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Instagram Updates 2019

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With almost a billion active users, Instagram has become the world’s most popular social media platform.  Instagram first started as a simple platform which allowed people to share photos, but over the years, it has grown to become one among the most popular apps in the world.  To cope with the ever increasing popularity, Instagram is constantly changing, adding new features, removing some old features and switching up their algorithm. With every update the app has something new to offer to its users.

At this year’s F8 Conference, Instagram made announcements for some major changes it is going to bring to the app.  Here is a list of a few of them:

1) Instagram Stories camera

The first new Instagram feature is a refurbished camera with a new camera mode called “Create.”  

The new camera will feature a mode switcher which will make it easier to find all the creative tools.  In the Camera mode, you can swipe right to access all the different shooting modes like Boomerang, Rewind and Superzoom.  When you swipe left, you can access all the creative tools like stickers and GIFs.

2) Hidden like count

Instagram announced it is testing a new feature which will hide the number of likes on your photos.

According to Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, this new feature can take away the pressure people feel to get more likes on their posts.  With the test, Instagram plans to remove the total number of likes from photos and videos which show up on your page.  It will only show a call out of the people who have liked the photo but not the exact number of likes. However, on demand, the owner of the photo or video will be able to see the total number of likes.  

3) Users can now buy products from their favourite Instagram influencers

Influencers are a huge part of Instagram and they can drive massive sales for brands.

The new Instagram update will let creators tag the products they are wearing or using on Instagram.  This link will directly take users to the product page for instant checkout.

This new Instagram feature could be a big game changer for brands working with influencers.

4) All new creator profiles

Just like business profiles, influencers will now be able to switch to creator profiles.

This feature will give them access to some exclusive features and in depth analysis.  They will also be able to access Instagram Creator Studio from desktop, which will have a wide range of analytics metrics.

5) Donation sticker for Instagram stories

With this new Donation sticker, it is much easier to raise money for non profit purposes from within the app.  

Simply open the camera, take a photo and select the Donation sticker.

You can then customize and select the cause you support and upload the story.  Hundred percent of the money you raise will go to the causes you support.

6) Force posts from influencers into your feed

Instagram is now going to show posts from influencers in your feed even if you do not follow them.

Typically, Instagram shows posts from people you follow in your feed along with some ads.  However, this is going to change with the next Instagram update. Apparently, influencers can pay to promote their branded content and they will appear in your feed.  Instagram confirmed, these paid posts will appear in your feed and your stories in the coming weeks.

This year, Instagram has brought some great features our way and at the F8 Conference, Instagram also mentioned it is testing some features like “Away Mode” and “Nudge.”

While these updates might be extremely beneficial for influencers and businesses, we will have to wait and see how these updates will be received by the regular Instagram users.

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Emerging Startup Stories

Suki: This Startup Wants To Transform Healthcare With Its Artificial Intelligence Tool

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We live in a rapidly transforming era where humanity is making exponential leaps in technology.  Thirty years ago, no one would have believed you could talk to an online voice assistant to create tasks and get things done.  Ten years ago, no one would have believed humanity would land robots on Mars.  Technology truly has improved the quality of living of every human who owns a smartphone and has access to an internet connection.  Voice assistants are slowly replacing manual tasks and making lives easier and efficient.  Siri, Alexa, Google Voice Assistant are just some of the widely used artificial intelligence based tools which are employed on a daily basis.  Artificial intelligence, which is hailed as the technology of the future is now slowly making its way into much more complex domains like self driving vehicles, quantum computing and also health care.

Suki, a United States of America based startup founded by Punit Soni, developed their own voice assistant which runs on artificial intelligence to simplify healthcare for doctors and other healthcare professionals.  In simple terms, Suki is akin to Siri for doctors.  While you could order a pizza or schedule an appointment on Siri, doctors could modify, edit and add health records of their patients.  Suki is a powerful tool to help doctors with documentation of health records which often take hours of their (doctors) time.  

