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Facebook

  • Facebook Live Video gets an update, support for groups, events, filters

    Facebook has updated Live video, its attempt at live video streaming, and the new updates overhauls the feature in a big way. The new updates include support for Groups, events, live reactions on Android, replaying comments, creative tools like live filters, ability to invite friends, video destination on mobile, and live Map. Read more: Facebook News feed will now show you Live Video first, then everything else Fidji Simo, Product Management Director at Facebook, highlighted how users have been using Live Video since it launched in 2015, stating that users are talking to family members and athletes are sharing their training...

  • Facebook now lets the visually impaired consume images using audio descriptions

    Today Facebook launched a product that aims to make the Facebook experience better for the visually impaired. It's called automatic alternative text, and is now available on iOS. Engineered by the Facebook Accessibility Team, a division that works on new products specifically for people with disabilities, automatic alt text generates a description of a photo using advancements in object recognition technology. Worldwide, more than 39-million people are blind, and over 246-million have a severe visual impairment, claims Facebook. Facebook notes that the blind and visually impaired may feel frustrated that they cannot appreciate and consume the visual content on Facebook, and...

  • Facebook Messenger becomes airline booking, notification service with KLM

    Facebook Messenger is no longer just an instant chat client after the company announced that its users will be able to book flights directly from the platform from today. The first airline supported is Netherlands-based KLM Dutch Royal Airlines, and will allow its customers to receive flight updates, notifications regarding check-in status, boarding passes and even rebook flights all through Messenger. All this information will be made available through a KLM chat thread when consumers book a ticket, and information will arrive in a messaging-like format. This move is in tune with Facebook's bid to turn Messenger into more than just...

  • Facebook to drop BlackBerry OS app support by end of 2016

    If you're using a BlackBerry that's running any version of BlackBerry OS -- this means all devices up to but not including the PRIV -- you'll likely have to fling it through a window if you're still interested in using WhatsApp or Facebook beyond this year. The social media overlord has announced that it's dropping native BlackBerry app support for Facebook and Facebook Messenger apps on the platform by the end of 2016. Although BlackBerry 10 OS runs Android apps, the system is clunky, and involves a ridiculous sideloading process, which is more of a headache than a solution to the...

  • State trooper lifts Wonder Woman, Captain America to kid’s birthday party

    Who says that the police is a useless force in the face of superheroes and their awesome power? What if said superheroes' their car breaks down and they have no conceivable clue about the workings of an internal combustion engine? That's what happened to Wonder Woman and Captain America this weekend on an interstate in New Hampshire. On their way to a kid's birthday party (naturally), the duo were met with car trouble, an evil force that no amount of good will, vibranium, or lassos could defeat. So, what did a passing local state trooper do? Pull over, to help the couple out....

  • Facebook acquires MSQRD, a live filter app for video and selfies

    In perhaps what is the most spooky way of announcing an acquisition, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, announced that the company has acquired Masquerade, known as MSQRD, an app that adds live filters to smartphone images and video. Zuckerberg made the announcement whilst using the app and looking like Iron Man and coding his own AI, which he had promised to build earlier this year. The financials around the deal are not known, with both companies keeping mum on the issue. MSQRD, an app built by Belarusian startup Masquerade, is a live filter for video and selfies. The...

  • Facebook brings its F8 developer conference to the world

    Facebook's F8 Developer Conference has become one of the highlights of the tech calendar. But of all the millions of developers around the globe, only a few thousand actually get to go to the conference. In a bid to change that, Facebook is set to host a series of community meetups around the globe to showcase the day one keynote of the conference. "With more than 70 percent of developers building for our platform outside of the United States, Facebook's developer ecosystem truly has a global reach," says Facebook's Deborah Liu in an official blog post. "In an effort to...

