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Facebook's handy news feed isn't perfect, sometimes offering up misleading and/or clickbait article titles. Well, the people have spoken and as a result, the company is cracking down.
"We've heard from people that they specifically want to see fewer stories with clickbait headlines or link titles," it writes in a blog post. "These are headlines that intentionally leave out crucial information, or mislead people, forcing people to click to find out the answer. For example: "When She Looked Under Her Couch Cushions And Saw THIS... I Was SHOCKED!"; "He Put Garlic In His Shoes Before Going To Bed And What Happens Next Is Hard To Believe"; or "The Dog Barked At The Deliveryman And His Reaction Was Priceless.""
"To address this feedback from our community, we're making an update to News Feed ranking to further reduce clickbait headlines in the coming weeks. With this update, people will see fewer clickbait stories and more of the stories they want to see higher up in their feeds."
Facebook has somehow continued its growth into 2016, with the company reporting its second quarter earnings, where we now know just how many people use Facebook daily, and monthly.
Facebook is now home to over 1.7 billion monthly active users (MAUs), which is a nice increase of 15% year-over-year, while we have 1.57 billion monthly active users on mobile. Facebook has also hit another milestone, where the social network is now home to over 1 billion mobile daily active users (DAUs).
The company defines MAUs as "Mobile-only MAUs are defined as users who accessed Facebook solely through mobile apps or mobile versions of our website, or used our Messenger app, in the last 30 days of the given quarter. The number of mobile-only MAUs do not include Instagram users unless they would otherwise qualify as such users based on their other activities on Facebook".
Twitter, in its perpetual quest to loosen up its restrictions, has increased its GIF size limit to 15MB from 5MB for web users; mobile users will still enjoy the 5MB limit, and photo uploads are still limited to 5MB on the web.
Also, if you haven't noticed, Twitter now supports GIF searching à la Facebook Messenger.
In recent times, the service has stopped including images, videos, and usernames in its 140 character limit, abandoned the character limit altogether for direct messages, and increased its video length limit from 30 seconds to 140 seconds.
Yesterday, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted an image celebrating 500 million users on Instagram, and if you look closely - Zuckerberg is a paranoid guy.
He has tape not only on the webcam of his MacBook Pro, but the audio jacks and microphone are also taped up.
FBI Director James Comey said back in April that he also has tape over his webcam, after he said someone "smarter than" he is say on TV they had tape over their webcam. The desk behind Zuckerberg in the photo is indeed his, with the same books, wooden Facebook sign and sunscreen on the desk.
Earlier this year Facebook Messenger saw its Google Material design roll out on Android, and now Twitter is following suit.
Available for everyone starting today, a new update brings you a fresh, cleaner look with practical functionality. Among the changes: a new tab bar that allows you to swipe between your timeline, messages, and so on, a navigation bar for menus that slides out at will, and a floating action button that makes tweeting as easy as pie.
Update the app now through the Play Store if it hasn't been downloaded already to try out the new look and features.
We all remember the days of MySpace, and if you don't... well, you're probably too young. The social network has been hacked, with over 360 million passwords taken.
The 360 million passwords are being sold, of course, with the hacker being the same one who was selling the data of the 160 million users that were hacked on LinkedIn recently. The data was taken by a hacker called Peace, as well as LeakedSource, a search engine of hacked data.
The credentials haven't been shared just yet, but to verify the data, Motherboard gave the email addresses of five MySpace users and LeakedSource "was able to send back" passwords on all five accounts. The database has 427,484,128 passwords, but only 360 million emails that had a second password attached. Each of the 360 million records contain "an email address, a username, one password and in some cases a second password".
The hacker has thrown the data up for six Bitcoins, or around $2,800 on the dark web market, The Real Deal.
Mostly in line with earlier rumors, Twitter has confirmed that media and @names in replies won't count toward its 140 character limit before too long.
A source previously indicated links wouldn't count either, and while that's not specifically pointed out by Twitter in its blog post, it does say it's "exploring ways to make existing uses easier and enable new ones, all without compromising [the service's] unique brevity and speed."
Twitter will soon begin loosening its restrictions on tweets by allowing users to post links and photos without impeding on the 140 character limit, a source familiar with the matter claims. Currently, links are parsed by Twitter and take up 23 characters.
It's said the change could go live in two weeks or less.
Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey stated at the beginning of the year that Twitter was keen to experiment with new ways to display text on Twitter based on user needs, lending credibility to the rumor.
Chat bots are becoming increasingly more complex with the ability to actually hold down a real(ish) conversation. Microsoft has been previewing some of their advanced AI (not the now failed Tay project) through Skype, but it has previously only been available to users of Windows, Android or even iOS. The desktop (and larger mobile) Apple crowd had been left out. That's changed, just in case you'd rather not talk to humans.
The Mac client now natively supports talking to the bots, as does the web client, of course. Bot integration is now available because sometimes talking to real humans can be a pain in the tuckus. Though this isn't an example of advanced interaction, you're able to try speaking to six different bots that are in a beta state. These six bots are able to spit out basic information to queries you make. You can ask for the latest news, weather, and other things like that. They even understand natural language, so you shouldn't have to modify how you ask questions to get the proper response.
Now, to actually make them available you'll have to take a number of steps. On your Mac in the Skype app, navigate to Contacts, then select Add Bot. Easy enough really. In the web client, all you have to do is click on the Discover Bot on the left-hand side. Then you'll be able to interact with relatively intelligent assistants, which is what it amounts to at the moment.
The services they provide are elementary at best, but these can grow as we're able to create more sophisticated AI programs. Even understanding natural language input is a feat unto itself. As AI can become more sophisticated, we might see actual chatbots that can respond naturally to what we input as well. Maybe one day, but we'll have to wait so that the Internet doesn't make it into an anti-Semitic console hater.
Facebook Live is being expanded in a big way starting today, with all kinds of new features and functionality.
A big one is support for Groups and Events: now you can stream live to select people, for a select event, or make the stream the event. Facebook imagines a few specific scenarios: streaming live from a birthday party for someone those that can't make it, taking fans who RSVP "backstage", or scheduling a Q&A session.
Posted by Facebook on Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Other exciting features include invites (which allow you to watch live streams together with a friend) and discovery options (including a map that shows you broadcasts from all over the world), to name a couple.
Expect the changes to roll out on iOS and Android over the coming weeks.