Tag Archives: Twitter

Facebook extends the Like button with new Reactions, Twitter adds GIFs & Snapchat offers on-demand geofilters

The Like button has been a Facebook staple since 2009. It gives the social network’s massive user base a quick and easy way to react to posts shared. Over the years, the Like button has heavily influenced the way we interact with media across other social platforms including Facebook-owned Instagram and competitors Twitter, Periscope, and Vine. Simply tap to tell a friend you acknowledge and like what they’re saying. But therein lies the issue, and today Facebook took a major step to remedy it.

Say your best friend is having a bad day because his family pet passed away, or she didn’t get accepted into her first-choice college. “Liking” posts of this nature really doesn’t make any sense now does it? And yet we still do it, since clicking that thumbs up button tells your friend that you’ve read and sympathized with them (without you having to actually comment on the matter).

Introducing Reactions, “an extension of the Like button” that gives Facebook users more ways to react to a post. Now if it’s not appropriate to “like” something, you can express love, humor, excitement, sadness, and anger. The Like button remains, but now if you hold down the Like button on mobile or hover over it on desktop, you’ll be presented with a heart icon representing Love and four emoji faces aptly named Haha, Wow, Sad, and Angry. It’s almost as if the cast of Pixar’s Inside Out came to save the day!

It’s interesting to note that Facebook put a lot of effort into choosing these specific reaction emotions. “For more than a year we have been conducting global research including focus groups and surveys to determine what types of reactions people would want to use most,” says company Project Manager Sammi Krug in a blog post. “We also looked at how people are already commenting on posts and the top stickers and emoticons as signals for the types of reactions people are already using to determine which reactions to offer.”

Curious as to why they simply didn’t add a “Dislike” button? “It would have been too binary,” Krug told Engadget. “This way, though, you’ll have more ways to express yourself. That’s the goal.”

Want to try out the new Reactions? Facebook is rolling out the new feature across its desktop and mobile platforms worldwide starting today, so be on the lookout for it!

Learn about new updates at Twitter and Snapchat after the break. READ MORE Facebook extends the Like button with new Reactions, Twitter adds GIFs & Snapchat offers on-demand geofilters

Google, Twitter and Facebook assemble 2015’s trending topics

Ring in the New Year by taking a step back and reviewing what has come to pass over the past year. It’s about appreciating the good times and mourning loss. It’s about evaluating missteps, learning from mistakes, and broadening the brighter road ahead. Search giant Google and social networks Twitter and Facebook are here to provide retrospective, analytical, and all-encompassing telescopes looking back at the year 2015; let the good, the bad, and everything in-between comes into focus.

Posted above is Google’s Year in Search video and it brings to life the queries we searched and the questions and answers they brought forth. The Paris attacks, Star Wars, water on Mars, Cecil the Lion; all of the major crises and celebrations are accounted for in this clip and beyond. Google’s A Year in Search portal is an interactive way to explore what went down in 2015 around the world. There’s even a Top Charts section that breaks down the top searches across a wide range of categories. The top 10 U.S. searches in 2015? Lamar Odom, Jurassic World, American Sniper, Caitlyn Jenner, Ronda Rousey, Paris, Agar.io, Chris Kyle, Fallout 4, and Straight Outta Compton. In chaotic times, we sure do enjoy our entertainment, don’t we?

Jump after the break to see what Twitter and Facebook have to offer. READ MORE Google, Twitter and Facebook assemble 2015’s trending topics

Snapchat upgrades video capabilities and Twitter invites users to poll, like & heart

Snapchat’s selfie Lenses and Twitter’s Moments were just the beginning of new updates sprinkled on the popular social networks. Let’s discuss the new features and changes making their way to your mobile devices, in brief.

The app that does away with your fleeting snaps has added additional functionality to shooting its equally fading video recordings. After shooting a video, swipe through the handy filters and you’ll notice three new ones. Instead of switching up the physical appearance of the videos, they actually play around with speed. A filter marked with a snail aptly slows down your recording. Another marked by a rabbit speeds it up, and a third one plays your clip in reverse. Snapchat calls these fun new filters Speed Modifiers, and they are baked into the app’s latest update. Also included in the refreshed app is 3D Touch support; so, if you own an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus, you can now force touch the app to pull up quick action shortcuts to chat with friends and add some more.

