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.

Twitter is First to Support Emoji 5.0 and Provide Users with Newest Emoji

emojiPeople going logging onto Twitter will find some great new emoji now that Twitter has added support for Emoji 5.0 to their platform. By adding support for these, Twitter gave its users access to a wide selection of brand new emoji including many that allow for different skin tones or even different genders. The update also included many highly anticipated emoji that people are already beginning to use on Twitter.


When Emoji 5.0 was released just a week ago, most people expected that the new emoji would not be usable anywhere for a long while. Twitter proved these people wrong by quickly adding support for the new emoji and allowing users to begin using these different types of emoji this week. Twitter users are now able to use 69 unique emoji that are brand new as well as many duplicates that feature different skin tone variations. Already many people have been having fun using all the different emoji that are available.


There has been some initial disappointment so far since these different types of emoji are not currently usable anywhere other than within a web browser. Various operating systems and applications need to be updated to add support for the brand new emoji as well before users will be able to view these emoji and start using them from their iOS or Android devices. Some sources believe that updates will be coming soon, so it is possible that Twitter users won’t have to wait long before they start seeing these emoji on their phones.


The new emoji include a wide range of highly anticipated emoji including “star struck”, “woman with headscarf”, “face with monocle”, and more. Users will also be able to finally use flag emoji for England, Scotland, and Wales. There are also going to be some mythical creature emoji including merpeople, vampires, fairies, and zombies.  Once the emoji are more widely supported, users of Twitter are likely to start seeing more and more of these being used within tweets.

Facebook Makes Further Steps to Shut Down Clickbait

clickbaitIn a continuation of their battle against misinformation and misleading news, Facebook has announced further updates that target clickbait specifically. They have been working to create a tool that can identify clickbait based on specific articles and posts rather than certain sites that often create clickbait type articles. An initial update was focused on just illuminating repeat offenders or websites that put out a lot of clickbait type articles, while this is focused more on individual posts and their headlines.


The new tool that Facebook will be using is going to be focused on the headline of an article and whether or not this headline is hiding key information to inspire people to click it or exaggerating certain information for the purpose of clicks. Posts that are found to have some key identifiers that make their headlines likely to be clickbait, will be pushed down in the news feed so that viewers are a lot less likely to run into them and click on them. This is good news for Facebook users that commonly are attracted and disappointed by these different types of posts.


Facebook’s anti-clickbait tool has been trained to focus on specific signals that generally show that a page is clickbait. They focus on which words often are seen in clickbait headlines and not in reputable news articles. The tools have been extended to recognize clickbait headlines even when articles are not in English. This is going to be a process that is automated throughout Facebook to match different phrases with clickbait criteria that has been previously identified.


Ever since the US presidential election, Facebook has been working to clean up its platform to make sure that it can eliminate misinformation and sensationalized headlines. The new update is yet another one targeted at eliminating misleading news and preventing the spread of this throughout the platform.

Facebook Takes Steps to Limit Links to Low Quality Web Pages

pop up adsA recent string of updates to Facebook have all focused on increasing the quality of the content which is shown on Facebook while getting rid of misinformation. Facebook’s newest update focuses more specifically on identifying links to low quality web pages that will provide a poor user experience. Posts that have links like this will be pushed further down the new feed so that users will be less likely to click on them.


Facebook’s strike against websites like this has come about after seeing how many users were disappointed or annoyed when they clicked on links on their news feed which then led them to a website filled with more ads and pop ups than actual content. As a result, Facebook has been working to protect their platform and their users by using tools that will prevent these links from showing up as high in a news feed.


To identify these different sites, Facebook says that it looked at hundreds of thousands of web pages that had poor quality landing pages to determine what these kinds of websites had in common. They were then able to train an artificial intelligence program to identify these sites. The goal is to limit poor quality ad filled sites from getting traffic from Facebook and to save users from following links to these sites.


If Facebook is able to limit links to poor quality and click bait news sites, they’ll be able to create a social media platform that is free from many of the things that routinely annoy users. Their actions to restrict these kinds of links from showing up high in the news feed will likely cause websites linked to Facebook that are higher quality to have a slight increase in traffic while ones that are low quality will experience a drop off in traffic.

