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Facebook

  • Facebook Messenger gains WhatsApp-like encrypted chat

    Online privacy and protection of sensitive content is in the fore this week on social media, especially in the wake of the livestreamed shooting of Philando Castile last week. Using Facebook Live video streaming service, Castile's girlfriend broadcast his ordeal after he was shot by police. Facebook has since published a statement, suggesting that if an incident like the above was streamed using its service "to raise awareness or find the shooter," it would "allow it". The video also raised issues about communicating to others over social media with sensitive information. On that note, Facebook just a few hours after its...

  • Facebook reveals OpenCellular platform: cheaper connectivity soon?

    It's easy to forget that there are loads of people that don't have access to the internet, owing to their remote locations and the price of connectivity and infrastructure. In fact, Facebook claims that over four billion people are unconnected and that 10 percent of the global population lives outside cellular range. It added that the cost of traditional cellular infrastructure was prohibitively expensive in many areas. "In many cellular network deployments, the cost of the civil and supporting infrastructure (land, tower, security, power, and backhaul) is often much greater than the cost of the cellular access point itself," it explained. The social network hopes...

  • Viral Facebook video captures elephant wrecking bakkie in Maputo

    Human beings might be most frequently at the top of the food chain, but we're by no means a match for animals in the wild. Take elephants for instance. These gentle giants often grow to be four-metres tall, and weight nearly 6000kg. That's heftier than five family hatchbacks. With that in mind, a new video of an elephant wrecking a tourist's vehicle in Mozambique's Maputo Game Reserve shows just how puny human machinery really is. Related: Family car in Kruger National Park smashed by stampeding buffalo The video surfaced on Facebook on 4 July and captures the bakkie driver's perspective of a...

  • Facebook Messenger’s bots are mostly shit, but they’ll get better

    Bots are the new cloud, it has to be said. They're the latest trendy thing in the world of tech, as the likes of Google and Microsoft get in on the action over the past few months. Another name to add to the list is Facebook, actually beating its rivals to the punch by launching an army of bots worldwide (for the most part). In fact, Facebook claims that there are 11 000 bots available for its Messenger platform at present. Unfortunately, its bot efforts, while still in the early stages, are rather poor right now. It's like a robot phone call (and not in...

  • Facebook Messenger now boasts 11 000 bots, announces incoming updates

    Facebook's Messenger is a bit of a misleading name -- it's no longer just a messenger. Facebook would like to think of it as a fully-fledged bot-station that allows users to book flights and even order pizza. On that note, the company's adding a few more tweaks to the system. Users can now rate bots as they would for apps on any app store. This will bring a degree of quality control to its now 11 000-strong bot store. Other additions include persistent menus for bots, which "eliminates the need for people to remember text commands and provides a great way...

  • Facebook debuts Google Chrome ‘Save to Facebook’ extension

    Facebook wants to be your first, your last and your everything, and with its two new Google Chrome extensions it's taking its first step to be your content hub too. The first extension dubbed "Save To Facebook" has a fairly self-explanatory name. It allows users to save snippets of the web to Facebook to read-later. It's similar to web service Pocket in many ways, but developing its own system has certainly been well worth the effort for Facebook. "Today, over 300 million people use the Save on Facebook feature every month," it claims in a blog post. Back in August 2015 speaking...

  • Facebook introduces SMS within Messenger on Android

    Facebook is again trying its hand at SMS. Its Messenger platform has introduced SMS support on Android devices. The feature is not available for Apple users because iOS doesn't support app permissions for accessing text messages/SMS, according to Facebook. This is not the first time that Messenger has experimented with SMS but the company claims it has become much easier to support text messages within Messenger on Android. Facebook says that the feature is an attempt to integrate friends sending GIFs on Messenger with parents only using SMS. The SMS feature will support standard text, images, videos, and audio. Facebook promises that it will...

  • You can now comment on Facebook posts by uploading videos

    It seems that the days of commenting on a Facebook post using a simple string of text is now a bygone era. After Facebook added support for image commenting in 2013, and its recent Reactions additions too, the company is now adding support for video comments. "Videos in Comments are now available worldwide! You can upload them as replies to posts by people and pages, as well as within groups and events," remarks Facebook's Bob Baldwin in a blog post. To add a video, users simply tap the video icon alongside the comment field. "Uploading" is the key word there. Annoyingly,...

