Facebook and Instagram get redesigns for readabilit

Josh Constine, writing for TechCrunch;

Taking inspiration from line drawings, Reddit and Messenger, Facebook is overhauling the design of the News Feed to make it more legible, clickable and commentable. Specifically, Facebook now makes it much clearer where threads start and end in comments. Meanwhile, Instagram today got a little redesign itself with comment reels now being threaded so you can have sub-conversations in public.

Most people won’t even notice these small changes on Instagram and Facebook.

Facebook sneaks into China with a new app

Steven Millward, writing for Tech in Asia;

In a surprise move, Facebook has made and released an app just for China – where Mark Zuckerberg’s social network has been blocked since 2009.

Facebook’s China app, launched stealthily into the local app store under a company pseudonym, is a photo-sharing service called Colorful Balloons. The New York Times first spotted and reported on the app after verifying that it was indeed made by Facebook.

The Colorful Balloons app is actually a walled-off, China-only version of Facebook Moments, the spin-off app dedicated to photos that was first introduced mid-2015.

Sneaky!

Apple Joins Instagram to Feature the Best #ShotoniPhone Photos

Michael Zhang, writing for PetaPixel;

Apple just joined Instagram. An unlike most other brand accounts, the new @apple handle won’t ever feature ads or announcements for products and services. Instead, it will be used for one, single purpose: to feature the world’s best #ShotoniPhone photos.

It’s interesting that Apple choose Instagram and not Flickr, to showcase photos that have been taken using iPhone. I guess, even though Apple said that they won’t feature ads, using the hashtag #ShotoniPhone, is an advertisement in and of itself.

Here’s Apple’s introduction to their IG account.

Facebook video call tablet is reportedly in the works

Joey Maceda, writing for Yugatech;

Facebook was also reportedly planning to build its own core operating system for the device, but instead might opt to use Android. The company is also testing a smart camera feature that allows the device to automatically scan for people in range and lock on to them. Facebook says that the device would make the participants of a call feel like they’re in the same room. The device hails from Building 8, the company’s experimental development lab, and could possibly be announced at the next F8 developer conference.

The social media giant may be taking a page from Amazon’s playbook, which is create a dedicated device similar to Echo, Echo Look and the Echo display.

Facebook hits 2 billion-user mark, doubling in size since 2012

David Ingram, writing for Reuters;

Facebook Inc (FB.O) said on Tuesday that 2 billion people are regularly using its flagship service, marching past another milestone in its growth from a college curiosity in the United States to the world’s largest social media network.

Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg disclosed the number to his followers in a Facebook post. “It’s an honor to be on this journey with you,” he wrote. (bit.ly/2sefWFL)

Incredible achievement by Facebook, specially if take in consideration how fast they reach that second billionth user.

Mark Zuckerberg just unveiled Facebook’s new mission statement

Nick Statt, writing for The Verge:

When asked about his life’s work, Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has traditionally fallen back on a somewhat nebulous answer: making “the world more open and connected.” It was an almost quaint euphemism for the company’s more capitalistic goals of vacuuming up the attention of billions of humans and selling boatloads of advertising. Yet even for Zuckerberg, who does earnestly believe in Facebook’s power to continue transforming the world and improving our lives, that mission statement no longer cuts it.

On my newsfeeds, all I get are news links (mostly fake news) and not updates from my friends. Facebook needs to rethink how they will serve the almost 2 billion users on the service. I mostly used the service for Messenger and to in managing Facebook pages.

Here’s a screenshot of Facebook’s About Page;

You can now replay of your Live video to Instagram Stories

Starting today, we’re introducing the option to share a replay of your live video to Instagram Stories. Now, more of your friends and followers can catch up on what they missed. When your broadcast has ended, you’ll be able to tap “Share” at the bottom of the screen to add your replay to Instagram Stories for 24 hours. You can also tap the toggle and choose “Discard,” and your live video will disappear from the app as usual. When someone you follow shares a replay, you’ll see a play button under their profile photo in the stories bar. Tap it to watch the video and see comments and likes from the original broadcast. Since introducing live video in November, millions of people have used it to connect with friends and followers in an authentic way. Now, you can share these experiences with even more people. To learn more about today’s updates, check out help.instagram.com. These updates are available as part of Instagram version 10.26 for iOS in the Apple App Store and for Android in Google Play.

A post shared by Instagram (@instagram) on

You can also read IG’s full announcement here.

Introducing Face Filters and More on Instagram

Instagram;

Today, we’re introducing face filters in the camera, an easy way to turn an ordinary selfie into something fun and entertaining. Whether you’re sitting on the couch at home or you’re out and about, you can use face filters to express yourself and have playful conversations with friends.

Game On: Games on Messenger Go Global with New Features and Games

Facebook;

Today we’re starting to roll out Instant Games on Messenger more broadly for the 1.2 billion people who use Messenger every month. In addition, we’re also launching the new features that we exclusively previewed to developers at our annual F8 conference. These include rich gameplay features, which allow developers to create unique and sophisticated experiences and Game bots to help game makers surface exciting features like new levels and rewards. When developers start to take advantage of these new capabilities everyone wins with more dynamic and engaging gaming experiences.

