Instagram is no longer exclusively supporting square-shaped photos. The photo-centric social network has been built around square photos since it launched, but Instagram is now rolling out support for landscape and portrait photos. Android and iOS users are getting the update.
Facebook has released a donate button for all nonprofits active on the social network. Nonprofits can use the button on their Facebook Pages and on ads. The button was introduced in December 2013, but it was limited to a few partners, including UNICEF and the Red Cross.
Facebook Moments has been updated with a new feature that'll automatically create music videos out of photos. The Moments app, which is used to share photos, now lets people combine six or more photos into a montage that supports music. Moments collages can be shared on Facebook.
Facebook's recently introduced livestreaming feature is set to quickly expand beyond celebrities. Livestreaming was added to Facebook's Mentions app for VIP users and TechCrunch reports the entire Mentions app will be opened up to all verified users.
There are many ways people express laughter online and two of the most common are "lol" and "haha." Facebook has been monitoring the way people laugh online since the end of May and it says "lol" is pretty much dead, having been replaced by "haha" and emoji.
One of the most interesting new job titles that exists because of social media is "Instagram officer." The San Francisco Police Department pays someone to look at Instagram everyday in order to find criminals. Eduard Ochoa scans Instagram for information about new crimes.
Facebook has launched its own livestreaming service, but it is limited to celebrities. Unlike Meerkat, Periscope, and similar services, Facebook's "Live" is only available for famous people. The network described Live as a way for "influencers" to "take fans behind the scenes."
Some Twitter users on Android and iOS may be seeing a new tab that the social network is testing. Twitter is experimenting with a "Featured News" tab that will display trending news topics. The tab is located in the middle of the bottom row of icons in Twitter's mobile apps.
Virtual reality will be a big part of Facebook's future, says CEO Mark Zuckerberg. While talking about the company's latest earnings report, Zuckerberg was asked about how the Oculus Rift will be used. He responded by saying social applications will be on devices like the Rift.
As Facebook continues pushing users to use their real names on the social network, there is one country where it cannot have a real name policy: Germany. The data protection authority in Hamburg has ruled Germans cannot be forced to use their real names.
Twitter's user base is growing, albeit very slowly, and the social network is now up to 316 million users. That user count is up 15% compared to the same quarter last year and Twitter reported 308 million users in the previous quarter. 80% of Twitter's monthly users are mobile.
Interactive notifications have been turned on for Twitter on iOS. A small update for the app has enabled those notifications. Users can now favorite tweets that show up while they are in another app and the interactive notifications also let users reply to tweets.
Since the Twitter for Windows 8 application was released in March 2013, few updates have been provided for it. Rather than update the Windows 8 app, Twitter's Windows 10 app will come with a big design update. Twitter is expected to release its new app shortly.
An appeals court in New York has ruled Facebook is not able to challenge search warrants on behalf of users. Facebook challenged 381 search warrants submitted by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. in 2013 and it has been fighting the case since then.
Twitter updated its web design on Monday and removed wallpapers from timelines and homepages. This change has angered many Twitter users since they are only seeing an all-white background instead of custom backgrounds across the network. Backgrounds are now entirely white.
The new CEO of Reddit, Steve Huffman, proposed a new set of guidelines for the website on Thursday. In those guidelines, Huffman explains the site will completely ban any form of harassment and further restrict NSFW content. Huffman says there's too much harassment.
Some Americans are abandoning traditional news sources in favor of social media like Twitter and Facebook. Pew Research Center conducted a survey of 2,000 adults and found 63% of Americans are now using Twitter or Facebook to get their daily news. That's up from 50% in 2013.
Facebook is reportedly building a digital assistant that will be powered by humans. The assistant is called Moneypenny, according to The Information, and it shares very little with other digital assistants like Siri and Cortana. Moneypenny will connect users with real helpers.
Facebook has introduced a feature that lets users adjust their News Feed so that it displays posts from the most important people first. New adjustments can be made in the News Feed Preferences area--this feature only works on iOS right now. Users can prioritize accounts.
Facebook has partnered with Kaspersky to fight malware on the social network. Kaspersky is one of a number of companies helping Facebook rid the network of malicious content. Facebook has already been working with ESET, Trend Micro, and F-Secure for the past year.