social network

Facebook doesn’t need your face to recognize you

Facebook doesn’t need your face to recognize you

Facebook has developed the next level of facial recognition software that is so clever, it can identify you even if your face is obscured. If you were paranoid about being auto-tagged in pictures before, Facebook's new recognition capabilities won't do anything to allay those fears. This new algorithm removes any residual layers of privacy a user would have from photographing themselves from the neck down, or covering their face. The AI behind the development seems human-like its ability to identify a friend from the back of their head.

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Facebook testing ‘See First’ feature for News Feed

Facebook testing ‘See First’ feature for News Feed

Facebook, it seems, is testing more than one feature this week. Following screenshots showing a "Suggested Topics" feature that is apparently in testing to help users come up with things to talk about, another feature has surfaced: it is called 'See First', and it lends some control over how a user sees his or her news feed. In this case, See First is exactly what it sounds like -- a way to mark what you want to see first, such as statuses posted by people you care about rather than that person you met briefly at a convention a few years back.

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Twitter Project Lightning to curate tweets into events

Twitter Project Lightning to curate tweets into events

Twitter is readying a new breaking-news and event platform, Project Lightning, which will package tweets and multimedia in the hope of converting new users. While the current Twitter process involves following individuals or companies and manually curating what shows up in your stream, Project Lightning will be a temporary aggregator of content across the Twitterverse, visible to both logged-in users and unregistered newbies alike.

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Snapchat adds sponsored Geofilters, starting with McDonald’s

Snapchat adds sponsored Geofilters, starting with McDonald’s

Snapchat is experimenting with ways of turning ephemeral pic-sharing into a revenue stream. Instead of making the end-consumer pay, the app is turning to big brands to create sponsored geofilters (stickers and filters particular to certain locations) for the app. The precarious task of adding advertising can come at the cost of alienating users. Let's face it, people hate ads--unless they are interactive, feel like a game, or are worthy of sharing. Sponsored geofilters will let users do the advertising, all under the guise of sharing memories. The first company to step up to the plate is McDonald's.

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Facebook’s showing status suggestions to some users

Facebook’s showing status suggestions to some users

Facebook posting. Do it often enough and you’ll start to feel like you’re repeating yourself. Maybe you feel like having some banal online banter, but you’ve nothing witty to say. Life has been boring. You’re out of material. In the future that might not be an issue. Some users are reporting seeing status ideas on their Facebook, which are presented as “Suggested Topics” and include things that are trending on the social network. A popup prods users toward the suggested topics.

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Facebook Moments app auto-curates event albums

Facebook Moments app auto-curates event albums

Facebook has launched a new photo management app, Moments, intended to privately gather up shared shots from events. Figuring that plenty of people take lots of photos at parties, family gatherings, and other social occasions, but never share them with other participants or, indeed, see the pictures their friends took on their phones, the iPhone and Android app uses a combination of facial recognition and timestamps to figure out what combined gallery needs to be created.

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Facebook gauges attention to bypass lackluster “Likes”

Facebook gauges attention to bypass lackluster “Likes”

Facebook doesn't need you to "Like" something any more to know you're interested: just by taking the time to read, the ever-seeing algorithm is learning. The social networking behemoth has announced the latest iteration of its News Feed system, no longer tracking just "Likes" and comments, but comparing the relative attention each post garners to figure out what users might really be intrigued by.

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Twitter drops 140 character DM limit as CEO steps down

Twitter drops 140 character DM limit as CEO steps down

Twitter has steadfastly refused to give up on its 140 character brevity for public tweets, but is conceding with wordier direct messages. Rather than the current limit, DMs will be allowed at up to a whopping 10,000 characters - enough for a small novella, should you be so inclined - so that, rather than needing to split private conversations into chunks, those using Twitter as a private IM service will be able to fit it all into a single message. Meanwhile, Twitter has also announced a shake-up in CEOs.

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Facebook to add “buy” button for Shopify goods

Facebook to add “buy” button for Shopify goods

Facebook wants to become your all-in-one social platform, and that includes shopping. E-store platform, Shopify, is partnering with Facebook to create a "Buy" button that is directly embedded in posts. Of course, the button is great for merchants; this means there are fewer steps between an advertised product and a sale. The main advantage of the button for buyers is that they don't have to leave their Newsfeed to make a purchase. Come to think of it, that's a boon to merchants as well.

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Facebook challenges Designbook’s trademark

Facebook challenges Designbook’s trademark

A Vermont startup has accused Facebook of bullying it over a trademark squabble — the startup is called “Designbook”, and so you can see where Facebook’s issue comes into play. Designbook’s founders Kyle Clark and Aaron Pollak filed the trademark applications back in September. This past March they said they were informed that Facebook planned to challenge the trademark, claiming the similarities in the name could cause “confusion in the industry”. The use of "book", it was claimed, could confuse consumers about whether the two companies are related.

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Facebook Messenger drops constant location sharing for user-initiated sharing

Facebook Messenger drops constant location sharing for user-initiated sharing

Facebook Messenger is doing away with its constant location sharing and rolling out a new, user initiated, way to share locations. The previous method would track your location in the background if you had location enabled for Messenger. The process would not only drain your battery from GPS usage, but was downright dangerous in the hands of stalkers or hackers with a desire to find you, face to face. The user initiated location sharing could also signify a big push towards GPS features from the social network as the Head of Product of Messenger, Stan Chudnovsky states, "What we’re launching is the foundation of everything that’s coming."

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Facebook introduces new “Lite” app for Android

Facebook introduces new “Lite” app for Android

Facebook has announced its new "Facebook Lite" offering, something that sounds oddly familiar. Regardless, the new rendition of the social network's app is specifically for Android users who need to (or want to ) keep data usage to a minimum, allowing them to use the service without it breaking the bank/data cap/whatever limitation might exist. Ultimately the app is for those who are in areas where their network access is slow and has trouble facilitating use of the social network’s regular app.

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