Social Networking

Twitter Adds a New Night Mode That is Easier On the Eyes

phone at nightAfter several smaller applications have released versions of their apps that are better for those using them at night, Twitter has decided to also jump on board with a new night mode. Their night mode features a darker color scheme perfect for using during the night. While the update was initially only available to Android users, it has been extended to iOS as well.

 

The purpose of this new mode is to help those who use the Twitter application in the night. There have been many studies over the last few years to show that a blaring white phone screen can damage vision and cause the natural sleep rhythms of the body to become confused. As a response to this problem, Twitter has joined other applications in adding a special night mode to their app. This will allow users to switch from their standard display to a darker one that is better for those tweeting in the evening or late at night.

 

For now, Twitter’s night mode has to be toggled on and off by hand, but there are hopes that this will eventually change so that Twitter’s display will change as it gets to a certain time in the evening. In the app on Android and iOS, users will be able to change what mode they are in by changing their Twitter settings. It is easy to access the areas where you can turn the screen from one mode to the other.

 

There is some speculation that this change in Twitter and in other applications may be foreshadowing some of the features of the future iPhone 7. Some wonder if Apple will use this phone as their chance to roll out a new screen that will have the ability to more easily display darker colors without using as much battery life. Of course, for that information, we’ll have to wait for news from Apple.

Instagram Launches a New Events Channel for Video

instagramIn the increasingly competitive world of social media, Instagram is working to compete with other social media sites. In a brand new update, they have added an events channel that is going to be used to display videos of recent events and events that are happening at the moment. This will allow users to view videos of events happening all over the world in something close to real time. This section of Instagram will be sorted based on what is recent, popular, and relevant to your own likes.

 

One of the initial criticisms for this new part of Instagram is that it is obviously a copy of Snapchat’s live stories. The features are awfully similar, so it is clear that Instagram is probably following a similar idea to Snapchat’s feature. Many users of Instagram are becoming frustrated about this since they don’t want these different changes. As Instagram is adapting, people are becoming more frustrated about the changes since the social media site is so different from how it was when they joined.

 

Some benefits of the new channel include allowing users to connect with Instagram users that they might not be able to see otherwise. They’ll also be able to enjoy big events that they might not get to experience because they are too far away or too expensive for a specific Instagram user. This is similar to the way that Snapchat’s live stories work, but seems to have a more targeted purpose.

 

In addition to the major update, Instagram has also made a few small updates that will help with the filming of videos in general. They have a few small updates including one that allows for zooming in and out while recording video and one that will allow iPhone users to use both cameras on their phone and switch between the two. All of these updates just show that Instagram is making great strides into the video aspect of social media.

Facebook Changes Code to Block Out Adblock Workarounds

ad blockWhile spending time on Facebook is fun, many people feel that the ads that appear all over Facebook are annoying. This has caused many Facebook users to look for ways to block ads that show up on this particular social media site. As a result, Facebook and Adblock Plus are engaged in a battle to help their users.

 

A few days ago, Facebook announced that they were going to be restricting software that removed the advertising displayed on Facebook. Shortly thereafter, Adblock came up with a workaround that would allow its users to again use their software to block ads on Facebook. This lead to a further update from Facebook making it so that the workaround was useless.

 

Facebook claims that part of the problem is that with the Adblock workaround many of the posts from friends were blocked in addition to the ads. Of course, whether this was the case or not, Facebook would not stand to benefit from any software that would block ads as they make money from the ads that display on the page. As a result, they attempt to stop software like Adblock from being used on their site.

 

While Facebook has currently managed to keep up with changes to ad blocking software, there is no telling whether they will be able to keep up in the same way in the future. It could be challenging for them to continue updating their website to make it so that users cannot use this software in the future. By taking quick action Facebook is establishing themselves as a site that is not to be messed with.

 

Of course, in all likelihood the battle will continue. The ad-blocking community is upset with Facebook’s latest change and feels that this will make it so that user choice is not a priority. They plan to continue working to make it so that they are able to slip through Facebook’s software blocking. Both Facebook and Adblock will have to work hard to come up the winner in this particular battle.

Twitter Makes Changes for the 2016 Olympics

olympics 2016In light of the 2016 Olympics, Twitter has been working on some new updates that are being made specifically so that users can easily follow the Olympic games and stay on top of the news that matters to them. Much like with the democratic and republican national conventions this will mean having special emoji. Twitter’s goal is to make changes that will improve the overall experience that users have while the Olympics is going on.

 

To start with, Twitter has added some corresponding flag emoji that will go with specific hashtags that Twitter users use while they are tweeting. This means that if people type a hashtag such as #USA then an American flag will be added to the hashtag as well. For the Refugee Olympic Athletes, they will be using a world held in two hands instead. These emoji will help to add a visual aspect to these tweets.

 

So that Twitter users will be able to follow the Olympics much more easily, Twitter is going to be adding a special place under Twitter Moments where users can easily follow along with what is being tweeted about the games. There are different accounts that can be followed in addition to recap moments that will make it easy for users to find medal counts, event results, and other important information. Users will be able to follow moments based on their favorite events and their own country.

 

Twitter owned applications including Periscope will also be on board to make it so that Twitter users are able to follow the Olympics better. Twitter Amplify will be offering many video highlights and Periscope will have an Olympics channel that will cover a wide range of content that will be related to the Olympics as a whole. These will be great places for Twitter users to watch content and get videos from their favorite events and athletes.

 

By adding these different features to Twitter, the social media site is helping to encourage users to engage in the conversation as this world wide event goes on. The different aspects of their updates are meant to make talking about the Olympics easier and more fun to do. Twitter’s obvious goal is to have people talking about the Olympics and going to Twitter to find the information about the Olympics that they are interested in.

New Snapchat Update Pairs with Bitmoji to Create Personalized Emoji

emojiAfter acquiring a company called Bitstrips early this year, Snapchat has finally announced something new that users will be able to do as a result. In a new update, Snapchat made it so that users will be able to create personalized emoji that look like them on Bitstrips’ Bitmoji app and link them into Snapchat. The new update had many Snapchat users rushing to download the Bitmoji app to start using these new emoji.

 

With the ability to link these two apps comes a range of ways that Snapchat users will be able to use their customized emoji. The emoji will be made in the Bitmoji app, but once they are created, Snapchat users will be able to use them in Snapchat for videos, photos, and even for the in app chat with their friends. This will allow users to express themselves in new and interesting ways through the app.

 

It may take a bit for a user to link Snapchat and Bitmoji together, but once they figure out how to link the two together, they will stay linked so that users don’t have to worry about that complication. Snapchat users will be able to enjoy making all kinds of different emoji in Bitmoji after creating an avatar that looks similar to them. These emoji will then take on relevant applications within Snapchat. In addition to this, the new update also added some changes to how users could send video by allowing users to create face paint and then film themselves with it on in the video.

 

After the new update was announced, there were so many users that wanted to install the Bitmoji app and link the two together that Snapchat servers ended up crashing entirely. The social media site greatly underestimated the interest in their new connection to this app and were not planning for so many people to try to connect these two apps. Both are now working well again so users will be able to try customizing emoji for themselves.

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.