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Facebook

  • Facebook’s new feature could save your life

    Facebook is in the process of rolling out a feature that could save your life -- or just help abusers. Live Location in Messenger allows you to send your current, moving location to a person or group. For a period of 60 minutes -- or until you stop sharing -- your friends will be able to follow your movements on the Messenger app. They will also be told how long it would take you to get to them. "We've been testing this for a little while, and people tell us that Live Location is helpful when trying to coordinate with friends, telling...

  • Facebook’s new feature will turn it into a digital shopping mall

    In its never-ending quest to connect the world and make loads of cash doing it, Facebook has today announced a new shopping advertising format dubbed Collection that will helps brands showcase products on mobile. And yes, only mobile. "Mobile has reshaped how people discover, learn and ultimately buy from businesses," the company writes in an update. "People are also watching more videos on mobile, and shoppers want to see products as they exist in the real world—but they also expect fast-loading, seamless experiences when they discover and buy on mobile." The company's solution to this is to allow brands to tell their own...

  • You can now use Facebook Live from your computer

    As of yesterday, friends around the world can use their poor quality in-built webcams to Facebook livestream themselves sitting at home doing nothing. Just what the platform needed. Before, the feature was only available on mobile -- which made sense as the things you actually want to watch live are often on the move -- but Facebook has announced that this week all desktops and laptops are able to broadcast live. According to the platform, "computers provide a stable camera setup that can be beneficial to many types of Facebook Live broadcasts — from Q&As to vlogs to tutorials to any...

  • Facebook struggling to get live TV you’d want to watch

    Facebook has been working very hard to establish itself as an inevitable competitor in the TV industry. Last month, the company hired former MTV executive Mina Lefevre as Head of Development. Before that, the company made it clear they were placing a greater emphasis on longer videos, and has even paid media outlets like Buzzfeed and The New York Times to use the live feature. But, unlike YouTube TV, Facebook have not managed to acquire access to what people actually care about: popular content. So far, the company has cracked streaming deals with US Major League Soccer and World Surf League -- hardly anything the...

  • Lancewood cheeses Facebook Messenger bots to bring you novel recipes

    Humans have been sending other humans emoji for thousands of years now, so it's only right that the system should be used by brands. Speaking of which, South African cheese brand Lancewood has announced a nifty little marketing campaign relating to its Ultimate Braai Master partnership. Dubbed Lancewood Emoji Meals, the company's using a Facebook Messenger bot and your choice of emoji to receive related recipes featuring one of the company's products. "By sending a food Emoji to LANCEWOOD®’s Facebook page via private message, the Bot instantly responds with a recipe or tip related to the Emoji. As an example, Clarissa...

  • Facebook brings Snapchat Story clone to Messenger

    Another day, another clone. Facebook has launched Messenger Day for it messaging app, a month after it gave WhatsApp the unnecessary and underused WhatsApp Status. The feature allows you to add pictures to your "Day", where your friends can view what you've been up to in the past 24 hours. Messenger users in Poland and Australia have been the guinea pigs for the product since late last year, but  the feature has been rolling out globally as of yesterday. Messenger Day boasts more than 5 000 frames, stickers and effects, as well as the ability to monitor who can see what you post. "You’re always in control of who...

  • Immersive Facebook 360 app hits the Samsung Gear VR

    Facebook has released an app that makes finding 360 degree  photos and videos that much easier on Gear VR, the company announced yesterday. Facebook 360, which can be downloaded from the Oculus app, is a "one-stop shop" for all the 360 content that Facebook provides. The app allows users to view saved content, content from those they follow, their own timeline, and an "explore" feed that will feature the most popular 360 degree content on Facebook. The app also provides the ability to share, save and react to the 360 degree content as users see fit. According to Facebook, more than 25-million 360 photos...

  • Facebook cleared in fake news defamation case

    Last month, Syrian refugee Anas Modamani filed a lawsuit against Facebook after a barrage of fake news linked an image of him and German chancellor Angela Merkel to terrorism. The photo, taken in August 2015, was used by many right-wing fake news sites last year. Modamani's selfie was linked to attacks like the ones in Berlin and Brussels last year. Modamani requested that Facebook take the articles down, but it refused -- forcing the 19-year-old to take the issue to court. The Syrian's lawyer, Chan-jo Jun, argued that he was a victim of libel and that Facebook needed to do more...

