• BURN MEDIA
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Ventureburn
      Startup news for emerging markets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!

Facebook

  • Messenger doubled its real-time video chats to 17b in 2017

    Facebook Messenger has had a pretty interesting 2017, despite some embarrassing mistakes like that Stories clone "Day" no one used. According to the company, there were 17 billion real-time video chats on the platform between January and November this year. Messenger boasts 1.3 billion active users a month -- meaning the average user was only making around 13 calls a year. Facebook Messenger boasted 17 billion video chat sessions in 2017 -- an average of only 13 per user More popular than video chats were GIFs, which were sent 18 billion times in 2017. But most popular? The 500 billion emojis sent in just one year....

  • New Facebook tool will tell if you liked Russian propaganda

    Now that Facebook has acquiesced to the demands of US Congress and handed over its data, the company is focussing on helping those who were tricked by Russian propaganda in the first place. By the end of the year, a tool on Facebook's Help Centre will allow users to see which pages they liked or followed between January 2016 and August 2017 are run by Internet Research Agency, a known Russian troll factory. The results will include Instagram accounts. The tool will mark the first step the company takes to actively help the individuals misled during the US 2016 elections. So far, it has...

  • Facebook Creator app launches on iOS

    Facebook has taken a leaf out of YouTube's book and launched an app and website specifically geared towards "creators" (people who post videos to its platform). The app is essentially a rebrand of the celebrity app Facebook Mentions, which was promoted as a better way to build communities. In fact, users will only be able to find the new Facebook Creator in the App Store when searching "Facebook Mentions", despite the actual title having changed. The app is meant to make it easier for creators to post videos, go live, and connect with their communities. It offers exclusive features like adding intros and...

  • Facebook Stories and Messenger Day are now the same thing

    Messenger Day -- the Facebook Messenger version of WhatsApp Status and Instagram Stories -- is no more. Instead, the feature has been rehashed and renamed. No longer will Messenger Day be treated as a standalone feed. It will instead form part of Facebook Stories -- a Snapchat clone that already features on the base Facebook app. "Starting today, we are introducing a new experience called Stories, connecting Messenger Day and Facebook Stories," the company wrote on its Messenger page. "Any photos or videos you add to your Stories will appear on both Facebook and Messenger, and will be shared with the same...

  • Russia to ban Facebook if it doesn’t comply with data storage laws

    Russian communications regulator Roskomnadzor will check to see if Facebook is abiding by a Russian data storage law -- and the result may lead to the company blocked from the country altogether. "In the near future Roskomnadzor will plan a series of supervisory activities aimed at analyzing the activities of the administration of Facebook in terms of the processing of Russian users’ personal information, the terms of services for users, and the content of existing legislation," it said in a statement Wednesday carried by the Interfax news agency, according to Reuters. The law, which came into effect last year, requires websites that store citizens' personal data to do...

  • Facebook suggests users upload nudes to avoid revenge porn

    Worried that an abusive ex may upload intimate images of you to social media? Facebook may have a solution for you, though maybe not in the way you expect. The company is testing a feature in Australia that lets users send their images to themselves on Messenger, allowing the platform to store the images' digital footprints and prevent anyone else from uploading them in the future. While this feature may set all your danger instincts on high alert, the company says that it isn't actually storing your images (which are secured by end-to-end encryption) but rather their hash values or links. Facebook then uses the photo-matching...

  • Facebook evens the playing field by discontinuing ‘dark posts’

    At the end of October, Facebook broke the news that it planned to introduce a new advertising feature that would lead to any paid posts run by brands becoming readily visible to anyone who visited the page. What this effectively means is the end of the concept known as "dark posts", which allowed brands to choose not to publish specific pieces of content organically to their page, but instead, only promote them to a highly specific audience via paid budget amplification. Although the change comes as a direct response from Facebook to combat unfair paid political tactics on social media channels,...

  • Facebook has more duplicate accounts than Snapchat has users

    Facebook's userbase is a curious number. Not only is it the largest of any social network on the planet at 2.07-billion users per month, it also has more duplicate accounts than Snapchat has users. The company's earning report, released Wednesday, announced a spike of over 60-million users in Q3 2017. Daily active users are also up, now tipping the 1.4-billion mark. But lurking within these numbers are some 207-million duplicate accounts. "This quarter, we implemented a new methodology to help identify duplicate accounts," noted CFO David Wehner in an earnings call. "As a result, we increased our estimates for duplicate accounts to approximately...

