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    👍|Instagram testing out new Favourites option

    Instagram is testing a new ‘Favourites’ option to bring some order to users’ feeds. Alessandro Paluzzi, a mobile developer who first posted about the new feature on Twitter, suggested that the new feature will let users categorise their most important Instagram accounts (such as friends and creators) as priorities so their posts will land “higher” in their feeds. The social media site had previously tested a different Favourites feature in 2017, which would have let users share photos with just their designated favourties rather than all of their followers. The new iteration of ‘Favourites’ wi…

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    👍|Facebook to open new office space in London

    Facebook is planning to open a new office block in London. The social media giant is looking to expand its presence in the UK capital by moving from its current spot at 1 Triton Square to a nearby 310,000 sq ft office block. Facebook’s decision to buy the property came as media company Dentsu Aegis had signed a prelet on the space four years ago, but has decided to remain at its current office as an increase in home working now means they don’t require the expansion. A Dentsu International spokesperson told Estates Gazette: “We have committed to a new hybrid model of working that blends both o…

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    👍|Twitter set to label automated accounts

    Twitter will now label automated accounts. The social media platform announced this week it is testing out labels for some automated accounts, also known as Twitter bots, which will flag the bots to other users as well as letting them know which ones are useful. Bots are often associated with negative actions on social media, but some of them can be helpful, with some bots on Twitter serving functions like reminding followers to drink water or posting surreal procedurally generated art. In the past, Twitter has applied its bot crackdowns with a broad brush, meaning that the good bots get punis…

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    👍|Twitter tests Communities feature

    Twitter is testing a new Communities feature for connecting people with shared interests. The social media giant announced this week it is planning on launching a new feature called Communities that will allow users to talk about specific topics with others who share the same interest. People who join a community on Twitter will be able to send tweets specifically to others in that group instead of to all of their followers, and the only people who can reply to community tweets will be other members of those communities. Twitter is hoping the feature will emulate the success of Facebook Groups…

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    👍|Jonah Hill goes Instagram official with Sarah B…

    Jonah Hill has made his relationship with Sarah Brady Instagram official. The 37-year-old actor took to the photo-sharing platform on Thursday (09.09.21) to post a sweet snap of himself sat alongside the surfer. Jonah – who has three million followers on Instagram – captioned the post: “[heart emojis] grateful for you @sarahhbrady (sic)” The image marked the first time Sarah has appeared on the actor’s Instagram page. However, she has posted various shots of Jonah on her Instagram account over recent weeks. In early August, the loved-up couple posed for a series of beach selfies. Sarah – who i…

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    👍|Twitter tests bigger photos and videos on timeline

    Twitter is testing changes to how videos and photos appear on its apps. The company is working on a new feature which would expand visual media in tweets shown on your timeline so that they fill the entire width of a phone’s screen, which is similar to other platforms like Instagram. The Twitter Support account confirmed: “Now testing on iOS: “Edge to edge Tweets that span the width of the timeline so your photos, GIFs, and videos can have more room to shine.” This means rather than the current format where media is indented next to a user’s profile photo, the images will fill much more screen…

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    👍|Matt Damon has secret Instagram account

    Matt Damon has a secret Instagram account. The ‘Stillwater’ actor – who has Isabella, 15, Gia, 12, and Stella, 10, with his wife Luciana Barroso, and is also stepfather to 22-year-old Alexia – admitted he “never saw the point” in social media because he’s always “connected” to the people he wants to be and he doesn’t think it would be a good idea to immediately share his thoughts with the world. He said: “I just never saw the point. And I feel better and better about that decision as time goes on. I understand wanting to be connected to everybody on Facebook, but my life is so full and I’m con…

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    👍|Facebook and Ray-Ban tease smart glasses before…

    Facebook and Ray-Ban have teased their smart glasses before an official announcement this week. The two companies are set to unveil the gadget on Thursday (09.09.21) and it seems like the device could be similar to Snapchat Spectacles. The teaser page on Ray-Ban’s site simply features a cryptic image showing a silhouette of the glasses with LED red “frame”, the release date and a signup section for a “release notification”. Meanwhile, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and VR/AR boss Andrew Bosworth have both shared footage which seems to be shot from head height. Neither video has a description, be…

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    👍|Skylar Astin splits from Lisa Stelly

    Skylar Astin has split from Lisa Stelly. The ‘Pitch Perfect’ star and the 35-year-old actress made their romance Instagram official in July last year, but it has now been reported they’ve called time on their relationship after just over a year of dating. A source told People magazine: “They’re both so busy, but there is no drama between them at all. “Lisa’s business is growing like crazy, Skylar was in Canada working for half the time they were together, and they both just needed some time to recalibrate on their own.” The insider also said the exes “still love and support each other a lot” a…

