News - good or bad, true or false - has always traveled fast, but since the dawn of social media, it travels faster than ever. Here is how social media is helping news spread globally at a rapid pace. How news reaches us today Once upon a time, we had to wait for newspapers and news reports on the TV or radio to get the latest local, national and international news. Today, newsfeeds on social media pages and push notifications sent directly to both Android and iOS mobile phones keep you up-to-date on what's happening around you - with the iPhone 'Amber Alert' feature even being known to jolt their unsuspecting (many iPhone owners first learn about their phones having this feature in this way) owners awake in the middle of the night to bring them the latest news updates. What's ...
Instagram is now rolling out its “recommended for you” feature that shows photos in your feed snapped by people you’re not following. It was spotted in testing earlier this month, but now folks at the photo-sharing service have told TechCrunch they’re rolling it out for all users, albeit gradually and without any official announcement (so far). No, Instagram won’t be throwing in random images from random users. The recommended shots, which are clearly labeled as such, will of course be selected by Instagram’s carefully designed algorithms in the hope that each image will pique your interest and prompt you to follow whoever took it. “These posts are suggested based on posts liked by accounts you follow,” Instagram explains on its support pages, adding that you can choose to hide th
Snap Inc has not had such a great year. Ever since Facebook and Instagram started ripping off features from Snapchat, the user engagement numbers for Snapchat have been plateauing. In a move to increase user engagement and get more active users on its platform, it looks like Snap Inc is working on a feature to let you share stories outside of the Snapchat app. 'Stories Everywhere' is the new feature which is reportedly being worked upon. This will let you share stories from Snapchat outside of the platform. So far, the only destination to view Snap stories is the Snapchat app. Of course, you can still export your stories later and upload them separately as a video file. But unlike say a Twitter or a Facebook post, you cannot embed Snap stories elsewhere. The idea is to boost the presenc...
New Delhi: Facebook has begun testing a feature with a set of new users in India where they are being asked to enter names as per their Aadhaar details. The social media giant, however, is not asking new users to give their Aadhaar number but just the name as written on their Aadhaar cards. "This is a small test where we provide additional language when people sign up for an account to say that using the name on their Aadhaar card makes it easier for friends to recognise them," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement on Wednesday. Currently, only a small percentage of people who use Facebook on mobile in the country are able to see this feature. "This is an optional prompt which we are testing," the spokesperson added. The move is aimed at encouraging users to put their ...
WhatsApp is to stop working on certain older operating systems including some offered by Blackberry and Windows from New Year’s Day. The Facebook-owned app is not offering any more technology upgrades on systems it says don’t offer the capabilities it needs to expand in the future. After December 31, users will not be able to use WhatsApp on BlackBerry OS and BlackBerry 10 systems, as well as Microsoft’s Windows 8.0 and older systems. Newer BlackBerry handsets which run off an Android operating system will still be supported. The company says Nokia S40 and Android 2.3.7 and older systems will also be unusable from specified dates over the next few years. A year ago, support for WhatsApp Messenger was ended on several mobile platforms because of changing technology. Back in Febr
What about our lives has social media changed? Well, honestly that’s a big question because social media has done tonnes; talk about how it has eased the flow of information, how it has defied the geographical limitations to communication, how it has enabled the otherwise ignored voices to be heard and the list goes on and on… However, the greatest of these things is how social media has brought people together hence the “global village” – well, of course aside from the existence of certified professional trolls. And because of this, it has allowed people to somewhat have a sense of belonging – a basic human need. On social media, you can easily find people with similar interests, needs, skills, perspective etc. as yours. Platforms like WhatsApp groups, Facebook groups and pages, Tw
You know those cool effects you can use to add a wizard hat on your head or breathe fire out of your mouth? Well, now you can make them yourself and showcase your creative powers on Facebook. Facebook recently announced that they’re opening up their AR Studio which will allow you to create these augmented reality experiences. Earlier this year, they released the Camera Effects Platform (CEP) which allowed talented creatives to create these augmented reality experience. Even though the Camera Effects Platform was now being used by over 2000 creators, it was only available to a select few as it was in closed beta. Now, with AR Studio, anyone can build their own animated frames, masks or interactive AR experiences for use in the Facebook camera and live broadcasts. AR Studio has already
Another former Facebook executive has spoken out about the harm the social network is doing to civil society around the world. Chamath Palihapitiya, who joined Facebook in 2007 and became its vice president for user growth, said he feels “tremendous guilt” about the company he helped make. “I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works,” he told an audience at Stanford Graduate School of Business, before recommending people take a “hard break” from social media. Palihapitiya’s criticisms were aimed not only at Facebook, but the wider online ecosystem. “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created are destroying how society works,” he said, referring to online interactions driven by “hearts, likes, thumbs-up.” “No civil discou
For some time now, social media has been viewed as nonsensical and somewhat perverting… and of course its biggest victim would be the millennial generation. Just a little over a week ago, Techzim wrote about how the army boss had expressed some concerns over how our Zimbabwean culture was being eroded by social media and all. I know this is not a new story, we’ve heard it all before. And of course, I totally get it, if you’re not a millennial your interpretation of social media would be a bunch of sexually perverted people doing nothing but hit on each other, being vocal on things that don’t matter and probably spreading fake news. However, because we (the millennials) know what social media is really about, we’re not too bothered by this, but here’s the problem…. Our Zimbabwean gove
We’ve been talking about WhatsApp for business for a while now. We were quite excited about the whole idea but now to be quite frank the hype is dying down (or rather, let me speak for myself, my hype is dying down) and the reason is probably that I don’t have access to it yet ? WhatsApp for business is still in the beta testing phase, not just any beta testing but a closed beta testing. This means that not only is WhatsApp for business unavailable to everyone who is not signed up for beta testing but of those that are, only a select few can access it. Anyway, just in case you haven’t been a part of that conversation; Why is WhatsApp for business such a big deal? In Zimbabwe, we notice how businesses have moved from just listing landlines, emails, cellphones etc. on their contacts t