  • Facebook’s AI led to the wrongful arrest of a Palestinian man

    Facebook has been touting its artificial-intelligence services as a way to quickly identify those promoting terrorist content on the platform, but not all of these services are as foolproof as the company would have us believe. Last week, Israeli police arrested a Palestinian construction worker when Facebook's translation tool mistakenly translated the Arabic for "good morning" to "attack them" in Hebrew, and "hurt them" in English, according to Gizmodo. Police were notified of the post, and were suspicious of the accompanying image that showed the worker leaning on a bulldozer, which has been used as a weapon in previous terrorist attacks. No Arabic-speaking police officer...

  • Don’t expect a separate Facebook tab for friends’ posts any time soon

    Facebook has been testing a feature that separates friends' posts from public pages' in six countries, but it says there are no current plans to roll the test out further. The test is a response to user complaints about clogged News Feeds that are now filled with the likes of memes and recipe videos rather than friends' personal updates. In Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Slovakia, Serbia, Guatemala, and Cambodia, Facebook currently has two tabs: one for the common News Feed, which is purely personal posts from friends, and one called Explore, with posts from pages. This "Explore" tab is different in other parts of the world,...

  • Videos of little girl robbing women in Cape Town goes viral on Facebook

    Two videos of a little girl coerced into stealing items from shoppers' handbags in Cape Town have gone viral on Facebook. Published on 19 October by Facebook user Tyron-Nicklaus Norman, the two clips have since accumulated a combined 1.6-million views with an additional 21 000 shares. In the post, Norman explains the circumstances of the second video in which his wife was a victim. "Hi everyone, My wife was a victim of pick pocketing this evening. The part that is most sickening is that it was a little girl that did it," he writes. "She was being forced by a grown up woman...

  • US customers can now order food through Facebook

    If you're too lazy to visit a restaurant, or even open your favourite food ordering app, Facebook now lets you place orders for delivery or pick up directly from its app and website. The company's VP of local Alex Himel today announced the move in a press release. "Today, we’re taking the time out of finding what you want to eat by officially launching the ability to order food for pick-up or delivery, directly on Facebook," he writes. "People already go to Facebook to figure out what to eat by reading about nearby restaurants, and seeing what their friends say about...

  • Facebook execs to get ‘candid’ about ‘hard questions’ in live interviews

    Facebook executives are gearing up to "push  toward even greater transparency" in a series of live interviews with digital news site Axios. As part of the company's Hard Questions series -- heretofore existing only in the form of blog posts -- the company is opening up to reporters and editors from multiple news outlets and independent groups. At least in the case of Axios, Facebook says that the reporters will "fully control the questions and resulting coverage". The company says that it looks to take on the "most crucial topics in social media" -- including terrorism, hate speech, and Russian propaganda. The first interview will see...

  • Yes, Facebook and Instagram are down for some users

    Facebook and Instagram users across the world are today experiencing connectivity issues. Reports from users on Twitter and websites like DownDetector and Outage Report suggest that connection issues began around 5pm SAST. Facebook is having issues since 11:11 AM ESThttps://t.co/YbrNS7dpo9 RT if you're also affected #facebookdown pic.twitter.com/b5q3KqwkKs — Outage Report (@ReportOutage) October 11, 2017 On Facebook, users were unable to post status updates while Instagram users experienced a similar issue. The outage affected users across the world, including Japan, Brazil, India, the majority of Europe and the United States. In our tests, both Facebook and Instagram are seemingly up in South Africa. #FacebookDown began trending on Twitter...

  • Zuckerberg promotes VR with footage of disaster-stricken Puerto Rico

    Mark Zuckerberg has made some pretty tone-deaf moves in his time. Earlier this month, the Facebook CEO implied that people upset about Russian propaganda were as bad as those who wanted liberal content removed from Facebook. But just when you think he can't do worse, he goes and scores a personal best. This time, the Zuck appeared in a livestream promoting a Facebook VR tool as a cartoon version of himself in disaster-stricken Puerto Rico. Along with Facebook's head of social virtual reality Rachel Franklin, Zuckerberg toured the flooded areas as Puerto Ricans worked around his smiling, high-fiving avatar. Many citizens in the US-territory are...