PARIS, July 20 — There’s no vacation downtime for social networks, as online platforms are busy rolling out new features to attract more users.

And competition is fierce. From Reddit getting GIFs, to Instagram experimenting with two new options, here are the latest social media features to discover.

Reddit finally gets GIFs

Reddit is gearing up for a summer of fun. The social network has finally announced the arrival of GIFs on the platform. These will be available through the search engine of the leading GIF site, GIPHY.

Users will now be able to share these animated images on the application, both in comments and in posts.

Moderators of subreddits, the platform’s forums, will be able to disable the GIFs option.

This new feature will be deployed on existing subreddits that do not have an under 18 age ban, and those that are not quarantined (hidden subreddits with content that is controversial, but which does not violate the platform’s community rules).

New subreddits will have the option directly available.

This feature is nothing new in the world of social networks. Messenger, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and even WhatsApp let users send or post GIFs. And it’s a trend that still seems to be riding high, even if the demise of the GIF has been long predicted.

On Twitter, GIFs are often used when memes go viral and become top trending hashtags on the social network. They offer a good way to increase engagement on the platform, fostering interaction between users, who are visibly still fond of the format.

Reddit previously rolled out in-chat access to GIFs in May 2021, a feature considered popular and useful for the platform.

While Meta’s acquisition of GIPHY is still blocked in the UK, the GIF platform is multiplying its collaborations. Recently, TikTok integrated the search engine to add GIFs to its video content, offering another way to ride the wave of trendy memes

Share Notes on Instagram

In addition to sharing photos with users, it will now be possible to share Notes on Instagram.

This new feature is still something of an experiment on the application. With a maximum of 60 characters, these Notes can be shared with close friends or followers who follow you back.

Here again, Instagram is trying to find the magic formula to boost user engagement. TikTok previously launched a similar option, allowing followers to ask questions to users who have a certain number of followers.

This Q&A feature is accessible directly via the content creator’s profile.

In-chat payment

Meanwhile, at Meta, the group wants to make it easier to pay online through its platforms.

From now on, Instagram users in the United States will be able to finalise purchases from merchants directly from direct messages.

They will also be able to track their packages, ask questions and request customization options. Plus, users will be able to use Meta Pay to complete in-chat purchases.

In 2017, Meta (then still called Facebook) enabled the transfer of money between friends via Messenger, and continues to expand similar options in WhatsApp. — ETX Studio