TripAdvisor quickly became one of the most useful websites, and subsequently the most useful apps, to have been developed in recent times. But it also has a dark side. Like any site that allows users to leave reviews, TripAdvisor suffers with the problem of fakes. A new Twitter campaign hopes to help cut down the number of fraudulent reviews.
Fake reviews are not a problem that is specific to TripAdvisor -- Amazon has gone as far as suing people it believes to be fabricating reviews -- but a group of people have joined forces to try to do something about it. Concerned that there are a huge number of reviews written by people who have not actually visited the establishment they are reviewing, the #noreceiptnoreview campaign proposes that people should only be permitted to share their reviews upon the production of receipt.
Facebook and privacy are not words you tend to find together in the same sentence -- at least not in a positive sense. Just a few days ago, the social network announced that all public posts were to be made searchable -- although it wasn't really billed as such.
You might not be entirely happy with this. While you may now be careful that you only share posts with your friends, a huge number of historic posts have now been made searchable. If you'd prefer to keep your content private, now is the time to act.
Many iPhone users were upset to find that battery life was rather shorter than expected. Fingers of suspicion started to point to the iOS Facebook app, and now the social network has released a fix as well as revealing that poor coding was to blame.
The latest version of the Facebook app goes some way to putting things right, but it is unlikely to be a complete fix. Facebook says it "found a few key issues and have identified additional improvements" in the app, but only "some of which" made it into the latest update. Something the company is keen to stress is that the Location History feature is not responsible, and provides details about two other factors contributing to battery drain.
Facebook is much more than just a social network; for many people it is the internet. For others, it is a source of news, and this is something that Facebook is quite happy to play upon. But what a lot of people are now looking for is not just news, but the reaction to news.
This is something that Facebook is well-positioned to provide a conduit for, and now the social network is looking to take on Google by giving more accurate and personal search results -- including tailoring search results according to what is currently happening in the world.
So what’s Steve Ballmer up to these days, now he’s not at the helm of Microsoft? He’s investing in the tech world, and specifically in Twitter -- indeed he’s bought up a very large stake in the social network, despite its shaky performance in recent times.
Ballmer tweeted: "Good job @twitter,@twittermoments innovation, @jack Ceo, leaner, more focused. Glad I bought four percent past few months".
It's one thing to have your Facebook account attacked, it's quite another to have it targeted by government-sponsored attackers. It seems as though attacks of this kind are on the increase, and Facebook has implemented a warning system for anyone whose account comes under such an attack.
But this is about more than just letting you know if someone has tried to log into your account without permission. Facebook believes that the problem is serious enough to suggest that anyone who receives such a warning should consider either formatting their computer, or buying a new one.
Facebook's Like button is famous, but users have long asked for more ways to express their reaction to posts on the social network. Recently, rumors surfaced that a Dislike button was on its way (although this was not only untrue, but also the source of numerous scams), but Mark Zuckerberg said that users would be given new ways to express empathy.
The Dislike button may not be happening, but reaction emoji are. Facebook is reported to start testing of six new reactions, beginning in Spain and Ireland. A global rollout could be on the cards at some point in the future, but TechCrunch has been given a sneak preview of what the new emoji look like.
If you're a Twitter user, you undoubtedly love it. If you're not, you probably either hate it, or find it confusing. Today Twitter launches Moments in a bid to make itself more appealing to beginners by helping to provide a gentle step up into the crazy world of tweets, and by bringing context to timelines.
Times they are a-changing at Twitter with Jack Dorsey now the fulltime CEO, and the prospect of curated content from reputable sources could be what is needed to take things to the next level. Part of the problem with Twitter is the sheer volume of content that is out there -- and it is generated very quickly; for newbies, it can be completely overwhelming. Moments is an attempt to cut through the crap and present news and stories in a meaningful and accessible way.
Facebook has come under heavy criticism for its real names (or 'authentic identities' as they are known to the social network) policy. Over the last year, all manner of rights groups and advocates have tried to convince Facebook to allow users to drop their real name in favor of a pseudonym if they want.
Now the Electronic Frontier Foundation is part of the 74-member strong Nameless Coalition and has written to Facebook demanding a rethink on the ground of safety, privacy, and equality. This is far from being the first time Facebook has been called on to allow the use of 'fake names', and the latest letter is signed by LGBT groups, freedom advocates, privacy supporters, and feminist organizations.
He has been interim CEO for some time now, but today Jack Dorsey has been officially appointed as CEO of Twitter. Three months after Dick Costolo stepped down from the role, Dorsey is now the head of not only Square, but also Twitter, bringing to an end months of rumor and speculation.
As one of the founders of the company, Dorsey has an unrivalled knowledge of where Twitter comes from, what is at its heart, and where it should be heading. The board of Twitter is due for an overhaul, and one of the first announcements is the appointment of Adam Bain as COO, but there are almost certainly more exciting announcements on the horizon.
Facebook today announced a series of updates to user profiles on mobile devices, and one of the first candidates for a revamp is the humble profile picture. There are a couple of interesting options to play with, including temporary profile pictures that change after a certain number of days.
This is an idea that was born from the popularity of banners which Facebook users added to their profile pictures to show support for a particular cause. Also in the pipeline are profile videos, which Facebook says will "add a new dimension to your profile". Forget static images, a looping video clip is now an option. But the profile updates don’t end there -- and, oddly, iPhone users are first in line to try out the new goodies.
Driven as it is by users, it is perhaps little surprise that Facebook is home to a lot of nonsense. Nothing wrong with this, but it becomes more of an issue when nonsense is disguised as something meaningful and is shared by people left, right, and center. Hoax copyright warnings spreading via statuses is a perennial problem, and there are a couple of prime examples doing the rounds at the moment.
You've probably seen at least one of them before, but the pair seem to be cropping up a great deal this time around. Should you see your friends posting 'helpful' advice about paying to make your Facebook profile private, or how to assert your copyright so Facebook can’t use your images, just remember that they are rubbish. Facebook seems to find it funny, though, and has responded in a slightly humorous fashion.
The Internet.org project from Facebook has not been without controversy. Created with the aim of getting everyone in the world online, the program has been widely criticized and many partners pulled out. Now a rebranding has been unveiled for the mobile app and website.
With the launch of the Internet.org Platform, Facebook has taken the opportunity to rename the portal through which people can access a range of free services. Changing the name to Free Basics by Facebook is described as a way "to better distinguish the Internet.org initiative from the programs and services we’re providing", but it's hard not to think that it is also an attempt to move away from the controversy of Internet.org, and it comes ahead of serious push into India.
Heard of Facebook Notes? No? It's something that has been around for a while, and provides away to write longer posts, but for some reason it has been largely ignored by Facebook users. The latest update could mean that's about to change.
Seemingly looking to take on the likes of Medium and Blogger, Facebook Notes has been treated to a facelift that makes posts more attractive and introduces new customization options. While Notes used to be (understandably, to some extent) all about the text, now graphics and formatting are given greater prominence.
Photo sharing app Instagram has reached another milestone earlier this week, 400 million active monthly users.
That is 100 million more since the last update a few months ago, when Instagram surpassed Twitter. In the same time, Twitter has managed to add 25 million new users. The photo sharing app is growing at a faster rate than Facebook, but slower than Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.