Instagram clamping down on apps that read feeds, offer auto-following, liking or commenting

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 18, 2015

As part of Instagram’s most recent platform update, third-party applications will be no longer allowed to present a user’s Instagram feed, a significant change in policy that’ll affect numerous mobile applications which pull Instagram feeds.

Going forward, they’ll be shutting down services and apps that offer auto-following, liking or commenting.

Photo-editing apps that show only individual Instagram photos won’t be affected by this change. All apps must comply by June 1, 2016. The new policies and reviews will go into effect for new apps starting December 3, 2015. Read More

 

Facebook deep links will begin to soon surface in Google search results

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 16, 2015

As reported by The Wall Street Journal this morning, your Google search results will soon start to serve deep links based on content from Facebook’s mobile app which, when clicked, will take you straight to the relevant part of the Facebook app.

A spokeswoman for Google parent Alphabet has confirmed the feature will begin to roll out soon.

Last month, the Internet giant announced integration between its search engine and iOS 9 apps via so-called App Indexing feature and today’s announcement delivers on that promise. Read More

 

Facebook releases Notify for iPhone for news, sports, weather and other alerts

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 11, 2015

Facebook on Wednesday announced it’s releasing a brand new mobile application, Notify for iPhone. Conceived as a mobile notifications app for news, sports, weather and more, Notify was designed to deliver push notifications “that matter from sources you love, right on your lock screen, all in one place.”

Notifications are grouped into “stations” which cover varied categories, from sports and celebrities to news, movies, music, shopping and more. Notify is an English-only iPhone app available for free in the App Store. Read More

 

Facebook’s facial recognition coming to Messenger

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 9, 2015

Facebook’s facial recognition technology, used on the site to offer suggestions for photo tags, is coming to the company’s Messenger mobile software, Re/code reported Monday.

With facial recognition, Messenger will run an analysis of the photos in your iPhone’s Camera roll that you haven’t uploaded yet. When it recognizes a face of a Facebook friend on a photo, you’ll get a notification to send them the image through Messenger, a cool feature if you snap a bunch of photos at parties that you routinely forget to send later to the attendees. Read More

 

Facebook for iPhone gains new Share sheet design

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 9, 2015

About ten days ago, at its biggest event called FbStart San Francisco, the social networking giant unveiled an update on its Share sheet available in iOS and through third-party apps for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

The all-new design is way more functional than before. Like before, Facebook’s Share sheet lets you share images, article links, status updates and other content in apps that support iOS’s multi-purpose Share sheet.

Unlike before, however, you now have a clearer preview of the content you’re sharing on Facebook and can control who can see your post. There are also new ways to tag friends or add feelings to a post, much like in Facebook’s mobile app. Read More

 

Facebook launches Music Stories with Spotify and Apple Music integration

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 5, 2015

Facebook is announcing today a brand new feature called Music Stories, basically a new post format for Facebook that should make it easier to discover and share music from Spotify and Apple Music.

Now every time you share songs or albums shared from Spotify or Apple Music using Facebook’s iPhone application, these links will automatically get turned into the new post format which lets others listen to 30-second previews while on Facebook. Read More

 

Facebook reportedly launching standalone news app next week

By Cody Lee on Nov 4, 2015

Facebook is preparing to launch a new standalone news app next week, according to The Financial Times. Citing sources familiar with the project, the outlet says that the app is going to be called Notify, and it is going to feature content from dozens of media partners including CBS and Vogue.

As reported by BusinessInsider in August, the app will look similar to Twitter, in that it will allow publications to blast short push notifications to “followers” when they have urgent news to share. If users want to read more about a headline, the can click a link that will take them to the full story. Read More

 

WhatsApp rolls out responding to messages and calls directly from notifications to everyone

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 2, 2015

After testing out with a subset of its user base a new ability to quickly respond to incoming messages directly from the notification banner, Facebook-owned WhatsApp today began rolling out this feature to its massive 900+ million monthly active users. In addition, this edition of WhatsApp for iPhone also makes it easy to reply to incoming WhatsApp VoIP calls with a message, right from the call notification. Both features require Apple’s latest mobile operating system. Read More

 

Facebook easing restrictions on real name policy, changes how profile violations are reported

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 30, 2015

Facebook is changing its controversial real name policy, according to BuzzFeed News Friday, to let users provide more context when the service requires name confirmation.

