social network

Google+ adds custom gender option to profiles

Google+ adds custom gender option to profiles

If you've been putzing around in Google+'s settings today, you might have noticed some new options under "Gender". Google software engineer Rachael Bennett announced on the company's social site today the arrival of "an infinite number of ways" for users to display their gender identity. Previously those who didn't want to use the "male" or "female" options were only given an "other" selection, but now there are four options, one of which is customizable.

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Facebook (finally) updates search, helps you find posts

Facebook (finally) updates search, helps you find posts

Searching for a post on Facebook has historically been terrible. Most connected people on the earth post to Facebook, but the service has largely been a terrible resource for, you know, finding the posts you want. Until now, you were better off scrolling through a timeline, but Facebook has changed all that. They’ve updated their graph search to better serve you when you’re looking for a particular post about a certain topic, and it will even show you those posts based on which of your friends posted it.

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Slingshot v2.0 ditches clumsy ‘send-to-receive’ feature

Slingshot v2.0 ditches clumsy ‘send-to-receive’ feature

Remember Slingshot, Facebook’s answer to — well, nothing and everything, really. The messaging platform tried hard to provide a secure environment, but the "send-to-receive" thing fell flat. To see a message, you had to send one, and it was just clumsy and strange. In version 2.0, which Facebook announced today, they’ve stripped that functionality away, instead opting for a more grounded approach. Now, sent messages will appear in a timeline, and your recipient has the option to react privately.

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Twitter beefs up ‘block’ feature to thwart bullying

Twitter beefs up ‘block’ feature to thwart bullying

Social media should be a safe place, and Twitter is taking additional steps to make sure it is. Today, the company is announcing additional features to their “block” feature aimed at calling out those with bad intentions. The aim is not meant for users actually being abused themselves so much as its for others who see abuse happening. When you open up the settings menu in a tweet, there will now be an option for filing a report as well as blocking the account.

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Google+ is ‘Facebook-lite’ says former Googler

Google+ is ‘Facebook-lite’ says former Googler

“Adrift at sea”. “Facebook-lite”. According to former Googler Chris Medina, that’s exactly what Google+ is. Rather than serving as the “social backbone” it was designed to be, Media thinks Google+ is about as far from that missive as possible. In a recent post on blogging site Medium, Medina took aim at his former company’s “social” platform, calling them out for violating privacy and trust along the way. If you’re wondering what gives Medina pause to take on Plus, it’s easy: he used to work on it.

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Is Facebook’s privacy update welcome or whitewash?

Is Facebook’s privacy update welcome or whitewash?

Listen to Mark Zuckerberg & Co., and Facebook's privacy changes this week are not only benign but in your very best interest. A pared down explanation on data protection that's ostensibly clearer than before, as well as a guide to exactly what the privacy settings can do, were the sweetener to the side news that Facebook would actually be doing more information sharing, at least between its recent acquisitions like Instagram and WhatsApp. Problem is, we've heard those same explanations before, and they've already got at least one big company into very hot water.

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Facebook tackles privacy with policy overhaul

Facebook tackles privacy with policy overhaul

Facebook is taking another try at streamlining its privacy features, paring back its privacy policy, giving more control over ads, and throwing open the whole thing for user feedback. The social site has launched Privacy Basics, a set of interactive guides to show users exactly what controls they have about who sees their posts, whose posts they see, what information is gathered about them from the links they click, and how they can manage their friends list with more granularity. Since everything is better with a set of animated characters, meanwhile, there's a purple dinosaur among others to help guide people through.

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Ocho app released: a tiny video social network

Ocho app released: a tiny video social network

There's a brand new warrior app out today released to do battle with the likes of Vine, Instagram, and maybe even Twitter itself. This is Ocho, a social networking app that allows you to record and share 8-second videos with your friends. This app is free for iOS users - that's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus included - and it has backing from some of the most powerful funders in the industry - Mark Cuban and Matthew Brimer included. This app was made for iPhone first and foremost - 16:9 aspect ratio recording made to fill up your whole screen.

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You can finally fix Instagram caption goofs

You can finally fix Instagram caption goofs

Instagram has always been about sharing the moment, but the inability to edit captions once posted has also made it a frustrating way to share typos, too. Happily an update today is addressing that, with caption editing now supported on both iOS and Android so that any goofs, last-minute hashtag addition, or other essential tweaks can be made without having to delete the whole photo and post it again from scratch. Meanwhile, Instagram is also making it easier to find new people, by building out the Explore page.

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Facebook News Feed tweak tames motormouth friends

Facebook News Feed tweak tames motormouth friends

Most of us have them: those Facebook "friends" who we like well enough, sure, but whose constant rambling turns the News Feed into a monologue and a dreary one at that. Facebook is rolling out new tools today to make tweaking what the News Feed shows - and doesn't show - more straightforward, with the useful ability to pare back on the amount you see from certain people without being forced to actively remove them from your friends list altogether. Meanwhile, there's also the ability to see whose posts you've been seeing the most of.

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