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Social

  • ‘Disgusting’ Snapchat update faces heavy criticism on social media

    When developers make sweeping changes to apps or websites, you'll almost definitely hear about it on social. Just ask Facebook during its news feed-tinkering years, or more recently the team behind Instagram's colourful icon refresh. The latest in the long line of companies pissing off their users in this vein is Snapchat. Back in December 2017, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel suggested a notable tweak to the app's UI was forthcoming, as a response to users lamenting Snapchat's confusing layout. "There is a strong likelihood that the redesign of our application will be disruptive to our business in the short term, and we...

  • Here’s what South Africa searched for on Pornhub in 2017

    We've had to wait for it, but Pornhub has finally released its 2017 Year in Review report. And no, it's not all smut. In fact, the lengthy work provides notable insight into how the globe's search interests (albeit in pornographic material) fluctuates throughout the year, and differs to the previous year. And among the 28.5-billion visits, 24.7-billion searches and 3.7-petabytes of data transferred in 2017, South Africa featured strongly. In fact, the country was among the top 20 countries responsible for providing some 80% of Pornhub's traffic. It was the only African nation to feature on the list too, swapping places...

  • What are world leaders liking on Twitter?

    Twitter likes can be dangerous for prominent figures -- just ask Texas Senator Ted Cruz, whose account found notoriety after liking a porn video last year. But they can also offer some interesting insights into what leaders (or rather their social media managers) find important to acknowledge and endorse. Not only do likes hint at what content world leaders are consuming on social media, but they give direct access to the content they deem noteworthy, and that's a pretty neat feature for civilians. World leaders' Twitter likes give a rare glimpse into the content they consume and deem noteworthy Perhaps Twitter's most notorious user,...

  • Twitter: Posting private info is what will get Trump, world leaders in trouble

    Earlier this week, Twitter published a brief statement detailing why world leaders are held in special regard on the social network. "Twitter is here to serve and help advance the global, public conversation," it wrote. "Elected world leaders play a critical role in that conversation because of their outsized impact on our society. "Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial Tweets would hide important information people should be able to see and debate. It would also not silence that leader, but it would certainly hamper necessary discussion around their words and actions." The tweet in question? North Korean Leader Kim Jong...

  • Facebook’s killing its digital assistant M later this month

    We're quite used to writing about Facebook's new products or tweaks to its existing lineup of offerings. But this week, the company dropped news that M -- it's artificial intelligence service -- will be terminated. "Today we shared with the people who have access to our M closed beta project, first announced in August 2015, that January 19th is the last day the service will be available," it wrote in a statement. "We launched this project to learn what people needed and expected of an assistant, and we learned a lot." M, which is itself short for Moneypenny, never quite lived up...

  • Instagram, celebrities flaunt Cape Town’s curves during summer holidays

    Cape Town may feel a little devoid of Johannesburgers this holiday season, but we can assure you there's no shortage of celebrities running around its streets. This is at least according to Instagram. Recently, the city has been featured on a number of celebrities timelines as they enjoy the sun, surf and vistas, and, you know, the drought. But more importantly, these snaps have accrued a slew of likes and views, putting Cape Town on the timelines of millions of people. Prior to the numerous New Year's Eve parties taking place across the city, EDM artists EDX and Sophie Francis posted...

  • WhatsApp saw 75bn messages sent and received on New Year’s Eve

    How did you wish loved ones a Happy New Year? For some across the world who typically use WhatsApp, this task was made difficult by an unexpected year-end outage. But in spite of this poor luck, the Facebook-owned messaging service still recorded a new single day pinnacle for messages sent and received on its platform. A record 75-billion messages were reportedly sent and received on New Year's Eve, besting the previous number -- set last year -- by some 12-billion. That's an average of about 57 messages per WhatsApp user. 13-billion images and five billion videos were also snapped, recorded and shared...

  • Meet Instagram’s most-followed pets

    Beyoncé may have stolen the show this year with her pregnancy announcement on Instagram, but did she dress up as Eleven and take an awkward prom photo with the Stranger Things cast? Of course she didn't -- but Doug the Pug did, and that's why he's one of Instagram's most-followed pets. And you best believe he's in good (boy) company. So without further ado, here are the most-followed pets on Instagram. Brace yourselves. 10. Loki (1.6 million+ followers) Momma nature rolled out the green carpet for me. A post shared by Loki (@loki_the_wolfdog) on Dec 10, 2017 at 11:56am PST Loki's is "husky/arctic wolf/malamute mix", and he loves the outdoors. Hailing from Denver, Colorado,...

