Facebook is introducing support for sending and receiving money through Messenger. Starting in the US in the next few months, users of the social network will be able to make electronic payments free of charge. While this is not a service that will rival the likes of Apple Pay or PayPal, it provides a way to quickly send money to a friend.
This is not a payment system that has been completely built from the ground up. It's based on the same backbone that's used to process payments for gamers and advertisers. Security is understandably of paramount importance, and Facebook stresses that as well as encryption and PIN protection for all, iOS users will also be able to take advantage of Touch ID.
Facebook has updated its Community Standards document, outlining the type of content that is not permitted on the social network. When it's not forcing people to reveal their real names, blocking 'offensive' content, or encouraging users to vote, Facebook is often to be found removing content that has been reported for one reason or another. But what's acceptable, and what's not?
The chances of getting a new Windows 10 build this week are starting to look a little thin, but releases are going to be made available more frequently. Writing on Twitter, Gabe Aul said that "we've decided to try to increase pace of Fast", promising that more details would be forthcoming.
Earlier in the week, Aul responded to complaints that new builds were not appearing fast enough, joking that a new release ring called Ludicrous Speed was being considered. Now we've learned that "a good build candidate with some new features" is very close to release.
Facebook is often a breeding ground for controversy. When it's not being used as platform for mindless idiots to air their dirty laundry, the social network is busy upsetting people for one reason or another. We've had censorship of one sort or another. We've had the debacle surrounding the requirement to use a real name and opening up of custom gender options.
If you're the sort of person who likes to express the way you're feeling through the medium of emoji rather than words, you may well have used Facebook's built in 'I am feeling...' feature. Feeling excited? Don’t type it, just select a starry-eyed smiley. But following a Change.org petition, you can no longer select a predefined option to indicate that you feel fat. Why? Because Mark Zuckerberg is completely spineless.
A former Google engineer revealed on Twitter this weekend that she suffered sexual harassment whilst working at the company. In a series of tweets, Kelly Ellis said that not only had she been sexually harassed by a male colleague, but that her promotion through the company had been effectively curtailed because she would have been in a position that meant reporting to her harasser.
There is more than a hint of irony at the timing of the revelation. Google would much prefer to be seen encouraging women into technology but Ellis -- who worked on the Google+ team -- dismisses this as nothing more than "PR bullshit". She also says that she was let down by co-workers who failed to back her up.
Like just about any online service, Facebook has a huge number of dead and dormant accounts. It could be that the owner has died, they might have lost interest, or they may be spam accounts that are no longer used. Facebook is now having a spring clean, sweeping aside inactive accounts, and this could have an interesting side effect for page owners.
Accounts that have been purposely deactivated, or memorialized after a death, are currently still factored into the 'like' count for pages. This is set to change, so many page owners should brace themselves for a sudden drop in likes over the coming weeks.
It just became a whole lot easier to embed Twitter-hosted videos on websites. A newly launched widget makes it possible to add the video from a tweet to a website without the need to embed the entire tweet. It's a neat-looking solution that makes it simple to embed videos without unnecessary, distracting page furniture.
It works in just the same way as embedding an entire tweet, and it provides a way for Twitter to drive traffic back to its own site rather than other video services, whilst simultaneously making life easier for embedders and helping to pull in followers from other sites.
As the manager of a small business or an entrepreneur just starting out, you should always be on the lookout for anything that can improve your productivity, time management, organization, and ultimately make day to day tasks easier to manage.
It can be hard enough trying to run things in the office without also having to worry about your online presence. But like it or not, today’s business needs an online presence in order to ultimately succeed, or at least remain competitive.
It's fair to say that of all of the social networks there are to choose from, Google+ is one that has failed to set the world on fire. Facebook may annoy users from time to time but it dominates the social web, and Twitter has carved out a healthy niche for itself as well. But Google is, uncharacteristically, unwilling to give up on Google+ just yet.
In what seems to be an attempt to breathe new life into a flagging product line, Vice President of Google, Bradley Horowitz is taking control. Interestingly he is not looking after Google+ as a whole, just a couple of its branches. Announcing the news, he said that the recent rumors surrounding Google+ splitting up are true.
Facebook found itself under fire last year for imposing a real name policy. Drag artists, the LGBT community, musicians and other groups were among those who felt they should be able to use a name other than the one that appears on their birth certificate. The social network ultimately backed down, but the whole debacle left something of a bad taste in the mouth.
People are able to use "the authentic name they use in real life" to identify themselves on the site, and Facebook has opened up gender options further. There's no need to feel limited by the male or female labels, or even make a selection from a readymade list -- you can now specify whatever gender you want. But is this enough?
Like many social platforms, Twitter is often used by trolls to launch abusive attacks on people. It's something that Twitter has tried to tackle before, but now the company is stepping up its game. Having already made it easier to report abusive tweets, the same tools are being rolled out to simplify the reporting of content relating to impersonation, self-harm and doxing.
Dick Costolo had already promised that Twitter was ready to get tough on harassment, and now we know what he meant. The size of the team handling reports about abuse has been tripled, and this means that five times as many reported tweets are to be investigated.
A few months ago Twitter was criticized for teaming up with suicide prevention charity Samaritans to automatically monitor for key words and phrases that could indicate that someone was struggling to cope with life. Despite the privacy concerns that surrounded Samaritans Radar, Facebook has decided that it is going to launch a similar venture for Compassion Research Day in a bid to prevent suicides.
Working with mental health organizations including mental health organizations Forefront, Now Matters Now, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Save.org, Facebook aims to provide greater help and support for anyone considering suicide or self-harm.
If you want to post naked pictures or videos of people on Reddit without their consent, you only have a couple of weeks to do so. As of March, the site is imposing a ban on content of an explicit nature that the subject has not given permission to be posted.
The cleanup of the site comes hot on the heels of news from Google that explicit content will be banned from Blogger. It also comes in the wake of last year’s Fappening which saw a glut of naked celebrity photos leaked online.
Many prominent groups and figures have given their backing to the fight for net neutrality. Today Twitter reveals why it supports the proposals put forward by the FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, just a few days ahead of a vote that will decide whether they will be adopted by the FCC. The aim is to "protect the open Internet as a place for innovation and free expression".
Twitter's public policy manager, Will Carty, says that protecting the open architecture of the internet is essential for the US to remain competitive and to allow freedom of speech. He says that providing a voice to those who would not otherwise have a platform is at the heart of Twitter, and this is just one of the reasons for supporting the net neutrality proposals.
There are many things that Facebook finds itself accused of on a regular basis. Unfairness to different groups, censorship of content, insensitivity, and endless problems surrounding its attitude to privacy and handling of user data. It seems that concerns about privacy were well-founded as a new report finds that the social network violated European law. Analysis carried out by the Belgian Privacy Commission and ICRI/CIR says that Facebook breaks the law in Europe in a number of ways. As well as placing too many expectations on users to be able to change settings for themselves.
Facebook is also accused of failing to give people the ability opt out of certain privacy-invading features. Back in January, Facebook made some changes to its privacy policies and also introduced simplified documentation. The report found that rather than cleaning up its act, Facebook merely highlighted some of its old, existing practices. The social network is criticized for its "complex web of settings", for failing to explain what is meant when users are told that their data will be used "for advertising purposes", and for not allowing people to opt out of Sponsored Stories and location sharing.