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Social

  • Facebook Messenger is changing: here’s what you should know

    Having a large userbase might seem like a blessing, but it also surfaces a problem for social networks: monetisation. Twitter's experiencing this right now, and Facebook is seemingly just beginning its trials. To prevent itself from becoming the latest victim of the 140-character effect, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took to the stage at the company's F8 developers conference, and rang the changes. But no, we're not talking about Facebook proper. We're talking about Messenger. Facebook Messenger now has over 1.2-billion users, a figure four times greater than Twitter, and double that of Instagram. And with all those users available, Facebook smells massive...

  • Bonang faults SAA’s food, airline hits back with sassy tweet

    Bonang Matheba is trending on Twitter once again today, and that's largely thanks to SAA. The airline, in a month that has seen viral customer care gaffes from others in the industry, responded to a tweet from the 29-year-old socialite. And it included a fair amount of cheek. Bonang, commenting on the quality of the food offered on SAA flights (while also responding to a tweet from SA DJ Ph Madubela), received this gem of a reply from the airline's customer care account. @bonang_m @flysaa Hi, please note that other passengers enjoyed the meals. #flysaaa_care — FlySAA Care (@flysaa_care) April 18, 2017 The socialite...

  • Snapchat debuts dope new lenses for rear-facing camera

    Snapchat is here to fight everyone who still thinks its platform is just for selfies and disappearing nudes. It's a cool, interesting way to communicate the world around you and it's just launched a new feature to prove it. Dubbed "World Lenses," the feature consists of 3D animations for the rear-facing camera to bring the extra to an ordinary world. Users using the rear camera need only tap on the screen once and the familiar menu of filters appears. As of writing, filters include a discoing mushroom, 3D phrases of the "meh," "YOLO," and "STFU" calibre, an emoji rainbow and rain cloud,...

  • April the giraffe finally gives birth and the internet loses its mind

    On 10 February, educational animal park Animal Adventure began a livestream of its pregnant giraffe. It soon went viral as viewers from all around the world tuned in, hoping for a glimpse at the glorious miracle of life. While the stream spawned theories of an April Fool's hoax (Animal Adventure were pulling in a lot of cash and also no good thing in 2017 is to be trusted), it turns out our worries were for naught. On Saturday, April gave birth to a healthy baby boy -- with more than a million people watching. It all started on Friday when April began pacing,...

  • US man who killed someone on Facebook still at large

    Update, 19 April 8.43am: Police have confirmed that Steve Stephens took his own life during a car chase in Pennsylvania yesterday. Original article: Ohio police are still searching for alleged murderer Steve Stephens after he shot an elderly man on Sunday and posted a video of it to Facebook. The video, originally reported as live but later found to be previously recorded, depicted Stephens shooting 74-year-old Robert Goodwin Sr as he was picking up aluminium cans. Stephens told Goodwin that a woman (whose name has been kept private) was the reason for his death. Goodwin was forced to say her name before asserting he didn't know who she was....

  • 10 Instagram snaps of people living life at Splashy Fen 2017

    So how did you spend your long Easter weekend, South Africa? If you were at Splashy Fen, you probably had quite the time... at least judging by my Instagram feed. #Splashy was the hashtag of choice for the festival this year, racking up over 20 000 images according to the social networking site. Not all of these were snapped by people enjoying themselves in the green, green Underberg though, but a vast majority were. Splashy Fen first took place in South Africa back in 1990, a full four years before OppiKoppi made its mark The oldest annual music festival in the country...

  • Muzikifi: the story behind South Africa’s top trending YouTube video

    South Africa's most watched video on YouTube this week isn't a movie trailer, a snapshot of Pretoria's anti-Zuma protests, or even the latest episode of Skeem Saam. Nope. It's a mesmeric short of a man experiencing Soweto's cultural and musical delights for the first time. Random? Definitely. A remarkable watch? Oh yes. "Did she REALLY put a spell on me?">Did she REALLY put a spell on me? was published over the weekend and took South Africa's YouTube charts by storm. It steamed to the top of the trending list within three days, and remained there for much of the week. At present, the...