  • 2017 in review: this year’s absolute worst of the worst

    This year has been a whirlwind of racist scandal after sexist scandal after "How have they been running a business? Holy shit" scandal. So if you think you made poor choices in 2017, grab yourself a bottle of red, slap on a face mask, and let's indulge in the unhealthiest form of self care there is: relishing in the relief of not having made that mistake. This is Memeburn's list of the perpetrators of the dumbest public mistakes of 2017. This is part three, involving heinous individuals who intentionally physically hurt other human beings -- and this year finally received their reckoning. Click here for Part 1 and...

  • 2017 in review: the heinous horrors that got you angry this year

    This year has been a whirlwind of racist scandal after sexist scandal after "How have they been running a business? Holy shit" scandal. So if you think you made poor choices in 2017, grab yourself a bottle of red, slap on a face mask, and let's indulge in the unhealthiest form of self care there is: relishing in the relief of not having made that mistake. This is Memeburn's list of the perpetrators of the dumbest public mistakes of 2017. Part two involves heinous mistakes that mostly tarnished institutions' names rather than individuals. Part 1 can be found here. Travis Kalanick Uber founder Travis Kalanick's terrible, horrible,...

  • #ANC54 is a reminder that Twitter is still crawling with Guptabots

    When Twitter was outed for housing hundreds of thousands of propagandist Russian bots during the 2016 US election, it vowed to do better. The company became committed to "transparency", donated the ad revenue the propaganda pulled in, and made a bunch of promises as to how they would avoid this manipulation in the future. As Twitter was making promises, though, South Africa was discovering the extent of its own misinformation campaigns. Twitter has promised the US more "transparency", but has kept mum on SA's Guptabots In November 2016, The Daily Maverick first identified 100 Twitter accounts that all touted similar messages with "white monopoly capital" as...

  • 2017 in review: the public mistakes you smashed on social this year

    This year has been a whirlwind of racist scandal after sexist scandal after "How have they been running a business? Holy shit" scandal. So if you think you made poor choices in 2017, grab yourself a bottle of red, slap on a face mask, and let's indulge in the unhealthiest form of self care there is: relishing in the relief of not having made that mistake. This is Memeburn's list of the perpetrators of the dumbest public mistakes in 2017, starting with the people who may have made a dumb mistake, but at least they didn't directly hurt anyone. Two additional lists covering the heinous and downright disgusting are...

  • Facebook says social media is only bad if you do it wrong

    Facebook has admitted that social media can be bad, but only when you're not doing it right. As part of the company's "Hard Questions" blog series, director of research David Ginsberg and research scientist Moira Burke attempted to answer whether or not spending time on social media is bad for us. The duo examined a couple of academic studies that pointed towards social media's detriment: psychologist Jean Twenge's analysis of the correlation between depression and smartphone usage; psychologist Sherry Turkle's assertion that mobile phones make us "alone together". Facebook knows social media can be bad, but it's placed the blame on users But, Facebook...

  • Lens Studio lets anyone create lenses for Snapchat

    Snap's latest desktop app Lens Studio lets anyone from students to full-time developers create their own lenses for Snapchat and its users. The app lets users design any kind of augmented reality lenses, including static and animated objects, ones with interactive taps, and ones that show a "window into another world". Users can then share their completed designs with friends using a Snapcode that will unlock the lens for 24 hours. The app includes guides, templates, and 3D modelling software. Lens Studio also offers challenges -- like the current one accepting submissions for New Year's-themed lenses -- in which creators can win prizes like an iPad...

  • Facebook’s testing a Windows-like multiple login toggle

    Have an annoying family member who always uses your computer and subsequently your Facebook account? Well, the company has a solution for that. A new feature, which is currently being tested, allows multiple accounts to be switched on-the-fly on the same computer from the same Facebook page. It's fairly similar to Windows 10's start menu user login toggle. The feature, earmarked by a button alongside users' profile pictures, isn't available to everyone as yet but it is listed in Facebook's help centre. "You can use the image at the top of your page to navigate between accounts," reads the page. "This allows you and...