  • College dropout Mark Zuckerberg is finally getting that Harvard degree

    The relatively-famous Mark Zuckerberg is finally getting his Harvard degree nearly 12 years after he dropped out to create that small global experience we know today as Facebook. Zuckerberg left the institution in 2005 to set up the social network's current home in Palo Alto. Back then, Facebook was but a fleck on the surface of the internet. Now, the social network commands monthly user numbers in excess of 1.8-billion. "Zuckerberg originally intended to return to Harvard, but the immediate success of the enterprise led him to devote his full energy to the company," Harvard writes on its website. Mark Zuckerberg dropped...

  • Facebook Live implements suicide support

    Facebook's suicide prevention tools are being extended to Facebook Live in an attempt to decrease the number of people taking their own lives on the platform. In January this year, aspiring actor Jay Bowdy used Facebook Live to threaten suicide. Despite friends and family contacting police, Bowdy took his own life an hour after the livestream. In the same month, a 12-year-old and 14-year-old livestreamed their deaths on two separate occasions. Facebook has featured suicide prevention tools for 10 years, but the new Live platform has presented a new set of issues to tackle. "Our suicide prevention tools for Facebook posts will now...

  • Facebook digging the dirt to bring internet to Uganda

    Not content with launching satellites or unmanned solar-powered gliders, Facebook is taking a more based approach to bringing internet to Africa. According to a new Recode report, the company alongside Airtel and BCS, will be trenching Uganda to lay fibre cables. Around "500 miles" of cable is being planned, and will aim to be a backbone for wireless service providers and the country's telcos. Facebook, Airtel and BCS will lay fibre in Uganda to strengthen the country's internet infrastructure This isn't the first time Facebook has looked to Africa in its quest for global internet coverage. In 2015, the company launched its...

  • Disable Facebook autoplay videos on all platforms: a how-to guide

    Few things are more annoying than runaway videos on your devices thanks to Facebook autoplay. You can be mindlessly scrolling through your timeline one minute, and the next, some rando in a chicken suit starts dancing on your screen. No one wants that. Thankfully, this system, along with audio accompaniment, is coming to mobile devices too! But did you know that you can switch off the Facebook autoplay system entirely? Absolutely. And here's how you can do just that on Desktop, Android, and iOS. Desktop On Facebook's desktop website, you'll need to navigate to the top right of the site's headline bar and click...

  • Facebook videos will now autoplay on your phone with sound

    Facebook announced yesterday that it will roll out a feature that plays sound on videos whenever a phone's sound is on. "People are watching and sharing more video on Facebook than ever, and we’re focused on continuously improving the video experience," the statement read. In the future, when a user is scrolling their feed with sound on, the sound for videos will fade in and out. They do not specify how long the video will be on screen before the sound will play. To keep sound off, users will have to keep their phones on silent, or disable the setting within the...

  • Facebook’s ad tracking system now updates in milliseconds

    Facebook announced Friday that it would be providing marketers with in-depth analysis on the ads they pay for. Over the course of the year, the company intends to detail to buyers the milliseconds an ad is on screen -- that is the milliseconds 50% of an ad was on screen, and the milliseconds 100% of an ad was on screen. The company also intends to offer buyers more choice in how they pay for ads. The three new options are completed-view buying, two-second buying and sound-on buying. Completed-view will allow advertisers to pay for video ads that have been viewed in...

  • Facebook Safety Check will let you be a mini-hero during disasters

    Facebook's Safety Check system has been one of the company's more notable additions to the site in 2016. The system -- which triggers when disasters are mentioned on the site, and allows users to mark themselves as "safe" -- now allows those who can to do their bit to help others affected by disasters. We're not saying that Facebook wants to make a super hero out of you, but it does want to "empower the community to help one another," according to its VP of social good, Naomi Gliet The new addition, called Community Help, will let "people find and give help...