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Facebook

  • Facebook caught skewing the review score of its Portal device on Amazon

    Facebook employees have been spotted giving the company's Portal video calling devices five-star ratings on Amazon. This comes after The Verge spotted a Twitter comment from New York Times columnist Kevin Roose who suggested that the reviewers' names were strangely similar to those employed at Facebook. This information suggests that Facebook has been bending the review rating of the product in the company's favour. However, a follow up tweet by Facebook's VR chief Andrew Bosworth claimed that the reviews would be taken down, and were not "cordinated nor directed" by Facebook itself. https://twitter.com/boztank/status/1085966442820886528 Facebook launched the Portal and Portal+ in October last year. Feature image:...

  • Facebook’s ‘life events’ feature gets a redesign

    Facebook is redesigning its "life events" feature so that your important milestones stand out even more on the platform. "When we began reimagining life events, we talked to people around the world to understand the milestones in people’s lives," the company explains on its website. The redesigned look includes "new options, including animated photos and videos", and if you add your own photos they'll now include "subtle animation".  According to Facebook, many users believe life event posts bring people closer together. Taking this into consideration, the platform will now notify your friends and family when you add a milestone event to your...

  • Facebook now lets you share, collaborate gift ideas and other content collections

    Facebook has launched a new feature that allows you to share your saved collection (of gift ideas) with your friends just in time for the holidays. “To help you send gift ideas more easily, we’re introducing the ability for people to share a collection of content saved on Facebook with specific friends and family,” the social network revealed on its website. Collections allow you to group saved Facebook content such as videos, photos, products and even recipes. “For example, if you create a collection of products – a holiday wish list of sorts – you can share it with a group of...

  • Video: Bicycle shop trashed, looted after Cape Town lights festival

    Cape Town's annual festive lights gathering is supposed to be a joyous occasion for families, but things turned ugly in the late hours after the event. On Monday around 5am, a bicycle shop in Long Street was trashed and looted. The store, known as Rook Cycles, uploaded a CCTV video to Instagram and Facebook documenting the incident. The 46-second long video shows more than 20 looters jump through the store's broken window, snatching bicycles and bags. At one point, a group of trespassers actually fight over a bicycle in the store. "We’re so optimistic about South Africa. We’ve had opportunities to open elsewhere,...

  • Facebook to bring more local news to users with ‘Today In’

    Facebook has announced that it will start rolling out its local news feature to more countries around the world. Called Today In, the feature will aggregate local news and alerts for people depending on where in the world they are, allowing them to see more relevant and immediate news. Currently, the feature is available in the US and parts of its surrounding areas whilst also being tested in Australian communities too. “In addition, we have started testing Today In in communities located in news deserts, places that have low supply of local news and community information, by supplementing with relevant content from...

  • You can now host a ‘Watch Party’ from your Facebook profile, page

    Watch Party, a feature on Facebook that allows users to share and discuss video content in real time, is being expanded on Facebook. The feature will now be accessible from Pages and common Facebook profiles, where it was once only available for Groups. “We've heard from Page admins that the ability to host Watch Parties from their Pages would enable them to reach and engage a broader audience around videos,” Facebook says on its media blog. Watch Party will also include a few new features that Facebook is testing. “We're adding the ability for Pages and Groups to schedule a Watch Party, helping...

  • Dead Facebook Messenger posts briefly came back to life

    If you thought deleting a conversation that you’d rather not remember would get rid of it for ever, think again. Earlier today, Facebook users complained that old Messenger chats were popping up again out of the blue. According to The Verge, which first reported the issue, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed that old messages were indeed coming back to life to makes its users' lives miserable. “We are aware of the issue and are actively working to resolve it in as soon as possible,” the spokesperson reportedly said, apologising for the inconvenience. Though its worrying that years-worth of chatting is still backed up somewhere...

