Facebook downplays test banishing all Pages to buried Explore Feed

 Facebook has caused a 60% to 80% drop in referral traffic to news outlets in six countries due to a test that removed Page posts from the News Feed and relocated them to a separate, hard-to-find Explore Feed. But now Facebook’s VP of News Feed Adam Mosseri writes that “We currently have no plans to roll this test out further.” But that doesn’t mean Facebook won’t… Read More

Facebook research automatically creates an avatar from a photo

 Creating avatars. Who’s got time for it?! Computers, that’s who. You’ll never have to waste another second selecting your hair style, skin tone, or facial hair length if this research from Facebook finds its way into product form. Read More

Snapchat dangles referral traffic with link sharing from other apps

 In an update to Snapchat’s iOS app today, Snap began rolling out two important new features. You now can share links from other apps via the iOS share sheet, and rather than just turning live location sharing on or off permanently, you now can opt to hide in “Ghost Mode.” Read More

GitHub’s scandalized ex-CEO returns with Chatterbug

 Translation earbuds might eliminate some utilitarian reasons to know a language, but if you want to understand jokes, read poetry, or fall in love in a foreign tongue, you’ll have to actually learn it. Unfortunately, products like Rosetta Stone leave people feeling burned after claiming the process should be easy while never helping you practice talking with a real native speaker. You… Read More

Antisocial media?

 As Facebook finds itself publicly on the hook for enabling Russian agents to spread divisive propaganda via its platform, be it in the form of fake news, ‘dark ads’, issue pushing Facebook pages, and even political rallies organized using its Event tools, there’s another side to the story of how tech tools are impacting the democratic process currently playing out in… Read More

Facebook Messenger lets games monetize with purchases and ads

 Facebook is finally giving developers a reason to build games for Messenger while also opening a new revenue stream for the chat app. After launching HTML5 ‘Instant Games’ inside Messenger like Pac-Man, Space Invaders, and Words With Friends Frenzy in November 2016, today Facebook is allowing developers to add in-app purchases as well as interstitial and rewarded video ads. Players… Read More

Facebook is now testing paywalls and subscriptions for Instant Articles

 A few months ago we reported that Facebook may begin testing paywalls and subscriptions for Instant Articles beginning in October. Well now it’s October, and surprise – Facebook has started testing subscription support for instant articles! Here’s how it will work: Facebook will start with two paywalled options for publishers to choose from: The first option is a metered… Read More

Truffle now lets you share your food tips via iMessage

 While you’ve already got Yelp and other apps to help you figure out where to eat, Truffle is designed specifically for sharing recommendations with friends and other people you know. A new update should make that sharing even easier. The big addition is an iMessage app, which means (you guessed it) that Truffle is now integrated with iMessage. Read More