Posts Tagged ‘social media’
After the awful attacks in Paris, Facebook was filled with people showing their support by putting French tricolour filters over their profile pictures. Of course, faux-intellectuals almost immediately started debates about it all, but mostly, a bunch of people wanted to show solidarity to a country they normally slag off.
However, some people are annoyed as they can’t get the filter off their profile pictures. Their support was only meant to last for a couple of weeks – they want to go back to the way things were before Facebook encouraged users to customise their pictures.
Some people will have set a time limit to their filter, which means, within a week, your picture will revert back to its normal self.
If you didn’t, and you’ve been scratching your head about how to remove it, quite simply, all you have to do is hit ‘update profile photo’. You can either upload a new photo, or choose one that you’ve previously uploaded. And that’s it. We would’ve thought that was obvious, but we’ve seen a lot of people complaining about this.
Seriously. On one support page, one user vented: “This is something that Facebook should be fixing. We had a choice of how long to leave the flag ‘on’ and its not working.” Another chipped in by saying: “I shouldn’t have to do anything, should have been automatic!”
Well, we’re sorry the world hasn’t worked out how to cater for your every need automatically, but if you want to click two buttons on your own profile, you can get your page looking like it did a few weeks ago.
Cela a été facile, non?
Facebook don’t trust you to be able to sort out your own life online. The keep tinkering with how they do things, are creating artificial intelligence to watch over you, telling you what you can and can’t be called on the site, mithering you about absolutely everything, and tweaking the algorithms so hard, that you don’t actually see a true reflection of what’s being posted on your feed, in favour of a version of updates they’d prefer you to see.
And now, they want to get involved in your break-ups with people.
While most people could simply unfollow or mute someone they’ve just broken up with, Facebook don’t think you’re capable of doing that, so they’re developing a tool which will limit exposure to your ex as soon as you change your relationship status from “in a relationship” to “single”.
Photos, posts, mentions, and all that, will be suppressed so you don’t cry all over your phone when you log on to the social network.
It looks like it’ll be rolled out next year, after the testing has been completed.
“Facebook is a place for sharing life’s important moments, which for many people include their romantic relationships,” said Facebook product manager Kelly Winters in a statement. “When a relationship ends, we’ve heard from people that they sometimes have questions about the options available to them on Facebook.”
Next week: Facebook introduces function that’ll wipe your arse for you.
No-one saw Snapchat’s spectacular rise coming. All the kids are on it, and even the adults too, as the social network guns for Facebook and Twitter’s crown. While media companies look for an alternative to Facebook (who are throttling everyone’s ‘reach’ unless you pay for it) and people are tired of Twitter’s trolls, Snapchat is offering an outlet to both… and not everything you do is public.
The company has revealed that they’re now serving up (around) six billion video views a day, which is a huge increase. That’s three times the amount being shown in May. With Facebook showing eight billion a day, Snapchat is hot on its tail.
Keep in mind that Snapchat doesn’t even have a desktop version, that’s very impressive indeed. With more and more companies wanting to get into video advertising, Snapchat is in a unique position compared to their rivals.
With Snapchat being valued at £13 billion earlier in the year, it looks like like they were wise to turn down Facebook’s £2 billion bid a couple of years ago. The app now has 100 million active daily users, which is not to be sniffed at… unless you’re really old and don’t understand how these things work.
There’s a lot of money changing hands too, with Snapchat offering ‘sponsored lenses,’ which means marketing companies can offer special stickers and selfie-frames to promote a number of products. And people are using them, especially the The Peanuts Movie one, where people could add animated Snoopy icons to their pictures.
There’s some in-app purchases too, and special lenses and trophies, which has made Snapchat go from a reasonably one-dimensional app, to something that should be worrying Twitter and others.
2015 – it has been Snapchat’s year.
It has been muttered about for a while now, but it looks like Facebook’s standalone news app could be released next week. It is called Notify, and has buddied up with a load of news outlets like Mashable, CNN, Vogue and a bunch of others.
Quite why anyone needs another app that aggregates newspapers and magazines, is anyone’s guess.
Of course, Facebook are eyeing up ways to claw in loads of advertising money, and their algorithms are probably designed to favour outlets with the most money to throw at it, in promoted posts and the like. Facebook are going ahead with this, after what they deem to be a positive response from publishers to their Instant Articles feature, where you get a faster loading time if you read a newspaper’s article if you read it within the Facebook app.
This new app will also offer publishers a way to circumnavigate ad blockers, so there’s a lot of money to made out of this, providing people actually want to use it.
