social network

Facebook M assistant helps shopping in Messenger

Facebook M assistant helps shopping in Messenger

Facebook is launching its own personal digital assistant, M, with a beta of the chat-based artificial intelligence rolling out today for select Messenger users. Unlike Apple's Siri, M delivers its assistance via text discussion rather than spoken interactions; it's also more focused on shopping, with Facebook positioning it as a way to buy products, have gifts ordered and delivered, and arrange travel.

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$377k Ashley Madison hack bounty amid suspected suicide link

$377k Ashley Madison hack bounty amid suspected suicide link

The hackers behind the huge Ashley Madison leak now have a bounty on their heads, with the company behind the affairs dating site announcing a CA$500,000 reward for catching them. Avid Life Media announced the half-million fund - approximately $377k - this morning in Toronto, promising a big cash jackpot for anybody who can provide information that leads to a successful arrest and prosecution. The offer comes amid unconfirmed reports that two suicides have been linked to the embarrassing leak.

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Facebook Notes wants to marginalize Medium

Facebook Notes wants to marginalize Medium

Facebook is quietly testing new blogging features that could turn its little-known Notes system into a long-form platform, taking on Medium in the process. Notes has allowed for longer statuses to be posted to a Facebook user's profile, shared either publicly or with only certain groups of friends, but a recent upgrade has added greater image, tagging, and other abilities for some users.

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Facebook breaking news project tipped to take on Twitter

Facebook breaking news project tipped to take on Twitter

Facebook is working on a breaking news project described as being similar to Twitter, according to sources. The project is said to have an app in place and to be at the "alpha" stage. With this, publishers could push out breaking news alerts to users who have downloaded the app (or a reciprocating app; it isn't clear), in effect making the new service a new way for Facebook users to get news through the social network. This follows reports showing that many individuals get their news primarily through Facebook.

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Facebook’s using frosted images for zippy mobile browsing

Facebook’s using frosted images for zippy mobile browsing

Facebook has put a lot of effort into ensuring that its users in developing nations and on slow networks are able to enjoy the service as fully as possible. One way it has done this is with apps that are specifically designed to run on low end handsets, and most recently it has detailed its effort to ensure photo previews load quickly, and with as little data use as possible. The social network did this by eliminating the blank photo preview users would see when waiting for an image to load and replacing it with a very small — and blurred — cover photo preview.

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Facebook adds new messaging options to Pages

Facebook adds new messaging options to Pages

Facebook Pages have become a common way for businesses to stay in contact with their customers, allowing them to post statuses with relevant information and allowing customers to reply to the statuses. In addition, customers are able to communicate with the businesses through private messaging on Pages. Today the social network updated its Pages' communication features, including new messaging options for users who want to talk with a company. This includes sending messages to companies through a dedicated message button on their Facebook advertisements.

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Facebook Live clones Periscope for celebrities

Facebook Live clones Periscope for celebrities

Facebook has launched its own take on Periscope, Facebook Live, promising to beam the celebrity perspective straight into your newsfeed. The service, limited to public figures with verified pages, turns the Facebook Mentions app into a livecaster: the real-time broadcast keeps track of comments and view counts, while the clips themselves are saved for post-stream viewing later on.

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Facebook uses Lollapalooza to test its live event streaming

Facebook uses Lollapalooza to test its live event streaming

These days, it seems that the trend with social networks is no longer about what you're eating or how you're feeling right now. It's all about what's happening as it's happening, live and uncensored. With the likes of Meerkat and Twitter's Periscope getting all the attention, it's not surprising that Facebook wants in as well, but in its own way. And it just so happens that the annual Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago is here, making it a perfect opportunity for Facebook to test out its still unnamed live event streaming feature.

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Facebook’s Security Checkup tool officially launched

Facebook’s Security Checkup tool officially launched

Facebook has pushed out privacy and security checkups over recent months to encourage users to check up on their settings and, if applicable, make changes that improve both. Today the social network has announced the official launch of its Security Checkup tool, which allows users to adjust the security settings on their account. Users will see it as a “Stay Secure on Facebook” box at the top of their newsfeed — it can be dismissed if you’re really not concerned, but going through it is advised.

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Facebook reduces ‘Happy Birthday’ to a mindless button press

Facebook reduces ‘Happy Birthday’ to a mindless button press

Facebook has allowed you to forget when most birthdays are, and it has reduced birthday wishes from phone calls and cards to posts on timelines. Now it has taken that distant and simplified well wishing to an even lower level, reducing it to — if the well-wisher wants — a single button press. That single button press will result in the most generic birthday wish one could give: a stock “Happy Birthday!” post and nothing more. It will take hardly two seconds of your time; you’ll probably forget you did it moments after pressing send.

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Twitter removes backgrounds from timeline, moves to tweets

Twitter removes backgrounds from timeline, moves to tweets

Did your Twitter timeline's custom wallpaper just disappear on you? No need to panic, there's nothing really wrong There is no widespread Twitter bug. Actually, yes do panic because since it's not a bug, it means there's nothing to be fixed. In a still unexplained move, Twitter removed custom background images and design from your profile and home timeline page. Fear not, it hasn't completely disappeared into nothingness. You can still see them, but only if you're viewing individual tweets and nowhere else in the Twitterverse.

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Instagram adds web search

Instagram adds web search

Instagram has rolled out its boosted search support to the browser, having improved the Discovery tab of its mobile apps last month. The updated search now hunts through hashtags, users' accounts, and general terms for those times you'd rather go browsing on the desktop rather than fiddling with your phone. However, it's not quite so full-featured as what the mobile app offers.

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