Instagram now have more than 700 million users

Instagram;

We’re thrilled to announce that our community has grown to more than 700 million Instagrammers. And the last 100 million of you joined faster than ever.

We’ve made it even easier for people across the globe to join the Instagram community, share their experiences and strengthen connections to their friends and passions. With new features like stories, live video and disappearing messages in Direct, people now have more ways than ever to express themselves and feel closer to what matters to them.

From all of us at Instagram, thank you!

Introducing Live Location in Messenger

Facebook;

Today we’re excited to announce a new way to share your location in Messenger. Our new Live Location feature makes it simple and seamless for you to choose to share where you are with your friends and family. This is rolling out globally and is available on both iOS and Android.

New: Save Your Live Video to Your Phone

Instagram;

Starting today, you’ll have the option to save your live video to your phone at the end of a broadcast. While live videos will continue to disappear from the app when you’re done, this update gives you the flexibility to hold onto your video and re-watch it later, especially if something exciting happens during your broadcast that you want to remember or share.

After your live broadcast ends, tap Save in the upper right corner. You’ll only be able to save your video — not the comments, likes, number of viewers or any live interactions. After saving, tap Done and your live video will be saved to your camera roll but will no longer be available in the app.

In order to save Instagram Live Video, you should be using Instagram 10.12 for both iOS and Android.

So.cl is saying farewell as of March 15, 2017

So.cl Team on Microsoft’s Fuselabs;

Socl has been a wonderful outlet for creative expression, as well as a place to enjoy a supportive community of like-minded people, sharing and learning together. In supporting you, Socl’s unique community of creators, we have learned invaluable lessons in what it takes to establish and maintain community as well as introduce novel new ways to make, share and collect digital stuff we love. Through you we’ve been able to introduce many interesting ideas such as:

  • Collages; beautiful posts of content discovered through search and auto-assembled
  • Riffs; themed conversations based on community inspiration
  • Automatic Translation; seamlessly spanning languages and culture
  • Collections; telling your story through collections of posts
  • Picotales, Video Parties, Blinks, Kodu – new ways to create and share

From the very beginning, we’ve been amazed by your creativity, openness, and positivity. Thank you so very much for sharing your inspirations with us.

The So.cl Team

So.cl (pronounced “social”) is an experimental social media network by Microsoft’s Fuselabs.

Share Up to 10 Photos and Videos in One Post

Instagram;

Starting today, you can share multiple photos and videos in one post on Instagram.

With this update, you no longer have to choose the single best photo or video from an experience you want to remember. Now, you can combine up to 10 photos and videos in one post and swipe through to see them all.

Share your favorite moments of your best friend’s surprise birthday party, from setting up to when they walk through the door. Or create a step-by-step cake recipe that people can always find on your profile.

This is the start of Instagram transforming into an alternate version of Facebook.

Facebook Lite launching in four more countries, including South Korea, Israel

Geektime, contributing to E27;

Facebook, the ever-growing social media giant, has doubled its number of users for its bare-bones product Facebook Lite in less than a year and serves 200 million monthly active users.

The app supports 55 languages and is popular in over 150 countries but mainly in Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico, and the Philippines. Today it’s being launched in four additional countries: Israel, Italy, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates.

Here’s a description of Facebook Lite;

This version of Facebook uses less data and works in all network conditions.
Facebook Lite:

  • Installs fast – the app is smaller, so it’s quick to download and uses less storage space.
  • Works on old Android phones – you can use it on older Android phones not supported by the regular Facebook app.
  • Uses less data – be more efficient with your mobile data. Save money by using less data.
  • Loads quickly – it is our fastest app. Upload photos faster and see updates from friends.
  • Works on all networks – it is designed for 2G networks and areas with slow or unstable internet connections.

Compatibility:
Android 2.3 or higher

Facebook rolls out fake news filter in Germany

Amar Toor, writing for The Verge;

Facebook will begin rolling out its fake news filter in Germany, The Financial Times reports, where lawmakers have expressed growing concern over the spread of fabricated news stories and Russian interference ahead of national elections later this year. The social network will begin fact-checking and flagging fake news for users in Germany over the coming weeks, according to the FT. The tools were first launched in the US last month, as part of a partnership with independent fact-checking organizations.

I sure hope that they release the same tools in the Philippines soon!

Twitter to shutdown Twitter Dashboard

Twitter Dashboard is a free tool to help businesses schedule Tweets, get valuable insights, and engage with their customers and community.

Peekawoo – a gamified dating app

Peekawoo – a gamified dating app, where you can meet other like minded people directly by watching videos of them. Making friends, meeting strangers nearby and socializing has never been that fun!

Peekawoo’s vision is to reformat the digital dating landscape in order to give options to those who are looking a way out of the “hook-up” or “marriage” culture. By educating people about the safe and smart ways of dating through the services that we provide.