Movies, Music, Video Games, Social Networks and Lifestyle News And Reviews

Product reviews and news of digital entertainment products and services in movies, music, video games, game streaming, social networks and lifestyle products.

If you use social media at all these days, you've undoubtedly noticed the rampant proliferation of viral headlines. From advertising "Local woman loses 55 lbs of belly fat using one weird trick," to Upworthy's self-righteous spewing twaddle "This man found 3,654 war orphans, 62 kittens, and Jesus at Arby's -- You Won't Believe What Happened Next," clickbait linkspam abounds across the Internet. Now, Facebook is itself stepping in to lend a hand -- and hopefully turn off the spigot. Facebook is going to do this in two different ways. First, it's going to crack down on headlines that give limited information but encourage clicks. The idea is that if people actually engage in substantive discussion... Read more...
After Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion back in February of this year, the popular messaging service has gone on to surpass 600 million monthly active users, company founder and Chief Executive Officer Jan Koum announced in a Twitter post today. At the time of acquisition, WhatsApp was nearing half a billion active users. By April, WhatsApp had crossed over the 500 million mark along with a new daily record of 64 billion messages handed in 24 hours, 20 billion of which were sent (inbound) and 44 billion received (outbound) by users. What that boils down to is an additional 100 million members in the course of four months. Now serving 600,000,000 monthly active users. Yes, active and... Read more...
While Facebook has garnered the ire of its app users by forcing them to download its Messenger app, the social website seems to be looking out for the more gullible of its consumers. At least those who tend to believe stories written by satirical sites such as The Onion. Currently, Facebook is automatically placing the word “satire” in brackets when such articles pop up in a user’s newsfeed. However, the auto-tagging only occurs in the newsfeed’s “related articles” box and not the original post. Whenever you click on an article in your newsfeed, Facebook will generate three related articles that will show up in a box underneath it. Now, when you click on a... Read more...
Watching T-Mobile chief John Legere handle business in the public eye is a lot like watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail for the first time -- you're caught off guard by silly shenanigans time and again and bouts of hysterical lunacy. Mind you, we're not saying Legere is a lunatic, and a look at T-Mobile's performance in recent quarters makes a strong argument that there's a method to his madness. Hell, we're just content to enjoy the wild ride, which at the moment is coming at the expense of Sprint. Let's back up a moment. Back in June, Sprint, the nation's third largest wireless carrier, reportedly agreed to T-Mobile's $32 billion asking price to acquire the the fourth largest wireless... Read more...
Just over a week ago, we warned of the pending deadline for the forced transition to Facebook's Messenger app for those who wanted to continue having messaging capabilities. In that post, I wrote, "I personally believe that Facebook shouldn't force this transition, because not everyone (including me) wants to have two separate apps for the same service." As it turns out, a lot of people agree with that statement. Today was the day that Facebook pulled the plug on the messaging capabilities in its primary app, making it mandatory to download and install the Messenger app in order to continue having private chats. To say that many people were upset at this is an understatement. Very quickly, the... Read more...
Ever since Facebook acquired Oculus VR for $2 billion earlier this year, it seems like a fire has been lit under the team developing the Oculus Rift. The number of team members has increased, there are rumors that Oculus VR is making its own controllers, and a first-party content team was created. Now Facebook is talking to Hollywood about the creation of content for the Oculus Rift according to The Information. It seems that studios have already been approached, such as Disney, Fox, Warner Bros., and Paramount, in addition to individual directors, about including an Oculus experience that could act as a film companion or to create full-length features for the Oculus Rift. However, creating film... Read more...
Long before Facebook was $190 billion company (in terms of market capitalization), Mark Zuckerberg used to lord over his employees with an unusual style. How unusual? Well, have you ever been fake-threatened with a samurai sword if you didn't hit a deadline? Former Facebook engineer Noah Kagan claims that was one just one of Zuckerberg's unique ways of motivating employees during his early days. Kagan, who was the 30th employee at Facebook and now runs SumoMe, recounts some interesting tidbits about his time at the social network in an e-book titled, "How I Lost $170 Million: MY TIME as #30 AT FACEBOOK" (PDF). He recalls how Zuckerberg would mock-threaten to chop someone's head off for "bad work."... Read more...
