social networking

Social media accounts now part of federal background checks

Social media accounts now part of federal background checks

Employers have long relied on the practice of checking job applicants' social media accounts as part of the application process to help determine if they'll be a good fit for the company. Now the federal government will do the same as part of their background and security clearance investigations. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper announced the new policy on Friday, and it highlights the fact that our social media presence is more and more seen as a reflection of our character.

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Activision is going to use Facebook Live for e-sports broadcasting

Activision is going to use Facebook Live for e-sports broadcasting

As Activision Blizzard continues to get serious about e-sports as a major form of broadcast entertainment, the mega-publisher has announced that it will use Facebook Live as one outlet for bringing game matches to the masses. Thanks to a new partnership with the social network, Activision Blizzard will have more than just Twitch and YouTube as a way of building an audience for its MLG.tv platform.

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YouTube’s Messenger will soon have you chatting inside YouTube

YouTube’s Messenger will soon have you chatting inside YouTube

Amazon may have just launched its Direct service to compete with YouTube, but the latter's upcoming feature widens its lead in the market yet again. As if it weren't enough to waste spend hours on YouTube actually watching videos, or even commenting on them, YouTube wants you to waste spend even more hours on its app chatting about those videos as well. Rolling out to a select few users at first is a new "native sharing" feature which is really just a fancy way of saying "YouTube Chat".

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Instagram has a colorful new icon and not everyone’s happy

Instagram has a colorful new icon and not everyone’s happy

Prepare your finger for "where's Instagram gone?" confusion, as the Facebook-owned photo and video sharing network dramatically changes its app icon and overall style. The refresh, revealed today, sees Instagram switch to a far cleaner, more colorful aesthetic, ditching the detailed - but aging - camera graphic of old, in favor of a pared-back version.

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WhatsApp gets a native desktop app for Windows, Mac

WhatsApp gets a native desktop app for Windows, Mac

As much as these instant messaging services would like it to be the case, not everyone spends all day in front of their smartphones (though some really do). Some do have to spend some time in front of full computers, which sometimes means missing out on important, or not so important, interruptions from family and friends. That is why WhatsApp is now offering a desktop version of its messaging app, available for both Windows PCs and and Mac OS X so you won't have to miss a beat just because you really need to be productive.

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Republican Senator mad at Facebook for news bias

Republican Senator mad at Facebook for news bias

It would appear that Republican Senator John Thune has a problem with how Facebook may or may not filter its news feed. After a story on Gizmodo suggested that "several former unnamed Facebook employees" spoke about surpressing "conservative viewpoints" and "artificially highlighted other news stories" - words from Thune's press release. He's displeased with how Facebook chooses to use their news aggregator, suggesting that if these claims are substantiated, "Facebook's assertion that it maintains a 'platform for the people and perspectives from across the political spectrum' misleads the public."

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Periscope is making videos permanent by default

Periscope is making videos permanent by default

Periscope may have launched #save to allow live-stream videos to live on for more than 24 hours, but soon each broadcast will be saved by default. In a complete flip from the ephemeral video concept Periscope launched with, in a few weeks time the company will switch over to making permanent footage the status-quo.

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Soon your DJI drone will stream to Periscope

Soon your DJI drone will stream to Periscope

Not to be outdone by Facebook Live, Periscope is adding live streaming from drones courtesy of a new collaboration with DJI. The Twitter-owned live broadcast service will soon support beaming footage from a DJI drone's camera directly to an audience of iOS and Android users.

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Dear Instagram: can’t you just stick to photos?

Dear Instagram: can’t you just stick to photos?

When Instagram was launched, it was a simple app about photos. You were able to filter your photos in a variety of vintage-looking ways, and the app was on iPhone only. It was exclusive. It was pretty cool. Then they released the app on Android devices. Again, the app remained cool as functionality didn't change all that much, and the basic charm of the app remained. Here in 2016, Instagram is considering all sorts of new options. Is it time for a competitor to swoop in and stay simple?

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Here’s how to #save your Periscope videos more than 24hrs

Here’s how to #save your Periscope videos more than 24hrs

Your Periscope witticisms, comedy gold, earnest real-talk, and harsh-but-fair relationship advice can now live on forever, with Twitter adding an easy way to save recordings. Previously, videos streamed through Periscope would be available for replay for a 24 hour period after broadcast, but at that point they'd be deleted altogether.

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Talkshow app is Periscope for the camera-shy

Talkshow app is Periscope for the camera-shy

Are your text conversations so interesting, it kills you that you don't have an audience? Those who believe themselves to be truly entertaining can now prove their worth with Talkshow, a new app which blends elements of Twitter, Slack, and a sort of visual-podcast to effectively broadcast a written radio show.

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Snapchat for iOS updated with camera roll face-swapping feature

Snapchat for iOS updated with camera roll face-swapping feature

So far, 2016 has produced one clear trend in social media: pictures of face swaps. Now, Snapchat, one of the most popular apps for sharing such photo shenanigans, has been updated on iOS to include face-swapping right from the camera roll. This means you no longer need to have a second person in the frame with you, or try to point your phone's camera at an existing image. Snapchat will now let you scroll through your existing photos to see instant swaps.

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