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    👍|Twitter tests safety feature to block hate

    Twitter is testing a new safety feature which could help silence abuse. The social media platform has announced plans to launch a new feature that it hopes will help crack down on abuse and trolling on the site, which they’ve named Safety Mode. Safety Mode will flag accounts using hateful remarks, or those bombarding people with uninvited comments, and block them for seven days. And the feature will work automatically once enabled from the settings menu, meaning users don’t have to deal with unwelcome tweets. Katy Minshall, head of Twitter UK Public Policy, said: “While we have made strides in…

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    👍|Instagram users will have to provide their birt…

    Instagram users will be required to share their birthday with the social media platform. The platform has announced that a request will now start popping up that asks users to add their birthday to “personalise their experience”. Users will only be able to dismiss the prompt a handful of times before it becomes a requirement. Instagram will also ask users to verify their birthday information when they come across a post with a warning screen. These screens are not a new update but users have never been asked to provide information before the hidden content is displayed. The move is part of Ins…

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    👍|Facebook Messenger turns 10 and gets new features

    Facebook Messenger has received an update to mark its 10th birthday. The mobile app was launched in 2011 as a dedicated messaging service for Facebook users, and to mark 10 years since it was first made available on app stores, the social media giant is unveiling an “epic birthday bundle” of new features. In a blog post, Facebook said: “We’ve pulled together an epic birthday bundle of 10 product features — many of which are starting to roll out today — that will help you create more memories with your friends and family.” Among the new changes are an update to the polls function, which now let…

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    👍|Instagram making changes to links within Stories

    Instagram is making changes to the way links work in Instagram Stories. The photo-sharing app has announced it will be altering the way people can include links in their Instagram Stories from Monday (30.08.21). As of right now, people can ask their followers to swipe up on a post to follow a link to another site, but from Monday the swipe function will be replaced by link stickers. Selected users on the app have already been presented with a message informing them about the upcoming change, which reads: “Swipe up links will soon be stickers. Starting August 30, swipe up links will go away. To…

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    👍|Ant Anstead and Renee Zellweger go Instagram of…

    Ant Anstead hailed Renee Zellweger as “incredibly magical” as he made their romance Instagram official. The 42-year-old TV star posted a selfie with the ‘Bridget Jones’ actress, 52, and his colleague Cristy Lee on Instagram on Monday (24.08.21) to promote his new Discovery Plus show, ‘Celebrity IOU: Joyride’ The car guru, who had his arm around the movie star, captioned the post: “It’s finally here … The first episode of #CelebrityIOUjoyride is available on @discoveryplus Monday the 23rd!! “And it’s the incredibly magical Renee Zellweger.” The gushing post comes after Ant admitted he and the…

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    👍|Jonah Hill: ‘Instagram is the cigarettes of thi…

    Jonah Hill thinks Instagram is “the cigarettes of this time”. The 37-year-old actor has described the social media site as being “the biggest killer” of the current generation, and has said the platform is as addictive as cigarettes. He said: “So, Instagram. Instagram – as I smoke a cigarette – is the cigarettes of this time. It is the biggest killer. It is death. And I fully participate in it, like I smoke cigarettes. Again, it’s a spectrum of what you find healthy. I have to have really limited interaction with it.” But the ‘War Dogs’ star doesn’t want to criticise anybody who uses Instagram…

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    👍|Twitter updates direct messaging features

    Twitter has updated its direct messages. The social media giant has announced several new changes to direct messaging on the platform that will be rolling out within the next few weeks, including improved interaction with sending tweets via DMs, and several quality of life changes. Users will soon be able to send a tweet or message to 20 separate conversations without it grouping all the users into one chat, making it easier to send one specific message to multiple people. Twitter is also adding a quick-scroll button, which will take you to straight to the latest message in a conversation if y…

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    📱|Sonos wins small victory in patent case against…

    Sonos win victory in patent infringement case against Google. The audio product developers had initially asked the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) to block imports of several Google devices – including its smart speakers, Chromecasts, and Pixel smartphones – because they allegedly infringe on Sonos patents. And according to the New York Times, a trade judge preliminarily ruled in favour of the speaker maker this week, stating that Google should not import products that violate Sonos’ intellectual property. The devices Google wanted to ship are all manufactured in China and s…

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    📱|Google Nest Hubs to detail air quality metrics …

    Google Nest Hubs will start showing air quality metrics to users in “select markets”. The technology giants have announced their at-home assistants will soon support a new Air Quality Index badge to help users keep better tabs on smoke and other pollutants, particularly during wildfire season over the summer. Google’s new AQI badges will only be available on devices in “select markets”, but the company hopes the information will help people stay up to date with the latest information about their local air quality. The new AQI badges on Google’s Nest Hubs will appear on the device’s Ambient tab…