For most of us, getting access to the Internet regardless of where we are isn't that challenging. If we're on-the-go, we can use our mobile phone, while at home, we can enjoy high-speed connections that let us do a variety of important and fun activities. In many countries, though, access to the World Wide Web isn't just challenging, it's expensive. It's for that reason that Facebook's just-launched Internet.org app in Zambia is significant. With this app, those in Zambia who subscribe to the carrier Airtel will have access to a wide-range of Internet services - all without the fear of being charged for the data usage. These services include Wikipedia, AccuWeather, Google's Search, a number of... Read more...
It seems like a century has passed since Facebook's IPO and subsequent stock performance came under scrutiny. Turns out all Facebook needed was to post a stellar earnings report, as it did earlier this week, and investors would be frothing at the mouth to own a chunk of the world's most popular social playground. In the aftermath of Facebook's latest earnings report, the company's share price sky rocketed to record levels, and it's now worth more than several long-time heavyweights such as AT&T and Coca-Cola. At the time of this writing, Facebook shares are worth about $75.50, putting the company's market capitalization at just a hair below $192 billion. AT&T, which was founded in 1983,... Read more...
Take a wild guess which technology company now has a higher market capitalization than the mighty Oracle? Facebook, as it turns out. In the latest turn in what has been a wild ride (in both directions) since going public, Facebook's stock has surged on solid earnings to a record high. Now, the world's dominant social network is worth $76.74 per share on the NASDAQ. All told, this puts Facebook's market value at just under $200 billion, and a host of brokerages have raised their price targets on the stock. In other words, don't be surprised to see it reach $100 per share in the next year or two. The reason behind the lift? News that its mobile advertising revenue was up a staggering 151% in Q2,... Read more...
For as ubiquitous as Facebook is and for as many features as the social network has, there are a few much-needed items that the company just hasn’t gotten to over the years. (For example, why can’t you comment on a comment?) Facebook is taking care of one of those long-needed features today, though, by introducing Save. Save lets you mark all sorts of content such as links, places, movies, TV, and music to get back to later. No one can see what you’ve saved unless you allow them to, and Facebook stashes them for you and categorizes what you’ve saved so you can easily find whatever you’re looking for. Adding this feature is not just something that users have wanted... Read more...
Don’t freak out, but Facebook is testing a new feature that would put “Buy” buttons on ads within the social network. Simply, users would see an ad, and the ad would have a button that you could click to purchase the item you see, all without leaving Facebook. This is an obvious evolution of having ads on Facebook, and it actually makes a lot sense for businesses looking to build their brands on the platform. It seems like this capability would rely on users to impulse buy; a click (or two or three?) and you’ve purchased what you want, all without that built-in second guessing you get when a click sends you to a new site. There are also clear areas where privacy and security... Read more...
The world's largest social network -- that would be Facebook, folks -- has agreed to acquire LiveRail, an advertising technology company, for an undisclosed sum of money (online reports have the figure pegged at between $400 million and $500 million). While announcing the planned acquisition, Facebook pointed out that LiveRail has helped several companies serve better ads in the videos that appear on their websites and apps. That might be a hint as to why Facebook went after LiveRail and was willing to pay in the neighborhood of half a billion dollars (assuming the reported figures are true). Facebook has made a major push into mobile, and LiveRail's web and mobile ad technology could help the... Read more...
Perhaps Facebook is conducting a meta-experiment. The first part of it was the emotional contagion experiment we covered yesterday, wherein Facebook manipulated close to 700,000 users’ emotions via their Newsfeeds without any apparent knowledge, consent, or reasonable ethical oversight. The real experiment, though, might just be that Facebook wants to know how far it can push users before they actually quit using the social network. I’m being facetious here, but in all seriousness, after the outrage so many felt after yesterdays’ news, how many people actually quit Facebook because of it? I’m guessing almost none, and that highlights something extremely interesting about... Read more...
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