Facebook’s mobile growth is doing well also, as they reported a rise of 23%, year on year, to 1.39 billion users. That’s a terrifying amount of people. There’s some data that has shown that Facebook has more referrals to major publishers than Google. Not bad for an app that some people say ‘no-one uses anymore’.
We can only hope that this app is forced upon users, as seen with the Messenger app, which annoyed a whole bunch of people. Fingers crossed that Notify doesn’t end up being automatically downloaded bloatware to everyone’s phones.
Facebook, for some reason, decided to say that people who used nicknames, or names they performed or wrote under, weren’t allowed. If you wanted to go by your stage name, set up a fan page. If you’ve been using a nickname and someone has hit the button where they say you’re using a nickname, then they make you send a copy of your birth certificate or passport in to prove your government name.
Failure to comply, and they suspend your account. This has been a problem for those who are trying to avoid abusive exes, people who are transitioning and, most alarmingly, Facebook seem to have been going after anyone who doesn’t have an English sounding name.
This has seen a lot of protests, and indeed, courts have gone after Facebook saying that they’re infringing people’s rights.
Well, after a load of faff, it looks like Facebook are going to lose their ‘real names’ policy. At least, that’s what they’re saying, not that anyone really trusts them these days.
Facebook are going to allow users to ‘provide more information about their circumstances’ and ‘give additional details or context on their unique situation’. Facebook’s Alex Schultz says: “It will help us better understand the reasons why people can’t currently confirm their name, informing potential changes we make in the future.”
We’ll see what they actually ask for, when they get around to doing this. We suspect there’s going to be more protests about all this yet.
One of the most infuriating things about Facebook, is those arseholes you know who send out blanket invitations and requests for Candy Crush. Auntie Viv never understood why you were always playing computer games when you were little, but now she’s into Candy Crush, she’s hooked and mithering you about it.
Well, Mark Zuckerberg announced at a boring Q&A session, that his developers are working on a way of getting rid of this social media pest.
In a talk at the the Indian Institute of Technology, the question was posed: “I don’t want any more invitations to Candy Crush. How can I stop it?”, which was met with loud cheering from the audience.
“This is where these Town Hall Q&As are really useful because I actually saw this question, that it was the top voted question on my thread,” Zuckerberg said. “So I sent a message to the person who runs the team in charge of our developer platform and I said by the time I do this Town Hall Q&A, I think it would be good if we had a solution to this problem.”
“We hadn’t prioritised shutting that down because we just had other priorities but if this is the top thing that people care about then we’ll prioritise that and we’ll do it.”
Of course, you can block all Candy Crush requests yourself through your Settings on Facebook and, indeed, stop certain people from sending you invites of any description (if they’re serial offenders). When you get an invite, or see something annoying on your wall, use the drop-down arrows on each post to get them banned completely.
If you want to listen to Zuckerberg talk about things, the video is here.
That’s right, the social network is now going to cater to your every need by telling you about your friend’s birthday, that event you forgot to say you weren’t going to, and a whole load more. Mobile notifications on the Facebook app will now prod you about all the events in your life – even the ones you’re not arsed about.
“We’ve heard feedback that people wanted to add important information that they can easily see, all in one place,” wrote product manager Keith Peiris on the official Facebook blog. “Along with your notifications, you can see and customize timely info.”
Instead of a nice, normal list, you’ll now get your mobile notifications organised as “cards”, which will be tailored the more you tell Facebook about your activities and location. Interesting that eh? Not like Facebook to want to know where you are and what you’re doing all the time, is it?
If you mess with your settings enough, you’ll also get notifications about when your favourite TV show is on, or you’ll get alerts from your favourite venues and pubs, every time they do anything, ever.
You might be fine with the privacy/usefulness trade-off, so this will be good news. If not, just delete the app and stop using it – save yourself and everyone around you the headache.
Facebook is going to let people search for your status updates on search engines. Twitter has been searchable like that for a while, so some people won’t mind at all. However, this will stick in the craw with some, who see Facebook as a safe place to say what you want without being snooped on.
Of course, people, pages, and brands have been easy to track down, but not individual items shared on newsfeeds and timelines. That’s all about to change, as Facebook is rolling out an update to open everything up.
Facebook’s vice president of search Tom Stocky said: “When something happens in the world, people often turn to Facebook to see how their friends and family are reacting. Today, we’re updating Facebook Search so that in addition to friends and family, you can find out what the world is saying about topics that matter to you.”
