Facebook’s Testing Out a New Tool to Help You Connect with Like-Minded Users

Facebook’s Testing Out a New Tool to Help You Connect with Like-Minded Users | Social Media Today

Facebook’s always looking to boost sharing and interaction on the platform – as The Social Network has noted previously:

Our top priority is keeping you connected to the people, places and things you want to be connected to — starting with the people you are friends with on Facebook.”

Not only does this encourage more engagement (which is a crucial measure for social platform success), but more sharing means more data, and more data means better ad targeting. Facebook needs to facilitate connection in order to fuel their whole business model.

Which is why their latest test makes sense.

According to TechCrunch, Facebook’s rolling out a new “Discover People” option which will enable users to connect with others who are interested in similar things as they are, including upcoming events, people who work at the same company or even those who simply live nearby. The new feature was initially tested in Australia and New Zealand but it’s now in the process of being rolled out more widely.

The new option will be available within the options menu (the three lines) – some users will have access already.

Once selected, you’re prompted to update your profile bio and photo to ensure it’s accurate and up to date. Below that, you’re shown a list of all the events for which you’ve registered an interest in attending – when you click into any of these, you’re shown a listing of other people who will be heading along, and you can click onto any profile for more information.

As you can see, clicking on a profile will show you not only who each attendee is, but also any things you have in common with them, helping facilitate connection.

And as noted, in addition to events, you can also see a listing of work colleagues and people who live in the same area, further adding to the connective capacity of the tool.

It’s an interesting option, and it certainly adds something to the Facebook mix – but is connecting with strangers something Facebook users will warm to?

In the case of events – particularly business related functions – the tool makes some sense, and LinkedIn actually offers similar in their new platform prompts, introduced as part of their recent redesign.

 

 

[Source:- Socialmediatoday]

 

Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P and Pixel C users can now install Android 7.1 Developer Preview

As is the norm before a commercial release, Google has published the Developer Preview version of Android 7.1 Nougat. For now, this preview build is only compatible with the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P and the Pixel C. Since this is meant to be a developer only build, there are bound to be some errors and minor bugs with this build, so it’s not recommended if you use either of these devices as your daily driver.

Android 7.1 is already running on the recently launched Google Pixel and the Pixel XL, but is yet to be made available for the rest of the Nexus family. Although manufacturers are already working on the Android Nougat update, they’re yet to begin development on Android 7.1. This means that upcoming Nougat updates will be Android 7.0 and not 7.1.

This could further dampen the spirits at Google, who have been haunted by the ghosts of fragmentation since the inception of Android. We’re yet to get a detailed understanding of how Google intends to fight this, but things don’t seem to have changed much over the past couple of years.

To be eligible to receive the Android 7.1 dev preview for your compatible devices, you can sign up for Google’s Android Beta Program. The Developer Preview will be sent out to the older Nexus devices soon, but the company has failed to give a provide a date or month.

 

[Source:- Techrader]

 

Amazon Echo Is Finally Contextually Aware Like Google Home, Users Report

Amazon Echo Is Finally Contextually Aware Like Google Home, Users Report

Amazon’s Alexa-powered Echo smart home speakers have reportedly received the ability to have contextual conversations, with the latest update to the Alexa virtual assistant, seemingly on the lines of its rival Google Home speakers. Even though some users have said that the contextual conversation with Amazon’s voice-activated speakers are still a hit-and-a-miss, it can definitely be seen as a step in right direction by the company.

Some Echo users have said on Reddit forums that follow-up questions are now available and that Alexa now has context through an Alexa update pushed out over last few days, as spotted by 9to5Google. However, the contextual understanding seems to be in nascent stages as pointed out by some users. For example, one user on a Reddit forum said that Alexa works fine if you ask questions like “What’s the weather in Houston Texas” and then follow it up with a question like “What time is it there?”

However, he pointed out that it fails for some complicated line of questions, for example, he asked Alexa when Carrie Fisher died, after Alexa answered successfully, he followed up with the question “How old was she?” to which it remained silent.

Even though Google Home has a much more developed database for contextual understanding with its Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa-powered products offer some third-party services that might help it sustain while it continues to develop on the recent update. As Google is also trying to add more and more services to its offering, it will be interesting to see which product comes out on the top.

 

[Source:- Gadgets360]

 

Twitter’s new button lets users DM you direct from your site

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Twitter wants to be your everything. In the grand tradition of social networks since time immemorial (read: the mid-‘90s?), Twitter is putting a greater emphasis on its messaging feature, and trying to become your primary “portal” in the process. It wants to be the way you talk to people, and not just your colleagues.

