Meet the App Researcher who has Disclosed Countless Social Media Features before their Official Confirmation!

Even though the renowned app researcher Jane Manchun Wong isn’t employed by Instagram or any other such company, she has managed to amass widespread recognition for identifying and posting about unreleased features ahead of an official announcement from the concerned company.

Wong’s passion for studying the code of apps began several years ago. She basically had the urge to find out the details behind mere yet unexplained app updates referenced as “bug fixes and improvements”.

What Wong basically does is that she extracts the code of an app after it receives an update. Then, she examines it to find out if any new feature is in the works. After that, she reverse-engineers the code so that the undisclosed feature(s) can appear on her device.

The app researcher has posted about several features associated with apps like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn etc. in advance. Her work has been covered by BBCCNBCTechCrunch , TheNextWeb and other credible platforms.

Despite not being affiliated with any major company, she has made a handsome amount of money by contributing to different companies’ bug-bounty programs and reporting their security flaws. Still, she has expressed her willingness to join a major company as a developer, if the opportunity arises.

A lot of big publishers, reporters, and journalists follow Wong's social media profiles, while some have offered to pay her for exclusive reverse-engineer tasks, but she usually doesn't consider such offers worth her time.

Apart from revealing Instagram’s controversial decision to stop showing likes to make its platform “less competitive” ahead of time, Wong has correctly predicted tons of other crucial features before their official confirmation.

Recently, she posted about Instagram working on new advertising tools to enable monetization of IGTV videos. A few hours later, the feature’s existence was confirmed by a Facebook representative.

She also discovered (and hoped for its general release) the “Social Listening'' feature being tested by Spotify that would allow friends to manage music together with their individual devices.

And who can forget the “Conversation Tree” layout that was being tested by Twitter for tweet replies? Yes, that was revealed first by Wong as well!

Wong also found out and posted about Instagram testing a feature that would allow users to find out about the profiles shown most prominently in their feed as well as those they had least interactions with over the course of 90 days. This feature was announced by Instagram a little over 3 months later!

She is also credited for breaking the news about Google Translate’s testing of the flashcards feature. However, Google hasn’t confirmed the feature as of yet.

In short, Wong’s Twitter account has become a credible source of information not just for us social media users, but also for the employees working in the said organizations. Here’s hoping for more interesting reveals and updates as 2020 unfolds.

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