You’ll know that the social network is in trouble with how much it shares with the world, losing a court case about people’s personal information. Some people might see this as further evidence of FB taking the piss. In that case, you might want to dive into your Settings and start shoring everything up, if you’re worried about that sort of thing.
You can assume that Facebook will only make public posts searchable, so if your account is locked-down, you should be okay… provided of course, if you trust the social network on such matters.
The update is going to roll out in the US first, on iPhone, Android and desktop, and then, it’ll creep across the rest of the territories in due time.
Facebook went to court about your personal data being transferred to America, and it didn’t exactly go in their favour. During all this, it didn’t help that they were also accused of spying, which means that authorities are paying the social network particular attention at the moment.
In Ireland, where Facebook has a base, they’re facing more opposition, where Ireland’s High Court has ordered the Irish data protection agency to investigate whether or not the transfer of users’ data should be suspended or not.
The Data Protection Commissioner “is obliged now to investigate the complaint,” said Judge Gerard Hogan, following the verdict at the European Court of Justice.
In case you missed it, a fella called Max Schrems made claims against Facebook, saying that his privacy could not be guaranteed during the transfer, after a load of information came to light after Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the US National Security Agency (NSA). With Facebook having their European HQ in Ireland, Schrems asked the Irish Data Protection Commissioner to investigate what protection Europeans are getting.
Initially, the then Irish data protection commissioner didn’t want to look at the complaint, and said that EU authorities were happy enough that America had put sufficient data protection in place, through the ‘Safe Harbour’ agreement. However, things have changed since then, and the European Court of Justice ruled that ‘Safe Harbour’ is in fact, invalid.
In ‘Safe Harbour’ court ruling said that “legislation permitting (US) public authorities to have access on a generalised basis to the content of electronic communications must be regarded as compromising the essence of the fundamental right to respect for private life.”
Ireland’s current Data Protection Commissioner, Helen Dixon, said: “My office will now proceed to investigate the substance of the complaint with all due diligence.” Of course, Facebook are still denying that there’s anything shady going on here, but then, they would say that wouldn’t they?
Have you been looking at mucky stuff on the internet? Have you secretly been indulging yourself in a cavalcade of wonkers and busters? Well, apparently, everyone is going to find out just what kinky stuff you’re into, thanks to your Facebook account.
Brett Thomas – he’s a software engineer – wrote a blog this week and said that teenagers who want to cause all kinds of bother could very easily set up sites that share your browsing history, by exploiting gaping holes in security.
If they did – which they haven’t – the sites would allow people to type in your Facebook name, and your browsing history would be there for everyone to gawp at. Yes, even if you’re in some kind of incognito mode, they’ll still be able to do it.
Thomas said: “If you are watching/viewing porn online in 2015, even in Incognito mode, you should expect that at some point your porn viewing history will be publicly released and attached to your name.”
He added: “If a malicious party obtained identifiable access logs for just one of the websites that know your name, and view logs for just one of the adult websites you’ve visited, it could infer with very high probability – beyond plausible deniability – a list of porn you’ve viewed. At any time, somebody could post a website that allows you to search anybody by email or Facebook username and view their porn browsing history.”
“All that’s needed are two nominal data breaches and an enterprising teenager that wants to create havoc.”
Quite why Thomas has chosen teenagers as the people most likely to be responsible for this, is something of a mystery. Maybe it gives a clue to the kind of films he’d just been watching before he wrote the blog, eh?
Anyway, if you want to look at Brett’s thoughts and reasoning on the whole thing, click here.
Facebook are going to start snitching on governments. You heard. The social network has decided that they’re going to let you know if they have a “strong suspicion” your account has been compromised by a nation.
What will you do with that information, apart from get really paranoid? Well, this won’t be a simple case of resetting some passwords and the like - Facebook will warn those that have been compromised that they should either “rebuild or replace” their mobile phone or computer.
Like most people will be doing that.
Anyway, if your account is thought to have been tampered with, you’ll be welcomed by a message that has the headline: “Please Secure Your Accounts Now”, with a message that will read: ”We believe your Facebook account and your other online accounts may be the target of attacks from state-sponsored actors.”
Scam artists, no doubt, are already using this information as a way of swindling people out of contact details and ways of cadging money out of people.
If you get the legit version, Facebook will urge you to secure your account by turning on a feature called Login Approvals, which basically sends you a one-time confirmation text to your registered mobile phone whenever a login is made from a new device or browser. Facebook are really desperate to get everyone’s phone numbers, so make up your own mind about all this.
