Facebook will run every one of its 1bn+ users through a new Privacy Checkup that flags up potentially unwanted sharing, as the social network responds to ongoing criticisms that it makes inadvertently spilling secrets too easy. The new tool, which will be rolled out to existing Facebook users over the next few weeks, highlights some of the primary concerns they have voiced, and highlights the options and settings which could help mitigate them. Meanwhile, there are changes afoot for new Facebook sign-ups, too.
Facebook is going button crazy, adding a new - and slightly creepy - "Ask" button to check up on someone's relationship status, and reportedly intending to roll out an "I'm a Voter" button to encourage election engagement. The "Ask" button for current relationship is an extension of the similar options for things like employment and contact details, but Facebook has now made it easier to to find out whether someone is dating.
Twitter has officially rolled out Mute, a way to quiet your timeline that's synchronized over all of your Twitter clients. The new feature allows selective muting of certain people or accounts, after which their tweets and retweets won't show up in your timeline, nor come through as SMS notifications.
Facebook has quietly axed its Poke and Camera apps, yanking them from Apple's App Store after they failed to set the social world alight. Poke was Facebook's attempt to cash in on the ephemeral photo craze begun by Snapchat, allowing Facebook users to send each other self-destructing photos, but which languished under the shadow of persistent rumors that the social network was trying to buy its smaller app rival.
Facebook has ambitious plans to use Oculus Rift to create a billion-player game, Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe has teased, immersing social network users in a quite literally massive multiplayer environment, though in the meantime it will focus on a speedier release of the next headset. Oculus VR may be a $2bn addition to Facebook's roster of acquired companies, but the team is still looking at how it can motivate young coders and students to develop new virtual reality applications.
Amazon can't lure you into a bricks-and-mortar store, but it can chase you on Twitter, with the online retail behemoth launching #AmazonCart to make adding products to your cart as straightforward as tweeting about them. The new system - launching in the US as well as the UK, where it will be known as #AmazonBasket - keeps an eye out for Amazon product links; reply to a tweet with one, tagging #AmazonCart, and it'll automatically be added to your latest shopping spree.
Facebook plans to eventually use its new "Nearby Friends" feature to power new location-based adverts and marketing, the social network has conceded, potentially souring what was generally seen as a privacy-mindful launch of the functionality. Nearby Friends began rolling out last week as a new addition to Facebook's mobile apps, optionally showing those on your friendslist your location, and making it easier to organize impromptu meet-ups. However, Facebook has more in mind than promoting socializing.
Facebook has added a new feature to its mobile apps, Nearby Friends, allowing users of the social network to find those on their friendslist when they're nearby, though Facebook is clearly wary of a privacy backlash. The feature, which will be rolled out to the Android and iOS apps over the coming weeks, shows your GPS position and that of your friends on a map; however, Facebook is turning it off by default, and relying on users to opt-in instead.