Further Changes Come to Facebook Live Streaming

video streamingWhen Facebook released live streaming, it was with the intention that there would be many tweaks coming in the future. Now, Facebook is making some further updates with the intention of making live streaming better for both the viewer and the person streaming. The major change in this update will be allowing longer sessions that are targeted both to the viewer and the streamer in completely new ways.

 

The main part of this update right now is that Facebook will now allow streams to last up to four hours, around twice as long as was possible before. This should allow more time for those who want to teach through their live stream. It will also make it so that viewers will be able to get more out of the live stream whether they are tuning in to just a small part of it or watching the entire stream.

 

To help those streaming stay focused more easily on what they are streaming, there is now going to be a way for the person streaming to hide the comments and reactions that they may otherwise see popping up as they are trying to stream. By hiding these comments until a specific point in the stream, someone who is creating this stream can save questions for the end of a presentation and feel a lot less like they are being watched and talked about by so many people. Along these same lines, Facebook is making it possible for both viewers and streamers to change their video to full screen, allowing them to see details more easily.

 

In addition to these current changes, Facebook plans to release several other updates in the coming months. Users will be able to block viewers from their stream based on location, age or even gender. As new updates come out, Facebook live will continue to change and grow. The goal of all of this is to make the streaming more appealing for a wide range of people.

 

Snapchat Changes Gears by Creating Snapchat Memories

snapchatSnapchat is changing the way that people interact on it with a new update that they added last week. While Snapchat was originally about getting people to interact with small movies and picture clips that would then disappear forever, the new change makes it so that the app actually has a memory and will retain different photos and videos separate from the gallery on your phone. These memories can also be searched thanks to the image recognition software that is part of the app.

 

What Snapchat has added at this point is a gallery accessible within this app alone that will allow you to view an archive of all of the different snaps that you have taken over the years. This is a big change from before where anything taken with this app had to then be saved onto your camera roll rather than within the app itself if you wanted to keep it. Snapchat users will be able to access these snaps and even send them to friends.

 

Additionally, there is a feature makes it so that you can lock different photos with a password to make them accessible to you alone. The idea of this is to make any of those snaps that you don’t want people to see invisible again. This helps users to hide any photos that they might not want a friend scrolling through the app to see.

 

Naturally, some users are a little bit concerned about the new update. Part of the update allows users to include pictures from their standard camera roll in the snaps that they post. Snapchat users are a bit concerned about this specifically since they worry that snaps will lose a lot of the character that makes them unique to Snapchat. Over time, people will no doubt begin seeing the way these changes really effect Snapchat as a whole.

Further Changes to the Facebook Algorithm Change What You See in Your News Feed

social networkingFacebook announced earlier this week that they would be making yet another change to the way their social media site works, this one targeting your news feed. Facebook has decided to shift this algorithm yet again to make it so that you are less likely to see the information that comes from media outlets and more likely to see your friend’s posts. This could mean that you will now be seeing much less hard news and more cat and baby pictures.

The reasoning for the change is that Facebook wants to get back to connecting you to your friends rather than having you read news stories all day. They have found that this makes the user experience on Facebook more positive and prevents frustration that might result when users are not able to access the information that their friends post. Of course, this has media outlets scrambling since they receive much of their readership from the links posted on Facebook. They won’t have to worry too much when it comes to shared articles at least since these will appear with other updates from friends.

 

This has resulted in some people who get a lot of their news by following different media outlets searching for a solution to make sure that they can see the news that they would like to see in their feed. Luckily, Facebook has provided a way to work around the new algorithm simply by changing a setting in the way you follow a specific page.

 

While the new update looks like it will be generally positive for users, some people speculate that the real benefit will be to Facebook itself. With the added ability for friends’ posts to show up higher in a news feed, people are more likely to share and interact on Facebook. This will allow Facebook to get to know their users better allowing them to target advertisements and rake in the cash as a result.  Whatever the reason for the change, Facebook users will now be able to enjoy a higher level of interaction with friends on Facebook once again.

Facebook Will Make Several Updates to Their Live Feature

webcam broadcastingAlthough live videos are still fairly new to Facebook, it is clear that they are an important part of where Facebook plans to go from here. Facebook recently announced several updates to their Live video feature that will make it so that people can easily use the feature for a more diverse range of broadcasts. They also hinted at the potential for adding advertisements to some of the longer live broadcasts that users have been doing.

 

One of the main changes to the Live video feature that Facebook plans on rolling out is the ability to actually schedule specific broadcasts so that different users can tune in at a specific time. This update is the result of many broadcasters having to wait around while trying to collect viewers before being able to stream. Now Facebook will allow them to schedule their broadcast and will even provide waiting lobbies where people can gather while waiting for the live stream.

