Items tagged with Facebook

For a number of great reasons, WhatsApp is an instant message client worth using. It can be used on your mobile device, or on the desktop (through the mobile device). It's reliable, fast, and best of all, secure. A couple of months ago, we learned that Facebook deployed always-on encryption in the app, making an already great chat client even better and more secure. Well, let's back things up just a tad. While WhatsApp does in fact use end-to-end encryption, and there's no fault there, an iOS researcher discovered a gaping flaw: deleted chats are not actually deleted (hmmm, that sounds familiar).... Read more...
Although the world is increasingly connected through the internet, there are still four billion people or 60% of the world’s population who do not have such access. 1.6 billion of those people live in remote locations and do not have  access to mobile broadband networks. Facebook Connectivity Lab just announced the first full-scale test flight of Aquila, a solar-powered airplane that can be used to bring affordable internet to isolated areas. Aquila is a high-altitude, long-endurance, unmanned solar-powered airplane. It has a wingspan bigger than a Boeing 737 airplane but weighs hundreds of... Read more...
If you’ve been waiting patiently for your Rift VR headset preorder to arrive or have been hesitant to place an order due to the production delays, Oculus has some good news for you. The company announced today that all preorders for the Rift have finally been fulfilled and that all new orders will ship within 2 to 4 business days. That last point puts the Oculus Rift on equal footing with the competing HTC Vive, which began boasting a shipping window of 2 to 3 days back in early June. “We want to apologize for the delays in getting Rifts to doorsteps,” wrote the Oculus team in a blog posting. “We... Read more...
“This tape/message will self-destruct in five seconds.” That was a refrain we heard on the 1960s TV show Mission Impossible (and later in the Tom Cruise-helmed movies). Facebook is taking a page from this self-destructing message trope with the addition of end-to-end encryption for its hugely popular Messenger platform. “We’ve heard from you that there are times when you want additional safeguards,” said Facebook in a blog posting. “Perhaps when discussing private information like an illness or a health issue with trusted friends and family, or sending financial information to an accountant.” End-to-end... Read more...
Facebook’s chatbot functionality for Messenger launched over two months ago to great fanfare, and the company is now ready to deliver its first major update for the platform. In case you haven’t been keeping up with the latest on Facebook Messenger, chatbots allow you to access sports scores, order flowers, inquire about flight information or get the latest weather updates (among other things). Since chatbots were introduced at F8, over 23,000 developers have signed up to use Facebook’s Wit.ai bot engine and over 11,000 bots have been deployed. To help developers and Messenger users get... Read more...
Every so often, Facebook does something that sets off the alarm of privacy advocates—perhaps it's inevitable when you're the largest social network on the planet with over 1.65 billion users. Right now that something is tapping into your smartphone's location data to suggest friends based on where you're at or where you've been. Why is this unsettling? Getting past the theoretical situations and jumping straight into a real-world example that's a bit creepy on Facebook's part, Kashmir Hill at Fusion writes an anecdotal account of a man on Facebook who suspected it had tracked his location to figure... Read more...
You know a story is going to be good when it involves Facebook, its creator Mark Zuckerberg, and the word "privacy". It used to be that Google was considered the biggest, baddest people data-fetcher, but over time, that crown has been passed to Facebook, a service that doesn't even need to try to get information from people, as those people willingly cough it up themselves. For a multitude of reasons, the lack of privacy on Facebook should be concerning to many, especially when you consider that Mark Zuckerberg can't seem to get enough privacy for himself. As we reported just the other day, Facebook-owned... Read more...
Have you ever noticed that when a service becomes almost incomprehensibly large, it can begin to care less and less about what people think about it? Some might feel that way about Facebook, a company that time and time again has forced changes on its users that haven't been very well received. A major example of this in recent years has been with the forced transition to Facebook Messenger, something that caused thousands of users to give the app a 1-star rating for. Simply put, people were not happy. As that move happened a couple of years ago, we don't hear too much about the hate anymore, much... Read more...
Facebook definitely recognized the growth opportunities in Instagram when it bought the company for $1 billion in stock and cash back in 2012. First launched as an iPhone app in 2010, the service had 50 million monthly active users by September 2011. By December 2014, that number had ballooned to 300 million. And today, Instagram has announced that it has over 500 million users worldwide. Of those 500 million monthly active users, over 300 million are active on a daily basis and 80 percent of its user base comes from outside the United States (this metric stood at 75 percent in September). Instagram... Read more...
It used to be that we could get along with a single Facebook app that not only handled our social networking needs, but also private messaging between friends. Over the years, Facebook has split the apps, forcing users to install both Facebook and Messenger. While users balked at the split, Facebook contended that it would allow it to create better experience for both platforms. Playing on that reasoning, Facebook has released a pretty big overhaul for Messenger that introduces a new Home screen, which in effect serves as an inbox for your new messages and recent conversations. “Up until now, most... Read more...
Some amount of justice has been doled out to Sanford Wallace, better known as the "Spam King," who will serve 30 months behind bars for sending millions of spam messages to Facebook users and essentially thumbing his nose at a court order to stay away from the social networking site. He was also assessed a fine of $310,628.55, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California announced. As part of the plea agreement, Wallace fessed up to sending more than 27 million spam messages to legitimate Facebook accounts from November 2008 through March 2009. In the process, he admitted... Read more...
As much as we sometimes complain about our Facebook feeds being cluttered with political drivel, annoying rants, and all sorts of nonsense, that's more a reflection of our friends and family than the social media service itself. As a company, Facebook has taken the idea that with great power comes great responsibility to heart, whether it's attempting to connect all corners of the planet to the Internet or, as announced on Tuesday, updating its resources to help people with suicidal thoughts. Facebook developed a set of tools in collaboration with mental health organizations to help people who... Read more...
On Sunday morning, the United States was ripped apart by the deadliest mass shooting in American history. A gunman killed 50 people and wounded 53 more in an attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Facebook activated its first Safety Check in the United States after this horrible tragedy. The Facebook Safety Check allows users to confirm they are safe in they are near a mass shooting or another dangerous situation. Users can also check on on friends in the area and mark friends as safe. Only friends will see a user’s safety status and the comments that they share. Facebook determines... Read more...
When you're the largest social networking site on the planet, you get to call the shots, good or bad. To that end, Facebook is wielding its power to strong-arm users into installing its standalone photo sharing app called Moments -- a free download available on Google Play and iTunes -- or you can kiss your previously synced photos goodbye. That's one way to propel your app to the top spot in the App Store, as Moments currently sits. And it will probably stay there at least for a couple of weeks. Facebook is warning users that they have until July 7, 2016, to either move their synced photos... Read more...
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