Tim Cook creates account on China’s popular microblogging service Weibo

By Christian Zibreg on May 11, 2015

During his current visit to Beijing to announce new environmental initiatives, Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook has opened an account on Weibo, China’s popular micro-blogging platform resembling Twitter.

The company’s newly-announced environmental initiatives in China are the topic of Cook’s first post. “Hello China! Happy to be back in Beijing, announcing innovative new environmental programs,” his Weibo post reads.

The message is accompanied by a Chinese translation. Cook’s Weibo presence is verified and the account had nearly 400,000 followers at post time. Read More

 

Apple researching a new kind of social network for lifestyle-based groups

By Christian Zibreg on May 7, 2015

You know what would be really cool? Another social network, one built by Apple. No, I’m not referring to yet another Facebook clone nor am I ironically nodding at iTunes Ping.

An Apple patent application published Thursday by The United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) envisions a new kind of social network for lifestyle-based social groups. It would be iOS-exclusive, in that it would tap into the wealth of app, device and sensor data in order to determine your interests and help connect you with like-minded people in the vicinity. Read More

 

Ditty: a third-party Facebook Messenger app that sings your chats

By Lory Gil on Mar 27, 2015

It has only been a couple of days since Facebook announced that third-party app integration would be added to the social chat app. There are already dozens of GIF makers, custom avatar creators, and special sticker add-ons to bombard your friends and family with hilarity.

Ditty is a third-party Facebook Messenger app that turns what you write into music. Pick a song, type out your message, and watch it transform into a musical. The next time you want to cheer someone up, do it with a song set to your own, personalized lyrics. Read More

 

Meerkat lets you stream live video to Twitter

By Lory Gil on Mar 11, 2015

During Apple’s Spring Forward event, you may have noticed a few tweets that started off with “|LIVE NOW|” followed by a hashtag for “meerkat” and a link. If you haven’t had a chance to experience it yet, the Twitter verse now has a way to live stream video content.

Meerkat is a video client that allows users to live stream video directly to their followers on Twitter. It is live. If you click on the link after the video has ended, you will miss out. Read More

 

Here’s what happens to your Facebook account when you die

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 12, 2015

Facebook wants to know who gets your account when you pass away so they’re introducing a new feature called Legacy Contact.

As explained Thursday, choosing someone to manage your account after you pass away goes way beyond  a basic memorialized account  Facebook has offered for quite some time now.

The new system helps the ones left behind experience loss with a greater sense of possibility, comfort and support as your account becomes a memorial of your life, friendships and experiences.

The person designated as your Legacy Contact will be able to pin a post on your Timeline, respond to new friend requests and update your profile picture, but they won’t be allowed to post as you nor will they be permitted to access and read your messages on the service. Read More

 

Facebook Groups adds member search and three new admin features

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 22, 2015

Facebook’s dedicated Groups app received a major refresh Thursday, bumping the groups-management mobile software to version 5.0 while enabling several new features for members and administrators.

Both group members and administrators can now search for other members in groups. Additionally, members can now manage notifications more easily.

Admins can now take advantage of a trio of new features for better management of their own groups, including the ability to block users requesting to join. Read More

 

Twitter’s ‘while you were away’ feature rolls out to all mobile users, due soon on the web

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 22, 2015

First revealed as part of Twitter’s November 2014 platform update and formally announced on January 1, a new ‘while you were away’ feature is now officially available to all users of Twitter’s mobile app for iOS and Android, appearing at the top of users’ timelines.

The micro-blogging startup explained in a blog post Wednesday that the feature surfaces a few of the best tweets “you probably wouldn’t have seen otherwise,” as determined by engagement and “other factors.” Read More

 

Facebook starts removing deliberate hoaxes from your News Feed

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 20, 2015

Facebook today announced it is (again) stepping up fight against spammers by making certain changes to cut down on the number of posts in the News Feed which file as deliberate hoaxes or misleading news stories.

These include click-bait headlines such as “Man sees dinosaur on hike in Utah” and scams offering users, say, a chance to “win a lifetime supply of coffee,” if only you’d be so kind as to follow the link, please. Read More

 

Facebook testing voice transcription feature in Messenger ahead of official rollout

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 18, 2015

Facebook has begun testing a new feature in its mobile Messenger software that can read transcripts of received voice messages in case you don’t want to listen to them.

The company is currently testing the feature with a tiny subset of Messenger’s more than 500 million users ahead of a forthcoming launch in the near future.

In addition to Messenger’s voice transcription capability, the firm announced buying a successful boutique design firm which has created popular mobile applications and online services, including the read-later app Readability and the rising blogging platform Medium. Read More

 

Facebook adds AMBER Alerts to people’s News Feeds on mobile and the web

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 13, 2015

Facebook on Tuesday announced adding AMBER Alerts to both its mobile applications and the web interface in order to help find missing children in a more systematic way than before.

Realized through a partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the initiative will deliver AMBER Alerts, which include photographs and other details about the missing child, to people’s News Feeds in targeted search areas after a child has been abducted and the National Center has issued an alert, said the social networking behemoth.

Facebook is betting that the power of its network will help find the missing children and is encouraging users to share these alert with friends and link directly to the National Center’s missing child poster. Read More

 

The best Social Networking apps of 2014

By Lory Gil on Dec 28, 2014

The whole social networking phenomenon has really gotten out of hand. There are so many ways to connect with others that it is nearly impossible to keep track. Luckily for you, we’ve done the tracking so you don’t have to.

