May Social Media Digest

Are you ready for the Summer Holidays? If no, make your plans and wait for the pleasure to come. In the meantime, buckle up and let’s go through May SM news. 

Google removes the chat option 

Google will shut down the chat and call history features on Google Business Profiles in July 2024 to streamline its business tools. Currently, users can contact businesses directly via chat from Google Search, Maps, and Shopping listings. This optional feature requires businesses to respond within 24 hours. However, due to low usage, likely hindered by the response time limit and lack of awareness, Google will disable new chat initiations from July 15, 2024, and fully retire the feature by July 31, 2024. Businesses can download their chat and call history before it’s permanently deleted. 

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YouTube rolls out games 

YouTube has expanded its “Playables” in-app games to more users in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia, offering over 75 basic mobile games like Angry Birds Showdown and Cut the Rope. This feature aims to increase user engagement and diversify content beyond videos. Given the platform’s strong gaming focus, which saw 4 billion hours of watch time in 2022, YouTube hopes to succeed where similar ventures by Netflix and Meta have struggled. Users can access “Playables” in the Explore section, Home feed, search results, and other parts of the app. 

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WhatsApp refreshes UI 

WhatsApp is updating its UI, bringing a cleaner layout, a prominent lower function bar, and updated graphics to its Android app. Key changes include removing the colored header bar and adding a larger prompt for Meta’s AI chatbot. Tabs are now at the bottom with new icons, and a “darker dark mode” is available. The iOS app also gets a new attachment layout for easier sharing. These mostly visual updates align WhatsApp more closely with Messenger, supporting Meta’s goal of integrating its messaging apps into a unified platform. 

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Threads adds new controls  

Threads has added a feature to control who can quote your posts, enhancing user control. You can choose from “Anyone,” “Profiles you follow,” or “Mentioned only” for who can quote your posts, accessible via the options menu on each post. This goes beyond X (formerly Twitter), which only allows control over replies. Threads also offers options to hide replies, mute specific words and phrases, and mute notifications for post interactions. These tools aim to improve user experience by allowing more control over engagement, aligning with Meta’s mission to create a positive user environment. This positions Threads as a potential preferred conversation app over more divisive platforms like X. 

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That’s all for May. However, we’re already working on the next portion of useful news. VAfromEurope is there to help you refine your social media strategy and stay on top of the world.