Facebook is cutting chat support from its main mobile app on iOS and Android, following up on its promise to split the Messenger functionality out and drive users to the standalone app. Facebook users are being notified from today with an in-app message warning them that, as of around two weeks time, they'll no longer be able to rely on the chat tab in the regular Facebook app.
OkCupid is bravely - or foolhardily - wading into the furore over social sites experimenting on users, defending Facebook in the process as it reveals some of the discoveries its own testing has come up with. The stat sifting turns up several insights around the value of pictures on profiles, as well as how suggestible users are, though the fall-out seems less intensive than Facebook's mood-altering trials.
Not everyone who knows about Google Maps might be aware that a lounge for Photo Spheres exists within it. But for those that are hooked on viewing the collection available on Google Maps Views, Google just announced a treat for them. It has placed +1 buttons and comment boxes in Views so that viewers can show how much they like those photos, and give the photographers a bit of social compensation for their hard work and masterpieces.
You may soon get the option to buy something neat you find via Facebook. The company has announced they are testing a “Buy” button on posts which would let you purchase an item on display right from Facebook. The service works from either desktop or mobile.
Google+, the social service you probably aren’t using, has lifted a restriction that may have been keeping you away. The social layer of Google once required you to use a real name to associate yourself with the service. Over time, they peeled back that rigid requirement, and are now doing away with it completely.
Companies like Google and Facebook know quite a bit about you. Their services, which we use for free, have to monetize somehow. Advertisements are typically how those companies make their money, but how much do they know about you? More to the point, can you control it?
One of the former Facebook data scientists at the heart of the recent controversy over mood manipulation and tests run on unwitting users has spoken out, claiming his quotes were taken out of context, and defending the social network's experimentation. Data scientist Andrew Ledvina, who left Facebook in April, was one of the originally quoted sources when the psychological research carried out by the site surfaced late last month, used to illustrate how Facebook lacked safe review processes for tests performed on its users. Now, Ledvina says that the reporter he spoke to mis-represented the facts.
Kevin Smith was invited to the Star Wars VII set in London on the 30th of June - earlier this week - and has confirmed one point of order: Stormtroopers. Invited to join J.J. Abrams on set, he’s made clear that he’ll be able to share next to nothing about what he’s seen, but he did let a single tear run down his face for an instagram opportunity for the public.
Facebook's recently revealed emotions experiment has caused an uproar from users and non-users alike, some of it arguably valid, others based on a misunderstanding of what took place. Regardless, the cries of users have been heard, and the social network is now under a probe by the Information Commissioner's Office and other agencies.