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

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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

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You can now PayPal friends in Messenger and get help via chat

 PayPal users in the U.S. will now be able to send and receive person-to-person payments over Facebook Messenger, the company announced this morning. The deeper integration with Messenger’s platform, which will also include PayPal’s first customer service bot for handling customer questions and requests for help, follows a series of tie-ups between the two companies. Last year,… Read More

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Facebook attacks Pinterest with “Sets” of posts

 Identity is prismatic. You show different sides of yourself to different friends in your life. Now Facebook wants to let you share the niches of your interests while stealing thunder from Pinterest’s boards. Facebook is now testing a feature called Sets that lets you select several status updates, photos, or videos and share them as a themed collection to everyone or specific… Read More

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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

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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

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Facebook and Google competed for anti-immigration ad dollars during the 2016 election

 In a textbook illustration of the conflict of interest between Facebook and Google’s ostensible dedication to free speech and their ostensible espousal of progressive values, the internet giants reportedly took millions in advertising money from a major anti-immigration group at the same time as both were engaged in pro-immigration advocacy. Read More

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“Bad things happen,” Facebook’s response to Russian election interference

 Facebook has come under fire for its role in influencing the U.S. presidential election, particularly when it comes to “fake news” and Russian-sponsored ads.  When asked about this at WSJ D.Live in Laguna Beach on Wednesday, Facebook VP David Marcus at first deflected, talking at length about all the positive impacts that the social media giant has had on the world. “When… Read More

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Facebook’s discovery-focused ‘Explore Feed’ hits the desktop

 Facebook’s tests of an alternative News Feed dubbed the “Explore” feed are progressing, it seems. Previously available on mobile devices in the main navigation, Facebook’s new Explore Feed is now appearing for users on the desktop. The feed is found in the left-side sidebar, within the “Explore” section – where you’ll also find links to… Read More

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Twitter is done with hate symbols and violent groups

 Twitter, a platform infested with trolls, hate and abuse, can be one of the worst places on the Internet. As a followup to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s tweetstorm last week, in which he promised to crack down on hate and abuse by implementing more aggressive rules, Twitter is gearing up to roll out some updates in the coming weeks, Wired reported earlier today. “Although we planned… Read More

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Vine’s founders are back with HQ, a live trivia game show app

 “It’s a way to give people a chance to have fun, maybe win, maybe learn something new.” That’s how former Vine co-founder Rus Yusupov describes his new trivia game show app HQ, which feels like Who Wants To Be A Millionaire meets Facebook Live. At 3pm and 9pm Eastern, thousands of people open up HQ’s iOS app and play along as excitable host Scott Rogowsky… Read More

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SelfMade helps businesses post better photos online

 SelfMade brings professional photo editing to your phone — yes, literally. The startup, which is announcing that it has raised $11 million in funding, was founded by CEO Brian Schechter and CTO Zach Lloyd. Schechter was previously co-founder at IAC-acquired dating startup HowAboutWe, and he points to HowAboutWe as the starting point for his interest in photo editing. After all, he… Read More

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Twitter introduces a new video-centric ad format

Twitter video website card While there’s a larger debate swirling around Twitter’s problems with abuse and harassment, the business side of the business is still chugging along. Today, the company is unveiling a new ad format called the Video Website Card, which it describes as ” a creative format that combines the power of video with the ability to drive users back to a site to learn more or take… Read More

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Snap and NBCUniversal team up on Snapchat scripted shows

 Snapchat parent co. Snap is working with NBCUniversal on its first scripted series, with an initial effort led by the Duplass Brothers – Mark and Jay, to those in the know. The duo will create scripted programming for Snapchat through Donut, their own creative production venture. It’s maybe a weird choice for Snap and their youthful audience, but it’s a team with a proven… Read More

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