Social Media News Ticker: Instagram Launches Bolt, Foursquare Debuts New Logo, Facebook Drops Gifts

Check out all the latest social media news from the last two weeks, including changes and new features for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Foursquare:
Facebook Messenger


  • Facebook forces users worldwide to download Messenger for mobile chat – Facebook is no longer allowing messaging in its main iPhone and Android apps; now users worldwide must download its standalone Messenger app. Mobile web, iPad, feature phone, Windows Phone, Paper, and desktop users can still message in their main Facebook apps or sites like before. (TechCrunch)
  • Facebook gives up on Gifts – Facebook is shutting down the remainder of its Gifts service, which allowed users to send digital gift cards to friends; the shutdown is effective August 12th (re/code)
  • Bet you didn’t notice this tiny but revealing Facebook design change – the globe notification icon at the top of Facebook’s navigation bar now looks different depending on where users are logging in; Americans see North and South America, while users in Asia, Africa and Europe see an icon of the Eastern Hemisphere (Quartz)


  •  Twitter testing easier-to-use hashtags – Twitter is testing a feature that will better organize hashtags; it adds an expanded label to some hashtag searches, giving the hashtags “a sense of legitimacy and order as related to a certain event or subject” (The Wall Street Journal)
  • Twitter acquires password startup Mitro – Twitter acquired small password security startup Mitro, with plans to keep the team but not the product; Mitro’s product will live on as an open source project (TechCrunch)
  • Twitter joins the deep learning party – Twitter acquired MadBits, a New York startup using “deep learning” to help computers “understand” images, an approach to artificial intelligence (re/code)



  •  Instagram launches one-touch photo and video messaging app Bolt outside the US – last week Instagram officially released its Snapchat competitor, standalone app Bolt, but only in Singapore, South Africa and New Zealand; the app is designed for lightning-fast, ephemeral one-to-one video and photo messaging” and came into the public eye after banner ads for the product were accidentally leaked on Instagram (TechCrunch)

new Foursquare logo


Any social media updates that we missed? Let us know in the comments below.