The Socials

By Luke Hokama | Updates/worthy news regarding social media.

Twitter's 'premium' tools let more apps use your data

Twitter hasn't exactly been known for a developer-friendly attitude, but it's tackling that issue today. The social site has unveiled a "premium" programming framework that bridges the gap between its free-but-limited standard tools and the costly tools limited to big businesses. The initial beta …

Software

Snapchat Plans Radical Overhaul to Make Social Platform Easier to Understand [Updated]

Longtime Snapchat users should prepare themselves for a radical overhaul of the way the mobile app works, based on comments made by Snap CEO Evan Spiegel in his earnings letter to investors on Tuesday.<p>With the company falling short of lowered projections for growth, Snap put much of the blame on …

Snapchat

Chinese firm nabs social video app Musical.ly for as much as $1 billion

The popular teen lip-syncing app Musical.ly has been purchased by Chinese firm Bytedance -- the company behind China's major news aggregating service Jinri Toutiao. The details of the deal haven't been disclosed but sources told the <i>Wall Street Journal</i> that the app sold for somewhere between $800 …

Wall Street Journal

Twitter expands display name length to 50 characters

If you've always wanted to use all your names, aliases, titles and suffixes on Twitter, now's your time to shine. The social network now supports display names up to 50 characters in length. It would've been better if the feature came out last Halloween so you could've used that awesome but lengthy …

Halloween

Facebook relaunches Events app with a Yelp-like focus

Last year, Facebook launched Events as a standalone app to help you find something to do. It wasn't exactly a runaway hit; you'd be forgiven if you'd never even heard of it. That's why it's not surprising that Facebook has relaunched the app as "Facebook Local," with an emphasis on finding …

Facebook

Instagram experiments with letting you follow hashtags

Sometimes, you don't want to keep up with individual people on Instagram as you do a trending topic -- say, the latest in tech (we're slightly biased here) or a big protest. That currently involves laborious searches for hashtags, but it might become relatively trivial soon. Users have discovered …

Instagram

Twitter's 280-character limit comes to the masses

Twitter's experiment with doubling the maximum tweet length was apparently a success. The social network is expanding support for 280-character tweets to every language "where cramming was an issue" -- that is, almost all of them. You're still capped at 140 if you write in Chinese, Japanese or …

Chose

Instagram's latest Stories feature is all about flashbacks

While Snapchat struggles to nab more users, Instagram is steaming ahead the only way it knows how: By copying Snapchat. The Facebook-owned service is adding a feature to its (vastly more popular) take on Stories that's all about throwbacks. The update essentially allows you to add pics and videos …

Instagram

Facebook asks users for nude photos in project to combat revenge porn

In Australia pilot effort, company will ‘hash’ images, converting them into digital fingerprints that prevent any other attempts to upload the same pictures<p>Facebook is asking users to send the company their nude photos in an effort to tackle revenge porn, in an attempt to give some control back to …

Censorship

Snap’s stock price plummets after weak earnings

The company’s losses are growing far faster than its revenue<p>Snap published its third quarter earnings report as a public company this afternoon. This first two did not go well, and the third was no better. The company missed investors’ expectations in terms of revenue and user growth, and the share …

Markets

Twitter: An employee on their last day disabled Trump's account (updated)

No, you weren't hallucinating -- the President's personal Twitter account was unplugged earlier this evening. It disappeared, and then reappeared without warning or reason, however now Twitter is offering an explanation. The account was "inadvertently deactivated due to human error by a Twitter …

Customer Support

Twitter's new hate and violence policies go into effect November 22nd

Just a couple of weeks ago, Twitter's CEO Jack Dorsey responded to the #WomenBoycotTwitter movement on his company's microblogging platform with a promise to help Twitter "take a more aggressive stance" toward hate speech and sexual harassment. A few days after that, an internal email showed that …

Jack Dorsey

Instagram's new feature adds dramatic zoom-ins to your Stories

Instagram's Boomerang has a new alternative that you might want to try if you've been overusing the video loop format recently. The photo-sharing app has launched a new camera format for Stories called Superzoom, which you can use to create zoom-ins with dramatic sound effects. It will make it a …

Silent Hill

Facebook's new tools help build supportive Groups

Facebook has been steadily improving things for groups on the social network. The company added administration tools like membership insights for community pages. It also created Groups for Pages to let businesses, artists and brands create their own communities. It also shuttered a standalone …

Facebook

Twitter Bans Ads From Russian State Media, Citing Election Interference Efforts

<b>Updated at 2:10 p.m. ET</b><p>A pair of Russian state media organizations will no longer be able to advertise on Twitter, the company said Thursday — a direct result of their role in Russian interference in the 2016 election.<p>The announcement took place less than a week before much-anticipated hearings on …

