Social Bookmarking

Twitter’s New Update to Notifications Shows A Different Type of Notification

twitter notificationsTwitter recently updated its notifications tab to include a feature that is set up to show you what the people you follow are doing on Twitter. These new notifications will remind you to join the conversation by tweeting about something that is trending, show you when those you follow share links to a popular article, and let you know when they follow another user’s account. While this has been testing for the last year, the feature was finally launched this week.

 

The new feature is something that Twitter added to make sure that users wouldn’t miss content they might be interested in. By analyzing what people you are following do, it attempts to share information that you might otherwise miss when logging into Twitter after a while. As Twitter users often share many tweets each day and many people follow a lot of different accounts, it would be easy to miss something in this shuffle.

 

One of the disadvantages of the new feature is that it has made Twitter’s notifications tab a lot more crowded as there are more notifications that appear in this tab. For someone who spends minimal time on Twitter, the number of notifications that come in could be more difficult to deal with as a result. Those who don’t want as many of these new notifications cluttering their notifications tab can select “see less often” and then have some of them filtered out.

 

Many Twitter users have already started to complain about this feature. Some have been asking about a way to block these new notifications entirely so that they don’t end up checking their app for a Twitter notification that doesn’t relate to their personal tweets or the tweets of those they are following. As of now, it seems there is no way to block the new notifications entirely.

Twitter Makes Changes to Direct Messaging

messagingIn a recent move, Twitter released an update for their direct messaging application. The new changes to this particular feature of the website include adding typing indicators, read receipts, and also content previews beneath links that are sent over this messaging program. Many of these changes are ones that put this messaging program on a similar level to others used by different social media sites.

 

As part of the new changes to their direct messaging, Twitter has implemented read receipts. These make it so that users are able to see when the person who receives the message has looked at it. In addition to this, Twitter also has added typing indicators which are small boxes that pop up to let you know when the other person is typing. This can help you to avoid typing at the same time. These different features are all part of Facebook messaging already so there is nothing especially innovative about them.

 

Many people don’t really like having it so that the other person can tell if they have read a message. Luckily, Twitter has a solution for this. Users that don’t want to have read receipts sent to other users they are talking to can turn off this feature in the settings of the Twitter application. If they turn off read receipts, they will then be unable to see when people have read their messages in addition to other people not being able to see when they have read theirs’.

 

Twitter is continuing to add different features as they are struggling to compete with different social media sites. Many users are complaining that while Twitter continues to add updates, these are not the updates that Twitter users have been asking for. One update that Twitter users would like to see is a lift on the limit of how many direct messages can be sent in one day. For now, it looks like Twitter isn’t interested in making these user requested changes.

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’s Reactions Go Way Beyond Like

ieplexus blog 1 2-25-16For a long time, Facebook users have campaigned for completely new ways to express their feelings about a post. Many have been hoping for a long awaited dislike button so that they can express their feelings about a post without having to comment on it. This week Facebook rolled out their new reactions, which allow users to do more than just like a post.

Facebook has left the traditional like button as part of its reactions icon but when you hold down the like button on Facebook you will now see a range of new emoji reactions that can help to express how you feel about the post in a new way. For now, you can only select one of these at a time, but you can change what the reaction is after you have already picked on if you decide another is better. The top three reactions to a given post are the only ones that end up displayed but a more detailed breakdown of how people reacted to each other is available if you click to see.

After the new reactions rolled out, there were complaints about them straight away. One of the main criticisms for the new reactions is that there just aren’t enough of them. The majority of the reaction are positive with only two reactions showing negative emotion. Many people would like to have a wider selection of emotions so that they might be able to more easily describe how more complicated posts make them feel. Other complaints focused on the fact that the reactions themselves can be confusing. Some people feel that the anger reaction could be especially confusing since it is hard to say if the reaction is anger targeted at the poster or what the post is about.

Facebook has also fallen under critique from advertisers who see the new reactions as something that they could benefit from, if Facebook would just allow them access to the information. For now, Facebook is not using the reactions to differentiate between what types of advertising would be good for the customers. To advertisers this makes it seem like they are missing out since people’s opinions of different things may make it so that they respond differently to advertising.

It seems that Facebook has taken a good step toward allowing users to respond in unique new ways, but many users would like to be able to see these reactions expand even further. This step may be only a first step, but Facebook users are at least able to get a bit more control over how they are expressing themselves on Facebook. Users can keep crossing their fingers waiting for that dislike button that they’ve been waiting for.

