Drop in user time for Facebook

Caption: It was observed users tend to spend less time on Facebook feed
Facebook tend to be slightly worried as the company sees drop in the users time spend online. It had announced major changes in January to be made on the news feed, but saw less user time even before that. In the last three months roughly 50 million hours a day was observed to be cut down by the users on the social media. For example, fewer viral videos were shown up on feeds.
Mark Zuckerberg went on record to say that, Facebook encourages personal interaction by helping people connect which is more important and is not much bothered about its drop of users online. “We can make sure the service is good for people’s well being and society overall” he added. The decline in users was recorded a little more than two minutes on an average basis, for 1.4 billion daily users.
Facebook’s largest advertising revenue is from US and Canada, and the very same countries saw the drop in daily users by nearly 7,00,000 to 184 million in a quarter. Zuckerberg says that Facebook users often stick around an ad if they show interest in one particular type.

Mark Zuckerberg wants to improve your timeline in a big way

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a big announcement that will affect your timeline in a big way. Users will see more posts of friends on the social media website than those of other publishers or brands. Zuckerberg claimed that this was done to encourage people from spending lesser time on the site.

He said that they had received feedback that posts from businesses and brands on the site were crowding users’ personal spaces. He wanted to ensure that the time users spent on the site was worth their while. However, viewing posts from friends and acquaintances might as well as mean that we may indulge more in commenting and sharing those posts.

This may have big ramifications as the businesses relying on Facebook for traffic might be gutted. The content of these brands might not appear on the News Feed and a lot of organizations are deeply involved in generating content especially for the timeline.

Also for investors, Zuckerberg’s announcement proves to be bad news since advertisers would always encourage users to spend more time on Facebook. More time on the site does not necessarily translate into more revenue but less time definitely sounds pessimistic.

Source: ABC News, Recode

The process of removal of extremist content is progressing on Facebook

Facebook, the world’s largest social media website, has been facing constant pressure in the United States of America and the United Kingdom to intercept and remove extremist content on its enormous platform more effectively. On November 29, the social media giant announced that it had begun removing 99 per cent of the extremist content. As it prepared for a meeting on tackling ‘terror’ content with the European authorities, content related to Al Qaeda and other Islam militant groups was removed.

According to Reuters, Monika Bickert, head of global policy management and Brian Fishman, Facebook’s head of counter-terrorism policy, stated in a blog post that 83 per cent of the extremist content uploaded on Facebook is removed within an hour of their original upload time. In June, Facebook mentioned that it had significantly escalated its AI (artificial intelligence) that enabled swift recognition and removal of such content.

As per NDTV, Bickert and Fisherman stated, “It is still early, but the results are promising, and we are hopeful that AI will become a more important tool in the arsenal of protection and safety on the internet and on Facebook.” They also mentioned that Facebook’s advanced AI managed to remove 99 per cent of the extremist content related to ISIS and Al-Qaeda before it was flagged down by its users. In some cases, it was removed even before the content went live.

The blog post is right on mark with respect to timing, as it comes a week before Facebook and other social media’s meeting with the European Union government and EU executive. The agenda of the meeting will revolve around how to tackle such disturbing content.


Reuters, NDTV

WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton to quit company by November

WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton will be leaving the messaging service firm to work on his own organization. Acton took to Facebook on Tuesday to announce his exit and wrote: “I’ve decided to start a nonprofit focused at the intersection of nonprofit, technology and communications.” Sharing insights on his forthcoming non-profit entity, Acton stated that he has been thinking about this for a while, and has now finally decided to focus and make it a reality.

Brian co-founded the company in 2009 with Jan Koum, and has since dedicated 8 years of his service to it. As per the report in Recode, Acton has been in charge of the company’s engineering team until now.

Acton’s decision has come a week after WhatsApp launched monetization efforts that had been in the pipeline for quite some time. Moreover, the news of his departure has come at a time when the service messaging firm is trying to make money by setting up multiple enterprise products that will help in interacting with customers; and is also hiring vital business positions.

Brian Acton will be officially leaving the firm by November, this year.

Source: Business Insider, Firstpost

Reliance Jio to launch its 1st 4G feature phone

After weeks of speculation. Reliance Industry Limited (RIL) chairman, Mukesh Ambani confirmed the launch of Jio’s own featured phone, naming JioPhone. This was announced at the 40th annual general meeting in Mumbai.

Ambani describes that the phone is effectively free to buy. An initial deposit of Rs 1500 needs to be given while purchasing the phone, however, it will be refundable after three years on returning the device. Although the launch date is set to be in September, the pre-booking will begin from August 24.

“Jio will become India’s largest provider of data service, products and application platforms”, Ambani addressed during the announcement. The conference is available online for the public to watch via Reliance’s official Twitter and Facebook page.

JioPhone offers 2.4 QVGA display with special Jio applications and four-way navigation system. Other feature includes FM Radio, SD card slot,  3.5 mm headphone jack, torch light, and an alphanumeric keyboard. The phone will also incorporate the Jio network which will allow users to make calls for free of cost. The Jio Dhan Dhana Dhan offer is best suited for the phone. This monthly plan can provide unlimited call, SMS, and the data facility.

The company is also set to launch Jio Phone cable TV at Rs 309 per month. The cable TV will allow the users to connect their JioPhones to any TV for 3-4 hours.


Sources: The Economic Times, Times of India


Whatsapp comes up with status story version copying Snapchat

WhatsApp came up with with its own version of 24-hour story copying the trend set by Snapchat in the form of Status.  Facebook recently owned WhatsApp and now it has and updated feature for the status. Instead of posting a short status, like “in the gym, at school”, one can post a picture or video that will be up for 24 hours on your profile. This feature was recently added in Instagram.

A unique elements added to this WhatsApp’s version of Stories is GIFs. Also all the status updates are end-to-end encrypted which gives a security stability to the updates. Another improves feature is of the videos which can be of 45 seconds, overpowering the 10 seconds videos on other platforms.

To remind, Whatsapp works on address book, therefore your status is visible to your Whatsapp contacts and there aren’t any followers. But undoubtedly the concept remains the same.

In  the past six months, Whatsapp has added features of almost all social media applications like video call of Skype, voice call like Viber, sending documents like Xender and many more features from Facebook.

The 24 hour status story update feature is available from Monday to the WhatsApp users of Netherlands and France. Later in the week it will begin in U.K., Spain, Italy, Israel and Saudi Arabia. Indian ‘WhatsAppers’ still need to wait for the updated version.

Source: India Today, DNA

Image Source: Representational image from Yourstory.com

Serena announced engagement to Alexis Ohanian

Sending her fans all around the world in a tizzy, the World No. 2 tennis pro Serena Williams announced her engagement to Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit (the social news aggregation, web content rating and discussion website). Through a poem posted on her official Reddit account she mentioned how Alexis proposed to her while vacationing in Rome. In a similar fashion, even Ohanian broke the happy news of his engagement on Facebook and linked it to Williams’ Reddit post. The couple who had been dating since late 2015 had kept their relationship under wrap. They had first met in Rome during a lunch.
According to the Guardian, Venus Williams said “I might just be her big sister, I might know these things,” referring to keeping a lid on the news of her sister’s engagement early on.
Currently at No. 2, after losing her top ranking to Germany’s Angelique Kerber, Williams aims to win her seventh Australian Open title in Melbourne next month. The duo William sisters are presently in Auckland for a tournament that would lead to the Open. Serena has won 22 major singles titles and 16 doubles title in her career so far, making her one of the greatest tennis players of all time.