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Facebook

  • 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,...

  • Today is Friends Day in the Facebook universe

    In a galaxy not so far away, a universe called Facebook, with a population of 1.59 billion active monthly users, invented its own special holiday. Facebook has announced 4 February 2016 is Friends Day. Facebook prides itself in connecting people, not only that but initiating real life friendships that begin or are maintained on the platform. Friends Day is about celebrating those friendships. This year's Friends Day marks Facebook's 12th birthday. To celebrate this day, Facebook has revealed some stats and stories. According to the company over the past five years, the degrees of separation on the platform have decreased...

  • Facebook looks to breathe new life into events with innovative ride-sharing features

    One of Facebook’s most underused and disappointing features, the Events function, might be getting a makeover that will bring it a whole new lease of life and possibly even set it up as a competitor to Uber. That’s the news from tech blog Business Insider, who did some cunning detective work and spotted some patent drawings which seem to indicate that Events were in for an overhaul. As you’ll notice in the attached drawing, the Events page will feature a drop down menu where you can indicate whether you are going, going and driving or going but not driving....

  • Facebook Q4 and full year 2015 results are on fleek, 1.59bn MAU, 100m hours of video watched a day

    Facebook reported its fourth quarter results, ending 31 December 2015, and full year 2015 earnings today. Nobody really expected Facebook to do badly but the manner in which it has smashed expert estimations is beyond impressive. Facebook hit 1.59-billion monthly active users on average in the fourth quarter, up from 1.55 billion in Q3 and an increase of 14% year-over-year. Facebook's daily active users increased to 1.04-billion for December 2015, an increase of 17% year-over-year, compared to Q3's 1.01-billion DAU. The company completely obliterated expert estimates of US$5.37-billion and US$0.68 eranings per share with a US$5.841-billion in revenue and...

  • Facebook’s AI is getting scarily intelligent, scarily fast

    Facebook is putting some serious effort into Artificial Intelligence, and not just so that Mark Zuckerberg can have his own Jarvis-style personal home assistant either. In a Facebook post published on Wednesday, the hoodied one shared some of the work being done by the social network's AI division. He illustrated the work with a video of the AI playing the Chinese game Go, one of the few activities where human beings can still routinely beat machines. According to Zuckerberg, scientists have been trying to teach computers to win at Go for some 20 years now. Read more: Mark Zuckerberg’s...

  • Facebook Sports Stadium: a new feature for fans to discuss and follow games live

    Facebook has introduced a new hub that is dedicated to sport lovers. Facebook Sports Stadium is a place to experience sports in real time with friends, users and experts around the world. Facebook claims that it has 650-million sports fans on its platform, something the hub aims to take advantage of. Facebook has long shown interest in sports but this is the first time that it has built a feature dedicated to sports. The hub will pull content from Facebook and not from any sports content producers. Sport has always been a big deal with Facebook users. In 2015,...

  • Facebook rolls out Mentions on Android

    Facebook Mentions, a platform from the social network that makes it easy for public figures to talk with their fans and each other, has officially launched on Android. Since launching on iOS in August last year, the service has seen fairly significant uptake thanks largely to Live, video component of the app which allows public figures can take their fans behind the scenes, host Q&As, share announcements and more. Read more: Facebook launches live video-streaming feature for celebrities With Live users can also interact, watch the live broadcasts or choose to watch the video later on the public...

  • Facebook Messenger out to kill the phone number

    Facebook Messenger, which passed the 800-million user mark in 2015, is out to kill the phone number. That's according to post from the social network's Vice President of Messaging David Marcus, in which he outlines what the messaging platform is out do in 2016. Looking back, Marcus says 2015 was a year "when we made significant improvements to how we enable people to communicate". "Among other things, he writes, "we made Messenger blazing fast, we introduced video calling, the ability to customize conversations with colors, nicknames and emojis, and with Businesses on Messenger, we introduced a new way for...

  • Facebook to reward small business advertisers in 2016 Facebook Awards

    Facebook on Tuesday announced that entries are open for the 2016 Facebook Awards. The awards, now in their fifth year, are designed to celebrate the best creative advertising work being shared on the Facebook platform as well as on Instagram. Facebook expects the awards to experience continued growth in 2016 after it reviewed more than 2 700 submissions from 160 countries in 2015. It also says it's aiming to internationalise the awards more this year in the wake of increased entries from outside the US. For the first time, the awards will also recognise small business advertisers who have earned...

  • Mark Zuckerberg’s New Year’s resolution is to build his own Jarvis-style personal assistant

    The beginning of the year, amongst other things, means making New Year's resolutions. Mark Zuckerberg, known for setting himself some difficult goals, has come out with a New Year's resolution that makes all others appear petty. The Facebook CEO is planning to built his own artificial personal assistant in 2016. Announcing the news on his Facebook profile, Zuckerberg said that this year's resolution theme is about invention. "My personal challenge for 2016 is to build a simple AI to run my home and help me with my work. You can think of it kind of like Jarvis in Iron...

  • Paris, Pluto, #BlackLivesMatter: Facebook’s 2015 year in review

    Facebook has released its 2015 year in review, with the upcoming US presidential elections, the recent terror attacks in Paris, and the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis ranking among its most talked about news events. Following those events are the Nepal earthquakes and the Greek debt crisis. Ed Sheeran meanwhile topped the list of most talked-about entertainers, followed by Taylor Swift at #2, Kanye West at #3, Nicky Jam at #4, and Wiz Khalifa rounding out the top five. Game of Thrones ruled the small screen as the most talked-about TV show, while Star Wars: The Force Awakens led the list...