 

Another addition to live streaming will be the ability to stream along with other people. This makes it so that you can have a friend come in to stream with you at any point during your broadcast, similar to how talk show hosts might invite guests to their shows. This application would allow for people to set up celebrity interviews or bring expert advice into different broadcasts that they are presenting to their friends.

 

The final update appears to be one that will put Facebook in direct competition with Snapchat. They will be adding different filters that you can use while you are broadcasting so that you are able to go live while wearing a mask, panda makeup, or a wide variety of other options. Snapchat also has filters like these, but they are mostly used for still pictures. It appears that with this specific change Facebook will be trying to compete with Snapchat by taking these filters to another level.

 

These changes to live streaming just show that Facebook is really serious about becoming a social media site that is focused much more heavily on the video aspect of social media. They are beginning to branch out when it comes to their video aspects. It will be interesting to see what new video updates develop as Facebook continues to hone this particular part of their site.

Snapchat Makes Changes to Allow It to Compete for Social Media Advertising

snapchatAs Twitter is struggling to find relevancy with today’s users, Snapchat is beginning to dominate the time that people used to spend on other social media sites. Snapchat itself has been growing in popularity since its initial launch to the point where users are averaging 24-30 minutes spent on this particular application each day. With this level of success, it is no wonder that Snapchat is starting to look for ways to profit more from the time users spend on the application.

 

After a recent update where Snapchat made many small changes to the way the stories are displayed on their app and to icons on the app, they announced that a new update was coming as well. This new update is going to make it so that advertisers will be able to easily create ads and submit these to the app without having to talk directly to a Snapchat representative. With a high level of advertising customization, advertisers will be able create a place where users can swipe to go to their site, buy their product, or do anything else that benefits the advertiser. They will even be able to target their advertisements to a range of demographics. This should help to make it so that advertisers are able to more easily submit and customize their advertisements.

 

In addition to just making some changes in the submission process, they announced exactly where these ads would be appearing. The ads will work a lot like the ones on YouTube do where users have to see the ads before watching the videos. In this case, the advertisements will appear between the stories that users view as they are scrolling through their feed looking for updates from friends.

 

Already, Snapchat is starting to see a bit of an adverse reaction to the newly announced advertisements. Many users are worried that the ads will become annoying and intrusive after this initial change to the social media application. For now, Snapchat allows the option of scrolling past these ads, but many users fear that this will change over time. If Snapchat can successfully add a greater number of advertisements into their app, without upsetting their user base, they may have a good chance of taking a lot of the advertising dollars that currently go to Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Adds Video Comments to Change User Interactions

video on cell phoneIn a recent change to their social media platform, Facebook now allows users to post comments in the form of videos downloaded from a phone or a computer. This is a new extension to the ever expanding number of ways for users to interact with each other on posts made through Facebook. With the addition of video comments users will be able to use their videos in ways that they never have been able to use them before.

 

This new addition to Facebook was created during their 50th hackathon back in February, but had to go through several months of tweaks and tests before being released to all of their users. Initially the change was only available when visiting the site on a computer, but it is now going to be in the newest update for the Facebook app on mobile phones as well. This will allow users on all platforms access to this particular feature.

 

To use a video as a comment, users only have to click on the same camera icon that they would have previously used just to add photos to comments. They will then be given the option to upload either a picture or a video to add as a part of their comment. Videos are just the latest in a whole group of additions for visual comments in the past. They arrive in the wake of pictures, stickers, links, and emojis which were all previous additions to comments.

 

Most people see the addition of videos to their comments on Facebook as no surprise because it continues to follow Facebook’s current trend of putting a higher emphasis on video. As the social media site grows and changes, it is clear that video and adding more uses for video is one of its huge goals. Many suggest that this is Facebook’s way of getting in on the success of Snapchat and similar apps. As Facebook continues to transform their site to be more video friendly, updates like this one just make sense.

Twitter Changes Character Limit to Make Tweeting Less Frustrating

tweetingIn its struggle to remain relevant and to make its product more appealing to customers, Twitter has announced changes to its traditional character limit. The Twitter 140 character limit has been something that has aggravated users from the launch of Twitter. Of course, Twitter won’t be doing away with the character limit right away either. Twitter’s main goal right now is to eliminate problems that users have with the character limit and other Twitter functions.

 

One of the main complaints about Twitter over the years has been the way that Twitter makes it hard to address large groups of people. The character count currently takes into account the Twitter handle of the person that you are talking to as part of the 140 characters. With the new changes in place, Twitter will make it so that people can mention as many Twitter handles as they would like without them counting against the character limit. In addition to this change, Twitter is also making it so that the links for videos and pictures don’t count against the Tweet characters. This is something that has caused major frustration among Twitter users since the social media site began allowing pictures and videos.

