This week, Facebook expanded its test of Facebook Stories, an almost exact clone of Snapchat and Instagram Stories. In other news, LinkedIn has loosened up their tie and gone with a casual approach to their platform including filters and photo editing tools.

More details on why this matters, and what else is happening in social media below.

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Facebook Expands Test of Facebook Stories

Facebook announced it will expand testing of Facebook Stories to include Ireland, Chile, Vietnam and Greece. These countries have more than 64 million active social media users, giving it an even greater test pool. Facebook Stories was released in January only to Australia and Poland.
Why does this matter?
The level of expansion likely suggests that users in the initial test countries reacted well to the demo tests. Facebook has not released any further timeline details or rollout plans. While no ad units have been announced yet, this feature may provide another opportunity for Facebook to expand its ad inventory and continue to drive growth.

LinkedIn Profile Pictures Getting Filters, Editing Tools

LinkedIn announced this week it will allow users to customize their profile pictures using filters and editing. There will be six photo filters available, and users will have access to cropping, brightness, contrast, saturation and vignette tools.
Why does this matter?
While LinkedIn has been a strictly professional platform in the past, the move might come as a shock for some. In the update announcement, LinkedIn continually stated that a better profile photo leads to higher profile views and connection requests. The update will also include the ability to show or hide your profile photo to specific users.

YouTube Launches Uptime, an Experimental Video-Watching App

YouTube announced plans to make watching videos on the platform a better social experience. The website will be launching ‘Uptime’, an app that lets you watch videos together with your friends. The app has a youthful design and includes ‘reaction’ features inspired by Periscope and Facebook Live.
Why does this matter?
TWhile the app is actually more for public sharing, not private messaging, YouTube itself recently added an in-app messaging feature to share videos and comments with friends. YouTube’s main goal was to have a dedicated app for real-time viewing while also sharing a polished look. It will be interesting how businesses take advantage of the app in the future.

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