There are a few things that most social media platforms and apps are testing to help users enjoy their experience more. However, most of these new features are only available to few accounts known as beta testers and are mostly done in secret. Luckily, we have people like Jane Manchun Wong, a tech expert who regularly discovers new yet-to-be-launched features through her own Twitter account.
Jane Wong is only one of the good-hearted tech wizards who are kind enough to inform us about some upcoming new features in the apps that we love to use. There are others that exist on Twitter, some in Reddit, and some in other social media sites.
Last week, Jane Wong made several discoveries regarding new features on Twitter, Instagram, Airbnb, and others. In this article, we will look at all of Jane’s findings as we will be one of the few people who will be able to discover and know about them.
THREE FEATURE TESTS IN APPS THAT WILL BE ROLLED OUT SOON, MAYBE
INSTAGRAM NEW STORIES UI
Jane Manchun Wong has recently discovered that Instagram is testing a new IG story user interface (UI), which is inspired by the “mechanical circular mode switcher in DSLR.”
The new UI sports are rotating dock where icons for the different filters, stickers, gifs, are kept. Unlike the previous UI with a linear design, the new design appears to be more dynamic. Instead of adding a ‘poll sticker’ from the sticker menu, a user can automatically do so using the dock.
The menu items are also trimmed down to three. The new UI only includes “Live,” “Normal,” and “Create” contrary to the one that exists right now. Instead of a sticker button located on the top right of the screen, a user can directly “create” polls and questions without taking a photo through the “Create” dock.
In the other “Normal” tab, the usual capture modes like Superzoom and AR effects are located.
While Instagram intends the redesign to resemble the mode switcher on a DSLR or Mirrorless camera, may have suggested that the new layout looks like that of Obscura, another photography-based application. Obscura responded to Wong’s discovery saying that “you know you’ve done something right when everyone starts following your lead [emoji].”
Furthermore, Wong suggested that Instagram’s new stories UI resemble that of Snapchat as well. She said that ‘Instagram’s new Stories UI looks like bent Snapchat.”
She further suggested that it rather looks like a cross bread of both Obscura and Snapchat as if both had a “baby.”
TWITTER’S SUBSCRIBE TO CONVERSATION FEATURE
In a bid to regulate the conversation that happens within its platform, Twitter once again developing a feature that would help users streamline their experience in the micro-blogging site as well as protect their privacy in the process. This time, Twitter is testing out an option to follow a specific conversation in a tweet thread without liking or commenting on the Tweet.
According to Wong, the feature is tested on Android versions of the Twitter app, where it’s a user interface (UI) prototype for now. The button simply reads “Subscribe to conversation” and is position at the top right corner of a tweet view, she says.
In the existing user interface of Twitter, for a user to get notified if a new tweet has been added to the conversation they are following, they have to be tagged in the specific thread, and users are only notified regarding the activities in the subtweet that they were tagged. This tagging-replying function adds clutter to the discussion as it unnecessarily drowns the actual conversation within the tweet.
Twitter retweeted Wong’s post regarding her discovery but did not provide any further details aside from it being in the development stage. The retweet reads: “This is part of our work to make Twitter more conversational.”
AIRBNB’S SHOW CALCULATED PRICE AND FLIGHT PLANS IN ITINERARY
Aside from the feature tests of Instagram and Twitter, Jane Manchun Wong also discovered that Airbnb, the world most successful online accommodation renting application, is testing a “Show Calculated Price” option for showing the total price of the entire stay plus tax.
The new feature can be activated in the search setting menu and is meant to “show the calculated price including taxes and fees when travel dates are supplied.”
“Since total price depends on travel dates and duration, we are unable to calculate the total price without these.”
Furthermore, Airbnb is also testing adding flight plans in the itinerary where the host will be notified when you land and if the flight is delayed, link Gmail to automatically import any upcoming flights, and forward flight confirmation emails to Airbnb so they can include it in the itinerary.
These are just a few of the updates that may be rolled out soon, and they’re just discovered by Wong in the last two days. Expect more! /apr