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The Internet has drastically changed how we keep ourselves entertained. In fact, millions of people are on social media for hours every day. Whether it is reading stories or video streaming, there is a social media platform that meets every user’s need.

An August 2016 report by eBizMBA revealed that YouTube and Instagram ranks as the second and eighth most popular social media sites, respectively. In our previous blog, we detailed the new tweaks and updates on Facebook and Twitter. Today we’ll be looking into some of the changes on YouTube and Instagram. Here are some of the new features and updates of the two hottest video and photo sharing sites!

YouTube

Known as the second largest search engine, YouTube has revolutionized the way we watch online videos. According to their Statistics page, the video-sharing platform has over a billion users thus generating billions of views every day. Here are some of the changes YouTube has introduced over the months.

  • 360-degree videos – YouTube pioneered the introduction of 360-degree video support. Creators can now record and give their audiences an all-around view of what they’re doing. On mobile, 360 videos are interactive. Users can physically rotate and move around the virtual space by moving their gadgets.
  • Livestreams- The platform has also expanded into livestreaming. Users can now broadcast and record their livestreams so that people who missed it can watch their recording when they log in.
  • Offline videos – This new feature is available only on YouTube’s mobile app. You can save videos to watch later even without internet connection. However, not all videos can be saved to your Offline list. This will depend on the permissions from the uploader.
  • Push notifications – Want to stay up to date with your favorite YouTube channels? The mobile app now supports push notifications that will alert you when new content is available.
  • Closed Captions – Users now have the option to have closed captioning on videos. The downside is that not all videos have premade subtitles thus it is not always accurate to the audio.

YouTube has been under fire recently for a number of various incidents. Channels like PewDiePie, the most subscribed channel on the platform, expressed his disappointment with the site after seeing a major drop in his subscriber count. Vlogger and entertainer Matthias has also expressed YouTube’s lack of action regarding claims of Copyright and Fair Use on creators’ content.

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Instagram

Since its launch in 2010, Instagram has changed the way we share and view photos. The photo-sharing platform has been quietly introducing new updates to their app. It has recently done some major changes to the platform, making it easier and more streamlined for users. These changes include:

  • Brand new logo and layout – Gone is the iconic polaroid-like logo that we’ve all come to know and love! Instagram has changed its iconic logo for a gradient-like minimalist icon. They also redesigned the layout of the app with simplified colors of black, white, and red.
  • Algorithm changes – Instagram’s algorithm changes are still rolling out to the majority of its users. However, the main thing you need to know about this major change is that it prioritizes what they think you want to see first and put that on top of your feed.
  • Push Notifications – When Instagram announced that they would be launching a new algorithm, people feared about missing content from their favorite accounts. Push Notifications will alert you of new content from your favorite IG users.
  • New filters – Over the recent months, the photo-sharing platform introduced new image filters. They also added a way for users to organize and manage their favorite filters through the “Manage Filters” option.
  • Full photo uploads – One of the biggest changes of Instagram is its shift from purely square images and videos to full sized photos. Yes! You can now upload portrait and landscape photos to your account without cropping!
  • Boomerang – Boomerang is a third-party app by Instagram that creates GIF-like images. This is also one of their newest introductions.
  • Longer video support – Instagram has also expanded its video support. Users can now upload minute-long videos.
  • Direct messages– Instagram has also introduced a messaging system that allows users to connect, forward content, and chat.
  • Upload dates – Instagram used to mark upload dates with weeks. The platform has changed this feature and now shows the actual upload date. How you don’t have to estimate when a 30-week old photo was taken!
  • Photo and video previews – This is a little Easter egg that not everyone has discovered yet. Users can preview content by long pressing on it and a pop-up will give you a preview sans the caption and comments.
  • Views count on videos – Instagram also recently introduced a view counter on videos. However, it is unsure whether the numbers reflect unique views or the number of times it looped.

Visual content is the most effective way to grab people’s attention on social media. Users love engaging, entertaining, and creative videos as well as aesthetically pleasing pictures and captivating shots. Explore the different possibilities with YouTube and Instagram’s new features and maximize them to your advantage!

Do you need help managing your business social media accounts? Drop us a line or avail of our free trial!

Get up-to-date with social media on our Updates You May Not Know About Series!

Pepper Virtual Assistants is a business solutions firm that specializes on virtual administrative and personal assistance, online marketing, customer support, and copywriting. We are known for reliability through our managed services, responsive client handling backed by extensive training, and rockstar virtual assistants hired for their skills and expertise.

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