This Week in Social: September 12 – September 16

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Happy Friday everyone! In this week’s social media recap, we take a look at Instagram Filters, YouTube Community and Twitter’s 140 character change. As always, don’t forget to share, let us know what you think in the comments, and have a great weekend.

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Instagram now lets everyone filter comments using blocklists, will show friends’ comments first

There has been talk for weeks about an Instagram feature aimed at using keywords to block “trolls,” and that feature has arrived for all users, not just celebrities and public figures. Instagram co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom announced in a blog post that the Facebook-owned photo and video sharing network has introduced a custom keyword filter, allowing users to ensure that comments containing a default list of words they select will automatically be hidden. Because some users can remain largely anonymous, social media services including Instagram and Twitter appear more prone to abusive or inappropriate comments. Both services have pushed to offer more features to allow users to push back, such as Twitter rolling out a quality filter to hide inappropriate content. In our opinion, this new feature is wonderful. A world with fewer “trolls” (or at least one where you see less content from “trolls”) seems like a happy world to us.

YouTube becomes more social with the Community tab

Confirming earlier reports that YouTube was planning to introduce more social networking features to its service, the company this week announced the launch of YouTube Community, which allows video creators to better engage viewers using text, GIFs, images and more. The goal of this new feature is to help keep creators from leaving YouTube for competing platforms by offering more tools for connecting with audiences beyond the videos themselves. Access to this expanded feature set is made available to the creators and their viewers by way of a new “Community” tab on their channels. Effectively, this Community page allows the creators to run a mini-social network of sorts on their channel’s page. This is an important move for Google, which has historically struggled to “get social right.” We’re certainly interested to see how this plays out and what sort of traction it gets.

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Twitter said to launch new economical tweets Sept. 19

Come Monday, we’ll be seeing a huge (some might even say life-changing) update to Twitter! Beginning September 19th, Twitter will cut down on exactly which types of content count toward the platform’s 140-character limit. Media attachments (images, GIFs, videos, polls, etc.) and quoted tweets will no longer reduce the count. The extra room for text will give users more flexibility in composing their messages. Another new adjustment to the character limit is that usernames will no longer count when they’re at the beginning of replies, giving users additional room for discussion. We don’t know about you, but it feels like we’ve been waiting for this forever… well, since 2006 at least. We even wrote a blog post about lifting the 140 character limit last October!

Honorable Mentions:

What did you think of this week’s TWIS? Let us know in the comment section, below!