Twitter, on the other hand, has pushed polls out to everyone. Now you can create your very own poll to receive near-instant feedback from your followers about a topic you’e concerned about. Creating and tweeting out a poll is simple as pie. Update the app and when you go to compose a tweet, you’ll notice a new pie chart icon next to the location and camera icons. Click it to compose a poll, and you’ll have 166 characters to ask a question and 20 characters each for two choices your followers can choose from when responding to the poll.

Elsewhere, and most recently, Twitter is switching up its vernacular when it comes to Favorites. To the point, Favorites are now Likes, and the symbol has been changed from a star to a heart. Many users are confused about the sudden, erm, change of heart, and in a blog post the company does its best to support the facelift:

We are changing our star icon for favorites to a heart and we’ll be calling them likes. We want to make Twitter easier and more rewarding to use, and we know that at times the star could be confusing, especially to newcomers. You might like a lot of things, but not everything can be your favorite.

The heart, in contrast, is a universal symbol that resonates across languages, cultures, and time zones. The heart is more expressive, enabling you to convey a range of emotions and easily connect with people. And in our tests, we found that people loved it.

Love it or hate it, Likes and hearts are the new Favorites and stars and you better get used to it as they’re rolling out Twitter’s mobile apps and desktop web portal today.

[Via TechCrunch; Twitter 1, 2]

Twitter’s Moments grants you access to fleeting trending topics in a new & interactive way

Twitter’s added a new section to its mobile and desktop portals called Moments. This particular social network works best when its users spread breaking news in an instant across the world. Twitter’s latest hub, Moments, provides a streamlined way to access such breaking news, whether or not you follow the accounts commenting on world affairs. For example, let’s say it’s awards season and the Oscars are airing live and you’re interested in knowing the night’s winners and the big, ahem, moments from the show. You’re away from a TV and the majority of your friends and other accounts you follows typically don’t post entertainment-related tweets. Moments relives you of this quagmire; simply click the new tab to view an interactive and visually appealing hub home to trending moments happening right now. If the Oscars are on, you’ll see related tweets, GIFs, Vines, and more, regardless of who you follow on the regular. You can even opt to follow a Moment–related tweets from relevant accounts will show up on your timeline. When the Moment ends (when related tweets start to die down), Twitter will automatically unfollow the Moments and you’re timeline will return back to normal.

Visually speaking, Moments is essentially an interactive version of the Trending Topics list that’s hidden inside Search on mobile. In the new hub you can quickly glance at topics people are raving and/or ranting about, with images and video to help contextualize it all. In addition to following Moments, you can also favorite and retweet sub-tweets inside Moments. Categories include Today, News, Sports, Entertainment, and Fun.

Moments are curated by Twitter as well as content partners including Bleacher Report, Buzzfeed, Entertainment Weekly, Fox News, Getty Images, Mashable, MLB, NASA, New York Times, Vogue, and the Washington Post. Even more partners are promised in the future.

iPhone and Android users can explore Moments on their mobile devices today, and desktop users in the US also have access to it as well. If you’re outside the US, the Moments hub is still out of reach (for now), but you can still access them whenever you see a Moment shared in your timeline.

If you’re someone who doesn’t like to follow celebrities or sports figures but still enjoys being “in the know” across interests like entertainment and sports, Moments is the destination to get your fix, right now.

[Via Twitter]

Twitter & Snapchat updates you should know about

This week, two of the most prolific social networks received some exciting updates. Let’s start with the little blue bird, and then we’ll talk about the playful yellow ghost.

Twitter is updating one feature and tacking on a completely new one. Direct Messages is getting a beefed up with the added ability to host group conversations. Private DMs can now entertain up to 20 people in one threaded conversation. You can start conversations with any of your followers and they don’t all need to follow one another in order to join and participate in the chat. When you’re added to a group chat, you’ll receive a notification about it.

