Items tagged with Social Networking

In what could be a dealbreaker for some VR gamers that own Oculus devices, Facebook announced today that beginning in October, it will remove provisions that allow users to have separate Oculus and Facebook accounts. Instead, first-time Oculus device users will be required to login with a Facebook account. Facebook acquired Oculus back in 2014, and has slowly been making moves over the years to align its VR business with its mainline social networking platform. However, it's likely that people that want absolutely nothing to do with Facebook or its tendency to get its feelers into every aspect of our online life will be happy about this change. If you're already an existing Oculus hardware user... Read more...
The redesigned Facebook desktop UI is rolling out to everyone, and one of the best things about this update is that it brings a dark mode. Anyone who ever gets on Facebook in a darkened room knows the feeling the traditional all-white interface gives. It's almost as if the sun is a few inches from your face. Many Facebook users will want to enable Dark Mode as soon as possible, and here's how you do it. The steps to enable Dark Mode are very simple. Click the upside-down triangle in the top right corner of the new Facebook page. It will open a screen that has your name at the top and stacked links for Give Feedback, Settings & Privacy, Help & Support, and the Dark Mode slider. Click the... Read more...
Starting sometime later this month, you may begin seeing entire news articles posted directly to Facebook. It's part of a new initiative called Instant Articles, which is intended to both keep Facebook users on the social network for longer periods of time, and eliminate the sometimes long loading times that accompany external links when clicking through on mobile devices.Many publishers take advantage of the large number of eyeballs on Facebook by posting links to their online content. And for some, this has become a major source of traffic, which in turn leads to more advertising revenue. However, it also pulls users off of Facebook, and those visiting the social network from a mobile device... Read more...
One of the best reasons to use Facebook is to keep up to date with family and friends that live in different time zones. Sure, we've all posted goofy status updates and pictures of our lunch, but at its best, Facebook is a vehicle for virtually taking part in the lives of loves ones, especially when photos are involved. Building on that theme, Facebook is rolling out a customizable scrapbook feature that will make it easier to organize and share photos. "Our team ran a small survey for parents who share pictures of their children on Facebook and found that 65 percent of them tag their partner in these photos to share them with their partner’s friends. These same parents also told us they want... Read more...
WeChat users in China will have to keep stories of one-night stands to themselves. That's because China's Internet regulator, Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), has posted new guidelines that prohibit sexual and otherwise vulgar content the popular messaging application owned by Tencent Holdings. Also out are stories of "wife-swapping, sexual abuse, and other harmful information." The same goes for explicit pictures and text, such as nude photos and erotic anime, all of which are now banned on WeChat. Users who ignore the ban will be subject to a one-week suspension the first time they're caught. After four slaps on the wrist, accounts that continue to run afoul of the rules will be banned... Read more...
Have you ever tried collecting money owed from a friend or family member? Sometimes it's painless, and other times it's like pulling teeth from a penguin -- impossible, in other words. Facebook has found a way to make it rather easy. No, it won't send cousin Vinny to collect the debt, but it does allow you to send and receive money through Messenger for free. Let's say you and a buddy are chatting about the Red Sox, and through the course of the discussion, you both decide to catch the game versus the Orioles on April 17th. You look it up and discover tickets will run $100 each. Your buddy gives a thumbs up, so you purchase the tickets. Rather than coordinating schedules to... Read more...
Twitter boss Dick Costolo recently admitted that the microblogging site downright "sucks" at dealing with trolls and harassment, and give him credit, owning up to the problem is imperative if there's to be a solution. And he vowed there would be, promising to kick abusive clowns off the service "right and left." As he and the rest of the Twitter gang in charge prepare to do that, there are new rules in place that will make it easier to ban users. Specifically, users are no longer allowed to post what's known as revenge porn."You may not post intimate photos or videos that were taken or distributed without the subject's consent," Twitter added to its list of rules under the "Private information"... Read more...
