Google rolls out Maps feature

Posted on March 23, 2017

Search giant Google has officially launched a new feature for its Maps service that allows a user to temporarily send their location to another user.

To gain access to this feature, users (more…)

Posted by Alan Littler

Loneliness – down to social media or human nature?

Posted on March 22, 2017

A report released this month by counselling organisation Relate gives some sad and worrying statistics about just how many people in the UK feel alone, with one in five of us experiencing loneliness and one in eight saying they have no close friends at all.

Particularly notable is that young people appear to be the most isolated of all, with nearly (more…)

Posted by John Murray

Facebook to complete the set with Stories

Posted on March 21, 2017

Social networking site Facebook has recently announced its intentions to add a new feature to its main platform, after introducing it to various other platforms it owns.

The company is adding the Stories feature to the main Facebook app, and this will complete the set of platforms to which it has added this feature after integrating it with photo-sharing app Instagram in the summer, messaging service WhatsApp in November (calling it Status), and earlier this month with its own standalone messaging tool, Messenger, where it is known as Messenger Day.

The feature itself was originally introduced by Snapchat back in October 2013, around about the time Facebook put in an offer to purchase the company. Ever since that rejection, Facebook has done everything in its power to overhaul the popular photo-messaging company, the initial vibe of which was disappearing messages.

The Stories feature is a cluster of images and photos that can be edited by the user to include drawings, filters, stickers and text, and they are uploaded to a storyboard at the top of app. These messages last for a maximum of 24 hours and vanish once that time has elapsed.

This feature was one of Snapchat’s most prominent, having become popular among users in 2014 with hundreds of millions of photos being uploaded on a daily basis. Fortunately for Facebook, and Instagram, Instagram Stories has gone on to be bigger than the whole of Snapchat thanks to its significantly larger user base.

However, in the last few months, Facebook has – not so subtly – been targeting this particular feature and has been integrating it with anything and everything it can. The final step for the company is to implement it with the main Facebook platform, which it is now in the process of doing.

The addition of Facebook stories to the app will be one of the biggest changes to the Facebook news feed in quite a while and will potentially alter the way in which users will interact with it. At the top of the news feed, users usually find the status and update box. Once the stories feature has rolled out, the box will make way for the storyboard.

Visually, it is set to look the same as Instagram, with a horizontal row of circles containing the faces of the friends who have uploaded something to the storyboard. Furthermore, its addition will represent a fundamental change for the platform, going away from the standard news feed where people scroll through pictures, videos and text.

It could change the way users interact and post on Facebook, having already made alterations to the way Instagram users post. Facebook may hope that this is the case as it looks at a way of undoing the ‘context collapse’, where users don’t share much information about themselves anymore, instead sharing content such as posts and memes they find amusing.

Like with Snapchat and the other Facebook-owned platforms, Facebook Stories will conform to the conventional format of anything posted expiring after 24 hours, and will allow a mixture of photos and videos for users to share with their friends and other acquaintances with whom they are connected.

Facebook tested this feature amongst a sample of users based in Ireland earlier in the year, and it is now being rolled out to everyone worldwide. Not everyone in the world has access to the feature just yet, but it will only be a matter of time before the social network finishes these updates.

The feature will only work with the mobile version of the app – both on Android and iOS – and Stories can only be uploaded there too.

Posted by Alan Littler

Most popular social media platform among millennials revealed

Posted on March 20, 2017

A new study has revealed the most popular choice of social media platform among US millennials, and it may surprise you to learn that neither Facebook nor Twitter can be found at the top of the pile.

According to the (more…)

Posted by Alan Littler

Have you spotted yourself on Google Street View?

Posted on March 17, 2017

Google Street View is one of my favourite tools on the internet and, as someone caught in a compromise between wanderlust and laziness, I find dragging Pegman onto streets all over the world strangely addictive.

What’s more, it seems like every time I go on it, there’s even more to see and do. As this Wikipedia page shows, Street View made its 213th update on Wednesday, now allowing you to venture into (more…)

Posted by John Murray

Tech giants create digital ad duopoly

Posted on March 16, 2017

According to a recent forecast presented by research group eMarketer, the digital advertising industry will see its duopoly tighten as Facebook and Google continue to assert their dominance.

eMarketer’s forecast shows that the (more…)

Posted by Alan Littler

Google to alter CAPTCHA form

Posted on March 15, 2017

Search giant Google has long requested that users decipher the most ineligible of squiggles to prove to the company that they are not spamming robots, but now the search giant has announced changes to its CAPTCHA forms that will make it easier for (more…)

Posted by Alan Littler

Twitter Brits suggest new names for UK without Scotland

Posted on March 14, 2017

With the week beginning with murmurings of a second referendum on Scottish independence, it’s led to lively discussions on Twitter, where #indyref2 was trending for most of yesterday.

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon made a speech yesterday calling for another opportunity for Scots to have their say on whether they want to be part of (more…)

Posted by John Murray
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