social networking

Let Friends guide you through Facebook’s new “take a break” feature

Let Friends guide you through Facebook’s new “take a break” feature

The social network Facebook is testing a feature which would assist users in the present to see less of their significant others from the past. The feature is called "Take a Break", and, like taking a break in real life, it lists a number of "changes" you can make to the features on your Facebook account. One example of this is seeing less of the person who you've ended a relationship with. As Facebook Product Manager and someone we must assume is a Friends fan Kelly Winters suggests, "When people change their relationship status to indicate they are no longer in a relationship, they will be prompted to try these tools."

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Google Hangouts activates guest mode for meetings

Google Hangouts activates guest mode for meetings

Google's latest bid to make their products more instantly-available to users is in "guest" mode in Google Hangouts. This feature allows people with Google accounts to host Google Hangouts meetings in which invited guests can join the conversation without needing a Google account of their own. This system requires joining guests to tap a button or two, write in a name so people know who they are on the call, and begin to chat.

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Here’s why Google+ is suddenly so much faster

Here’s why Google+ is suddenly so much faster

Today Google began unfurling their latest completely redesigned Google+ design, and with it, a major boost in performance. This newest design includes a much lighter load on your web browser and your mobile device's processor - not to mention your data plan. In a study published by Google Developers this afternoon, they suggest that they've succeeded in their goal with the social network, never downloading more than 60k of HTML, 60k of JavaScript, and 60k of CSS at any one time.

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Tumblr’s app makes gifs now, too

Tumblr’s app makes gifs now, too

This week Tumblr has updated its iOS app to include the ability to make moving .gif images for your blog. This isn't a brand new sort of ability, of course - you could do that on your desktop with Photoshop, if you wanted - but for mobile devices, it's still sort of a new bit of fun. If you want to turn all the movies and the photo burst images you've got on your device into gifs, now might be the best time to make it so.

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Google just completely revamped Google+

Google just completely revamped Google+

Google has just given their social network Google+ a major update, one they're calling "the new G+". This version of the social network is drastically simplified in both look and functionality, with new navigation centered on Collections and Communities. Playing to the social networks' strengths in this case means showcasing the communities that already exist and grow with speed - those that are bustling with activity and have visitors posting and commenting all day long. The home stream is redesigned as well.

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Pushbullet pins price to formerly free features

Pushbullet pins price to formerly free features

The app Pushbullet begins attempting to monetize its services by adding a "Pro" plan to its roster, making formerly free features cost cash. Soon the Angel investments made by pockets-full investors will no longer cover the costs of the device-to-device message and file-sharing service Pushbullet. Instead, users will be paying $40 a year or a cool $5 a month for the service - for some of the service's features, that is to say. If you're in Pushbullet too deep, you might have to open your pocketbook.

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Reddit banned in Turkey under internet censorship law

Reddit banned in Turkey under internet censorship law

The Turkish government seems to be continuing it crusade against internet platforms that enable the public to freely communicate, with the latest victim being Reddit. The entire site has been blocked in the country, with officials saying it violates Internet Law 5651, and users losing access sometime late Friday night. The law allows the government to ban websites found hosting "scandalous" content, including piracy, drugs, adult material, or criticism of Mustafa Ataturk, the nation's first president. However, it's not hard to imagine the law being used to censor criticism and free speech.

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Facebook debuts Notify, an app that brings news headlines to notifications

Facebook debuts Notify, an app that brings news headlines to notifications

Just in case you weren't already getting enough notifications on your phone, Facebook is here to bring you more. The company has launched Notify, an iOS app that delivers the latest news headlines based on user preferences. Turns out the early peek at the app a few weeks ago was mostly accurate, with Notify clearly aimed at competing with Twitter when it comes to delivering news in real-time.

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Google AboutMe is your info placard for the public

Google AboutMe is your info placard for the public

Google appears to have torn another feature from Google+ with "Google AboutMe," a public place for your "About" information. Here you'll place your personal contact info, work contact info, Education and Work History, Places you live and have lived, Gender, Birthday, Occupation, and a list of sites where you contribute content or participate in social networks. At this time, it would appear that this system is not entirely separate from Google+ (it still has the Google Plus-centric "Circles"), but as with Google Photos, it certainly could be.

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Tinder updates with new profile info, improved messaging, and better algorithms

Tinder updates with new profile info, improved messaging, and better algorithms

Following the recent addition of its Super Like feature, Tinder has released an update for its mobile app that introduces several new refinements, including additional information on user profiles, and improved algorithms for finding matches. First up are what Tinder calls "Smart Profiles," which will now not only include details on a user's job history and education background, but also highlight information that they and the browser have in common.

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Tumblr rolls out instant messaging on web, mobile for select users

Tumblr rolls out instant messaging on web, mobile for select users

Tumblr has just debuted something new for both its website and mobile apps: a true, honest-to-goodness instant messaging feature, allowing private conversations between users. The live chat function is a bit limited right now, with no support for emojis or media like gifs and images, much like when Gmail first introduced chat to the inbox many moons ago. Oh, and Tumblr is also gradually rolling out the feature to a limited number of users, so don't be surprised if you don't have it yet.

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Pinterest can now search visually within pins for similar items

Pinterest can now search visually within pins for similar items

Pinterest has just announced a useful new feature that will make it easier for users to find items they discover in pins. Following recent additions that brought shopping and buying features to the social network, Pinterest's website and mobile apps are getting a tool that will visually search for things within images. If users see something like a lamp or chair in a photo that they are interested in, Pinterest will search it database to find the exact item, or those that are visually similar.

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