Is it Possible There Are Too Many Changes Being Made to Twitter?

ieplexus blog 1 1-28-16Recently Twitter has seen a whole host of changes both inside the company structure and on the website as a result of a massive drop in stock value. Investors started bailing because they were not seeing the level of growth that has been going on in other social media sites. With all of the changes being made to the platform and the people in charge of Twitter, one of the problems that many users are now experiencing is confusion due to way too many changes being made all at once.

In the last few months, there have been several major changes to Twitter as the social media site has been trying to redefine themselves. One main change was the order of the timeline with Twitter’s new Moments which shows tweets tied to specific events and news stories. Another shift was from favorited tweets to “likes” much like Facebook. Rumor has it that the newest change will alter the character limit from the 140 character limit to a much higher number.

All of these changes have come as major shocks to experienced Twitter users who are accustomed to the old way that Twitter was organized. Some users have become less fond of the site since they suddenly find it confusing and difficult to use. The changes that have been made to Twitter thus far seem to be causing Twitter to lose some of what makes it Twitter. There isn’t the same easy to use system as can be seen in other social media sites since Twitter keeps changing multiple parts of the website.

One of the big problems with this is that new users have trouble distinguishing between all of the different features. When they go on Twitter, it takes time to slowly learn how you are supposed to do almost anything. When they do something the wrong way, they receive corrections from other users that may further complicate the whole thing. Without being able to easily just use the site without looking up how to do every little thing, new users stop wanting to be users at all.

With the drop in stock prices it is clear that Twitter needs big changes and it has been getting them. The problem is that these changes are coming so fast and in such a confusing way that old users and new users are being dissuaded from being users at all. The many changes to at the executive level and within the website itself seems to be resulting in a confusing mess that is just too difficult for your average internet user to decipher. If Twitter can’t get its social network on par with others like Facebook, there is no hope for the future of this social media network.

Facebook Rolls Out New Sports Hub to Make it Simple for Users to Talk About Sports

iePlexus blog 1-21-16When it comes to social media, Twitter has always been the place that people go to if they want to watch their friends and the rest of the world react live to a sports game that is in progress. Twitter has made it easy for people to talk about sports and see tweets about the game just because of the way that it organizes tweets and displays them. No other social media outlet has found a way to challenge them. Until now. Facebook just launched Sports Stadium, a place where people will be able to keep track of game stats, current plays, friends’ reactions, and even expert commentary.

Facebook’s new Sports Stadium will be divided into four tabs so that people will be able to look at the specific information that they are most interested in. The first tab of the Hub shows the information about the game including the score, most recent play, and videos that relate to the game. The second tab shows what friends are posting about the game allowing users to engage in the conversation already in progress. The third tab shows expert commentary from different sports commentators and players. The final tab has statistics from the game.

All together the new Sports Stadium makes it so that Facebook users are able to engage in the game as they might not have previously been able to. The goal of this new Facebook feature is to allow friends to sit and watch a game together even when they are spread across the country. It allows people to connect over a sports game in a similar way that Twitter does. The feature is being launching for iPhone users this week ahead of the NFL playoff games. It will be available on computers as well before the Super Bowl.

The new feature is competitive with Twitter as it allows real time communication about sports. Users don’t have to search for a specific hashtag as they might need to in the Twitter platform since Facebook has the game information already grouped and ready for them to begin looking at it right away. The feature is certain to benefit Facebook as it will draw more advertisers and commentators to the website as more users become interested in the feature.

Instagram Testing a Feature for Multiple Account Functionality

ieplexus blog 1 12-02-15Instagram is fairly new to the social media world when compared to Facebook and Twitter, but its growing popularity with both businesses and individuals is causing some problems for those who need more than one account. Anyone possessing more than one Instagram account has to log out of one of the accounts just so that they can login to the other account. This can be a major complication for the posting process, making it so that many users have asked for some solution.

This doesn’t sound like such a big problem if you don’t have multiple accounts, but of course this is a complication for people who have Instagram accounts for work or for their business as well as personal accounts that they use with friends. You don’t want the people who follow your business on Instagram to see all of those selfies or pictures of your cat, you want them to get posts that actually relate to your business and make sense for this particular account and what it is made for. Unfortunately, is easy to forget to log out of your work or business account before switching over to using the personal one.

Instagram has finally addressed this problem making it easier for business owners, or anyone with multiple accounts to move between the accounts without logging out. The social media site recently began testing a new feature on their app for Android users. This feature allows Instagram users with multiple accounts to easily switch between accounts, avoiding the hassle of signing in and out on the app. The app allows users easy access to all of their accounts so that they can pick which one they are using with the click of a button.