It is worth noting that this message doesn’t definitely mean you’ve been hacked, and that Facebook haven’t exactly explained how they’ll be able to spot when someone’s account has been fiddled with, but they added: “We plan to use this warning only in situations where the evidence strongly supports our conclusion.”
“We hope that these warnings will assist those people in need of protection, and we will continue to improve our ability to prevent and detect attacks of all kinds against people on Facebook.”
That’s right – the app is ravaging your juice, and Facebook have said that they hope to fix the problem ‘soon’, according to TechCrunch. The problem is that the iOS app is running in the background, and it is killing your battery while it does it.
The spokesperson from Facebook said: “We have heard reports of some people experiencing battery issues with our iOS app. We’re looking into this and hope to have a fix in place soon.”
If you’re thinking that the battery drain will stop if you disable the background app refresh feature? No dice. It’ll still drain your phone.
Facebook aren’t forthcoming when it comes to saying why this is happening, but they will get ’round to fixing it ‘soon’, which sounds like ‘when we can be arsed’ to Bitterwallet.
So, what can you do to stop this from happening in the meantime? Well, there’s no clever workaround for this problem – the advice we’ve got is that you should delete the app. That’s the only thing that’ll do it. You’ll still have your Messenger app, so you won’t miss any messages from pals. Until then, get rid.
The customer ranted to the police, who clearly didn’t have anything better to do, that he’d been to the same place the night before, and had a ham and mushroom pizza. However, this time, he was being told by the staff that they didn’t do ham and mushroom pizzas.
Dark days indeed.
What had happened, is that the man had eaten a turkey and mushroom on his first visit, which meant he kicked off and wanted his £3.50 back. Remember, he phoned the actual emergency services about all this, which he thought was a very reasonable thing to do.
Greater Manchester Police tweeted about the incident, saying: “999 11pm; man threatening to smash up takeaway as no ham & mushroom pizza. Says had one previous night but now found out was turkey, not ham.”
One thing that Twitter has been particularly good for, is taking the absolute piss out of idiots who waste police (and everyone else’s time) with calls like this.
The GMP have been particularly good for it. They have previously tweeted about a woman who rang 999 because staff at a gym wouldn’t let her inside. The kicker here, being that she didn’t actually have a pass for said gym. Oh, and who could forget the marvellous tweet about the “suspicious men carrying a snake, Bolton”?
Anyway, what are they up to now? Well, they’re making moves into e-commerce (or, if you prefer, prising money out of your pockets), where you’ll be able to shop, through them. Basically, this means that Facebook will have a new type of advert, where you’ll be able to shop directly through the site.
“We’re looking to give people an easier way to find products that will be interesting to them on mobile, make shopping easier and help businesses drive sales,” said Emma Rodgers, Facebook’s head of product marketing for commerce.
Not only that, businesses on Facebook will also be allowed to display their wares, and make them available for immediate purchase. You have to assume that Facebook will be taking a cut, and Amazon will be annoyed at this news. Facebook could make a lot of money if they decide to tackle eBay head-on, too.
Not only that, Facebook are now letting you make 20 second videos, where you can wish people happy birthday. Is it better than the people who leave you a comment saying solely “HBx”? Of course it is. The people who do that should be rounded up, and whupped with a leather belt.
Already, there’s a number of users who can see this new feature. If you want to look for it, it is on the mobile app and it looks like a little film camera icon, and you can work the rest out. You’re bright enough, we’re sure.
A Facebook spokesperson said: “We’re testing a way for people to make their birthday wishes more personal by giving them the option to record a video for friends’ birthdays that can be posted directly to their Timelines.”
Facebook, the place where a lot of people complain about how little tax Starbucks pay, managed to pay £4,000 in corporation tax last year, according to reports. That’d be Facebook there, you made £105million during the same period, in the UK.
The actual figure the social network paid was £4,327 in corporation tax, which is about a grand less than the average British worker’s income tax payments.
One of the sneaky ways that Facebook made sure it operated at a loss, was to hand out £34.5m in shares to employees in Britain, as part of their bonus scheme. That makes their average remuneration package £100,000, which means they ended up losing money.
MP Margaret Hodge isn’t happy, and is the chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee. She said that Facebook was “still refusing to listen to the voice of public opinion,” and, in addition to that, “using elaborate corporate structures and artificial devices for no purpose other than to avoid tax.”
“We have to take tough to crack down on this behaviour, and the UK should be leading the way on this issue.”
We look forward to people standing next to phones open on Facebook pages and protesting, while other social networks set up passive-aggressive A-boards in the street about paying their tax.