June 2017

Facebook Rolls Out Discover Tool to Help Users Interact with Bots

Discover toolThis week, Facebook launched a new bot discovery tool with the aim to make it far easier for users to find different bots and businesses through messenger. The goal is to place bots so that users can find the ones that are most relevant to their life and their interests. This new update is an extension of previous ones introducing bots and trying to work to make them a bit more relevant on Facebook.

 

So far, Facebook has been struggling to make chatbots relevant additions to Facebook. In March, they acknowledged that bots had hit a failure rate of at least seventy percent. With most bots being unable to communicate effectively and help users with problems, the use of bots has been minimal. Many of these early bots had trouble with bugs in addition to issues answering questions in an effective way. The hope is that in the future, this technology can be ironed out more so that the bots will be much more relevant and helpful to the average user.

 

Facebook’s new update to messenger is making the Discover section into something that is more logical for everyday use. The feature organizes the different bots and makes them much easier to find by people typing in the names of companies or relevant keywords. Many have been hopeful that bots might be something that completely revolutionizes how business is done. At the very least, there is hope that bots can replace extra apps on a phone by helping to place food orders and to ask questions of different businesses. The hope is that Discover will help to make these bots usable to more Facebook users.

 

To use the Discover tool, just tap the Discover icon located in the lower right hand corner of the messenger home screen. From there you’ll open a screen that will allow you to browse bots and businesses by category, recently visited, and featured. This will make it easier for you to find bots that are ones that are the most relevant to you and your specific interests.

Twitter Introduces Redesign of Their App for Mobile, Desktop, and Web Use

speech bubbleTwitter has rolled out a new redesign of their app that is available for mobile, desktop, and web use. The new design targets parts of the app that were previously cluttered and confusing and works toward streamlining the app on the whole. This update also has some specific additions for iOS users including an update that makes it so links to articles and websites come up in a Safari viewer within the Twitter app, something that should make things easier for people who want to access accounts they are already logged in to. There are also some simple cosmetic changes including a shift to bolder headlines and some circular profile photos.

 

One part of the new update was a swap from the old reply arrow to a new speech bubble instead. Twitter says that the reason they made this change was that there were problems with newer users confusing this button for a back button or a delete function. As Twitter wants to make its app as inclusive as possible, they have made changes to the look of the app and the way that the app looks to make it easier for new users to enjoy the app. The speech bubble is something that is more universally understood to be a button to allow people to join a conversation.

 

Some iOS users will also be getting a new feature that has been a part of the Twitter app for Android users for almost a year now. This adds a new navigation bar on the left side of the app which will include shortcuts to profile, additional accounts, settings, and privacy. The reason for this change is that the new navigation bar makes it so that Twitter can decrease the clutter at the bottom of their app where links to many of these features were previously located.

 

Overall this is an update that includes many smaller changes that are all targeted toward making Twitter much more user friendly. Twitter is hoping to make it so that their platform will be one that is much more appealing to people who are new to the platform or to the internet in general. By working to make icons and movement through the app more intuitive, they are hoping their app will be one that is so much easier to use for a wide range of people internationally and in different age groups.

Facebook Adds GIFs to Comments in Honor of the 30th Anniversary of the GIF

facebookToday ends Facebook’s resistance to adding GIFs to the comments in their website. In honor of the 30th anniversary of the GIF they have released a new feature that allows GIFs to be posted as comments within the newsfeed and profile pages of their website. Many users are really excited about this new feature as they have been hoping for GIFs to become the norm in the comment section for a while.

 

Previously, Facebook has allowed GIF’s in messenger but not in other areas of the website. There were some workarounds that were made to allow for GIFs to be posted, but people have been waiting for these to become a more common part of the comments on Facebook for a while. Facebook has now launched the ability for people globally to use a GIF feature which will allow you to choose from GIFs that can express how you are feeling in the best possible way.

 

The new GIF feature makes it easy for Facebook users to use GIFs to respond to a variety of different posts. To add a GIF in the comments section you just have to press the GIF button and then type in what you are looking for. From there you’ll be able to scroll through the selection of GIFs and then choose one that states exactly what you are trying to say. Facebook has also created some special GIFs for this occasion featuring popular internet celebrities.

 

In addition to their new feature, Facebook has also set out to solve the debate on the correct pronunciation of GIF. They are currently running a Facebook poll where users can vote on whether it is pronounced with a hard or soft G sound. This is just one more way that Facebook is working to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the GIF.

Instagram Continues to Add Features to Keep Up with Snapchat

selfieInstagram is continuing its battle with Snapchat as it continues to add similar features to allow for a greater level of competition. Their newest update includes a range of similar features including the ability to add face filters with live special effects. Instagram users can select the new face icon at the bottom of the screen and use these different types of filters when taking pictures on rear facing or front facing cameras and even creating Boomerang video clips.

 

Other features that are also part of this update included the ability to record video and play it in reverse, something that Snapchat had already developed. Another addition is the ability to add hashtag stickers that link to that hashtag, allowing users to explore similar pictures or videos that have been tagged with the same hashtag. They’ve even added a feature that allows users to cover a picture with color and then erase certain areas of the picture in a creative way.

 

Over the last year or so, Instagram has been quickly adding a lot of new features so that they can continue to compete with similar apps. Many of these features aren’t that different from ones that Snapchat offers already. Instagram has been adding all kinds of different features that are ones that match with Snapchat as this application is one of its biggest competitors. Offering features that are similar or better than Snapchat may help them to stay relevant in the long run.

 

New features including face filters, hashtag stickers, and the erase tool are available in the newer versions of Instagram. They are available in version 10.22 and newer. To update the Instagram version that you are using visit the iTunes app store or the Windows store where you can install the new version of Instagram. Once this is installed, you’ll be able to enjoy experimenting with all the new features.

Facebook Updates Albums to Include More than Pictures

facebook albumToday, Facebook is rolling out a new update that will change the way that Facebook users experience albums on Facebook. Previously, Facebook albums could only include photos, but with the new update, Facebook users will be able to add a lot more to these albums. Facebook’s update to the albums will make it so that people can share much more than photos when sharing memories with friends.

 

In their revamp of the photo album feature, Facebook has made it possible to add different videos, check-ins, and text posts to the albums. This will make it so that users will be able to compile additional information into the albums rather than just putting pictures into them. Facebook users will be able to have a lot more flexibility when it comes to creating albums and choosing a variety of items to include within them.

 

With the new update, users will now be able to drop basically any post from their social network and save it into an album. The feature is a bit like scrapbooking where a person gathers bits and pieces to transform these into a complete album to store memories. In addition to this, Facebook has made it so that you can display a featured album on your profile page as well. These updates are meant to allow people to more easily store memories and bring further focus to their albums.

 

In addition to these updates, users will be able to follow and unfollow different albums so that they will be able to stay in the loop on what their friends are adding to their albums. The notifications are easy to turn on and off making it so that Facebook users can more easily decide how to work with these albums. The new changes are currently available on Android and will be rolling out on iOS soon.