Grab yourself a drink or a snack and get ready for today’s news in the form of Sunday Rundown #65 🙂 Let’s get into it!

Google Maps gets a fresh coat of paint

Google Maps is making some social media-inspired updates to encourage more user-generated content in the app. The app introduces several new features aimed at making Google Maps more interactive. The features include one that makes it easier for users to share photos of locations they visit.

The changes are just the latest in a string of updates in recent months. Google looks to make Maps not just a place to go for directions, but one where people can plan where to go, communicate with local businesses, figure out how to get there, pay for parking and share about their experiences. The app also added a feature in September that shows how prevalent coronavirus is in a given area.

The efforts to increase engagement with Google Maps appears to be working. The company said that it now has 150 million “Local Guides”. These are users who regularly contribute reviews, photos and information on Maps. In 2020, Local Guides added more than 8 million places to the app.

TikTok calls in outside help with content moderation in Europe

TikTok is bringing in external experts in Europe in fields such as child safety, young people’s mental health and extremism. All this to form a Safety Advisory Council to help it with content moderation in the region.

The move follows an emergency intervention by Italy’s data protection authority in January. The authority ordered TikTok to block users it cannot age verify. This came after the death of a girl who was reported by local media to have died of asphyxiation as a result of participating in a black-out challenge on the video-sharing platform.

The Council will bring together leaders from academia and civil society from all around Europe. Each member brings a different, fresh perspective on the challenges we face and members will provide subject matter expertise as they advise on our content moderation policies and practices. Not only will they support us in developing forward-looking policies that address the challenges we face today, they will also help us to identify emerging issues that affect TikTok and our community in the future.

Facebook takes aim at TikTok by letting users earn money off minute-long videos

Facebook’s product update allows creators to earn money off minute-long videos and live stream events. It also opens up ad opportunities for more users. This could be an attempt to compete with TikTok on short form videos. Yoav Arnstein, Facebook’s director of app monetization, said the company is looking to further empower creators that generate short-form and live videos.

The Ikea catalogue is now a podcast

The Swedish retailer has transformed its annual bible-sized catalogue into an audio version as a “handy and hands-free” alternative to the traditional behemoth. Ikea’s 2021 catalogue, which is its final edition ever, is now a nearly four-hour podcast with a narrator flicking through each page and describing what’s in it.

Bonus links

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