Russia

When a Facebook test moves news stories to a separate feed, traffic — and public discourse — are at stake

It’s Facebook’s world; we just live in it.<p>Facebook recently launched a test — and tests, for the platform over the years, are a dime a dozen — of a new and separate feed outside the main News Feed all its users see when they log on. Called Explore and marked with a rocketship icon, the section was …

Facebook

Twitter Plans to Open Ad Data to Users

WASHINGTON — Twitter said on Tuesday that it would bring more transparency to advertisements on its site, including political ads, in the latest response by a technology company to criticism about its role in spreading foreign propaganda during the 2016 presidential campaign.<p>The company said that …

Amy Klobuchar

Are you a low-quality web page? (Are you sure?) Facebook sheds a little light on its algorithm

Publishers may feel (even) less charitable toward Facebook this week after news trickled out yesterday that the company is “experimenting” (in at least six countries) with a change to News Feed that moves “almost all non-promoted posts” to a secondary, harder-to-find “Explore” feed. In the …

Facebook

Snapchat for iOS Gains Link Sharing From Third-Party Apps and New 'Ghost Mode'

Snapchat for iOS received a somewhat significant update today that's designed to allow users to share links or photos from third-party apps with friends and to set a specific timer for location sharing.<p>Starting today, iOS users can use the Share Sheet in an app like Twitter or Safari to share links …

iOS

Facebook tests split News Feed that keeps friends front and center

Facebook is currently testing a new dual-feed setup that separates Page-generated posts from ads and posts from friends, <i>The Guardian</i> reports. The trial is currently underway in six countries -- Bolivia, Guatemala, Cambodia, Slovakia, Serbia and Sri Lanka.<p>Under this arrangement, the main News Feed …

Facebook

The movement to regulate Facebook is attracting powerful new allies

But will it be enough for the Honest Ads Act to pass?<p>This week, a bipartisan group of US senators took the first steps toward regulating online political advertising in a manner similar to the way the government already regulates these ads in traditional media. Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar (MN) …

Political Advertising

'The Daily Show' library of Trump’s tweets opens in Chicago tomorrow

Back in June, we covered <i>The Daily Show</i>'s presidential Twitter library in New York. After all, the frequency at which our Commander in Chief takes to Twitter is surely to become a part of his legacy. The library is now moving to Chicago, and you can see it this weekend only. It's free and open to …

Comedy

Jack Dorsey responds to #WomenBoycottTwitter: New rules incoming

Last night #WomenBoycottTwitter spread among many high profile accounts that stood in solidarity with "victims of hate and harassment Twitter fails to support." The boycott itself wasn't without controversy and spawned responses including a push to highlight and appreciate women of color on the …

Jack Dorsey

Twitter’s ‘Happening Now’ feature groups tweets about ongoing events

Twitter is introducing a new feature to timelines that will keep you up to date on particular ongoing events. At the top of your timeline, you'll start to see a Happening Now label that will show you all of the events and current topics Twitter thinks you're interested in, which when clicked, will …

Marketing

Facebook tests a feature that provides info on article publishers

Facebook is still working out how to reduce the reach of fake news and misinformation on its site and today, it starts testing a new feature that sounds like it might be pretty useful. When an article link is shared in someone's News Feed, there will now be a small "i" button that will bring up …

Facebook

YouTube reportedly alters search algorithm after Las Vegas shooting

YouTube has updated its search engine in an effort to promote more authoritative videos, hoping to diminish the reach of conspiracy theories, harmful messages and misinformation on the platform, <i>The Wall Street Journal</i> reports. The changes follow the mass shooting in Las Vegas this week, wherein a …

Las Vegas

After Las Vegas shooting, Facebook and Google get the news wrong again

The worst mass shooting in modern US history took place last night in Las Vegas, where a gunman killed at least 58 people and injured more than 515 others, according to the latest reports. Not long after the unfortunate event, Facebook and Google began populating news stories on their respective …

Las Vegas

Facebook’s about to launch its news subscriptions initiative. The New York Times is reportedly sitting out; The Washington Post is in

Facebook is trying to climb out of a maelstrom of bad PR.<p>It’s turning over several thousand Russia-linked political posts to Congressional investigators. The president is now unhappy with the platform: Facebook has “always been anti-Trump,” Donald Trump whined on Twitter on Wednesday. (Mark …

Journalism

Twitter proved its priorities are screwed up with just 280 characters

Yesterday, Twitter announced that it would experiment with doubling the character limit in tweets, making the jump from 140 to 280 characters. And, as expected, it didn't take long for people on the internet to start critiquing the move, which is available only to a "small group" for now. Most of …

Frederick Douglass