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    👍|Facebook to launch Reels app inside Facebook

    Facebook is set to launch its Reels feature inside the Facebook app. The social media company initially launched Reels as its own app in August last year, and it is now set to be implemented within the actual Facebook app, so users can watch short-form video content created for Reels without leaving Facebook. Reels was released in 50 countries as Instagram Reels, and allowed users of the photo sharing app to create short-form videos set to music. The app was a rival to TikTok, and the plan going forward is to have the feature written into both Facebook and Instagram. On Instagram, Reels will b…

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    👍|WhatsApp ‘shuts down Taliban accounts’

    WhatsApp has reportedly blocked Taliban accounts. The encrypted messaging app – which is owned by Facebook – told the Financial Times this week that it shut down a number being used by the organisation as a civilian hotline in Kabul to report looting and violence, as well as other “official Taliban channels”. A WhatsApp spokesperson told CNET: “We’re obligated to adhere to U.S. sanctions laws. “This includes banning accounts that appear to represent themselves as official accounts of the Taliban. “We’re seeking more information from relevant US authorities given the evolving situation in Afgha…

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    👍|Twitter testing new way to report misleading tw…

    Twitter is testing a new way for users to report misleading tweets. The social networking platform is continuing to look at how to combat misinformation on the site and some users in the United States, South Korea and Australia will be able to report a post as misleading. The company wrote: “We’re testing a feature for you to report Tweets that seem misleading – as you see them. “Starting today, some people in the US, South Korea, and Australia will find the option to flag a Tweet as ‘It’s misleading’ after clicking on Report Tweet. “We’re assessing if this is an effective approach so we’re st…

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    👍|Candace Cameron Bure feels conflicted about pro…

    Candace Cameron Bure feels “awkward” promoting her new movie when there’s so much suffering in the world. The 45-year-old actress is currently promoting her new film, ‘Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Honeymoon, Honeymurder’, but she feels conflicted because of the ongoing pandemic, the recent earthquake in Haiti and the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan. Candace explained on her Instagram Story: “I’m popping on in person because there’s so much heaviness on my heart with what’s going on in Afghanistan and Haiti, the vaccine – just all the division and hate – and I’m just praying, and my heart is hea…

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    📱|Google updating Incognito mode text

    Google is updating the text on its Incognito tabs. The company is making changes to both the desktop and mobile versions of its web browser as it looks to clarify what using the mode actually means for online privacy. Over the coming weeks, the new change will see the information presented as just two bullet points lists. While Incognito mode doesn’t save search history locally, the new page makes it much clearer that the tabs don’t mean users will be completely anonymous or invisible online. Once all such tabs are closed, Chrome will clear search history, form data and browsing history from y…

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    👍|Facebook bans Taliban-related content

    Facebook has banned the Taliban and content supporting the organisation from all its platforms. The social networking site has said it considers the group to be a terrorist organisation in line with US law, and revealed a team of Afghan experts are on hand to monitor and remove certain content. A spokesperson told the BBC: “The Taliban is sanctioned as a terrorist organization under US law and we have banned them from our services under our Dangerous Organization “This means we remove accounts maintained by or on behalf of the Taliban and prohibit praise, support, and representation of them. “…

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    👍|Iggy Azalea: I love being in my 30s

    Iggy Azalea loves being in her 30s. The chart-topping rap star has taken to Twitter to urge her followers to embrace “getting older”, rather than dreading it. Iggy, 31 – who has a 14-month-old son called Onyx with ex-boyfriend Playboi Carti – wrote on the micro-blogging platform: “I love being in my 30s “Look forward to getting older, don’t dread it. (sic)” The blonde beauty subsequently posted a photo of her son’s rabbit and her shoes on her couch at home. Asked why she had her feet on the couch, Iggy replied: “Yeah if you saw the things my son did to the outdoor sofa you would see why it rea…

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    👍|Jennifer Lopez cuts ties with ex Alex Rodriguez…

    Jennifer Lopez has unfollowed Alex Rodriguez on Instagram. The 52-year-old singer and actress has made the end of engagement to the retired baseball star Instagram official, as she’s unfollowed his account and removed all pictures of him from her own page. As of the time of writing, Alex, 42, still follows Jennifer and still has pictures of her on his account. The ‘Hustlers’ star began dating Alex back in early 2017 and the pair got engaged in March 2019, but after cancelling their wedding plans because of COVID-19, they were reported to have split in March this year. Initially, the couple den…

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    👍|Facebook could have to sell Giphy

