snap Map has allowed me to see where my friends are hanging out, whether it’s around me or in another country, which is both cool and a bit creepy.

Recording longer videos has been the perfect fix for when 10 seconds just isn’t long enough to capture a funny or exciting moment. When it comes to Instagram’s updates, I’ll admit I haven’t utilized the album feature yet, BUT it’s come in handy when seeing my friend’s posts. However, the option to replay an Instagram Live has been pretty convenient because I’ve been able to see what my favorite celebrities are up to even if I wasn’t able to be on Instagram when they went live. If you’re not too familiar with these updates or apps, don’t worry! I’ve compiled a general review of them and how they work.

Snap Map

In late June, Snapchat released Snap Map, which allows users to share their location with their Snapchat friends. Snapchat provided a video that outlined the purpose of the Snap Map. The video explained to users that sharing their location allowed them to post to “Our Story,” which in turn, at times, would add it to a collection of snaps from a particular event. This way, users who were not at the event were still able to experience it in real-time. However, this introduction video left out a key factor of the new update. If users choose to share their location, Snapchat shows all of their friends their exact location, down to the street. There have been mixed reviews about this update, with some thinking that it is dangerous and too invasive. If they’re not a fan of sharing their location, users have the option to put their account on “Ghost Mode,” which allows them to hide their location.

One of my favorite parts about this update is if users have their Bitmoji connected to their Snapchat, their Bitmoji is what shows up on the map rather than a generic outline of a person. Your bitmoji gets updated depending on what kind of activity you’re engaging in at that time. For example, if you’re driving, your Bitmoji is sitting in a car. If you’re listening to music, your Bitmoji is wearing headphones. If you’re not active for awhile at night, Snapchat assumes that you’re sleeping and puts you in a recliner. I see it as a funny way to bring even more personality to the app, but understand why some people don’t enjoy it. Honestly, I choose to keep my location on Ghost Mode at all times, unless I’m somewhere with my friends for the sole reason that it’s funny to see all of our Bitmojis hanging out together.

Longer Snap Videos

As of mid-July, Snapchat released another update. The app no longer limits users to a 10 second video and allows them to record up to an entire minute of footage. The footage is broken up into 10 second clips, but allows Snapchatters to continue recording as long as they keep their finger on the record button. After recording, users can go back and edit each 10 second clip individually or delete clips. The update is currently available to iOS users and will be available soon for Android users. I haven’t seen anyone upset with this update so far, which doesn’t surprise me. Sometimes when you’re recording a 10-second video, you miss the best or funniest part of why you were even recording!

Instagram Albums

Toward the beginning of the year, Instagram implemented their album feature, which allows users to post up to 10 pictures or videos in one post. Since 2015, this feature was only available to advertisers. Each picture or video can be edited differently and use different filters, however the location and caption remains the same for the entire post. Multiple brands and celebrities have taken advantage of this feature and come up with many different ways to utilize it. I personally think this update is useful because in the past, I’ve seen people post multiple pictures throughout one day from the same event, and I’ve missed certain posts because my timeline consists of one person’s posts. With the album feature, they’re happy because they can post multiple pictures at once, and I’m happy because I get to see all of the posts on my timeline from multiple people!

Replay Instagram Live

A few updates ago, Instagram implemented a live video feature, where users can broadcast live to their followers. However, if their followers weren’t on Instagram during the time of their live broadcast, they wouldn’t be able to see it. One of Instagram’s newest updates allows users to share their live video after ending their broadcast. Much like an Instagram and Snapchat story, it only lasts 24 hours. If users choose to share their live video, it will include all of the engagement that happened throughout the broadcast too, as if their followers are watching it live. This update is one of my personal favorites because I am a bit too interested in pop culture and what celebrities are up to. With this update, I’m able to see what my favorite celebrities are doing and can remain updated on their lives! Don’t judge me…  

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