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Facebook

  • 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,...

  • Facebook Lite now comes with Community Help feature

    Last year, Facebook launched Community Help, a feature that allows people to communicate with, and help each other during times of crisis. Now the feature is coming to Facebook Lite, a lower data usage version of the Facebook app on Android. “In many areas around the world, networks can be slow and unreliable. This can be even more challenging after a crisis, when communication is critical,” the social network explains. The addition of Community Help to Facebook Lite now opens the service to countries with slower internet connection speeds and lower-specification smartphones. According to the social network, over 100 countries use its...

  • Facebook and BlackBerry are now suing each other for patent infringement

    Just a few months ago, BlackBerry sued Facebook (and a number of other companies) for tech infringement. Now, Facebook is suing the Canadian company for the same. Facebook is accusing the former smartphone giant of swiping its voice messaging technology. In total, Facebook lists six patents. The case was filed on Tuesday, so expect further developments as it develops. But it's not the first time BlackBerry has been in the centre of a legal dispute this year. In March, as mentioned above, the company took aim at Facebook's Instagram and WhatsApp messengers for coping features that were originally developed within BBM --...

  • Facebook Watch is rolling out worldwide

    Facebook Watch -- the company's video streaming platform -- is now rolling out globally. Watch was initially release a year ago but was only available in the US. Now it will be open to the rest of the world too. "Taking Watch global also means new opportunities for creators and publishers around the world," said Facebook in its release. Watch is a sub-section of Facebook where users can find new videos and content to watch, as well as a hub for all your saved videos from their Facebook Feed. Users will be able to create a Watchlist, "a collection of recent videos from...

  • Facebook will broadcast La Liga matches live in India, Pakistan for free

    Big news for footballing fans and social media users across the Indian subcontinent this week. Facebook will broadcast every Spanish La Liga football match during the 2018/19 season for free across eight Asian countries. The league features some of world football's most popular players, including Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos. For La Liga, the deal will broaden the reach of the league across Asia with minimal effort. "One of our goals for the last two years has been to offer content to the widest audience possible, so partnering with free platforms like Facebook, which has 270-million users in India, is...