Files from Jori Negin-Shecter
TikTok becomes the world’s most downloaded app, Twitter has redesigned its user interface, and Facebook fights anti-vax information.
It’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Thursday, August 12, and I’m your host, Samira Balsara.
A global survey conducted by Nikkei (ni-KAY) Asia has revealed that TikTok surpassed Facebook in global downloads in 2020, making it the world’s most downloaded app. These findings mark the first time since Nikkei Asia began recording these stats that a Facebook-owned app has not finished in the top spot. Some of the applications that TikTok overtook include WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger, as well as Facebook’s flagship app. Alongside TikTok, other applications that saw major gains in 2020 include Discord, a voice chatting service for gamers that ranked 7th among U.S. apps.
Notice anything different?
Today, we released a few changes to the way Twitter looks on the web and on your phone. While it might feel weird at first, these updates make us more accessible, unique, and focused on you and what you’re talking about.
Let’s take a deeper look. 🧵 pic.twitter.com/vCUomsgCNA
— Twitter Design (@TwitterDesign) August 11, 2021
Twitter has unveiled a fresh new look for users in its latest update to their website. Among the most notable changes to Twitter’s user interface (UI) include a new font, higher contrast colours, and less visual clutter. Twitter’s new font, which was created by Twitter and is being called ‘Chirp’, received mixed reactions, with some users calling it “unfinished” or “ugly” according to an article from CNET. The social media platforms’ colours have also been refined, with Twitter’s trademark blue colour scheme taking a back seat to a higher contrasting black and white which is featured on follow buttons and along the sidebar. Twitter’s official account also noted in a thread that “this is only the start of more visual updates” as the website aims to focus more attention on user-created content.
And finally, Facebook announced on Tuesday that they had removed a number of anti-vax misinformation accounts across Facebook and Instagram. The accounts removed all held ties to Russian “disinformation laundromat” Fazze. According to a Facebook investigation, the accounts were all cited as violating the site’s policies against “foreign interference.” Fazze had reportedly been spreading vaccine misinformation largely across Latin America and India, with a smaller subsection of its reach making its way to the United States. The organization, which is a subsidiary of a U.K. marketing firm and operating mostly out of Russia, used several tactics to mislead users. These included attempts to recruit influencers, as well as sharing anti-vax memes.
That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire Newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Friday at 3 pm. If you have a suggestion or tip, please drop a line to any of our writers in the comments or via email. Thanks for listening, I’m Samira Balsara.