Facebook just loves to experiment with its News Feed setup. If we are correct, this is the fifth time this year that the company is changing its News Feed algorithm. Thanks to the latest algorithm tweak, posts from your close friends and family will now surface first.
To increase the sharing of photos and videos, Facebook has introduced a feature that makes it easy to turn your existing content into a "slideshow" video. Called Slideshow, the feature creates a video from your photos and videos. Videos can be customized with themes and music.
Twitter will roll out searchable stickers that can be applied to photo uploads in the coming weeks. With the stickers, which include everything from hats to masks to vehicles, you can change the look of your photos. You can search the stickers like hashtags.
The best way to deal with extremist videos on a platform is to keep them from ever going live, which is exactly what Facebook, YouTube, and others are now doing. Reuters reports the sites are using digital fingerprints to pick up on extremist material.
All Twitter users now have access to the app's Periscope button, which enables easy live streaming. Twitter began tests of the button in May and now it has rolled out to everyone on iOS and Android. In order for the feature to work, you must have the Periscope app installed.
Facebook has updated and more widely released its suicide prevention tools. Working with mental health organizations, the social network has created simple tools which are now available globally. The feature first appeared in the US and UK earlier this year.
Content deemed "inappropriate" by the restrictive government in Bangladesh will be removed by Microsoft, Google, and Facebook. After negotiating with the government, the companies agreed to remove content "within 48 hours" of a request being made by the authorities.
Instagram's latest update on iOS makes it possible to post to the social network without even opening the app. You can now post directly from Photos and other apps through iOS' built-in "share" menu. Instagram joins Facebook and Twitter in offering this ability.
Some Twitter users on iOS now have access to a dedicated Periscope streaming button. Twitter is testing out the button (just as it did recently on Android) in preparation for a wider launch. The button is located right next to those for attaching a photo or video to your post.
Facebook's Safety Check feature helps users find out if people in a crisis zone are safe, but the network has struggled to operate the feature efficiently in the dozens of places that could be crisis zones at any given moment. This update lets people ask their friends directly.
Facebook's AI bots are now detecting offensive images faster than regular users, reducing the chance people will come in contact with images of things like nudity and gore. The AI systems will help Facebook comply with a recent EU agreement that requires hate speech be combated.
Twitter is usually tolerant of parody accounts so long as it's clear users aren't trying to impersonate someone, but it has come under fire for deleting an account parodying Russian president Vladimir Putin. Even high-profile individuals like like Estonia's president weighed in.
To attract more businesses and turn itself into an ideal social network for companies, Instagram has introduced a new set of features, including analytics, business profiles, and an easy way to turn posts into ads. These tools distinguish company accounts from regular users.
Twitter has slightly pulled back its 140-character limit, giving people more room to type when composing certain types of tweets. Photos, links, videos, polls and other attachments will soon no longer count against the character limit, making it easier to post things.
Facebook's own machine learning software now provides the network with translations in place of Microsoft's Bing. The company says it completed its transition completely in December 2015 and Facebook is currently providing over 2 billion text translations every day.
Twitter is trying out a night mode in its Android app that will make it easier to view content in some situations. A Huawei employee, Taylor Wimberly, noticed the new night mode in the alpha version of Twitter's app. Because it isn't widely available, there are few reports on it.
Twitter's 140-character limit on posts is both good for the social network and annoying for users. Increasing it too much could change the network for the worse, but increasing it slightly seems reasonable. Twitter will reportedly stop counting links and photos against the limit.
Twitter is trying out a "go live" button on Android that lets people easily begin a broadcast on Periscope. With the button, which is located in the "select media" area, you are either taken to the Periscope app to deliver a livestream with your tweet or your taken to Google.
With anonymous employee claims and some evidence to suggest Facebook employees may have suppressed conservative topics in Facebook's trending section, the social network is facing a lot of questions. Mark Zuckerberg has now weighed in on the situation.
360-degree photos are soon going to be in your Facebook News Feed. The social network will be rolling out support for 360-degree photos to all users. You can either view the content by clicking and dragging around the image or by pulling it up in a VR headset.