Facebook is updating its news feed algorithm with an emphasis on placing "authentic" content higher in the feed. It'll demote content that is deemed to be "misleading, sensational, or spammy." This means "fake news" as well as slightly less egregious content will be demoted.
Twitter has been signalling its commitment to addressing abuse on the network for many months and it's about to roll out "long overdue" fixes that'll address some of the network's perceived problems. Ed Ho, VP of engineering, says there are tweaks to the mute and block functions.
Twitter has revealed two data requests from the FBI that some believe could be unconstitutional and a major overreach from the agency. It received the national security letters (NSLs) in 2015 and 2016. They were delivered along with gag orders, preventing their disclosure.
Hacker group OurMine temporarily gained control of multiple CNN accounts on Facebook. It gained access to CNN's primary page, CNN International, and CNN Politics. The group proceeded to make its presence known by posting information about itself and linking to its site.
Officials with the US border patrol are using data from Facebook to figure out if green card holders can re-enter the US, claims immigration lawyer Mana Yegani. Following President Trump's executive order on immigration, agents have been extensively questioning people.
Longer videos are receiving a boost in their News Feed presence, though only if people actually watch them. Facebook says it decided the "percent competition" figure should mean more when a video is longer. Therefore, long videos that hold a user's attention will appear higher.
Facebook's Slideshow feature arrived on iOS in June 2016 and it's finally beginning to roll out on Android. It's only slowly beginning to arrive, so not everyone has access to it yet. When it's available, the feature shows up when making a new status post.
Twitter has updated its "explore" tab to help people discover more new content. That section of the app will now show you a collection of Moments, live video, and trending topics. It replaces the section previously dedicated to Moments, which no longer seems as important.
Instagram's Stories feature, which was in many ways borrowed from Snapchat, is now being added to Facebook. The feature lets users display short photo and video montages that'll disappear in 24 hours. Facebook is only testing Stories in Ireland at the moment.
A few changes have been made to Facebook's Trending Topics section. With the latest update, the section now displays the same topics to all users in a regional manner and each topic comes with a publisher headline. Facebook has also improved its system for finding topics.
Instagram's livestreaming option is rolling out to mobile devices around the world. The Live Stories feature first premiered in the US in November 2016, allowing users to begin a livestream in the "Stories" section of the app. Live Stories is found in version 10.0+ of the app.
LinkedIn has released a significant update for its website, turning the site into something more akin to Facebook. Included in the update are new messaging features, an updated search function, a new feed, and other design changes meant to simplify the service.
Facebook's messaging interface on the web has received a makeover that puts the feature in-line with Messenger. Users have reported the replacement for Facebook's traditional inbox design in the US, Europe, and New Zealand. The Messenger icon is now being used.
Mark Zuckerberg is a high-profile individual, but he keeps his personal Facebook profile open for everyone to see, despite the trouble that may bring. According to Bloomberg, Zuckerberg is able to keep his profile open because there's a team dedicated to moderating content.
Twitter is moving away from eCommerce, an area it was only partially involved in. With the shift, the network is getting rid of its "buy" button and it'll end partnerships with retailers and other businesses. However, it appears the site will continue supporting donations.
Vine will close tomorrow, but some of its features are living on. You can still record short videos with the Vine Camera app and Twitter has just implemented automatic looping for clips under 6.5 seconds. Short looping videos will therefore be quite common on the site.
Facebook's period of heavily promoting live video may be coming to an end. The social network is "de-emphasizing" live video, reports Recode, and that means it'll no longer pay publishers to use the feature. Some publishers reportedly didn't even find the payments were worth it.
Facebook's new tools intended to combat the spread of fake news will first roll out in Germany. The fake news identification tools were unveiled in late 2016 and have been tested in the US. Aine Kerr says the roll out will occur in the next few weeks.
It's no longer going to be as obvious if a Facebook post has been edited when you're browsing your feed. The social network has stopped displaying an "edited" label next to the timestamp of posts. You must click the drop-down menu in the corner to see if something has changed.
Twitter has announced another livestreaming partnership. This time it'll work with PBS to stream Donald Trump's presidential inauguration, which begins at 11 a.m. ET on January 20. Users will see the stream on all Twitter apps and at inauguration.twitter.com.