social networking

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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Germany orders Facebook to let users choose fake names

Germany orders Facebook to let users choose fake names

Facebook's policy of forcing users to use their real names on the social network has been under fire for some time now from privacy advocates and those in the LGBT community who feel discriminated against. But now a privacy watchdog in Germany has said that is unacceptable in the country, and ordered Facebook to begin allowing users under pseudonyms. The Hamburg data protection authority ruled that the network's real name policy is in violation of Germany's privacy laws.

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Apple shares Beats 1 Radio studio tour on Snapchat

Apple shares Beats 1 Radio studio tour on Snapchat

In unique choice of platform, Apple has used messaging/social media app Snapchat to share several videos offering a behind-the-scenes look at the studios of its Beats 1 radio service, a primary feature of Apple Music. Posted from the Snapchat account name "applemusic," the videos mark a new form of promotion from Apple, letting users see the Beats 1 studios in Los Angeles, New York, and London, and introducing DJs Zane Lowe, Julie Adenuga, and Ebro Darden.

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Yahoo officially outs Livetext, a messaging app with silent videos

Yahoo officially outs Livetext, a messaging app with silent videos

In New York today, Yahoo officially announced a new messaging app for iOS and Android called Livetext. While the app was quietly released in Hong Kong and Taiwan earlier this month for testing, this launch marks its debut in the US, Canada, France, Germany, and the UK. At first glance, Livetext seems to be Yahoo's take on rebuilding its old Messenger service with the Tumblr and Snapchat generation in mind, as the app focuses on a mix text messages and videos with no sound, much like ever-present GIFs.

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Beats by Dre begins sharing product instruction videos on Twitter

Beats by Dre begins sharing product instruction videos on Twitter

The hardware division of Apple's Beats by Dre has begun posting videos of its headphone products on Twitter. These aren't your typical ads or commercials, but rather instructional videos that introduce the product's features and show how they work. To that end, these videos aren't even shared on Apple or Beats' standard Twitter accounts, instead appearing on the Beats customer support account. The first video appeared on Monday of this week, as was for the Powerbeats2 Wireless headphones.

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Twitter beats earnings expectations by signing up SMS users

Twitter beats earnings expectations by signing up SMS users

Twitter's financial Q2 this year brought the company up just over their revenue expectation range with a cool $502 million in revenue. This put them above a previously forecast revenue range of $470 million to $485 million, with a cool 61% increase in revenue year-over-year. This bodes well for Twitter, whose interim CEO Jack Dorsey suggests that "in order to realize Twitter's full potential, we must improve in three key areas: ensure more disciplined execution, simplify our service to deliver Twitter's value faster, and better communicate that value."

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Google+ cuts ties with YouTube with one important warning

Google+ cuts ties with YouTube with one important warning

Google announces cutting software ties between YouTube and their social network Google+. No longer will YouTube require a Google+ profile for new users looking to upload, comment, or create a channel. No longer will comments posted on a YouTube video also be posted on a user's Google+ profile. Freedom from one or the other is upon us. No longer will Google be pushing Google+ directly in to the comments section of YouTube, and both parties will be the better for it.

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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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Beme aims to beat Facebook by destroying Selfies

Beme aims to beat Facebook by destroying Selfies

A social network by the name of Beme (say it like "beam") has been introduced this week by a fellow named Casey Neistat. This network destroys the Selfie, and it destroys the self-conscious madness that infects every other social network. It does this by using your smartphone's proximity sensor as a capture button for your camera. "Being able to capture without having to stare is one of the most liberating interactions I've done since getting this device," says Neistat. We're inclined to believe him.

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Facebook is baking stores into social pages

Facebook is baking stores into social pages

Facebook is preparing mini-storefronts that would allow retailers to sell products directly from their Facebook Pages. The system is part of an overhaul to Pages that will turn them into showcases for merchant wares, meaning partners could not only engage with potential customers but show them the latest offerings and even fully complete a sale with them.

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Facebook tinkering with “Watch Later” button for videos

Facebook tinkering with “Watch Later” button for videos

It is no secret Facebook wants its users to watch more videos, and it is tinkering with a new feature that will help further its mission: a "Watch Later" button. With this button, users could tag a video they don't want to watch right now but will maybe want to watch later on sometime. The benefits for users are fairly small -- how often does a video strike your fancy so strongly you must see it later? -- but the potential benefits for Facebook are very big.

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Reddit CEO says site isn’t “a bastion of free speech”

Reddit CEO says site isn’t “a bastion of free speech”

This afternoon co-founder and once-again CEO Steve Huffman revealed an oncoming "comprehensive Content Policy and tools to enforce it." With this, said Huffman, the leadership team at Reddit hope to once again become the community they'd hoped it would be, one with content that is "wonderful, creative, funny, smart, and silly." Through this announcement, Huffman suggested that the management the website needs will be made possible with new tools for moderators, tools that they're developing now for the greater good of the whole community.

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