 

One of the long awaited changes that is also part of Twitter’s new set of changes to be launched is a change to using at symbols at the beginning of a Tweet. It used to be that the @mention could appear only with a period in front of it. This made it so users were having to start their Tweets with a period just so that they could begin with a mention. Twitter is doing away with this which means users won’t have to worry about this pesky punctuation anymore.

 

Twitter’s main reasons for changing their Tweets in this way is to make it so that those who are using Twitter do not have to struggle so much with problems that they have been complaining about since the beginning. They want to allow users more characters that they can use for expressing themselves rather than having characters eaten up by all of the technical aspects of the tweet. It will be interesting to see how this change to the Twitter limit effects the way that people are tweeting.

Changes Made to Facebook Trending Topics After Accusations

facebook home pageFacebook was recently accused of altering the trending topics listed on their site to purposefully remove conservative topics from the trending ones on the side of the main page. After a personal investigation, Facebook didn’t see that there was any wrongdoing, but despite this fact, they have decided to make a couple of changes just so that they can make sure nothing like this ever happens.

 

During the investigation that Facebook did on their process for choosing trending topics they found that conservative and liberal topics were actually represented almost equally making it so that topics like the Black Lives Matter campaign were just as likely to come up as a story from the conservative side of things. They determined that there was no bias on their website when it came to picking the stories that they would mark as trending.

 

To make sure that the process stays unbiased, Facebook is making a few changes. They are planning to remove their reliance on a specific list of news outlets to validate different stories and look at their relevance as a whole. They are also going to stop having an importance level given to the topics based on their prevalence in top news outlets. The goal is to make the algorithm much less biased this way.

 

One of the other big changes they will be making is to crack down a bit on their team of individuals that actually review the different topics that are trending. These teams will have meetings to talk about making unbiased decisions on what shows up and what doesn’t. They will also be watched more closely to ensure that there are not unfair decisions that are being made based on a person’s individual ideology. With these changes they hope to improve their lists of trending topics and continue to provide an unbiased list of high ranking topics.

Instagram Update Brings Changes in Design to Phone App and Windows 10 Users

old instagram iconWhile many of the social media platforms have been struggling with change for a while now, Instagram has recently decided that it is time for an update of their own. They released their update earlier this week giving a new look to the Instagram app. The new look caught some users by surprise, especially when Instagram further updated the look of their site for Windows 10 users as well.

 

The main change during this update is a cosmetic one rather than anything extreme in the programming itself. Instagram says that their intention is to change their site so that it focuses just on pictures rather than site design. They have reduced the look of their site to a black and white format so that there is nothing to distract from the color of the pictures themselves. The idea is to make the eye automatically focus on what Instagram is all about: the pictures.

 

Along with the change to the background display, Instagram has made a big change with the logo that goes with this app. The logo has been changed from the look of the old fashioned camera and now features a rainbow background with the camera outline in white. The new logo was the most controversial move out of everything about the new update.

 

Already many customers are starting to complain about the new icon and want to go back to the old one. Instagram decided to make the change in their logo to make something that would be more universal than the old camera look. The stencil look of the app also fits better with the look of similar apps that are designed by the same company. This has not stopped many users seeking solutions so that they can change the logo back.

 

Overall this rather minor update is just one way that Instagram is working to remain competitive in photo sharing. The app will allow customers to use it in the exact same way while focusing much more on the photos than any other aspect of the website. It’ll be interesting to see what future updates might bring.

Facebook Looking to Launch a Feature Supporting 360 Degree Photos

panoramic pictureOne of the strange problems that many have after taking a panoramic photo is that there is no real way for you to share this kind of a photo with your friends. Panoramic photos typically turn into long drawn out lines of picture that are too small to look at easily on social media sites. Facebook is seeking to remedy this problem by providing a space for 360 degree photos.

 

Facebook recently announced that in the coming weeks Facebook users will be able to start sharing panoramic shots in a way that will actually allow people to interact with them more meaningfully. The plan is to offer something that will allow you to click and scroll around the photo much like Google Street View or if you are on a mobile device you’ll be able to use the phone like a viewfinder turning it to see more.

 

Many are saying that the reason that Facebook is launching this system is that they have to build content that can be used with new virtual reality software. Already several companies are developing different software that can make it so that a person can view a space as if it were all around them. The new feature would also target those using new devices that are built to specialize in panoramic photos.

 

The new feature will certainly benefit Facebook because it will help to provide content that will be viewable by their new Oculus device which is an early leader in virtual reality. It will also help them to flesh out their goal of becoming a place where users can come to explore the world around them in new and unique ways.

 

This new feature will be a wonderful new way for users to connect with one another. Now when a person is at a beach or enjoying vacation in a foreign country, they will be able to snap a panoramic photo and actually share it with their friends in a way that allows them to really experience the place rather than having to squint at a tiny elongated picture. Users will be able to see places that their friends are at in a way that is really meaningful.