  • South Africa wishes Jacob Zuma a happy birthday with #WhyIHateZuma

    Oh South Africa. It's your President's birthday today and this is how you wish him? #WhyIHateZuma has been on our watchlist for much of the day, leading the charge alongside #NationalDayOfAction and #BusStrike as the country's big three trends this Wednesday. But it's notable that the hashtag should feature so prominently on Zuma's birthday. President Jacob Zuma turns 75 today, but some on Twitter weren't exactly wishing him a 'happy birthday' Turning 75 today, Jacob Zuma has had a tough beginning to 2017. After removing some screws on his cabinet for maintenance, the country has been about as wobbly as it's ever...

  • The most Instagram-famous world leader isn’t who you think

    When considering world leaders on social media, it's usually Twitter or Facebook that first comes to mind. US President Donald Trump has made waves with his sweeping tweets about foreign policy, and New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English caused an uproar when he put spaghetti and pineapple on his pizza. But over the past five years, world leaders have increasingly decided that Instagram is as worthy a contender for politics as any other platform. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. A recent study by Burson-Marsteller looked at the way politicians around the world communicate via the photo- and video-sharing platform, and the results aren't as predictable...

  • Julius Malema looks cool as hell handing out pamphlets in Pretoria

    Once one of South Africa's most maligned politicians, EFF leader Julius Malema has seemingly reinvented himself in just a few short years. Since he was kicked out of the ANC Youth League in his younger years, which subsequently opened the doors for the birth of the EFF, Malema hasn't exactly remained on the periphery of popular culture. One of his most notable achievements is arguably his mastery of social media. This online fame is definitely notable on the streets too. Case in point? Malema took to Pretoria's streets this week to hand out pamphlets to citizens, and raising awareness for the #NationalDayOfAction...

  • Why PewDiePie doesn’t care about free speech [Opinion]

    Felix Kjellberg, better known as PewDiePie, has made it his mission to fight The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). The Swedish YouTuber is consistently posting videos for his 54.6-million subscribers attacking WSJ for reporting news. But nothing Kjellberg argues ever holds up, and it's a damning representation of where his priorities lie. For those blissfully unaware, back in January PewDiePie posted a video in which he paid Indian men to hold up a sign promoting Jewish genocide. WSJ wrote an article on it, and contacted Disney for a statement. Disney was producing Kjellberg's YouTube Red show Scare Pewdiepie at the time, and...

  • Zapiro’s controversial South Africa ‘rape’ cartoon debated on Twitter

    Cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro, better known professionally as Zapiro, has long been known for his unadulterated take on South African current affairs. But social media users have just about had enough following his latest sketch. Published on The Daily Maverick today, "She's all yours, Boss!" references his controversial 2008 sketch "Rape of Lady Justice". Only this time, Lady South Africa herself is the victim, being held down by minister of social development Bathabile Dlamini, The New Age's editor Moegsien Williams, and minister of state security David Mahlobo. Atul Gupta is also depicted with half-removed slacks, standing in front of South Africa, clad...

  • #ZumaMustGoChallenge: South Africa’s newest dance mocks protesting grannies

    South Africa has a rich history of struggle songs, with the likes of Siyaya, iYoh Solomon and Senzeni Na uniting protesters for decades. So when three white grannies tried to create their own, they should have realised the ridicule they'd be subjecting themselves to. Thus, the #ZumaMustGoChallenge was born. On 7 April, tens of thousands of South Africans took to the streets to protest President Jacob Zuma. But it's well known that South Africans know how to make light of a tense situation, and when journalist Mamaponya Motsai uploaded the video of three white grannies singing their own creation, she gave Twitter just...

  • United Airlines outdoes Pepsi as social media’s most hated this week

    Pepsi might've been first to piss off the internet this week, but it didn't have to beat up a man on a plane to do it. Yes, United Airlines, we're looking at you. The American airline landed itself in hot water Monday evening CST after one of its passengers were violently removed from a Chicago flight because the flight was overbooked. The airline states that no passenger was willing to give up their seat, and chose four passengers randomly to leave the flight. When one man refused, things got ugly. According to a number of videos published on Twitter and Facebook, the...

  • #SouthAfricaIn3Words: one complex country, one complex hashtag

    South Africa. Another large, populous country in southern Africa that harbours a wealth of promise, but hasn't yet lived up to it this century. With the recent economic upheaval, widespread protests from citizens, and calls for President Jacob Zuma to resign, stability isn't a word that could be used as a descriptor for the state of the nation. Nope. Instead, Twitter users needed at least three others today to describe South Africa as acutely as possible. #SouthAfricaIn3Words is one of those hashtags that don't stem from any particular news story, or furthers one general rhetoric, but rather takes a look at...