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  • 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...

  • 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,...