  • All-Madrid Champions League final draws 27m interactions on Facebook

    The UEFA Champions league final was arguably the biggest sporting event on earth on Saturday, and definitely on Facebook too. The football match saw Real Madrid emerge as the winner, beating Atlético Madrid as they did in 2014, to win its 11th European Cup in Milan, Italy. According to Facebook, the match saw 27-million interactions across the globe with 1.4-million interactions in Spain alone. Read more: Man United’s Jose Mourinho gains 200k Instagram followers on debut The most number of conversations came from Brazil with 2.9-million users driving 6.8-million interactions, followed by Mexico with 2.7-million users driving 7.5 million interactions, and third...

  • Facebook acquires VR company Two Big Ears, introduces 360 Spatial Workstation

    If you think Facebook's VR game was a joke then you were dead wrong. The company has announced the acquisition of Scottish VR company Two Big Ears. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed The company specialises in immersive audio products based on solutions for both cinematic VR and gaming, and Facebook has not wasted any time putting the company's expertise to good use. Alongside the announcement, it also introduced 360 Spatial Workstation, a software suite for designing spatial audio for 360 video and cinematic VR. The Facebook 360 Spatial Workstation has plugins for popular audio workstations, including a time...

  • Facebook reworks Trending Topics after ‘allegations of political bias’

    Facebook, in a bid to expel the allegations that it favours a conservative stance with its Trending Topics, is making changes to the product. The company claims that the changes are to make the process more rigorous and transparent. "Suppressing political content or preventing people from seeing what matters most to them is directly contrary to our mission. We are proud of the platform and community we have created, and it is important to us that Facebook continues to be a platform for all ideas," Colin Stretch, Facebook General Counsel, said in a blog post. Read more: 5 tips to spot a...

  • 5 tips to spot a Facebook hoax

    Hoaxes are all over Facebook and with users often encouraged or forced via hijacks and hacks to share and like content, it will often seem like the hoax has been personally vouched for by your friend. Fortunately, most of the popular Facebook hoaxes are unoriginal and have been seen before in some form.  So before you click that link, here are five tips to spot a Facebook hoax. If it asks you to share first, beware Scammers know that the best way to get you to click their link is to have had another friend like or share it first. So often...

  • Facebook films Grand Central Station in stunning 360-degree video

    Facebook has finally put that 8K-capable camera rig it unveiled at its F8 Conference to good use, and where better to take it for a spin than New York's Grand Central Station? It's the first video captured and published by the company's US$30 000 camera rig, which allows the viewer a total 360-degree experience of one of the busiest train stations on earth. "Explore Grand Central Terminal and the stories that unfold there in the first film shot with the new Facebook Surround 360 camera," reads the Facebook post. "Watch the film in standard monoscopic 360 here, or find it in the...

  • Facebook partners with Airtel to launch Free Basics in Nigeria

    Bharti Airtel Africa, a leading telecommunications service provider, has announced that it has partnered with Facebook and to launch Free Basics in Nigeria. In 2015, Facebook promised to bring Free Basics to 17 African countries. Free Basics is a service that gives users free access to a number of platforms where users can access information about health, education, jobs, communications and local content services at no cost. Facebook estimates that it has, through the project, brought more than 25 million people online. Chris Daniels, Vice President of Internet.org at Facebook, said: “Bharti Airtel Africa has been an important partner in...

  • Facebook beats a bad quarter for tech, boasts 1.6bn users

    It hasn't been the best week for the world's biggest tech players. But while almost everyone else has fallen short of market expectations, things could hardly be better for Facebook right now. The world's largest social network on Wednesday released its Q1 earnings report and, if you're a shareholder, it makes for very good reading indeed. Alongside continued user growth, the company revealed that it's gotten even better at making money and that there may soon be a new class of share for people to invest in. Making it rain Facebook's revenues for the quarter were US$5.38-billion, with its net...