  • ‘Learn with Facebook’ is the company’s new online learning portal

    Facebook has launched a new website dedicated to helping people build digital skills for the modern working world Dubbed Learn with Facebook, the company describes the platform as “a career development site that provides an introduction to both the hard and soft skills people need to advance in today’s digital workforce”. The lessons, which feature “case studies, insider tips and resources from industry experts”, are free to access online and include topics such as Ace Your Interview and Manage Your Content Marketing. While lessons are also conducted online and seem to be available globally, Facebook is further partnering with Goodwill Community Forum...

  • Facebook outlines Portal’s security policy as devices begin shipping

    Facebook’s Portal, the smart home device which the company revealed last month, has begun shipping in the US, and to mark the occasion Facebook is clarifying Portal’s privacy policy. Portal and Portal+ are video communication devices from that allow you to video call another Portal or Facebook Messenger user. “We know there are some questions around Portal privacy and ads, so we’d like to provide more details on these topics,” the company says on its website. Facebook has recently faced much suspicion for the way it supposedly uses private user information, particularly to target ads. When it comes to privacy and security...

  • Music and lip syncing is coming to a Facebook profile near you

    This week Facebook is introducing a range of new music-related features to its platform. “Sometimes the right words to fit your mood, feeling, or personality can be hard to find,” the company stated in a blog post. To solve this apparent problem, Facebook will be implementing a Music feature in Stories, adding lyrics to Lip Sync Live and allow the use of songs in profiles. Music in Facebook Stories The Music feature for Facebook Stories is similar to Instagram's. With it you will be able to add songs to your Story updates from a library of music, and a sticker will be added...

  • Messenger 4 is a simpler, more colourful version of Facebook’s chat app

    Facebook has announced a simpler version of Facebook Messenger, called Messenger 4, will begin rolling out globally. “We believe Messenger 4 delivers the closeness and authenticity that you’ve been asking for — through simplicity of design and powerful features,” the company said on its website. Messenger 4 will feature a simplified UI with just three tabs to navigate through, as opposed to the current nine. Chats, People and Discover In the Chats tab, you'll find private and group messages along with the app’s camera feature. In the People tab, you can find your contacts and view their Facebook Stories. The Discover tab is “where you can...

  • 3D photos are coming to Facebook, and you can shoot them

    Traditional photos too mundane for you? If you're a Facebook user, you can now post 3D photos to your News Feed if you have the required hardware. The feature allows you to transform and share your photos by making them move to give a life-like feel, taking specific advantage of the spate of dual-camera smartphones. “You just take a photo in Portrait mode using your compatible dual-lens smartphone, then share as a 3D photo on Facebook where you can scroll, pan and tilt to see the photo in realistic 3D”, the company explained in a blog post. The social network also suggested...

  • Third-party fact checking for Facebook South Africa

    Facebook has announced the implementation of third-party fact checking for news and information in South Africa. This new security feature is meant to “help assess the accuracy of news in South Africa, and reduce the spread of misinformation, whilst improving the quality of news people find” on the social media platform, the company explains in an announcement. The company is working alongside certified fact-checking organisations AfricaCheck and AFP. “Local articles will be fact-checked alongside the verification of photos and videos. If one of our fact-checking partners identifies a story as false, Facebook will show it lower in News Feed, significantly reducing its...

  • 3 Improvements coming to Facebook’s Marketplace

    Facebook has revealed new features for its Marketplace as it celebrates being around for two years. “Marketplace was introduced in 2016 as a place for people to buy and sell within their local communities,” said the company on their website, which also notes that the space has evolved into a platform for users to discover products and services globally. Now Marketplace is receiving some updates and features to improve its service. Improved AI abilities According to Facebook, artificial intelligence is the key to making its Marketplace as efficient as possible. While currently AI helps personalise the quality of your user experience, new updates will...

  • Facebook’s Rosetta can understand the text in your advice animal memes

    Facebook has this week announced its machine-learning program that can read and understand text in images. This AI system, which Facebook calls Rosetta, will allow the company to read text from images on its social network, be it your advice animal memes, or road signs in photographs. “Understanding the text that appears on images is important for improving experiences, such as a more relevant photo search or the incorporation of text into screen readers that make Facebook more accessible for the visually impaired,” the company explained in the announcement. According to Facebook, Rosetta uses a two-step text extraction process. "In the first step,...