  • Facebook News feed will now show you Live Video first, then everything else

    Last week at the Facebook Q&A in Berlin, Mark Zuckerberg, spoke about how Facebook Live, the company's attempt at live streaming feed, is going to be a big part of Facebook News feed going forward. The Q&A, live streamed on Facebook, was the first time that Facebook had live streamed it since it launched Facebook Live Video in August 2015. Today, the social network has announced that it is changing its algorithm to favour Live Videos, putting them at the top of News Feed. This is only for currently live videos and not saved videos. "Over the last three months...

  • Mark Zuckerberg is currently doing a Townhall Q&A in Berlin, livestreaming it on Facebook

    Late last year, in August, Facebook launched Live, its own live video streaming feature. At the time, the feature was meant for celebrities to broadcast live videos to their fans. The company announced then that public figures can take their fans behind the scenes, host Q&As, share announcements and more. "Whether you have an established fan base or want to build up your audience, Live is a new way for you to connect authentically with your fans in the moment. When you start a Live video, it will appear in News Feed for your fans to comment, like and share...

  • Facebook launches Canvas, a DIY full-screen ad product

    Facebook on Thursday announced the launch of Canvas, a new mobile product that allows video ads to play in full-screen whenever someone taps on one in their News Feed. According to a press release sent to Memeburn, the product was built in collaboration with agencies and brands and is aimed at allowing them to create immersive mobile ad experiences that load nearly instantaneously. Facebook says that Canvas gives brands agencies, "a fully customizable space on which to build multimedia stories". Advertisers, the social network says, can use a mix of video, still images, text and call-to-action buttons to "build...

  • Meet Reactions, Facebook’s solution to the ‘like’ conundrum

    This has been a long time coming. Facebook on Wednesday announced a new product aimed at resolving the strange phenomenon whereby people end up liking a sad status. Called Reactions, the new solution allows you to respond to a status with a variety of, well, reactions. To add a reaction, hold down the like button on mobile or hover over the like button on desktop to see the reaction image options, and then tap either Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, or Angry. It's an interesting move, but unlike some of Facebook's previous updates, is likely to be welcomed by...

  • Facebook to extend Instant Articles programme to publishers big and small

    Facebook has announced that it will extend its Instant Articles programme to all publishers from 12 April 2016 at its F8 conference. Facebook launched Instant Articles -- its attempt at being a publishing platform -- back in May 2015, with just a few publishers. During the launch, Facebook chief product manager Chris Cox said that “Fundamentally, this is a tool that enables publishers to provide a better experience for their readers on Facebook.” The Instant Articles programme will be available to all publishers, big and small, all around the world, allowing more publishers to create fast and immersive reading experience for...

  • No Facebook, Elon Musk was not an ‘illegal immigrant’

    By now second guessing stuff on the internet should come naturally. A Facebook post -- that's been shared nearly 25 000 times -- claims that US billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk was an illegal immigrant. This is false. But it does manage to drive a very important point home. The viral post takes a stab at controversial US presidential candidate and billionaire, Donald Trump, for his hardline immigration policies. It reads as follows: I am Elon Musk. I was an ILLEGAL immigrant. And if Mr. Trump and some of you had it your way, I would've been kicked out of the USA...

  • When it rains, it pours: Facebook faces sanctions in France for illegal data mining

    When Facebook reports record revenue numbers and staggering active monthly user growth, being Mark Zuckerberg must feel pretty damn good. Right now though being Zuckerberg must feel a little unpleasant. In a space of less than 48 hours, Facebook has seen its Free Basics programme banned in India and the threat of possible sanctions in France. The Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) has issued a notice to Facebook and Facebook Ireland Limited, warning against what it calls unfair collecting of data from the browsing activity of Internet users who do not have a Facebook account. The...

  • India bans Facebook free internet services

    The world's largest democracy has finally taken a stance on free internet services. This comes after the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Monday banned all internet service providers from offering discriminatory tariffs for data services based on content. On grounds of net neutrality, Facebook's Free Basics programme has also been banned. In collaboration with specific telcos, Facebook's Free Basics programme provides free-of-cost access to basic websites through an app. It's part of Facebook's Internet.org initiative which aims to reach 4.5 billion unconnected people on the internet. Some of the free websites include information on local government services, news, health,...