Quick, rattle off everything Google Now does! Unless you’ve been keeping a close eye on all the changes, you likely can’t. The service is adding features at an alarming clip, with recent tweaks like offline cards, hotel info, and parking reminders being among the more useful features we’ve seen added in quite some time. Now is definitely cool, but is it getting it right?
Vine has added Vine messages to its video sharing app, allowing users to send private video clips to their friends in a similar way to Instagram Direct. The new feature allows for video and text message sharing with both Vine and non-Vine users, while the app update also includes color options for individual Vine profiles.
The selfie is a common staple among images found online, comprising vast quantities of Instagram and other social photography websites, often smattering Facebook and Twitter feeds, among other online locations. So popular is the form of self-expression, the word selfie earned its own slot in the dictionary and was named word of the year in 2013. Now it has its own section in the App Store.
Facebook has turned ten, and though the terrible teens are still a few years off, the predators are already circling. The social site celebrated its tenth birthday in a fairly low-key way, giving each user a custom highlights video dubbed "A Look Back" picking out their most popular moments on the site, but the anniversary has been overshadowed by the ongoing trademark spat with app developer FiftyThree over who gets to use the name "Paper". It's perhaps a perfect example of how to many Facebook is now perceived: lumbering heavyweight rather than agile upstart.
Facebook is working on a suite of mobile apps for release in 2014, insiders at the social network claim, breaking out key features and effectively turning them into standalone software much in the manner of Facebook Messenger. The scheme, which is billed as recognition that Android and iOS users prefer task-specific apps rather than a do-all title that can be confusing, will include the rumored "Facebook Paper" news app with Mark Zuckerberg's appearance at Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona next month potentially where one or more titles could be unveiled.
In December, it was reported that security firm RSA -- according to documents leaked by Edward Snowden -- was paid millions by the NSA to put a back door into its encryption products. A couple days later, the company denied having a secret contract with the government agency, and said that it never knowingly put a back door in its offerings. That didn't stop some companies from gravitating away from RSA, however, and one such company was Wickr. The company's founder, Nico Sell, announced this change at an RSA Security Conference, during which she made it clear her company would not have a back door and that users' security was important. Immediately after, an FBI agent approached her with a request -- to add a backdoor on behalf of the agency.
Recently it came to blindingly bright light that teens don't like Facebook because that's where their moms and dads are. Surprise! Teens don't like their parents knowing what they're up to. But a study released today shows that parents are hot on the trail and expanding their social networking presence to alternative platforms.
Social networking options continue to grow, and as more become established as popular and frequently-used options, teenagers find more incentive to gravitate away from the once-staple, Facebook. It is no secret that Facebook usage among teenager has been decreasing in recent times, and the latest study on the subject further validates this, showing Facebook's popularity among older teens as "dead".
Twitter's decision to make an abrupt about-face on blocking policy after user outcry has highlighted little-understood shortcomings in how social services handle privacy and bullying, sending the 140-character message service back to the drawing board to refine its procedure. Twitter had thought it was improving the relatively blunt blocking process users were offered when it quietly changed the system on Thursday morning; by the evening, however, the company had been forced to restore the old approach, following criticisms that the amended tools in fact victimized those affected by bullying, rather than the bullies themselves. Meanwhile, the turnaround raises questions around the blocking and privacy tools other popular social networks offer their users.
Instagram has indicated that this year's Thanksgiving Day was its busiest day ever. More photos and videos were shared on its network on that day than on any other day in its history. However, the company did not release exact figures, possibly indicating its growth may not be as marked as in previous years.