Robert Palmer nailed the social networking scene when he sang, "You might as well face it you're addicted to Likes." Okay, we might have changed the lyrics just a tad, but Facebook Page owners who deny getting excited at seeing their Likes count climb will be put to the test. In an effort to make Page Likes more meaningful, Facebook is going to remove Page Likes from memorialized and voluntarily deactivated accounts. For some business Page owners, this might not be a big deal. But for others that have been around for a long time and have amassed a large number of Likes, they could potentially see their Page's Like count drop by the hundreds, if not thousands. Nevertheless, Facebook says it's... Read more...
We recognize that perplexed look on your face -- it's the exact same one we had after hearing about there being a Twitter Audio Card. However, it's not what you think. Twitter isn't taking on Creative Labs in the sound card space, but it is introducing the ability for you to be able to listen to audio directly in your timeline on iOS and Android devices. Audio Card is the name of the service that will allow you to do that. At the outset, Twitter has partnered with SoundCloud to deliver streaming audio from its list of partners, of which you'll find music and podcasts from the likes of Coldplay, CNN, NPR, and several others. To use the service, you simply tap to start the audio stream. If you... Read more...
Just hours after photos and videos showing what appears to be the horrifically disturbing beheading of James Foley spread across Twitter, the microblogging service posted a policy update that now allows family members to request the removal of images of the deceased. At the same time, Twitter left itself an opening by saying it may not be able to honor every request depending on public interest factors. "In order to respect the wishes of loved ones, Twitter will remove imagery of deceased individuals in certain circumstances. Immediate family members and other authorized individuals may request the removal of images or video of deceased individuals, from when critical injury occurs to the moments... Read more...
Have you fed and loved on your pets today? It's a valid question, especially for people who use Facebook. A new survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that the average American spends around 40 minutes per day flipping through his or her Facebook feed. That doesn't sound obscene, especially when compared to television, of which Americans spend more than five hours of their day watching, but you might be surprised at which activities we spend less time doing than Facebook. For example, taking care of pets. The average American spends 39 minutes daily caring for Fido and Shadow (or whatever you've named your dog, cat, fish, reptile, and so forth). Perhaps more interesting is that Facebook... Read more...
If you or your spouse spend a lot of time on Facebook, it can be pretty scary to see a study suggest there's a correlation between heavy Facebook use and divorce. However, it's important to note the distinction between "correlation" and "causation," which is to say that spending an inordinate amount of time on Facebook or any other social network won't necessarily drive your marriage into the dumps. The study appears in the July 2014 edition of Computers in Human Behavior, and in it, the researchers looked at the rise of Facebook use and the rate of divorce on a state-by-state basis. What they found was that a 20 percent increase in the number of Facebook users in a given stated is linked to... Read more...
There's a giant microscope hovering over Silicon Valley examining workplace diversity, or the lack thereof, as more and more companies release reports on the topic. The latest to do is Facebook, and as with many other tech firms, the majority of the company's employees are white and male, especially those holding down management positions. According to Facebook's diversity report, 69 percent of the social network's employees are male. When narrowing the focus on specific areas, 85 percent of the company's tech workers and 77 percent of its management team are male. Gender isn't the only area where it's noticeably lopsided. In the U.S. 57 percent of Facebook's employees are white, 34 percent are... Read more...
Have you ever stopped to really think about you're throwing out there in the social stratosphere? On the surface, they may appear to be a bunch of silly posts and status updates about your weekend or where you went for lunch, but on a deeper level, perhaps posting to Facebook reveals more about yourself than you thought. That's the general premise behind Five Labs, a new service that analyzes your Facebook activity to determine your personality. More than just a fun exercise, the method of predicting your personality is actually based on real-world research -- specifically, a study published by H. Andrew Schwartz and colleagues from the University of Pennsylvania's World Well-Being Project. By... Read more...
With only so much top level talent available in the technology industry, it's not uncommon for high ranking employees to change firms. Such is the case for David Marcus, president of eBay's PayPal division, who is joining Facebook to spearhead the company's efforts in mobile messaging. His primary responsibility will be running Messenger, a recently spun off chat application. Facebook views messaging as a core part of its social networking service and a key element in its mission to connect the world. According to Facebook, around 12 billion messages are sent on Facebook per day, while its standalone messaging app is now used by more than 200 million people every month. Image Source: Flickr (Marco... Read more...
