social media

Facebook looking to host news stories with Instant Articles

Facebook looking to host news stories with Instant Articles

Facebook, the company, doesn't like it when you leave Facebook, the social network, to view other content on the internet. Which is exactly what you do when you click a link to a news article that someone has shared in a post. Facebook would much rather you stay on their site for as long as possible. A new report from The Wall Street Journal details an upcoming attempt by Facebook to keep you put called Instant Articles. The feature would allow users to read full articles in their feed from sources like Buzzfeed, New York Times, and National Geographic.

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Google Plus is now on Twitter (don’t panic)

Google Plus is now on Twitter (don’t panic)

So, uh, this is awkward. That social service you don’t really use is on the one you probably do. Today, Google Plus opened a Twitter account. You might assume (as many did) it's a troll account, but it’s not. The official Google account has retweeted their first tweet, and the Google Plus Google Plus account posted a link to their new Twitter account. It’s got people wondering what’s going on, but it’s pretty simple: they’re recruiting. In an attempt to get more traction in the social space, Plus is taking to Twitter to spread the word.

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Secret anonymous sharing app shuts down

Secret anonymous sharing app shuts down

Secret, the chat app that lets you post your deepest, darkest, or just humourous secrets has closed for good. Secret launched in the beginning of 2014, at a time when another identity-free app, Whisper, was garnering buzz. At its peak, the app had over 15 million registered users. The app hit a speed bump in the beginning of the year when its co-founder left after the app's re-design. In less than a year and a half since its launch, Secret has already shuttered.

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Hungry? ‘Twitter Food’ curates tweets for foodies

Hungry? ‘Twitter Food’ curates tweets for foodies

You’re going to be on social media, and you’re going to talk about food; you can’t help yourself. Twitter knows. They see you doing it. Rather than leave you searching for hashtags, the microblogging site is going to start curating food content for you, but it won’t just be filtered pics of half-eaten hamburgers. Twitter Food will bring you best-of food tweets as well as the “best conversations” from “top foodies” on Twitter. The account is live today.

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Instagram update brings three new filters, emoji in hashtags

Instagram update brings three new filters, emoji in hashtags

Just in time for Spring, Instagram is announcing three new filters “inspired by weekend adventures outdoors”. Lark, Reyes, and Juno offer Instragrammers the chance to enhance photos for use with the social medium in new ways, while still capturing a distinct style that makes Instagram attractive. These three join the Color and Fade tools introduced last month, and the five new filers Instagram launched in December: Slumber, Crema, Ludwig, Aden, and Perpetua. In addition to the new filters, Instagram is also letting users add emoji to hashtags.

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Vines can now be shared to multiple social sites at once

Vines can now be shared to multiple social sites at once

Vine is equal parts amazing and terrifying. The looping, quick-hit videos are often hilarious, or maybe even amazing, but before you know it you’ve wasted a lot of time on the platform. To make those looping takes easier to find, Vine is announcing a new sharing feature for the service. Users who want to share a Vine can now distribute it to multiple sources at once — including Tumblr, where looping videos need to be. The update will hit iOS first, with Android support “coming soon”.

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Blogging platform Medium now lets you block accounts

Blogging platform Medium now lets you block accounts

With growth come pains for a social entity. Medium, though meant for the written word, still has a very implicit social aspect. You can comment on a blog post via a pop-out sidebar, so interaction is a s key as unique blog posts. Saying they want the platform to be “a safe place for everyone to share their stories and ideas”, Medium has introduced the ability to block accounts. Rather than force users to suffer trolls or harassment, Medium is giving us an out.

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Facebook experiments with away messages, nostalgia ensues

Facebook experiments with away messages, nostalgia ensues

Before social networking, there was instant messaging. The most popular was brought to us by none other than AOL. Remember AIM? If you were ever a student in the late 90's or early 00's with an internet connection, then of course you do. Now, Facebook is bringing a little piece of nostalgia back with a new feature called "sidebar status." It's eerily similar to the "away message" of yesteryear and is a way to let your friends know what you're doing when you go AFK.

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Twitter’s new homepage tries to reel newbies in

Twitter’s new homepage tries to reel newbies in

If you visit Twitter while logged out (on the desktop), you’ll see a new landing page. In an attempt to encourage more users, Twitter ha launched a new homepage that shows you what categories may be of interest to you. Those tabs lead you to a stream of tweets you can peruse, which is the hook. If you’d like to do more — say retweet or reply to a post — you’ll need an account, or to log-in. The page seems geared to encourage more to sign up for the microblogging service.

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Tumblr for iOS revamped with new look, better blogging features

Tumblr for iOS revamped with new look, better blogging features

Tumblr is making another move toward being your blogging platform of choice. With version 4.0 for iOS, we’re not only getting a snappy new icon, but plenty of under-the-hood tweaks to go along with it. Not only are there many user-requested features now baked in,, Tumblr also takes full advantage of iOS 8, and brings a widget for your ‘Today’ view on the pull-down shade. When you need to actually get writing, Tumblr is now much more useful on mobile, bringing blog creation to the app.

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Twitter is dropping the ‘Discover’ tab

Twitter is dropping the ‘Discover’ tab

Twitter’s Discover tab is gone. Today, the microblogging platform announces they’re retiring Discover, and will be transitioning Trends to the Search page. Trends is also getting a bit of attention in this process, signaling to us Twitter is keen to streamline our experience a bit. With Trends, Twitter will now provide a little context to hashtags you’re not immediately familiar with. The change is coming for both iOS and Android, and via an app update that’s already rolling out to all users.

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Twitter’s #PoweredbyTweets contest to test what platform is capable of

Twitter’s #PoweredbyTweets contest to test what platform is capable of

What can be accomplished with a Tweet? That’s what Twitter would like to know, and their new ‘#PoweredByTweets’ challenge in the UK is hopefully going to answer that question for them. The actual challenge is two-fold: either create something beautiful with Twitter/Tweets, or solve a problem using Twitter. Prizes will be awarded, with a judging panel handing out unnamed packages to the top three winners in each category. Not only a contest, those with the best ideas will have their ideas brought to life by Pixie Labs.

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