TechCrunch tipster and reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong discovered a design change test in Instagram’s code for Android that would hide likes on Instagram posts. TechCrunch asked Instagram about the test and a spokesperson confirmed it. “We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get. During this test, only the person who shares a post will see the total number of likes it gets.”
Popularity and herd mentality can be major driving factors behind liking an individual post so this design change could affect how people interact with posts – especially since some Instagram users will delete posts that don’t generate enough likes quickly. Even with the change, Instagram would still show profile likes.
Instagram lunched Stories, in part, to lessen the pressure for Like counts. Twitter is also testing having retweet counts hidden behind a second tap.
Pinterest launched on the NY Stock Exchange, raising $1.6 billion at its initial offering. Pinterest stock rose 28.4% on April 18, which was its first day of trading.
Analysts expect Pinterest to focus on growing its ad platform and e-commerce options now that it’s publicly held and must focus on generating revenue.
Facebook Said to Be Developing an AI Assistant
Former Facebook employees told CNBC that the company is creating an AI voice assistant to challenge Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant. The team working on the project are based in Redmond, Washington. It’s believed that the electronic assistant will work with Facebook’s Portal video chat device, Oculus headsets or other future devices.
Facebook previous created an AI assistant for Messenger. Called M, it never became popular. The project ended in 2018.
Changes to YouTube TV Content & Price
YouTube is adding new channels to the basic YouTube TV membership, including Discovery Network channels like Animal Planet, HGTV, Food Network and more. OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network will be added later this year and EPIX is now available for an additional charge.
At the same time, YouTube is dropping the base membership price to $49.99 a month, though subscribers billed through Apple will be charge $54.99 a month. For more information, see the announcement on YouTube’s official blog.
G+ Is Dead, Long Live Currents
Google+ is officially dead – but only for consumers. Shortly after shutting down the failed social network Google announced Currents, an enterprise version of Google+. Named for the old social magazine app Google used to offer, the new service will allow employees to share data, and, as Google puts it “have meaningful discussions.”