A new website sponsored by Ubisoft as part of its advertising campaign for the upcoming hacking-themed game Watch Dogs isn't just a plug for the title -- it's a chilling example of exactly how easy it is for companies to mine your data. While I'm normally averse to giving any application or service access to my Facebook account, I also take some effort to lock down my settings and posts. I decided to make an exception to this policy and give the application access to my account data. What it came back with is interesting, scary, and informative by turns. There are precious few photos of me online, so I'm amused by Facebook's claim that it can identify me with 98.3% accuracy based on the following... Read more...
A lot can change in three years. In 2011, Google launched its own social network, Ultrabooks became a thing, Steve Ballmer was the head of Microsoft for the foreseeable future, and it looked like we'd all own a glasses-free 3D TV someday soon. That's really just a sampling of how the landscape has changed in three short years, but it begs the question, what major events are in store for 2017? Try the death of Facebook. A couple of graduate students at Princeton University published a paper claiming Facebook will lose around 80 percent of its active membership by 2017, which would virtually destroy the service. They've come to that conclusion based on treating Facebook like a disease. "We use... Read more...
In the coming months, you'll stop receiving ads in your feed based on what your family and friends are into. They're called Sponsored Stories and the way they work is by showing up sporadically on your news feed based on the activity of your Facebook friends. So, if your mom Liked a Sponsored sewing page, there's a good chance it will show up in your feed even though you couldn't care less about sewing. Advertisers have until April 9 to purchase a Sponsored Story. After that date, Sponsored Stories will transition to other ad formats, such as a Page Like ad, and advertisers will no longer be able to purchase Sponsored Stories, Facebook announced on its developers page. Image Source: Flickr (SESConferenceSeries)... Read more...
We won't make fun of you if you decide to don a tinfoil hat, not anymore. A few years ago you might have looked pretty silly wearing one and been the butt of jokes, but these days privacy is no laughing matter, even if companies and our own government treat it like a joke. There's the whole NSA/PRISM thing, but did you know that Facebook can see statuses and comments you type even when you don't publish them? It's true and Facebook even confirmed it's able to track unpublished posts after a pair of researchers disclosed they had tracked the activity of around 5 million random Facebook users, the Los Angeles Times reports. The study focused on how often users would censor themselves while typing... Read more...
With Twitter's stock price surging to new highs, now is a good time to focus on the mobile experience, which is where users are flocking to these days. That's not lost on Twitter, which just updated its app for Android and iOS devices to include the ability to share and view photos via direct message (DM) on your phone or tablet devices. Those same photos can also be viewed on the desktop on Twitter's website. There's also a new tab in the navigation bar on the bottom of the screen to whisk users to the messaging service with a single tap rather than first having to open up the "Me" screen, as was the case before this latest update. Messaging is becoming an important component in today's top... Read more...
Do you hear that noise? It's the sound of stocks changing hands, and today that's good news for Twitter. Why? Twitter's stock is currently trading at around $52 per share, up nearly 6 percent since the opening bell, and that's after gaining 9.3 percent on Monday. Shares of Twitter hit a new high of $52.58 just a little earlier, and if the excitement doesn't wane, it could close at a new high at the end of the trading day. The sudden surge in stock price and interest in Twitter by investors is mostly the result of the microblogging service announcing a tailored ad program last Thursday. Twitter's ad program lets an advertiser target their wares and services to users who've already shown an interest... Read more...
Habitual complainers rejoice, Facebook may soon implement a "sympathize" button so that other users can send their virtual condolences. If you're like me, you probably loathe the idea of encouraging self-pity posts, and while a sympathize button will certainly lead to more of those, there are other scenarios where it makes sense to have such a feature. Posting about the passing of a friend or family member comes immediately to mind, or being laid off from work, breaking up with a significant other, getting injured just before the championship game, and so forth. These are all situations in which a sympathize button would be more appropriate than mashing "Like." According to The Huffington Post,... Read more...
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