    Facebook could be forced to sell Giphy. The social networking platform acquired the search engine for Gifs for a reported $400 million last year – but the Competition and Markets Authority has observed that Facebook’s ownership of Giphy “could lead it to deny other platforms access to its Gifs”. Now, the Competition and Markets Authority is engaged in a consultation that could ultimately lead to Facebook being forced to sell the firm. The organisation has already warned that Facebook could theoretically stop other platforms from using the service. What’s more, it’s been suggested that Facebook…

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    👍|Dan Stevens uncomfortable with early Twitter sh…

    Dan Stevens found it “a bit distressing” that so many people wrote about ‘Downton Abbey’ on Twitter. The 39-year-old actor – who became a household name thanks to his role as Matthew Crawley in the period drama – found it “interesting and exciting” that the saga was one of the first TV shows to be “live-tweeted” in a big way but he admitted it also made it tougher because so many people were offering instant opinions. He told The Guardian newspaper: “It was one of the early shows that was popularly live-tweeted, and that was interesting and exciting, but also a bit distressing. “Instead of the…

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    👍|Twitch vows to combat hate after #TwitchDoBette…

    Twitch has vowed to do more to combat hate on its platform. The livestreaming giant announced on Wednesday (11.08.21) it will be rolling out new protections for its most vulnerable users, after users recently took to Twitter to shed light on “hate raids”, which occur when bad-faith users employ bots to shower a streamer with abuse. Twitch said: “We’ve seen a lot of conversation about botting, hate raids, and other forms of harassment targeting marginalized creators. You’re asking us to do better, and we know we need to do more to address these issues. That includes an open and ongoing dialogue…

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    👍|Instagram unveils limits feature to curb abusiv…

    Instagram has announced a new “limits” feature to hide abusive messages. The photo-sharing app has revealed it has developed a new feature that will automatically hide comments and messages from people who do not follow, or just started following, users who have it enabled. According to Instagram, the feature was designed to stop messages and comments from large numbers of people during “sudden spikes” of abuse. The company specifically referenced the racist abuse following the men’s Euro 2020 football final as one example, after black players on the England team found themselves subjected to …

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    👍|Twitter unveils new design – including a new font!

    Twitter has undergone a design change. The social media platform unveiled its new design on Wednesday (11.08.21), including a brand-new font called Chirp which was been rolled out across the website and mobile apps. Twitter posted about the news on its official account, writing: “wait did our font change? “okay confirmed it did (sic)” The platform first announced it was set to change fonts back in January, when it said the new look was set to come as part of a broader brand refresh. In a blog post, they said: “Chirp strikes the balance between messy and sharp to amplify the fun and irreverence…

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    📱|Kids removed from Google image searches

    Parents will be able to have images of their children removed from Google search results. The company have announced a range of changes to child-safety measures on several products, including giving young people “more control over their digital footprint” with the search engine action. The firm said: “Of course, removing an image from search doesn’t remove it from the web but we believe this change will help give young people more control of their images online.” Other alterations to their products include the removal of “overly commercial content” from YouTube Kids and a change to the adverts…

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    👍|WhatsApp rolls out disappearing photos and videos

    WhatsApp is rolling out a new feature whereby photos and videos can disappear. The Facebook-owned messaging service’s View Once tool is similar to rival app Snapchat’s Stories – which are only visible for 24 hours. Facebook says it gives users “even more control over their privacy”. A blog post by Facebook read: “While taking photos or videos on our phones has become such a big part of our lives, not everything we share needs to become a permanent digital record. On many phones, simply taking a photo means it will take up space in your camera roll forever. “That’s why today we’re rolling out n…

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    👍|Facebook reveals VR headset prototype with ‘nat…

    Facebook’s latest prototype sees their VR headsets show the wearer’s eyes on the outside. According to Facebook Reality Labs’, “a three-dimensional view of the wearer’s eyes […] in a perspective correct manner”, would be visible thanks to an internal camera, making it possible to have eye contact with people in the real world. The bizarre concept is the opposite of the passthrough VR technology in their Oculus Quest 2 cameras, which enables the user to see what is going on around them. It’s intended for “more seamless interactions between people with and without headsets in social or profess…

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    📱|Oldest Android devices losing Google sign-in su…

    Google has confirmed the oldest Android devices will no longer be able to use their sign-ins from next month. The functionality for apps like Gmail or YouTube is stopping on September 27 – although they will be able to be accessed through the web browser – for devices running Android 2.3.7 or earlier. Google said: “As part of our ongoing efforts to keep our users safe, Google will no longer allow sign-in on Android devices that run Android 2.3.7 or lower starting September 27, 2021. “If you sign into your device after September 27, you may get username or password errors when you try to use Go…