WhatsApp is reportedly adding a new security feature to let people protect their accounts from potential scammers. According to a feature tracker, the feature is called Login Approval, and is currently under development. This will build on the two-step verification feature that the instant messaging platform already offers. With this feature, users can receive alerts inside WhatsApp when a user logs in to an account from a different smartphone. Recently, it was reported that WhatsApp is working on adding the ability to view past group participants on iOS.
According to a report by WhatsApp feature tracker WABetaInfo, the Meta-owned instant messaging platform is rolling out the WhatsApp beta version 126.96.36.199. The feature tracker has spotted a new security feature called Login Approval, which is currently under development, and could be released as part of a future update.
The rumoured Login Approval feature will send users an in-app alert when another user tries to log in to their accounts from a different smartphone, as per the report. A user will reportedly only be able to log in after approval has been granted from the handset where the account is already logged in from. This feature is said to mitigate the risk of a user’s account and information being stolen.
WhatsApp already offers two-step verification feature. The Login Approval feature can reportedly also protect users in case they have inadvertently shared their six-digit security code. As per the alleged screenshots shared by the WhatsApp features tracker, the alert also displays the time when the log in attempt was made and also information about the phone.
According to a recent report, WhatsApp is also working on adding the ability to view past group members with a beta version of its iOS client. The said update was reportedly released to a limited number of beta testers. A wider roll out of the feature to more beta testers can happen in the coming weeks, the report added.
Amazon Testing TikTok-Style Feed Called Inspire on Its App, AI Firm Confirms
Amazon appears to be getting the TikTok bug, joining other companies seeking to hold consumers’ attention by introducing replicas of the popular social platform.
The e-commerce giant has been testing a feed on its app that enables shoppers to scroll through TikTok-like photos and videos of products posted by other users.
Using the feature, called Inspire, customers can like, save and share posts of products, and purchase items directly from the feed, according to Watchful Technologies, an Israeli-based artificial-intelligence firm that analyzes apps and has tracked the feature.
The test doesn’t mean Amazon will roll out the widget to the public in its current form — or at all. Alyssa Bronikowski, an Amazon spokesperson, declined to say if the company has plans to introduce the feature to all its customers. In a statement, Bronikowski said the company is “constantly testing new features to help make customers’ lives a little easier.”
The Wall Street Journal first reported on the test. Citing an anonymous source, the Journal also said the company is testing the feature among a small number of Amazon employees.
Amazon often experiments with new features, sometimes even targeting its tests to specific regions. Amid regulatory pressure about its private-label business, the company had been testing how to identify its brands in search results by tagging them with badges such as “Amazon brand” or “Exclusive to Amazon,” the research firm Marketplace Pulse discovered earlier this year.
In its current form, the experimental TikTok-like feed mostly shows photos, said Daniel Buchuk, a researcher with Watchful Technologies. But if the feature is rolled out, Buchuk suspects the feed will be video-heavy as Amazon sellers create content to make it more engaging for customers.
The corporate parents of Google and Facebook, the two biggest sellers in digital advertising, already have been pushing their own TikTok clones in bids to keep eyeballs glued to their services so they can continue to boost their revenue.
Google’s YouTube video service rolled a “Shorts” feature limited to clips of a minute or less last year in the US after initially testing it in India during 2020. By June of this year, Google said YouTube Shorts was attracting more than 1.5 billion logged-in users each month, although analysts believe TikTok’s popularity is undercutting ad sales at the video site.
Those concerns were elevated by Google’s latest quarterly results, which revealed YouTube’s year-over-year growth in ad sales had slowed to its slowest pace since public disclosures of the site’s revenue began.
Meanwhile, Facebook now offers its own take on TikTok, a short-form video feature called Reels, on its Instagram app as well as its main social networking service, which are now operate as part of Meta Platforms. Earlier this year, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Reels accounted for more than 20 percent of the time that people spend on Instagram.
But it’s not clear that engagement is helping to drive ad sales after Meta recently reported its first year-over-year drop in quarterly revenue since Facebook went public a decade ago.