Suki currently focuses on documentation but has the potential to expand its usage to data queries, ordering, prescribing and billing.  According to a white paper published by Suki, using its technology increases the time a doctor spends with a patient by 12% by cutting note taking time by 76%.  The time which is saved also brings in a financial benefit of $30,000 more in revenue a year on average for doctors.  

Suki raised a $ 20 million Series B round from Flare Capital Partners, First Round Capital, and Venrock, doubling its total funding to $ 40 million since its 2017 launch.  Suki is also looking to expand its reach in India and has decided to establish Bangalore as their base of operations.  India holds a lot of potential for Suki considering the amount of manual work which goes into almost any sector.  

It would be interesting to watch how Suki and other similar AI based startups would transform healthcare across the world.

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Leher Versus Clubhouse: Which Audio Listening Startup Would You Choose?

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Clubhouse is a new type of social networking platform which is an audio only platform.  This means every conversation takes place through audio where users speak to let their thoughts known.  Users can create and host rooms where speakers will talk about a particular topic.  Originating in the Silicon Valley, Clubhouse attracted some major names onto its platform like Elon Musk, Evan Williams, Reddit co founder Alexis Ohanian, former Y Combinator President Sam Altman, AngelList co founder Naval Ravikant, Ashton Kuthcer, Oprah Winfrey, Drake, Kevin Hart and many others are some of the influential personalities who are on Clubhouse.  There is however a catch as Clubhouse is currently limited to iOS.

Leher is an Indian made alternative to Clubhouse and is a similar audio sharing and listening startup.  Leher also has video support unlike Clubhouse and is also available for both Android and iOS.  However, Leher does not have the biggest names in the world on its platform but it does have significant micro influencers and is growing at a rapid pace.  Within 180 days of its beta version launch, the company claimed to have its users spend about 44 minutes every day and 250,000 minutes per month for live video sessions.

We at Startup Stories are curious to see which among Leher or Clubhouse would our readers choose to take part in a virtual discussion.  Please let us know your answer in the poll below.

Which Audio Listening Startup Would You Choose?

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4 Useful And New WhatsApp Features That Released During The COVID-19 Lockdown 

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WhatsApp is one of the worlds largest online texting applications which is used almost in every country.  It is a light and easy to use texting application which also offers a lot of other important utilities other than texting.  These include video calling, group video calling, digital payments, document and media sharing and location sharing.  What began as a simple texting application is now an indispensable part of our lives because WhatsApp has made information flow faster and safer.  WhatsApp kept scaling new heights time and again and this was possible only because of the constant innovation by the developer team.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic which forced entire countries to go into lockdown and shut down businesses, WhatsApp is doing its part to help people during these times by rolling out some nifty and important features.

Group video call limit increased 

WhatsApp had the facility for group video calls which could only accommodate 4 people in a single call.  However, with a new update WhatsApp increased the limit of group video calls to 8 users. The update is not just limited to increase in participants but also to the audio and video quality.  There has been a noticeable increase in the quality of the video and audio in group video calls.

‘Together At Home’ sticker pack

WhatsApp has launched a new sticker pack called ‘Together at Home’ in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO.)  The sticker pack aims to help people stay connected throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Restrictions on frequently forwarded messages

This is probably one of the most important  features to be released during the COVID-19 lockdown.  In a country like India, a lot of misinformation is shared on a daily basis on WhatsApp messages and most of these messages are forwards.  The amount of misinformation on WhatsApp is so high that WhatsApp is often referred to as ‘Whatsapp University.’  During the coronavirus pandemic, WhatsApp restricted ‘frequently forwarded messages’ to be sent to not more than one chat at a time.

Chatbots

WhatsApp has launched chatbots by partnering with WHO and the Indian government and launched a chatbot to provide authentic information related to the COVID-19 virus.  The chatbot developed by the Indian government is known as MyGov Corona Help Desk and can be accessed by adding +91-9013-151515 to your contacts and sending a message.

ALSO READ : Zoom Video Conferencing App Downloads Dethrone Whatsapp And TikTok In India

We believe that these features are definitely the need of the hour and will go a long way in creating a positive impact.  Let us know if you used any of these features on your mobile device!

 

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