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Social networking

  • English-language version of ‘social petwork’ launches first in SA

    YummyPets, a self-styled "social petwork" which originates in France has chosen South Africa for the launch of its English-language offering. There are some pretty niche and offbeat social networks out there. But going by the number of cats, puppies, and other creatures filling up our Instagram feeds, it's surprising that there haven't been more high-profile pet-based ones. Yummypets allows you to set up a Facebook-style profile for your animals and upload photos, videos and news about them. From there, people can follow them and receive updates on what they've been up to. If that was all it did...

  • Leaving the nest: it’s now possible to sign up for Messenger without a Facebook account

    Facebook has announced that users do not need to have a Facebook account to sign up to Messenger. Up until now, one could not sign up to Messenger without a Facebook account but that has now changed, allowing users to sign up with their phone numbers, giving Messenger more power. The company has been building Messenger, giving it photos, videos, group chats, voice and video calling, and stickers features. With 700-million monthly users, Messenger has already lay claim to a huge chunk of the messaging market. This move is significant. It establishes more than ever before Messenger as a...

  • Instagram announces explore page, with trending tags and places, and more powerful search

    Instagram has announced two major updates. One is to its explore feature, adding trending tags and places, and the other is making its search more powerful and easier to find people, places, and tags. According to Instagram, 70-million photos and videos are posted to the platform every day. It is clear from this that seeing all of them is impossible and even tracking back to see all of them is like navigating a minefield. With the new changes, things are about to get better. “We’ve completely reimagined the Explore page to make discovery on Instagram immediate and effortless.”...

  • Are Facebook’s video views closing in on YouTube’s?

    A new survey by Ampere Analysis suggests that Facebook video views are growing so fast that they could catch up with YouTube’s in a few years. YouTube has long reigned as the king when it comes to watching videos online. Its video views reach billions. But of late Facebook and Twitter have made strides in catering for video playback in their own platforms. Facebook has made its intentions about hosting video clear, partnering with NFL and Fox Sports. And it would seem that it is now paying off. Earlier this year, Facebook revealed that in just one year, the number...

  • 5 tips on building your digital footprint online

    If you are in the process of building your personal brand or generating more awareness for your business on the web, you have to understand that basically everything you do online is recorded. Every blog post, status update, Tweet, +1 and comments you leave on forums or blogs adds to your digital reputation. If you are interested in building a name for yourself online with digital marketing, you should know and understand that online you should always follow a couple of simple rules to get the best results. The opportunities online are endless and here's a couple of tips I...

  • Facebook introduces a way to share less personal data with third-party apps

    Facebook, the biggest miner of people’s data, introduced a year ago, a way to limit how much personal data third-party apps have access to. Apps then had until 30 April 2015 to change to the new settings. The new version of Facebook login has better privacy controls. It allows users to choose which information they want to share. Signing into an app via Facebook is convenient until one becomes cognizant that third-party apps are not pointlessly asking access to one’s Facebook but are actually digging through the minefield of data and obtaining it for whatever reason. It is no...

  • Twitter makes policy changes addressing prohibited content, site violations

    Policing social media users is never going to be a closed chapter. There is always going to be a new challenge or behaviour that threatens this. Twitter rightfully acknowledges that it is not enough to simply put resources into place but it is critical and even necessary to have a better way of responding to abuse reports. To do this, Twitter is making two police changes, one related to prohibited content, and one about how it is enforces certain policy violations. The update to prohibited content will mean that the prohibition will now not be limited to direct, specific threats...

  • Facebook’s Messenger comes to the web

    Facebook is developing ways to endear Messenger to its users. Its entry was somewhat forceful, and it received, deservedly so, cold shoulders from most users but over time Messenger has begun to grow inside us all. And now, it is accessible on the web browser too. Today Facebook launched Messenger as a dedicated web interface. The Messenger site can be accessed by logging in with Facebook details. The site has a white interface with a list of chat contacts on the left, and a clean white chat window in the middle and on the right, details of the person...

  • Facebook’s Scrapbook gives parents a new way to archive their kid’s photos

    Facebook is rolling out a new feature. The feature, Scrapbook, gives parents a simple and more organise way of uploading photos of their children, allowing an easy way for them to chronicle their lives. The feature also makes use of Facebook’s options. Parents can have their Scrapbook’s as private albums, or share them with family and other Facebook friends. The reason to have this feature available, Facebook says, is to give parents who are already sharing and tagging photos of their children a better experience. The new feature allows parents to collect the photos into one place and make...

  • Live video streaming feud: Twitter launches Periscope, Meerkat completes a funding round

    Like two bulls readying themselves for a fight, bellowing, mooing, looking menacing, intimidating the other, Twitter and Meerkat are ramping up their respective livestreaming plays. Today Twitter launched Periscope on iOS, a live video streaming startup it acquired back in January for a reported US$100-million. As news of the purchase became public, Twitter also cut off Meerkat’s ability to access its social graph. The news left Meerkat in the cold, considering that up until then, it had been the sole and popular live video streaming app for Twitter. Two weeks after its launch it amassed 120 000 users. Twitter’s...

  • Facebook launches ‘On this day’ feature to show users posts from the past

    Scrolling down Facebook to find an old post, photo, or shared article can be a nightmare. Even though you can navigate the archive in months and years, things can still get lost in the stream. That is now a thing of the past thanks to Facebook's introduction of a new feature called On This Day. According to the social giant, On This Day is a “new way to look back at things you have shared and posts you’ve been tagged in on Facebook.” On This Day shows users content from this date in the past. Users might, says Facebook, see...

  • Instagram launches Layout, its own photo collage app

    Instagram has launched a standalone app that allows users to combine multiple photos into a single image, dubbed Layout. Instagram described the app as fun, simple and it offers a new way for users to flex their creativity, allowing users to remix up to nine photos at a time. “From imagining mirrored landscapes to sharing multiple moments from an entire adventure, we’ve seen these kinds of visual storytelling happening on Instagram and we’re inspired by it. With Layout, it’s easier than ever to unlock your creativity — and we can’t wait to see what you’ll make next,” the company said...

  • Facebook announces new ad product aimed at expats

    Facebook today announced a new advertising product aimed at people whose current country of residence is different from their home country. According to Facebook, the service is aimed at providing relevant ads to the social network's 92-million or so expats. People in marketing, it says, can now connect with expats living within a given country (like expats living in Brazil) and expats originating from a specific country (like people born in Brazil living abroad). Nationality-specific targeting is currently available for people from Brazil, Indonesia, China, South Africa and India. Read more: Facebook’s had to adapt its plans to...

  • Facebook revamps its community standards, adds more clarity

    There appears to be an increasing tweaking of guidelines by blogging and social platforms to protect their users. Twitter cracked down on trolls, Google’s Blogger on adult content and now Facebook is revamping its Community Standards. Facebook is not changing its guidelines or adding new ones, it is simply providing clarity and examples because according to it, there has been confusion around what they mean by nudity or hate speech. There has always been an imbalance between what Facebook Community Standards says and what it ultimately does. In a joint statement by Monika Bickert, Head of Global Policy Management, and...

  • US, India lead government requests for Facebook user data

    Facebook has released its latest report on government requests for user data and while Western countries are making fewer requests, they still very much lead the way, along with India. Between July and December 2014, the social network received 35 051 requests for government data, up from 34 946 in the first half of the year. Of those, some 14 274 came from various entities within the US government. According to Facebook, the requests concerned 21 731 user accounts and "some data" was provided in 79.14% of cases. A little over half of the requests came in the shape...