Today’s list is for the best social networking apps to come out in 2014. The iDB team scoured the App Store to come up with the cream of the crop and nominated their favorites. Below is the winner of the vote, as well as the runner-ups and, of course, our all time favorite social networking app. Read More

 

DeviantArt app puts the world’s largest art gallery in your pocket

By Lory Gil on Dec 16, 2014

Even if you don’t visit the website or have your own account, you’ve probably heard of DeviantArt. Practically any pop culture image search will result in at least a few links to the website, which gets about 65 million unique hits per month. Imagine if 65 million people visited the Museum of Modern Art every month?

The DeviantArt app is the website’s official mobile app. Now, you can browse through the hundreds of millions of original works of art right on your iPhone screen using a specially designed interface to enhance your viewing experience. Read More

 

Facebook confirms Trending coming to iPhone soon, now available on the web and Android

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 10, 2014

Wednesday, the social networking giant Facebook announced that Trending is coming to iOS soon, with the Android app getting the feature today. Announced in January, the feature lets you discover timely and relevant conversations happening in the world in the form of stories from different sources.

The feature groups together only public posts and those that you are in the audience for such as updates from friends or groups that you belong to. Read More

 

Facebook launches Graph Search on iPhone

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 8, 2014

Facebook on Monday confirmed that it’s at last gearing up to launch Graph Search in its mobile application for the iPhone and iPad this week following what has turned to be an incredibly extensive period of testing.

Tapping Facebook’s vast database, Graph Search uses natural language queries to surface content information from within a user’s network of friends that would be impractical or impossible using the standard and fairly limited search feature.

Another way to describe Open Graph: this tremendously powerful tool makes it easy and fun to explore the world through the eyes of your friends. Read More

 

Facebook’s Slingshot goes 2.0, hopes you’ll use it

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 4, 2014

Remember Slingshot? Yeah, me neither. If it’s been a while since you last fired up Facebook’s app that many folks deem pointless, you may want to give it another try as the social networking giant on Thursday pushed a major 2.0 update, bringing out half a dozen new features.

The app’s been rebuilt from the ground up to be “simpler, faster and more fun to share life as it happens”, bringing out private reactions, photo filters, drawings and emojis.

There are also instant notifications on a per-contact basis and you can now share fav shots out to other apps, among other new additions. Read More

 

Twitter unveils better reporting and blocking tools

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 2, 2014

Twitter isn’t exactly a great example of what you’d call a privacy-minded online service with a wide-ranging set of comprehensive tools to prevent harassment and block poor souls who spew abuse at others.

And who could blame them? At its core, Twitter is about sharing quick thoughts with the web at large. Of course, Twitter over the years did roll out a bare minimum of reporting features.

Now Twitter’s privacy capabilities have gotten a tad better. Announced Tuesday, a sweeping update to Twitter’s existing reporting and blocking tools calls for simplified forms that mobile users can fill out with easy when reporting abuse, a change to blocking policy, a better web interface to manage blocked users and more.

Read More

 

Vine update brings per-account push alerts

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 25, 2014

Twitter-owned Vine, a video service optimized for sharing six-second long looping video clips, on Tuesday received a small update. Bumping the iPhone app to version 3.1, it introduced enhanced push notifications with the ability to choose push alerts on a per-account basis.

Folks who have tons of followers on Vine are frequently inundated with alerts each time someone shares a clip on Vine, revines a vine, comments on it and what not.

There’s nothing worse than being overwhelmed and having to cope with unwanted notifications. The team is feeling your pain so they’ve put together this little feature where you get a notification whenever your favorite contacts post on Vine. Read More

 

You can now grab coupons from Twitter timelines

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 25, 2014

Twitter isn’t done announcing new products this year. Tuesday, the startup announced Twitter Offers, a new service that puts e-commerce right into your timeline.

Created in partnership with a handful of brands which will begin testing the new feature during the holidays in the United States, Twitter Offers makes grabbing a coupon as easy as clicking a button in a Promoted Tweet.

As a bonus, the coupon will be automatically associated with a credit card, if any, associated with Twitter for the recently unveiled ‘Buy’ button. Read More

 

Facebook Rooms gains push notifications, activity dashboard, 50+ Like button sounds and more

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 25, 2014

Facebook Rooms, the social networking giant’s latest attempt at Reddit-like anonymous posting app, received new capabilities Tuesday morning in the first feature focused update following its App Store debut a month ago.

In addition to performance improvements, Rooms 1.1 now has an Activity dashboard, will send you push notifications when somebody posts to a room you’re in and lets you choose among 50+ new custom sounds for the Like button. Read More

 

You can now privately share tweets in DMs

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 20, 2014

After previewing future platform enhancements and features during its Analyst’s Day event, the popular social service Twitter on Thursday began rolling out one of the mentioned new features: the ability to private share a tweet through Twitter’s direct messaging function.

Think about sharing tweets privately with any of your followers in terms of discussing public content in private conversations, the micro-blogging platform suggested.

To do this from Twitter’s main iPhone client, long-press the tweet in your timeline and choose the new “Share via Direct Message” option. The person you share a tweet with will get a push notification, said the company.

Moreover, the tweet will display directly in the conversation. Read More

 
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