Amongst the many different Twitter-related buttons that you can put on your site, you can now also use a button that takes people to a dialog that allows them to send a Direct Message (DM) on Twitter. It’s already being tested on the customer support accounts of a few different brands, and that’s an indicator of this feature’s target audience.

Twitter is already, in many ways, the place to go when you want some online support, or just want to complain about how it’s been a week and your new router/microwave/cellphone still isn’t working. While Facebook’s business pages are often used for much the same thing, tweets are “doubly public”, which is great for someone who really wants to complain. This messaging feature, however, gives brands a way to funnel people straight into a somewhat more private conversation, while still communicating with them on a platform that they already use.

It is also reasonable to assume that Twitter is using this feature to compete with Facebook. While nearly all Facebook users use the chat feature to talk to friends, Facebook has been pushing for brands and businesses to use the chat as well. They’ve redesigned their business pages to emphasize messaging, the integrated chat bots for businesses, and more.

For many people who actually use both services, Facebook is how they talk to friends and family, Twitter is how they talk to the world. Now both services are angling to be the way people do business online.

Man, LinkedIn had an opportunity there, and they really dropped the ball.

 

 

[Source: Webdesignerdepot]

Truecaller fixes bug that could expose personal details of over 100 million users

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Number tracking app Truecaller has fixed a bug in its Android app which could potentially allow hackers to retrieve personal information of users and change details – including call block settings – without a user’s consent. The company, however, claimed that no information was compromised due to the bug.

“We recently found a potential issue, and have reacted quickly to fix it. Although we haven’t encountered any suspicious activity, we still need to make sure that we are proactive to protecting and dismantling any potential issues,” the company said in a blog post.

Cheetah Mobile had recently reported that Truecaller uses a device’s International Mobile Station Equipment Identity (IMEI) number to assign identities to its users. Meaning, anyone gaining access to the IMEI of a device could get personal information – like contact number, home address, mail box, gender, etc – of a user and tamper app settings without a user’s consent, exposing them to malicious phishers.

IMEI is a unique number assigned to all cellular devices as well as some satellite phones. It is usually found printed inside the battery compartment of a phone, but can also be checked on-screen on most phones by entering *#06# on the dialpad, or in the system information in the settings menu.

The cyber security bloggers had notified the company who took immediate steps to roll-out a relevant update last week. However, many users might still be at risk if they have not updated to the latest version of the app. Click here to download the latest version.

Truecaller is also available for iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry OS, Series 40, Symbian s60, Firefox OS, and Tizen. It is one of the most popular number-blocking apps and helps users track spammers, reject their calls and block them. The premium version of the app also lets you block messages from spammers and those from whom you don’t want to receive calls or messages.

[Source:- IBtimes]

 

Latest iOS Upgrade Drives Users Buggy

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Apple has been deluged with complaints from users who say the latest version of its mobile operating system is breaking links and crashing apps.

“Following iOS 9.3 on iPhone 6splus update links in safari no longer open, then safari crashes — any ideas how to fix? Same problem in Chrome,” user John MacDonald posted Monday on Apple’s support page on Twitter.

Another user, Armando Couri Filho, had similar problems. “My IPhone 6 is not opening links from Safari, Mail and WhatsApp. What should I do?” he asked Apple support.

“Clicking on links in the new iOS update causes safari to freeze. I’ve had to switch to using @googlechrome and @firefox,” noted Ohanes Kalayjian.

What’s causing the problem with links in iOS 9.3? So far, Apple has been mum on the subject, but according to one news report, the issue could be with Universal Links, which Apple introduced in iOS 9.0.

Universal Headache?

Universal Links allow Web links to be opened directly from within apps running under iOS without first opening Apple’s Web browser, Safari.

The Universal Links are stored in a database in iOS, and if an app contains too many, they will crash not only the app, but Safari too, according to TechCrunch.

However, that doesn’t explain why apps without any Universal Links are crashing, nor does it explain other problems, such as iOS refusing to verify updates because it says a device is not connected to the Internet when clearly it is.

For users who have installed the new version of iOS, there doesn’t seem to be a quick fix. Turning off JavaScript in Safari has helped some users, but not all, BGR reported. Others have avoided the problem by using Google’s Chrome browser, but that too seems to be an inconsistent fix.

