Facebook appears to axe feed for tracking your friends’ activity

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As Facebook continues to tinker with its layout and services to spur more interactions and engagement, it seems that not even the most well-known or oldest features are spared. In the most recent development, it looks like Facebook has quietly removed the Ticker, the box that used to appear to the right of your News Feed to summarize what all your friends have been liking, commenting on, and generally doing on the social network. The removal has come after several weeks of people reporting the feature suddenly disappearing for them.…

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You can now import your Instagram contacts into Messenger

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Facebook and Instagram have begun testing a feature that allows you to more easily bring your Instagram contacts into Messenger. The experience, which is entirely opt-in for the app’s users, is the latest in a series of integrations between Instagram and Facebook’s properties, which has earlier included the cross-posting of Instagram Stories to Facebook as well as the ability to launch the Instagram app directly from Facebook.  This time around, the two apps are making it simpler to sync your Instagram and Messenger accounts with one another. In Messenger, you…

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Instagram testing GIF search for Stories

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Instagram is testing a number of new features including the ability to search for GIFs to upload in your stories, according to screenshots obtained by The Next Web. TNW also detailed a number of other new features Instagram appears to be testing: a close friends list to share with only a small group of people, an automatic archiving option for all your stories, hashtag and emoji search options, and the ability to follow hashtags to get top posts and stories on a particular trend. Granted, all of these are just…

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Facebook, Google and others join The Trust Project to fight Fake News

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Fake news” and other misinformation, online propaganda, and satirical content people believe is true have filled the web via search engines and social media, and have caused a rift in how people perceive today’s news organizations and the quality of their coverage. A nonpartisan effort called The Trust Project is working to address this situation by helping online users distinguish between reliable journalism and promotional content or misinformation. Today, a key part of that effort – called “Trust Indicators” – are going live on Facebook, offering easy-to-access, transparent information about a news…

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YouTube crafts new policy to flag weird videos targeting kids

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A New York Times piece and a subsequent Medium post this week highlighted an ongoing problem with YouTube Kids — bizarre and disturbing videos aimed at young children using key words and popular children’s characters. Now the firm says it is putting in place a new process to age-restrict these types of videos in the main YouTube app. “Age-restricted content is automatically not allowed in YouTube Kids,” the company emphasized. But the new policy allows users to flag this type of inappropriate content in the main app, which has implications for…

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Facebook’s fake news experiment backfires

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A Facebook test that promoted comments containing the word fake to the top of news feeds has been criticized by users. The trial, which Facebook says has now concluded, aimed to prioritize “comments that indicate disbelief”. It meant feeds from the BBC, the Economist, the New York Times and the Guardian all began with a comment mentioning the word fake. The test, which was visible only to some users, left many frustrated. The comments appeared on a wide range of stories, from ones that could be fake to ones that…

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Facebook testing a new method to prevent revenge porn that requires uploading your nudes

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Facebook is testing a new method to combat revenge porn in Australia, the Australia Broadcasting Corporation reports. The strategy entails uploading your nude photos or videos to Messenger in order to help Facebook tag it as non-consensual explicit media. The company is doing this in partnership with Australian government agency e-Safety in order to try to prevent people from sharing intimate images without consent. If someone fears they are at risk of revenge porn, they can contact e-Safety. The organization might then tell them to send a nude photo of…

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Twitter officially expands its character limit to 280

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Twitter has expanded its character limit to 280 to all users in supported languages including English starting today. The company had first announced the plan to move beyond its traditional 140 characters back in September, noting at the time how a longer character count allowed users to express more of their thoughts without running out of room to tweet. The expansion was initially available to a select group of Twitter users as a trial. At the time of its original announcement, the company cited data backing up its decision that referenced how…

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Paytm adds messaging features to India’s top digital wallet app

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Paytm, India’s top digital wallet and payment service, has introduced a chat feature to amp up its appeal among an increasingly competitive market. The new ‘Inbox’ feature, which was first outed in August, is initially available on Android, which accounts for the bulk of Paytm’s claimed 200 million users, and not iOS. It allows users to share messages and photos like other chat apps, but it also includes a peer-to-peer money transfer feature and access games, another vertical that Paytm has expanded into. Paytm, which is backed by Alibaba and…

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Thousands of WhatsApp customers reporting issues with the App

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Independent website DownDetector, which tracks social comments around a certain topic to monitor outages across the globe, shows over a thousand of WhatsApp customers reporting issues using the app. According to the site, problems with the chat app occurred around 8am this morning, with hundreds of people reporting issues with the app. DownDetector says that 51 per cent of customers are having issue connecting to it. A further 29 per cent report issues receiving messages and 19 per cent are struggling to login. People can’t send or receive messages using…

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