Spotify’s Social Listening feature will let you jam out with friends

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Spotify Connect
Screenshots of the upcoming Social Listening feature.
Photo: Jane Manchun Wong

Spotify is about to make it possible to listen along to music with your friends, no matter where you’re at.

The new feature, called Social Listening, will allow users to connect to friends and listen to the same thing they’re playing. You’ll also be able to add your own tracks to the queue and control playback from your phone.

WhatsApp will start showing you ads in 2020

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WhatsApp stickers
Lookout! The ads are coming.
Photo: WhatsApp

Conversations with your friends won’t be the only thing that shows up inside your WhatsApp next year. Facebook has confirmed ads will also start appearing in 2020.

You’ll see them in WhatsApp Status, the messaging platform’s answer to Instagram Stories.

How to get your Stories to show up on Instagram’s Explore tab

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Instagram lawsuit
Instagram is putting a bigger focus on Stories.
Photo: Pixabay

Instagram revealed today that it is making changes to its Explore tab to start promoting Stories from people you don’t follow.

The Explore tab is also getting redesigned with a new navigation bar that has shortcuts for Shopping and IGTV to go with channel topics that Instagram’s algorithms think you’ll be interested in. Adding Stories to the Explore tab gives users a new way to discover great content you don’t follow as well as giving your content another avenue towards peoples eyeballs. But actually getting your Stories onto the Explore tab isn’t all that simple.

Instagram plans to kill standalone Direct app

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Instagram 2
It's time to say your goodbyes.
Photo: Instagram

Instagram has confirmed plans to kill its standalone Direct app for Android and iOS.

The Snapchat clone made its debut in December 2017, but is being axed as part of Facebook’s mission to consolidate its services into a single platform. Users will see their conversations automatically moved to the regular Instagram app.

New Instagram will take worry out of being liked

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Instagram fact checking
Instagram will use fact-checking teams to identify false information.
Photo: Instagram

Facebook is retooling Instagram to take some social pressure out of social media.

The photo-sharing app, which along with the iPhone sparked a revolution in instant photography, will reduce the pressure by making “likes” private so followers engage the content, not how popular it is. Instagram is also playing with ways to reduce the prominence of follower counts.

How to share podcast clips with Overcast

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Overcast clip sharing
Share podcast clips in Overcast.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

You’re listening to an awesome podcast, and one of the hosts makes a super-smart point about a fascinating subject. It’s so good that you just want to share it with people. But how? Tweet a link to the podcast along with a timecode so folks can hunt down that pithy quip themselves? Good luck! People on Twitter are too lazy to… well, they’re just too lazy.

But if you use the Overcast podcast player app, then you can now share a short audio or video clip of any podcast, to Twitter, Instagram, or anywhere else. It’s dead easy, and it might be the best thing to happen to podcasts in quite a while.

Instagram might kill the like count on photos

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Instagram lawsuit
Instagram is using a new tool to combat bots that generate fake likes – lawsuits.
Photo: Pixabay

Instagrammers’ obsession with likes might be coming to an abrupt end.

The photo sharing social network revealed today that it is looking into ways to alleviate pressure on its app. One of the proposed ways is to remove the like count from photos so that they’re only visible to the person that posted the pic or video.

‘Doing it for the Gram’ could soon be dead.

Facebook could bring Messenger back to its main app

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Facebook Messenger unsend
It’s about time!
Photo: Facebook

Facebook could bring Messenger back to its main app as part of its strategy to merge all of its chat services into one.

Evidence of the change has been discovered in recent code. Facebook is yet to confirm the move, but it certainly looks like it is already making preparations.