Of course, unlike with some desktop operating systems that allow an update to be rolled back to a previous version that worked fine, once most users commit to a new version of iOS, there’s no turning back.

There are good reasons for that no-rollback policy, noted Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy.

“Many more times than not, the latest software is safer and better,” he told TechNewsWorld.

What’s more, “backgrades are very complex and if not done precisely, the backgrade could break all functionality,” Moorhead added.

More Regression Testing Needed

Kevin Krewell, an analyst with Tirias Research, has the new iOS running on his iPhone and hasn’t experienced any problems with it yet, he said.

However, “any time there’s a major change in an operating system, there’s always the risk of problems,” he told TechNewsWorld

“I would be concerned that Apple is not doing enough regression testing on applications to catch these things before they ship new software,” Krewell said.

Although Apple always has touted its commitment to software excellence, the latest iOS fumble may be a sign it’s succumbing to the pressures plaguing all software makers, according to Moorhead.

“Apple should take a look at their development process as insiders are starting to question their commitment to software quality,” he said.

“Apple is racing top speed across many different, complex platforms, and every software developer, including Microsoft and Google, are issuing software with bugs,” Moorhead continued.

“The whole software industry has taken a fast-fail approach to get code out and let users find fixes,” he said. “This is particularly happening in consumer environments.”

Too Many Apps

Given the size of Apple’s app ecosystem, the problem of getting everything to work right is a mighty one for the company, which released seven beta versions of iOS 9.3 before sending it to users.

“It’s hard when your ecosystem is so large, but they should have stats on which apps are most popular and test for those,” Krewell said.

“Part of the problem is the amplification of software. There are so many different apps, it’s getting harder and harder for Apple to keep track of the apps you have on your phone,” he added.

“While it is true that OS updates need to go through intense scrutiny before being pushed to customers, it’s sometimes impossible to test for all in-the-wild scenarios,” added Adrian Liviu Arsene, a senior threat analyst with Bitdefender.

“The issue here,” he said, “is how fast will Apple fix the bug, how many apps trigger the crash, and whether it will persist even after the fix.”

 

[Source:- Technewsworrld]

Heavy social media users ‘trapped in endless cycle of depression’

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The more time young adults spend on social media, the more likely they are to become depressed, a study has found.

Of the 19 to 32-year-olds who took part in the research, those who checked social media most frequently throughout the week were 2.7 times more likely to develop depression than those who checked least often.

The 1,787 US participants used social media for an average 61 minutes every day, visiting accounts 30 times per week. Of them a quarter were found to have high indicators of depression.

Dr Brian Primack, the director of Pitt’s Centre for Research on Media, Technology and Health, led the study, and told The Independent: “It is important to explain that, because this was a cross-sectional study, directionality is not clear from these results.

“One strong possibility is that people who are already having depressive symptoms start to use social media more, perhaps because they do not feel the energy or drive to engage in as many direct social relationships.”

However, he said there are several reasons why increased social media could lead to more depressive thoughts. One example he cited was a phenomenon which is sometimes referred to as “Facebook depression”.

“People who engage in a lot of social media use may feel they are not living up to the idealised portraits of life that other people tend to present in their profiles.

“As with many things in the social sciences, it may also be that both of these directions are accurate.

“This would be concerning, because it would imply that there is a potential vicious circle: people who become depressed may turn to social media for support, but their excessive engagement with it might only serve to exacerbate their depression.”

The study, by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, looked at the 11 most popular social media platforms at the time: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, Vine and LinkedIn.

There are currently over a billion people actively using Facebook daily, while Twitter attracts 320 million active users every month.

These findings are particularly disturbing as the World Health Organisation published a report in October 2015 which said depression is now the leading cause of disability worldwide.

However, Dr Primack said he could imagine scenarios in which social media could itself become a tool to combat the problem.

“We hope that this research may provide one piece to the puzzle of how we can best use powerful tools such as social media to our advantage and not our detriment.

“We certainly do not recommend that people stop using social media. Social media is obviously an extremely important part of modern-day society and has many important functions.

“Hopefully the knowledge that there can be emotional risks associated with its use may help individuals to make better choices about the extent to which they use social media and the way in which they use it.”

“It is important to acknowledge that what we found were just overall tendencies for the entire population therefore, these findings do not suggest that every person who engages with more social media use is depressed in fact there may certainly be groups of people who find solace and lessening of their depression through social media resources and relationships,” he said.

 

 

[Source:- Independent]