As massive fans of Whatsapp (who isn’t) we were excited to see the new desktop version launched last week.  While the messaging app has been available online for a while now, the company says this new app ‘is simply an extension of your phone: the app mirrors conversations and messages from your mobile device’ with the support of desktop notifications and better keyboard functionality – plus the introduction of document sharing support – making it a viable tool for business as well as just catching up with friends and family.

And just this week, according to The Verge, it looks like WhatsApp is also testing a new video calling feature. Sounds a bit like a Skype rival to us…  With over 1 billion users, this could prove a huge threat to the big players including FaceTime and Facebook Messenger. ‘It appears the feature can be enabled or disabled on WhatsApp’s servers, so the company can trial it with groups of testers’.

In other tech news, Amazon also announced a new video service – Amazon Video Direct. At first thought, is this a YouTube competitor?  Probably not, the service is geared more towards brands and professional content, opposed to the more traditional ‘open to everyone’ YouTube model.  The new service will let users upload their own content, and receive payment for doing so.  In fact, Amazon will distribute a share of $1,000,000 per month as a bonus to the Top 100 titles included with Prime through Amazon Video Direct.  The service is due to launch with a number of partners, with a focus on branded content. “It’s an amazing time to be a content creator,” said Jim Freeman, vice-president of Amazon Video. “There are more options for distribution than ever before and with Amazon Video Direct, for the first time, there’s a self-service option for video providers to get their content into a premium streaming subscription service.

And if that wasn’t enough… Instagram has gone and got itself a new look.  Although there’s been a backlash from users calling the new icon out as ‘ugly’… I’m sure we’ll all get used to it with time – if you just can’t bear it, here’s how to get the old Instagram icon back on iOS.

After downloading the app update, it looks like the new icon may have proved a distraction from a much bigger issue.  Some of the Escapade team have noticed a change to the algorithm displaying images based on a ‘proprietary algorithm’ rather than the previous chronological order. And we’re not alone… In this article by Inc. Gil Eyal, CEO of influencer database and tracking firm, HYPR said: “Back in March, Instagram’s CEO, Kevin Systrom, promised to take it slow and not make any unannounced changes. But the version released this week, along with an announcement about a new icon, diverted the attention from the real issue. As one of our team members, Connor Gallic, noticed shortly after installing the new version of the app, Instagram is testing out the feed on select users”. Back in March the proposed change to this new model sparked a huge outcry on social with many users threatening to boycott the service – with over 3000,000 users signing a petition asking the company to reconsider this change.

It also seems like there’s some good news on the horizon as Instagram is testing detailed analytics for marketers and social media PR, and the result is looking good. Insights are thought to cover a variety of needs from the best times to post, to engagement rates and whether older posts are still resonating with followers. We can’t wait to see them!

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