Small Businesses Can Reach More Customers With a Quality Social Media Campaign

social media marketingWhile social media has been around for a long while now, many small business owners still aren’t using social media to the fullest potential. Many of these business owners just aren’t on social media or are using social media in a way that doesn’t help with gaining customers or sales. It is important that all business owners use a quality social media campaign to connect with customers and advertise their business.


Some business owners have already discovered the ways that social media can help their business, but a recent survey found that nearly half of small businesses don’t have any formal social marketing strategy that they are using. A big part of this is that many business owners aren’t sure how to use social media to their benefit. Others are overlooking important new tools. For example, Instagram is becoming a much more valuable marketing tool, but only one in three small businesses polled were even using the site.


Of course, just getting your business on social media isn’t enough. Business owners need to make sure that they are able to use the different social media sites in a way that is actually good for their business. Too many business owners find that they are able to increase sales in the short term using social media marketing and then start to think that the more posts they put in the more sales they’ll see. Unfortunately, this can lead to the marketing soon becoming annoying to those following social media accounts, which can negate any benefit the social media marketing might have had.


Another common mistake is business owners not updating their strategies to branch out to new social networks or new features of the social networks that are available. With live video becoming popular on the various social platforms, business owners may want to begin using this feature and others like it to promote their business. As with anything that is part of social media marketing, quality content is important so focusing on creating content that is engaging, interesting, and entertaining for those following a business can be key to making social media marketing count.

Facebook Announces Further Steps to Block the Purposeful Spread of Misinformation

Facebook recently announced that they are going to be stepping up the level of protection for their platform as they work to further eliminate the spread of fake news. Specifically, Facebook has decided to target Information Operations which are typically started with the goal of spreading misinformation to manipulate political sentiment. While the initial users in these operations are working to spread the information purposefully, real users often get caught up in the operation and take part unknowingly. Facebook has already begun to use different tools to prevent this, which have succeeded in identifying 30,000 fake accounts that Facebook was able to take action against.

Facebook’s focus on preventing these accounts from operating within their platform stems from the fact that hackers used Facebook as a tool for spreading misinformation during the U.S. election. Facebook’s plan to prevent this in the future, includes using new tools to identify strange behavior. They have created algorithms which can block bots from creating fake accounts and others that can recognize when accounts post the same item again and again or send a huge number of messages.


Preventing these Information Operations is something that is more complex than fighting traditional scammers and hackers. This is why Facebook has had to spend time working on creating tools to identify false accounts so that Facebook can suspend them or delete the accounts. These tools include machine learning software and tools that encompass intelligence-agency level analysis. The hope is to prevent the unnatural spread of false information before it reaches real accounts that begin spreading it further.


Facebook has stated that they’ll be doing more to stop the spread of fake news through their platform. They intend Facebook to be a place for people to engage and communicate much more authentically. As fake accounts and the spread of false information can drown out real conversation, they are determined to eliminate this as much as possible by creating new tools to identify and shut down these practices.

Instagram’s Newest Feature Makes it Easy to Organize Saved Posts

instagramWhile Instagram has allowed users to save posts since December, until now there has been no real organization in the way that the different posts are saved in your personal collection. As part of the newest update to Instagram, users will now be able to save these posts into specific collections. This will make it so that Instagram users will be able to organize all the posts they save rather than having a jumble of various saved posts in their collection.


To save posts to new categories, you just have to tap and hold the bookmark icon beneath any post. Instagram will then allow you to either create and name a new collection or to add this post to any existing collections. By separating saved posts into categories, users will be able to go into their collection later on and to find the posts that they saved much more easily. This can make things easier when users are sharing posts with friends or just trying to look back and something that they saved.


This new feature will make it easier for users to store recipes, outfit ideas, and so much more in their collection without everything being lost in the jumble. Since many users may already have a lot of posts saved to their collection, they’ll be glad to find that there is a way to sort existing posts that have been saved. Users can sort these posts into collections by clicking the plus sign in the upper right corner of the screen and adding a new collection and then choosing which posts to add to this category as well.


These new collections will show up under the saved posts tab on your Instagram profile. The collections will remain private and visible only to you just as they were before. Many users have started to compare the new feature to Pinterest, where people are able to save pins and sort them into a variety of categories so it is easy for them to find them and to view them at a later point in time. Instagram users who like to save a lot of different posts will be especially glad to have this feature to use.

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