For many people, the new feature is a long awaited one allowing them to easily go from a work account to their personal account and back without ever having to worry about making the posts in the wrong account. The feature will be getting a lot of love from small business owners, photographers, and social media managers since it will make their lives and multiple accounts so much easier to manage. It is also great for individuals who might want multiple personal Instagram accounts that they can use for different types of pictures that they might be interested in sharing. In a world where social media is prevalent both for personal and business related pursuits, this is one feature that can help a great number of people.

The Truth about Facebook’s Upcoming Dislike Button

Picture 9-17-2015The Internet has been taken by storm after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement that Facebook is working on a ‘Dislike’ button. The Dislike button is one of Facebook’s most frequently requested features, likely because many other formats online (such as Reddit and Disqus) allow for a downvoting function to contrast the upvoting function that is equivalent to the Facebook ‘Like’ button. However, there are plenty of people who feel like a Dislike button would promote negativity, pettiness, and add to the existing problem of cyberbullying.

Most newswires seem split in their views; some believe that the Dislike button is a necessary feature that Facebook has been missing for years, while others believe that there is nothing good about the idea of a Dislike button. In either case, a lot of these newswires seem to be misinformed entirely about how this Dislike button is going to work. Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement specifically mentioned that he doesn’t want the Dislike button to be equivalent to Reddit’s downvote; he wants this button to allow users to show empathy and express themselves in more ways than the Like button currently allows, saying “Not every moment is a good moment.”

In reality, this upcoming Dislike button likely will not be as simple as a literal Dislike button. It’s more likely to take the form of a ‘Sorry’ button or something similar to that. This way, users would be able to express their condolences in situations like death, loss of a job, or the end of a relationship. Though Zuckerberg specifically mentioned that the Dislike button was being worked on it, it likely will not appear in the form that many people are expecting. The new feature, however it may appear, is likely to be rolled out in the coming weeks.

What Else Can Be Done with Social Networks?

Picture 9-10-2015When most people think about social networks, they see them as methods for keeping in touch with friends, family, and acquaintances. Social networks are frequently used for messaging, image sharing, and status updates, but there are so many more functions that social networks and applications can provide. With social media being a particularly competitive industry, most social networking companies are always looking to see what they can do for their user base that will separate them from the herd. For instance, Facebook has proven that their service can be used as a functional way to help people. Earlier this year, they launched a function that shares Amber Alerts with users in the area of a missing child, in an effort to make it easier for people to help.

There are other ways that various social networks are aiming to help people in ways that you might not expect. LinkedIn, which has functioned as a way to maintain a profile that potential employers can see, launched a standalone job search application last year, intended to help users find and apply for jobs easily. The application ensures privacy, so that users will not have to publicly declare that they are searching for a new job to their boss or co-workers. By separating these features in a dedicated application, LinkedIn hopes to make job searches easier for those in need of employment.

In addition to expansions of existing social networks, there are standalone social networking applications that are launching to provide helpful functions to users. For instance, Roomi launched in June as an application that makes it easier for people to find new roommates for their apartments and houses. This works as yet another example of how social media can work as a positive force, making tasks that once were difficult just a little bit easier. From everyday tasks like finding a roommate or a job to high-importance tasks like finding a missing child, it’s incredible to see what ways social media can benefit people.

Facebook Branches Out with Messenger, Events, and Notes

Picture 9-3-2015With the evolution of Messenger, Facebook has been doing its best to create standalone experiences that don’t necessarily have to work in tandem with the main social network. We’ve seen how Messenger has been evolving on its own; Facebook has been bringing new features to Messenger themselves and opening the platform up for third-party applications to provide users with even more interesting features. Most recently, it appears that Facebook is aiming to make the experience even more standalone. Since June, users have been able to sign up for Messenger without having active Facebook accounts, separating the app even further from the social network.

The success of Messenger has been very apparent, so it’s no surprise that Facebook is looking into creating standalone applications for other aspects of the social network. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has stated that Facebook Groups has 850 million active users, while Facebook Events has 450 million active users. Facebook has already launched a standalone Groups app, so it stands to reason that there could be an Events app coming in the near future, especially with Zuckerberg mentioning that Facebook Events had hit ‘global scale’ in a recent earnings call.

While Events may be next on the horizon for a standalone app, Facebook is also working on tweaks to the various utilities that will surely remain as part of the social network itself for the time being. Specifically, it seems that Facebook is planning on revamping Facebook Notes, transforming the area into a blogging platform rather than something that looks similar to other Facebook updates. The updates to Facebook Notes have not yet been rolled out to all users, but they show that Facebook is serious about updating every aspect of their interface and staying competitive with other platforms.