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Facebook’s lightweight Android app ‘Lite’ officially launched in India and Philippines

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Just less than a month after Facebook announced Lite, a lightweight Android app aimed at emerging markets, the company officially launched it in India and Philippines.

The app uses less data and hence works well even when your bandwidth is at a minimum, the social networking company claims. It is less than 1MB in size (430 KB to be precise), which makes it quick to download and load. Read more »

Facebook’s latest employee diversity report reveals little progress

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Facebook has released its latest employee diversity report, revealing that there has been little progress in the area since it reported the numbers last time.

As per the report, 91% of the company’s employees are white or Asian. These include 94% of the tech employees, 86% of the non-tech employees, and 94% of the senior leadership. Read more »

Twitter adds autoplay for videos on iOS and the web, soon Android too

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Following the lead of Facebook, its perpetual competitor in the social network space, Twitter has today announced it’s enabling autoplay for videos. This goes live today on iOS and the web, and it will come to Android soon through an update for Twitter’s app for Google’s platform.

This means exactly what you think it means. From now on, while scrolling through your timeline, videos will automatically start playing. This works with native videos, Vines, and animated GIFs. Read more »

Facebook now takes into account the time you spend viewing a post in your News Feed

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Facebook has announced an update to the News Feed ranking algorithm that the company says will allow it to take into account the amount of time a user spends viewing a story.

“Just because someone didn’t like, comment or share a story in their News Feed doesn’t mean it wasn’t meaningful to them,” the company said. “There are times when, for example, people want to see information about a serious current event, but don’t necessarily want to like or comment on it.” Read more »

Facebook Messenger now has 700 million users

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Hot on the heels of its Android app grabbing more than 1 billion downloads, Facebook Messenger has now passed 700 million monthly active users. The previous such milestone was reached in March, when Messenger had 600 million monthly active users. And before that, in November of last year, the app boasted 500 million monthly active users.

The information comes straight from Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, who revealed the new figure at an investor meeting. The discrepancy in the numbers (compared to the 1 billion installs on Android alone) obviously comes from the fact that not all the people who installed Facebook Messenger are using it on a monthly basis. Read more »

Twitter to remove the 140 character limit from Direct Messages starting next month

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Twitter, as we all know, places a 140-character limit on all tweets. The same limit also applies to Direct Messages (DMs). However, that was until now, as the company has announced that it’s removing the 140-character limit in DMs starting next month.

The limit will be raised to a whopping 10,000 characters, which is effectively unlimited given that it’s very rare for someone to send such a long DM. Read more »

Dick Costolo to leave his position as Twitter CEO effective July 1

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Amid mounting concerns over slow user growth, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has decided to step down from his position effective July 1. He, however, will remain on the company’s Board of Directors.

Co-founder and Chairman Jack Dorsey will assume the role of interim CEO till Twitter finds a permanent replacement – the company has formed a search committee, and said it would consider both internal and external candidates. For those who aren’t aware, Dorsey also co-founded payments start-up Square. Read more »

Instagram web gets a redesign

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Since the first time the website was introduced several years ago, Instagram has updated the design. The new design is extremely minimal, with a lot of white space and large, full-size images.

The new design gets rid of the grey textured background and the blue top bar, replacing it with a clean white everywhere. The top bar just has the Instagram logo, your account name and a logout button. Read more »

Twitter’s new feature makes it easier to follow conversations surrounding a tweet

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Twitter is rolling out a new feature that aims to make it easier to follow conversations that are displayed on the tweet page. The company says that the new feature will group conversations together and highlight some of the most interesting exchanges surrounding a given tweet right below it.

To decide which tweets need to be highlighted, several factors will be taken into account, like whether or not the original account has replied. Read more »

Facebook Messenger update brings the ability to send locations as messages

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Facebook has started rolling out a new feature that allows you to send locations as messages using the company’s Messenger app. “Now you can choose to explicitly send a map of your location or another particular place as a separate message,” the company said.

To use the feature, just tap the More icon or the location pin present the bottom of the app’s window, and you can share your (or any) location with the one you’re chatting with. Read more »

Twitter is reportedly interested in acquiring Flipboard

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According to a report in Re/code, Twitter is interested in acquiring Flipboard. The social network has reportedly been holding talks with Fipboard since the beginning of this year.

An all-stock deal is said to be valuing Flipboard in excess of $1 billion. Read more »

Instagram is now sending users highlights via email

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Instagram began sending out “Highlights” emails to its subscribers. The move is a bid by the now mature social network to keep its300 million users more involved.

The messages contain popular posts from the accounts one follows. Read more »

Layout by Instagram is now available for Android devices

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The photo collage editor Layout by Instagram is now available for Android devices. The application was a available only for iOS since its launch in late March.

Layout for Android has the same design as its iOS counterpart and lets you combine multiple photos into a single image. Read more »

Facebook’s Internet.org now available to over 1 billion people worldwide

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A few weeks after it was revealed that Facebook’s Internet.org has benefited over 800 million people in nine countries, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced that the service, which was recently launched in the African country of Malawi, is now available to over 1 billion people around the world.

“Giving people free access is the right thing to do,” Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post. “We will keep connecting more people and more countries, and we won’t stop until every person in the world can connect to the internet.” Read more »

Reddit announces Original Video to bring Ask Me Anything to life

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From weird images to latest breaking news, reddit front page has quickly turned into a window to a large number of user-shared content. Unlike many other community-drived websites, reddit accommodates a myriad variety of popular to niche communities and labelled them as subreddits.

Alex Ohanian, co-founder of reddit, has now announced the new reddit Original Video site to drive its original content plan at the on-going TechCrunch Disrupt conference. With Original Video, reddit plans to transform its Ask Me Anything subreddit to video style and give more control over it. Read more »