social networks

Facebook starts adding restaurant critiques to newsfeed

Facebook starts adding restaurant critiques to newsfeed

Facebook is constantly tweaking things, and if you thought the changes to your newsfeed would die down for a while, think again. The social network is back with yet another tweak, this time testing critics' reviews of restaurants that the Facebook user may be interested in. It works a little like this: visit the page of a particular restaurant, and you may see links to critics' reviews of that same place, augmenting your own opinion (if you've tried the place yet) and that of your more discerning friends.

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Google+ Photos spinoff tipped to be ready for I/O 2015

Google+ Photos spinoff tipped to be ready for I/O 2015

No matter how you look at it, no matter how Google wants to spin it, things aren't looking good for Google+. The tech giant's attempt to take a bite out of Facebook is slowly but surely getting dismantled, with the Photos part now said to be ready to break out on its own as early as late May, in time for Google's annual developers conference. Officially, it's a way for the social platform to slim down and focus on what it does best. Unofficially, it is also a sign of a lack of vision, direction, and confidence.

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Facebook’s “echo chamber” is your fault

Facebook’s “echo chamber” is your fault

Far from an echo chamber of reinforcing beliefs, your Facebook newsfeed is actually a hotbed of controversy: if it's not, Facebook argues, you've only yourself to blame. Much has been made of the ever-evolving algorithms that control which stories you see when you log into Facebook, including accusations that users are being fed a diet of shared articles that only ever support rather than challenge their pre-existing opinions. Instead, the social site's own research indicates, there's already a fair chance contrasting content is being served up, you just might be too overloaded to look at it.

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Pinterest finally opens its doors to developers. Somewhat.

Pinterest finally opens its doors to developers. Somewhat.

Social networks have become very beautiful walled gardens, but some of them remain more secluded and gated than others. Take for example Pinterest, whose treasure trove of user data remains almost like an unattainable holy grail for all but a select few of marketers. That changes today, however, as Pinterest announces the existence of API for third-party developers. But don't go dancing around yet, expecting some sort of Pinterest clients or whatnot to come gushing forth. It's still a somewhat exclusive party, just with a few more guests invited.

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WhatsApp to remain closed to developers, says co-founder

WhatsApp to remain closed to developers, says co-founder

If you're one of the users who got banned, hopefully temporarily, from WhatsApp by using a third party app, or if you're a developer of one of those said third-party apps, hopefully you haven't been holding your breath for a change in the situation. At Facebook's F8 conference, a panel was held that included top brass from social networking bigshots. Among them was WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton. When asked whether the service has plans to release any API for third-party developers, Acton plainly but respectfully shot down the idea. A rather bold statement, considering it was, after all, a developers conference.

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Here’s what Facebook will (and won’t) allow in your posts

Here’s what Facebook will (and won’t) allow in your posts

You might have heard news that Facebook is changing up their rules a bit, releasing an update to their ‘Community Standards’ guidelines. Those rules are in place to safeguard the Facebook community at-large against content that is widely regarded as offensive or distasteful. But you’re not one of those people, right? We hope not, but some algorithm might not be able to pick up on your humor or purpose. Rather than leave things to chance, let’s clarify what can and can’t be posted to Facebook.

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Twitter’s new policy: no to nonconsensual adult content

Twitter’s new policy: no to nonconsensual adult content

Twitter is making it clear: there is no room for revenge porn or similar content on its network. While it might sound like a no-brainer, given that Twitter already disallows graphic content anyway, it sometimes pays to be perfectly explicit, especially when it comes down to legalities. So as not to give any smart crack room to wiggle, the social networking giant has updated its Twitter Rules to lay out in no ambiguous terms, but without mentioning specifics, that revealing photos or videos are not allowed, especially if the subject doesn't consent to its distribution.

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Google+ is being dismantled, and that’s a good thing

Google+ is being dismantled, and that’s a good thing

In a recent chat with Forbes, Google’s Sundar Pichai turned a few heads by noting Google+ would be considered as parts — not the sum of those parts. Rather than a social network, Plus would be a stream. And Photos. And Communications. Adding a bit of fuel to the fire was the subsequent dismissal/resignation of Dave Besbris as the head of Google+. Besbris took over for Vic Gundotra, who spearheaded Plus from inception. With a new boss in Bradley Horowitz, the circumstance around Plus might sound confusing. That’s because they kind of are.

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New Google+ boss confirms Photos, Streams split

New Google+ boss confirms Photos, Streams split

Google really has some trouble putting Google+ in its proper place, or at least helping the public understand what it's all about. The much maligned social network, if you still could call it that, has weathered problem after problem but now it seems that the status quo isn't going to last anymore. Brad Horowitz, who will be standing at the helm of Google+, has just confirmed speculation that the service will soon be split up into a more photo-centric product called Photos and the traditional social feed called Streams.

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Facebook adds custom gender field to profiles

Facebook adds custom gender field to profiles

Facebook is joining the growing number of websites that have increased the options available when choosing one's gender on a profile. Today the social network has added the ultimate gender addition, one that seems most sensible to have -- a blank text field in which users can enter their own desired gender designation. This offers flexibility to those who don't identify with any of the pre-defined options available for selection, which includes everything from standard "Male/Female" options to things like "two-spirit".

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