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  • Mark Zuckerberg ‘disappointed’ by SpaceX explosion, loss of Africa satellite

    In the wake of the SpaceX Falcon 9 explosion that rocked Cape Canaveral yesterday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg issued a response on Facebook. SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket explodes at Cape Canaveral Here’s something you don’t hear everyday. A Falcon 9 rocket developed and owned by private company SpaceX has reportedly exploded at Cape Canaveral in Florida. The incident occurred Wednesday around 3pm South African time. The rocket was reportedly resting on the launch pad prior to a test before bursting into flames. Read more... The social networking giant had special interest in the Falcon 9, as it was carrying an Israeli-made satellite...

  • Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg visits Nigeria in African knowledge quest

    Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is currently on a business trip to Africa, according to his Facebook page. Zuckerberg stopped over in Nigeria, Facebook's largest African market, to learn more about the country's development and startup scene. Zuckerberg was in Rome, Italy with his wife Priscilla Chan earlier this week. "This is my first trip to sub-Saharan Africa," he reveals on a Facebook post. "I'll be meeting with developers and entrepreneurs, and learning about the startup ecosystem in Nigeria. The energy here is amazing and I'm excited to learn as much as I can. Our first stop is the Co-creation Hub Nigeria (CcHUB)...

  • Facebook Trending: your news is now gathered by robots

    The big blue social media giant is changing the way its Facebook Trending feature works. Again. And while that doesn't mean much to those who don't get their news from Facebook, it does signal the resurgence of the algorithm. What am I talking about? Well, Facebook is now using number-crunching computers to "scale Trending to cover more topics and make it available to more people globally over time". Previously, Facebook relied on human hand-pick trending articles and write descriptions for each. Speaking of those human hands, Facebook has fired between 15 to 18 staff members working on its Trending platform, according...

  • 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...