I’ve been waiting for this next new feature for quite some time. Twitter is finally unleashing an official way to post video to its service. The update lets you capture, edit, and share videos that can last up to 30 seconds in length. iPhone users can upload videos from the camera roll as well (coming soon to Android). It’s a simple feature, but it has been desperately missing for ages. Twitter is confident its users will discover unique ways to interact with their followers using video–30 seconds is a helluva lot longer than Vine’s constrained 6. Video, along with group DMs, are rolling out to all users “in the coming weeks.”

Now, jump after the break to learn all about the latest addition to Snapchat’s growing story. READ MORE Twitter & Snapchat updates you should know about

Google, Twitter and Facebook mark the highlights of 2014

As we close out the year, let’s journey back in time and explore the high points and the lows that made up the last 365 days. Google, Twitter, and Facebook gather our searches and publicly shared posts to make it super simple to do just that with dedicated portals, trending lists, and flashy videos. Let’s start with Google, as is tradition.

For 2014, Google is foregoing its “Zeitgeist” terminology for something simpler. The search giant is calling its retrospective portal “A Year in Search.” That’s got a nice ring to it. First, there’s the hopeful and inspirational video embedded above that summarizes the major events and discoveries that unfolded all around the world this year. And then there’s the Top Charts that show what we all searched for most across a myriad of categories including People, Cars, Beer, and Memes. Of course, it’s the top trending Searches of 2014 you’re likely most interested in knowing right off the bat and they are: Robin Williams, World Cup, Ebola, Maylaysia Airlines, Flappy Bird, ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, ISIS, Ferguson, Frozen, and Ukraine.

For Twitter and Facebook’s stamp on history, jump after the break. READ MORE Google, Twitter and Facebook mark the highlights of 2014

Twitter previews new profile design layout

Twitter is rolling out a new design layout for web profiles. The most prominent visual changes are larger profile photos and customized headers that mimic Facebook’s profile and cover photos. Dig a bit deeper and you’ll see that the update allows users to pin a tweet to the top of their feed; this locked-at-the-top tweet serves as an extension to a user’s bio and provides followers and potential followers alike another window into seeing what you’re all about. You may also notice magnified tweets that appear larger in your feed; these are called your “Best Tweets” and they appear larger because they’ve received the most engagement such as being Favorited or Retweeted a lot. Also, when you check out other people’s profiles you can filter between all Tweets, Tweets with photos/video, or Tweets and replies–a new way to quickly search a person’s feed by content type.

The new profile layout is slowly rolling out to all users “in the coming weeks.” If you’re new to Twitter and sign up today you’ll automatically see it. For everyone else, you can preview the new layout today by flocking over to certain celeb accounts such as @ChanningTatum and @KerryWashington.

[Via Twitter]

Google, Twitter and Facebook mark the highlights of 2013

Google’s year-end Zeitgeist, or “spirit of the times,” continues to impress with its far-reaching grasp on what we searched for and talked about over the course of the year that was 2013. The search giant calls it their “most global Zeitgeist to date” as it includes over 1,000 top 10 lists spanning 72 countries. Their “Here’s to 2013” retrospective video highlights the people, places, and moments that captured the world’s attention throughout the year. Of all the lists the one you’re most likely to want to see first is the top 10 global searches of 2013. Falling in line with years past, the list includes celebrity/world leader deaths, hot technology, and a viral video to boot.:

  1. Nelson Mandela
  2. Paul Walker
  3. iPhone 5s
  4. Cory Monteith
  5. Harlem Shake
  6. Boston Marathon
  7. Royal Baby
  8. Samsung Galaxy s4
  9. PlayStation 4
  10. North Korea

Head over to the Zeitgeist homepage to explore the myriad trending lists. There, for the first time, you’ll also find an interactive Trends Globe that allows you to play around with a 3D global map showcasing the top search trends of the year by day in cities around the world. Like I said, impressive stuff here.