In addition, Facebook will now require more information from anyone reporting a profile in an effort to discourage users from misusing the reporting tool as a weapon or harassment tactic. Both changes are expected to start rolling out in December. Read More

 

Facebook replacing Other inbox with a new feature called Message Requests

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 30, 2015

Don’t you hate it when messages you receive from Facebook users you’re not friends with end up in the Other section of your inbox, where they’re far too easily overlooked and simply forgotten?

If so, you’ll be pleased to learn that the company is getting rid of the Other inbox and replacing it with a brand new feature called Message Requests, David Marcus, who runs Messenger, announced Tuesday. Read More

 

Facebook bringing order to notification hell with revamped Notifications tab in mobile app

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 26, 2015

After seemingly neglecting its outdated notification system for years, Facebook today announced a revamp and new features for the Notifications tab in its mobile application.

Hopefully, this’ll help us cope with a firehouse of alerts from Facebook that we’re being inundated with on any given day.

A more useful, Google Now-like Notifications tab now distinguishes clearly between Facebook’s most important notification types.

Specifically, you’ll see timely alerts for friends’ milestones, birthdays and life events, upcoming events that you’ve joined and sports scores and TV reminders, the latter two based on Pages you’ve liked. Read More

 

How to disable Location History on Facebook to extend iPhone battery life

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 23, 2015

Yesterday, Facebook issued an update to its main iOS client to help extend your iPhone’s battery life by preventing it from playing audio silently in the background.

File the move under the ‘too little, too late’ drawer: if history is anything to go by, waiting for Facebook engineers to deliver a fully battery-friendly iOS app might be a fool’s errand.

The biggest contributor to Facebook’s infamous battery drain has got to be the app’s continuous monitoring of your location, which continues after leaving the app. In this tutorial, we’ll teach you how to prevent this by disabling a feature called Location History, thereby helping reclaim some of the juice lost to the battery-hogging app. Read More

 

Facebook search results now include public posts

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 23, 2015

Facebook announced yesterday it is now including public posts into search results while bringing personalized suggestions and highlighting popular stories with expanded search functions.

“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,” wrote the social networking firm.

Enhanced search features are currently available across Facebook for iPhone, Android and on the web, to US English users only. Read More

 

Did latest Facebook update fix battery drainage?

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 23, 2015

After publicly acknowledging that it was aware of reports which slammed its mobile application over excessive battery drain, Facebook yesterday issued an update to its App Store app which has apparently fixed the long-standing issue.

Facebook engineering manager Ari Grant took to Facebook to detail the issue and what they’ve done to prevent the mobile app from eating up your iPhone’s battery. Read More

 

Facebook rolls out Instant Articles to all iOS users

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 20, 2015

After rolling out Instant Articles to a tiny subset of its 1.3 billion active user base back in May of this year, the social networking leader Facebook today said these quick-loading articles are available to all users of its mobile application for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

Thousands of Instant Articles, each denoted with a lightning bolt in the top right corner of the News Feed story, will be available at launch and more will be added on a regular basis. Facebook claims Instant Articles load up to ten times faster than a standard mobile web article. Read More

 

Facebook acknowledges battery drainage problem with iOS app, says fix is underway

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 15, 2015

It is no secret that Facebook’s mobile app has always been a battery hog, even with Background App Refresh turned off. Instead of fixing the issue, Facebook appears to employ tricks to keep the app active in the background, further accentuating the battery drainage problem.

According to TechCrunch, Mark Zuckerberg & Co. are aware of the problem and its programmers are working around the clock to put out a fix “soon”. Read More

 

Facebook updates iOS app with 3D Touch support

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 12, 2015

Facebook’s mobile iPhone and iPad application has received a quick update today, adding support for 3D Touch shortcuts on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, but not the Peek and Pop in-app features.

Still, you can now press firmly Facebook’s icon on the Home screen for quick access to the following shortcuts: Take Photo/Video, Upload Photo/Video and Write Post. Read More

 

You can now use Facebook Messenger on Apple Watch

By Cody Lee on Oct 8, 2015

Facebook on Thursday rolled out a new update for its Messenger app, bringing the iOS client to version 38.0. The update brings about long-awaited support for watchOS 2, meaning you can finally use the popular messaging app on your Apple Watch.

Introduced this summer, Facebook Messenger for Apple Watch allows you to send and receive things like voice messages, Likes and stickers, and you can also dictate messages and tap the Location button to quickly send out your current location.

Read More

 
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