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The Design Insider #11: New Product Updates From Twitter, Spotify, Google, Airbnb & More

Welcome back to the design insider, our weekly round-up of the latest news, informative articles and resources on all things design and tech.

Twitter

twitter super followers 1
Source: Twitter

Super Follow – This new feature will allow creators to charge a flat fee from followers for more exclusive content, such as newsletters, access to private community groups, and more. The announcement has drawn a mixed response, but if executed correctly, it provides a potentially massive revenue stream for both users and Twitter, who will most likely take a cut.

Communities – Twitter will soon let users create and join “Communities” based on specific interests. Similar to the hugely successful Facebook groups feature, once inside, users will see a curated list of tweets around the relevant community topic. 

Safety Mode With a flick of a switch, this feature will automatically block and mute accounts that violate the platform rules and post abusive content such as insults, name-calling, strong language, or hateful remarks.

Full Product Roadmap | Full Highlights from Analyst Day


Spotify 

spotify stories
Source: Spotify

Listen in Hifi  To be made available later this year, Spotify HiFi is a new lossless streaming tier that will provide users with the opportunity to listen to their favourite tunes in enhanced CD-level quality. The price, additional details and rollout timeline is TBC. 

Mood and Genre Based Filtering – Spotify will soon allow listeners with 30> “liked” songs to organise their music based on moods and genre filters, enhancing and making the listening experience more personalised and streamlined.

Audience Network is Here – Coming soon, this new audio-advertising marketplace will provide advertisers with enhanced tools and the chance to reach listeners across the full suite of Spotify owned audio content, Including podcasts on its latest acquisitions, Megaphone and Anchor. 

Creator-Only Version of Stories Coming – Spotify is jumping on the “stories” bandwagon with its own version called Clips. However, unlike all the other platforms, only artists will have the ability to create clips and share them on selected playlists.

See Highlights From Spotify’s Virtual “Stream On” Event


Facebook

New Look Hamburger Menu on iOS – Social Analyst Matt Navarro has found that Facebook is making adjustments to how content is displayed in its hamburger menu.

Shops Launches in Canada + UK – Facebook will be expanding its end-to-end shop feature to businesses in Canada and the UK, as it fights increasing competition within the social commerce space. 


Google

youtube parental controls
Source: Youtube

Supervised Streaming Experience – Safeguarding its young users has been a big focus area for Youtube. Last year they launched a seperate Kids app. However, in the coming months, they’re releasing new settings in beta that will give parents greater control over what content their children can access on regular Youtube through supervised accounts.

Featured Snippet Visibility Limited? – Due to the traffic potential, SEO’s have been fighting to get their companies content in the featured snippet section since it launched in 2016. However, various research tools have found that the search engine has recently started limiting the number of featured snippets displayed to users. So if you a sudden drop in traffic, this could be the cause. 

iOS’s privacy labels added to Gmail – Gmail became the second big app to add Apple’s new privacy label. Now mandatory for all publishers on the app store, the labels indicate to users exactly what data an app will access and store about them. 

Google Doc Updates for Comments – Google unveiled two new changes to the comment feature in docs. Firstly, all new comments added to a doc will have a blue mark and display a “new” label when you hover the cursor over them. Secondly, you’ll be able to sort through the Comments history dialogue with three filters; “for you”, “All comments”, or “Resolved”.

See More New Features – Android – Spring 2021


Other Updates

Three screenshots showing airbnbs new flexible search feature for travellers to use in a post-pandemic world
Source: Airbnb

Airbnb Introduces Flexible Search – This new feature will allow users to search for stays without entering exact dates. Giving them some confidence and enhancing the overall user experience in a post-pandemic travel world.

Zoom Closed captioning – Zoom has announced that all free account users will get access to automatic closed captioning from the fall of 2021. Also known as live transcription, this feature is already available to paid customers.  Click Here to Get Early Access.

VR system for PlayStation 5 Coming Soon – Sony unveiled details of a new VR system for PS5 that will include a single-cord connection, new VR controller with PS5 DualSense and a host of other significantly enhanced features from the first system five years ago. The launch date is still TBC. 

Predictive Text Coming to Microsoft Word – After spending the previous year testing, Microsoft will start rolling out the predictive text and suggestion feature on Word for all users. 

TikTok to Add Product Tab – The viral social video platform is continuing to capitalise on the rise of social commerce with the addition of a new “Products” tab. Something that its bitter rivals, Instagram, already did with their significant interface redesign last year. 

LinkedIn Adds New Tools for Company Pages – The professional network will begin rolling out three new features; My Company Tab, Product Pages and Stories for Pages. These tools aim to help companies with improve content curation and distribution to enhance user engagement. 

New Features with Telegrams Latest Update – The preferred messaging app for those with privacy concerns will get four new features with its latest update. These include an auto-delete timer for all chats, unlimited group size, flexible invite links and a home screen widget for fast access.


Recommended Reads

Designer desk with website wireframe sketches

Sketch vs Wireframe vs Mockup vs Prototype: A Complete Guide – This article clarifies some misconceptions, reveals the best practices and provides tips for effectively creating these essential deliverables of the UX design process. 

Five Ways Netflix Used Psychology to Become the World’s Biggest Streaming Platform – This article looks at how Netflix applied proven psychological principles such as the Cocktail Party Effect and Social Proof to become one of the most loved and used platforms around today. 

Is UX taking over CX? – In recent times, Prospective consumers become product users much earlier in the customer journey. As a result, teams and tools are overlapping more than ever. This article looks at the impact of this change. 


Useful Tools & Resources

predictably-irrational-dan

Book of the Week – Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely – Learn More

Tool of the Week – Checklist Design – A comprehensive free collection of best UI and UX practices to provide a complete, honest and rewarding experience for your users – Check it Out

Ijaz K.

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