Spotify Offering 3-Month Free Subscription to New Premium Members Under Select Plans; Reportedly Testing Audio Reactions
Spotify is offering three months of free subscription to new Premium members. This deal is applicable only to individual and student users. Family and Duo members can get a one-month subscription for free. These offers are only open to users who have not previously tried a Premium subscription. Individual subscribers will have to pay Rs. 119 for a monthly subscription after the three-month period ends. In related news, Spotify is reportedly testing out a new feature that allows users to record audio reactions to music playlists and upload them as podcasts.
Spotify will grant subscribers access to the Premium plan for free for three months. The service will be applicable to Individual and student subscribers will get access to ad-free music streaming, group sessions, and the ability to download up to 10,000 songs on five devices. When the offer ends, users will have to pay a Rs.119 and Rs. 59 monthly subscription fee for Individual and Student plan, respectively.
Meanwhile, Family and Duo members can get a month of free Premium subscription under this offer. Only users who have not previously subscribed to a Premium plan can avail of these offers until September 11.
In related news, a Reddit user from Vietnam has spotted a new reaction feature in the Spotify app. As per a report by the Verge, the app shows a prompt while listening to a music playlist which leads to a green-coloured button asking users to “Record an episode” to share their thoughts on the playlist.
The audio reaction will then get uploaded as a podcast episode. Users will reportedly be able to add background music and tags, and make other minor edits prior to uploading their reaction. In a statement given to TechCrunch, Spotify confirmed that it is “running a limited test of in-app audio creation.”
Spotify recently redesigned its homepage to separate music and podcast feeds. The new dedicated Podcast and Shows feed offers users personalised podcast recommendations, save episodes to Your Episodes list, and more.
Instagram Reels Crossposting to Facebook, New Tools for Content Creators Announced: All Details
Instagram Reels can now be cross posted to Facebook, Meta has announced while also releasing new tools for content creators. The new features include the ability to add an “Add Yours” sticker to Reels, creator studio insights, ‘Stars’ on Facebook Reels, and auto creation of reels on the video and photo sharing platform. The new features and updates appear to be more on the Facebook side. As per Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, these tools will help creators increase the number of people their Reels reach and monetise content.
The new features for Instagram and Facebook were announced via a small clip on Facebook. Mosseri briefly discussed three tools for video creators via Twitter. The first feature that was discussed is the ability to cross post Instagram Reels to Facebook. Cross posting content from Instagram is not an entirely new feature — users have been able to post Stories and images on both the platforms in one go. The same ability is now expanded to Reels. Enabling the “Share to Facebook” option on Instagram will post the Reel on both platforms owned by Meta.
???? Reels Updates ????
We’re launching a few new Reels features to make it fun and easy for people to find + share more entertaining content:
– ‘Add Yours’ Sticker
– IG-to-FB Crossposting
– FB Reels Insights
Have a favorite? Let me know ???????? pic.twitter.com/RwjnRu5om2
— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) August 16, 2022
The second feature is the ability to add an “Add Yours” sticker on Reels. This sticker is already popular on Stories, prompting users to share content as per the text written in the sticker. With the new ability, people will now be able to share videos in context with the text written on these stickers. Furthemore, the sticker will have a link to your profile giving you a “shoutout” for starting a trend on the platform.
Users who post Reels regularly on Facebook will stand to gain from the third feature. Content creators will gain improved insights including reach, average watch time, total view time, among others to help them understand how their Reels are performing on Facebook. In a related feature, Meta also announced that Facebook Stars is now available for all eligible creators. Viewers can send these stars to content creators on their Facebook Reels and in return Facebook will pay them $0.01 (about Rs. 0.80) for every star they receive. Creators can check their total Star count in Creator Studio under Stars stats.
The fifth new feature is that Facebook has now got more Reels remix options. The feature will let you create your own Reel by recording alongside an existing one. Users can remix public photos by choosing from different layouts including, a green screen, horizontal, or vertical split-screen to create reels.
Lastly, Facebook can now automatically create Reels using the Stories the users have already shared. The feature could help content creators in multiple situations. For example, if a user has shared a lot of Stories from their recent trip to Europe, Facebook will compile a few of those Stories into one Reel for to share without minimal effort, according to Meta.
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