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Now You Can Reach Almost Anyone via Facebook Messenger

People (5)Facebook released an update to its Messenger app that allows you to reach anyone using the app whose number you have, not just your existing Facebook friends.

The update lets individuals text their contacts from within the app, rather than switching to Facebook, their phone’s SMS client, or any other chat app. For those still paying per text, it could be a real money saver. Of course, not everyone has signed up for Messenger, so it may depend how popular Messenger is with an individual’s group of friends and family whether it’s relevant.

A fresh design, more speed, swipe navigation, and icons showing who among your contacts is on Messenger and active round out the update. Read more

Instagram No Longer an Easy Place to Sell Drugs

drug free zoneInstagram’s new owner, Facebook, is trying to put a stop to the use of Instagram as a virtual drug store by blocking certain hashtags and terms used by drug dealers to advertise their wares.

For example, blocked phrases like bad hashtag, was an actual term used to promote illegal sales. In fact, not only are Instagram hashtags helping drug dealers sell hash, mobile phones and apps like Snapchat make it easier to do make quick, cashless exchanges using Green Dot, an anonymous, cashless pre-paid debit card available at any 7-11. Read more

T-Shirt Designed to Thwart Facebook’s Facial Recognition Algorithm

Face ValueIt’s a creepy sign of the times – you upload a photo and Facebook’s auto-tagging algorithm tells you the name of everyone in the photo. Better yet, you log in to the social network to find hundreds of photos of yourself from years ago, indiscriminately tagged by the site’s facial recognition software. It’s like the social network is becoming its worst user on a tagging spree.

Luckily, there’s a new apparel solution for those who want nothing to do with facial recognition. It’s a t-shirt with various augmented faces of Michael Jackson. If you’re only interested in celebrities who are alive, you mike like a Britney Spears shirt with Britney’s face splattered on the front and back in digital camo style, aimed to confuse the computer’s gaze. Read more

Mark Zuckerberg: ‘Internet Should Be 100x More Affordable’

100xFacebook founder Mark Zuckerberg thinks that the Internet is too expensive and is proposing that it be “100x more affordable.”

The social media veteran introduced this concept in a video that he shared online Tuesday. ”The Internet is the backbone of the knowledge economy,” he said in the video. “If everyone had access to those basic tools, we’d all be able to benefit from all of the innovation and creativity and ideas that everyone had.”

His idea is to make basic Internet services affordable, “so that everyone with a phone can join the knowledge economy.” In order for this to work economically, explained Zuckerberg, the Internet needs to be 100x more affordable. Read more

Twitter, a You Tube Musical

Twitter, the You Tube  Musical is here! The lyrics are cheesy, but I’m a sucker for Disney style singing, tap dancing, and generally geeky internet videos. It’s also Monday so a little You Tube distraction is a must.
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Mark Zuckerberg Says Government Should Be More Transparent About Spying

Facebook Inc CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the U.S. government’s surveillance is hurting Internet users’ trust, at an event hosted by The Atlantic magazine in Washington on Wednesday.

“What I can tell from the data that I see at Facebook is that I think the more transparency and communication the government could do about how they’re requesting the data from us, the better everyone would feel about it,” he said at the event, according to a report in Reuters.

Zuckerberg accused the National Security Agency of making unhelpful statements and of hurting relationships with countries around the globe. “Oh, we only spy on non-Americans.’ Gee thanks,” Zuckerberg said, adding, “We’re trying to provide an international service, not get crushed in those places either.”

World’s First Facebook Flavored Ice Cream Courtesy of Croatia

Social networks are not supposed to melt, but if it’s social network flavored ice cream, all bets are off. Think about it like a branding statement for vanilla.

The idea for the ice cream experiment came from a Croatian ice cream shop owner, Admir Adili, whose fifteen year old daughter is perpetually addicted to Facebook. He thought she and other Facebook addicts would enjoy an ice cream concoction inspired by their favorite social network. Alas, Facebook ice cream is just plain vanilla ice cream with blue syrup – but it’s gaining a lot of attention just because of its name and the Facebook logo. At one scoop per Euro, it’s definitely a novelty splurge.

Via Oddity Central

Preventing Suicides by Monitoring Veterans on Social Media

Social media can tell us a lot about our lives, but can it save our lives as well? If we can use social media to prevent suicide, one of the leading cause of deaths in the US, will it be worth violating one’s own privacy wall?
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Facebook Leaves Young Adults Unsatisfied: Report

Using Facebook makes young adults feel less satisfied with their lives both moment-to-moment and in the long term, according to a new report from PLOS ONE, a scientific journal published by the Public Library of Science.

According to the report, the more study participants used Facebook, the more their life satisfaction levels declined over time. The report also found that people were more satisfied with “direct” social interactions that they had in real life. Here is more from the report:

On the surface, Facebook provides an invaluable resource for fulfilling such needs by allowing people to instantly connect. Rather than enhancing well-being, as frequent interactions with supportive “offline” social networks powerfully do, the current findings demonstrate that interacting with Facebook may predict the opposite result for young adults—it may undermine it.

(Via BBC News).

78% of Facebook Users in the U.S. Visit the Site on Mobile Devices

Facebook revealed today that 78% of U.S. users are visiting the site from their mobile devices. The company announced today that it will start sharing country-by-country metrics about its daily and monthly active users, in a move to help advertisers have a better understanding of users.

According to Facebook, Facebook has 128 million daily users from the web and 101 million daily users via mobile. Facebook explained its new process in this statement:

We are doing this because we believe brands and businesses should think differently about how people engage with Facebook, especially on mobile. A lot of people focus on monthly active users or even registered users to demonstrate their size and scale. We think this is becoming on old way of looking at the media world. In this world, understanding who comes back at least once a month is only part of the picture. Instead, businesses should focus on people who come back online every single day.

(Via AllFacebook.com).

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