Jump after the break to see how Twitter and Facebook are celebrating the big two-oh-one-three. READ MORE Google, Twitter and Facebook mark the highlights of 2013

Twitter drops #music app to promote discovery

Twitter is expanding its horizons with a new app called #music. It’s a simple service, really, with a snazzy user interface that helps you discover new artists, see what’s popular, and preview and share tunes. The app is organized into five sections: Popular (new music trending on Twitter), Emerging (Hidden talent found in the Tweets), Suggested (Artists you might like), #NowPlaying (Tweeted by people you follow), and Me (a section that lists the artists you follow). Essentially the service scans your Twitter activity (people you follow, specific artists you follow and interact with, etc.) to aid in the discovery of new music you might like. The main portal is the Popular section and the UI displays interactive images of artists that you can tap on. You can preview tracks, share them, and download them via iTunes. Additionally, the artist squares give users quick access to a musician’s Twitter page where you can find out what artists that musician is following. In addition to iTunes for track previewing, #music is tied to Spotify and rdio; if you subscribe to those streaming services, you can link your account to enable the app to play full tracks.

Currently Twitter’s #music app is available in Apple’s App Store free of charge; if you have an Android device you’re out of luck for the time being. However, you can test drive the new service in a desktop browser at music.twitter.com if you live in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia or New Zealand; the desktop layout mirrors its mobile counterpart. In time, the service will expand to more devices and countries.

So watcha waiting for? Go get your discovery on. #getlucky

[Via Twitter]

Twitter turns 7

On Thursday, March 21 Twitter reached its seventh year in existence. To celebrate the occasion the company released a short video highlighting some of the most memorable moments shared across the world via the social platform. Did you know that Twitter currently has well over 200 million active users creating over 400 million Tweets each day? And it’s only getting more popular by the second. From company founder Jack Dorsey’s first tweet to the explosion of tweets made by people from all around the planet, Twitter has proven to be a resourceful and entertaining destination for breaking news, laughs, and everything in between.

[Via Twitter]

Google, Twitter and Facebook mark the highlights of 2012

Google’s annual Zeitgeist takes “an in-depth look at the “spirit of the times” as seen through the billions of searches on Google over the past year.” At least that’s usually the case. This year, Google studied an aggregation of over 1.2 trillion searches that people typed into Google Search. Using sources like Google Trends and internal data tools the company was able compile lists that distinguish the most popular searched terms organized into topics like Images, Athletes, and TV Shows. The top 10 trending Searches worldwide this year were Whitney Houston, Gangnam Style, Hurricane Sandy, iPad 3, Diablo 3, Kate Middleton, Olympics 2012, Amanda Todd, Michael Clarke Duncan, and BBB12. The top 10 trending Events worldwide were Hurricane Sandy, Kate Middleton Pictures Released, Olympics 2012, SOPA Debate, Costa Concordia crash, Presidential Debate, Stratosphere Jump, Penn State Scandal, Trayvon Martin shooting, and Pussy Riots. The top 10 trending Consumer Electronics were iPad 3, Samsung Galaxy S3, iPad Mini, Nexus 7, Galaxy Note 2, Play Station, iPad 4, Microsoft Surface, Kindle Fire, and Nokia Lumia 920. Head over to Google’s Zeitgesit 2012 page to discover and explore trending topics from 55 countries all around the world. In addition to the 838 lists, Google’s created an interactive map that shows where and when some of the most popular terms spiked around the world. Watch Google’s inspirational look back at 2012 in the Zeitgeist video pasted above.

Jump after the break to find out how Twitter and Facebook are celebrating everything that went down in twenty-twelve. READ MORE Google, Twitter and Facebook mark the highlights of 2012

Access your Twitter archive today

At last, Twitter is making it possible to go back in time and explore every single tweet you’ve ever tweeted into the Twitterverse. Starting today, the company is rolling out a new feature that allows you to download an HTML file containing your Twitter archive that contains all your tweets (including retweets) you blasted out since you signed up for the service. The archive loads in your browser and features an interface you are used to by now. A history of your tweets is organized by month, or you can use the search bar to find tweets with certain words, phrases, hashtags, or @usernames.

To access your archive, login to your Twitter account and go to Settings, Account, and scroll to the bottom where you’ll find a new option to “Request your archive.” Click the button and check your email for instructions on how to download and view your archive. According to the company this new feature is rolling out “slowly, starting today with a small percentage of users whose language is set to English.” So if you don’t see it at this very moment, be patient. For everyone else, the ability to download your archive will come “over the coming weeks and months.”

Now go on, memories await.

[Via Twitter]