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Facebook

  • Facebook’s Lifestage is a teen-centric sharing app developed by a teen

    Social networking giant Facebook this past weekend announced an all new social networking app for teenagers. Dubbed Lifestage, the app is made for 21-year-olds and younger, and allows teens to share and view bio videos. "Lifestage makes it easy and fun to share a visual profile of who you are with your school network. Simply capture into a field on your profile, then post it on your profile," reads the app description page. The app also aims to make use of secondary and tertiary education networks, a lot like Facebook in its early years. "Once your school is unlocked, you can access...

  • Facebook Messenger’s bots can now send you advertisements

    A lot has been said about Facebook and its advertising mentality this month, but this week the company announced that's change its advertising policies to help Facebook Messenger bots sell you things. While bots are still allowed to give recommendations (not advertisements) based on user input though a subscription system, Facebook has slightly tweaked the rules. If you happen to be subscribed to a Messenger bot and reply to recommendation sent on said channel within 24 hours, the bot can then send users advertisements and promotional material. Replies need to take the form of an "eligible action" as well (Facebook gives...

  • That was fast! Adblock Plus gets one over Facebook again

    Earlier this week, Facebook announced that it would sidestep ad-blocking software in order to serve ads to users. The social network justified the move by claiming it now offered better ad designs and more advanced ad controls. "We've designed our ad formats, ad performance and controls to address the underlying reasons people have turned to ad blocking software. When we asked people about why they used ad blocking software, the primary reason we heard was to stop annoying, disruptive ads. As we offer people more powerful controls, we’ll also begin showing ads on Facebook desktop for people who currently use ad blocking software,"...

  • AdBlock Plus: Facebook’s ad-block sidestep is ‘anti-user’

    Popular advertising filtering service AdBlock Plus has criticised Facebook after the social media firm announced plans to sidestep ad-blocking software. In a blog post earlier this week, Facebook said that its new ad controls and designs "address the underlying reasons" for people turning to ad-blockers. "As we offer people more powerful controls, we’ll also begin showing ads on Facebook desktop for people who currently use ad blocking software," Facebook elaborated. Now, AdBlock Plus has reacted, calling it an "unfortunate move, because it takes a dark path against user choice". The ad-blocker said there was no reason to overreact however, as "cat-and-mouse" games have existed in...

  • Facebook to circumvent ad-blocking software on desktop, because ‘choice’

    Whether it's due to aesthetics, data usage or horrible ads in general, ad-blocking software is only gaining steam these days. The trend has however seen loads of websites ask their users to disable ad-blockers. Now, Facebook is taking a somewhat drastic approach to the software. In a blog post, the social media juggernaut said that ads can be useful if they're relevant and well-made. "But because ads don't always work this way, many people have started avoiding certain websites or apps, or using ad blocking software, to stop seeing bad ads. These have been the best options to date," the blog post read. "We've...

  • 3 quick tips for brands to get the most out of Facebook Messenger

    Facebook Messenger allows consumers to easily open a dialogue with the companies. Both Messenger and Facebook -- as the social network -- are becoming more integrally linked, and it is great news for brands.  The social networking platform recently announced a new set of tools that allow a more personalised experience between consumers and businesses. With around one billion users chatting on Facebook Messenger each month, Facebook is taking the reach of its social platform and integrating customer service and engagement opportunities inherent to Messenger. Related: Facebook Messenger now boasts 11 000 bots, announces incoming updates There are three important aspects to...

  • Facebook Messenger now has one billion monthly users worldwide

    Facebook Messenger has hit the one-billion monthly active user milestone, just two months after reaching 900-million monthly active users. The announcement sees two Facebook-owned apps (the other being WhatsApp) achieve this user milestone. Facebook has revealed that more than 17-billion photos are shared every month via Messenger, more than 22-million animated GIFs are sent a day, and during Mother's Day, users sent about 300-million flower stickers. Facebook has been investing heavily on Messenger not only as a messaging platform between friends, but between users and businesses. The company claims that over one-billion messages are now shared between users and companies every...

  • Neymar vs Mark Zuckerberg: it’s the Facebook Messenger keepy-uppy challenge

    Don't look now folks, but celebrities are now challenging one other to something that doesn't involve ice water -- the Keepy Uppy Challenge. Based on a game on Facebook Messenger (inspired by the recent Euro 2016 Championships), Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently challenged actual Brazilian and Barcelona footballer Neymar to a game of digital keepy-uppy. Neymar, this week, accepted. In real life, the winner would be a foregone conclusion, but on Facebook Messenger, Mark Zuckerberg is a bit of a Keepy Uppy master. Neymar posted his attempt to Instagram this week, and the video has since garnered over 1.2-million views. Aceitei o desafio...

  • MomConnect Facebook Messenger chatbot launches at Durban AIDS conference

    At this week's 21st International AIDS Conference held in Durban, the Praekelt Foundation introduced a new Facebook Messenger chatbot integrated with the SA Department of Health's MomConnect service. The bot will allow an inexpensive way for mothers, nurses and child-health workers to access vital information at a seemingly lower rate than sending in an SMS. Praekelt Foundation was founded in 2007 and makes use of simplistic technologies to provide information to citizens of low-income countries. According to World Wide Worx, a quarter of South Africans currently use Facebook, this meant that 13-million South Africans currently use the site while 77% access...

  • Facebook’s latest diversity report shows intent, little transformation

    Facebook has released its latest batch of diversity data to shed light on the race and gender demographic of its workforce. Facebook has been avidly driving diversity in the tech space with the likes of its TechPrep programme launched in 2015. Diversity in the technology space has seen a more acute focus of late, especially since Pinterest hired a head of diversity in January 2016. The move signalled a new era for diversity in tech where companies were taking diversity seriously and initiating programs to address it. Even with these programmes in place and the notable focus of inclusivity in the tech...

  • Facebook: 950m interactions from 195m users during Euro 2016

    Data from Facebook reveals that Euro 2016 in France was one of the most talked about sporting events in history. The tournament which began on 10 June and ended on 10 July 2016 saw 195-million users involved in 950-million interactions. During the final, which was played on 10 July 2016, Facebook saw about 45-million users taking part in 146-million interactions. Globally, the key moments included Ronaldo lifting the trophy at the end of the match, the winning goal scored by Eder, the final whistle, and Ronaldo's injury. Read more: Facebook Messenger gains WhatsApp-like encrypted chat The top five most discussed players around the...

  • 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...