Facebook tests a new ‘Professional’ mode for creator profiles

Dec 09, 2021 - 12:25 PM - by Reverend
Meta (formerly Facebook) today is introducing a new “Professional” mode for user profiles, designed to be used by creators looking to monetize their followings on the social network. The new mode, which is initially available to select creators in the U.S., will present creators with additional money-making opportunities and expanded insights that had been previously only available to Facebook Pages.

Among these will be the ability for creators to participate in the new Reels Play bonus program, where some creators are able to earn up to $35,000 per month based on the views for their short-form video content. However, access to this program, for the time being, is invite-only — meaning Meta will determine which creators qualify to earn bonuses.

While Meta didn’t share what other monetization options will be available in the days ahead, it did note that it will also make professional-level insights available to these creators, which are similar to what Page owners have access to. This includes access to post, audience and profile insights. For example, creators will be able to now see the total number of shares, reactions and comments that their posts have and be able to view their follower growth over time. This allows them to make better, more informed decisions about the content they post and how it resonates with their audience.

While many creators are already using Facebook profiles instead of Pages to attract fans and followers, Meta warns that others who decide to opt into this new experience will be opening themselves up to being more of a public figure on the social network. That means anyone can follow them and see the public content posted to their feed, but they’ll be able to mark posts as either public or friends-only, as you could otherwise on a private profile.

Meanwhile, creators who are using Facebook Pages will be opted into the new Pages experience instead. This will provide access to a Professional Dashboard that will serve as a central destination for admins to review the Page’s performance and access professional tools and insights, the company notes. Facebook is also testing a two-step composer on Pages. which allows creators to schedule posts and cross-post into a group.

TechCrunch
  0 Replies | 10 Views


Instagram will now tell users when to take a break from using the app

Dec 07, 2021 - 10:52 PM - by Reverend
Just a day before the head of Instagram will face questions from lawmakers over its child safety practices, the company is rolling out a handful of new features aimed at making it harder for users, particularly teenagers, to fall down rabbit holes that could be harmful to their mental health.

On Tuesday, the company launched its Take a Break tool, which will encourage users to spend some time away from the platform after they've been scrolling for a certain period. The feature, announced in September, will first come to users in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, and to all users in the months ahead.

Users can turn on the feature in "Settings" and select if they want to be alerted after using the platform for 10 minutes, 20 minutes or 30 minutes. They'll then get a full-screen alert telling them to close out of the app, suggesting they take a deep breath, write something down, check a to-do list or listen to a song.

CNN Business tested the feature ahead of launch; while it's a step in the right direction, there's still room for improvement. For example, users have to stay on the platform for one continuous session. If the app closes while you run to the bathroom or the screen turns off while you briefly browse Netflix, the timer resets. After the prompt encourages a break, the onus is on the user to resist hitting the big "done" at the bottom of the message to return to the app.

Vaishnavi J, Instagram's head of safety and well-being, said the feature is still in its early stages and will expand its functionality in 2022.

CNN
  0 Replies | 147 Views


Amazon's Prime, Ring and other apps down for thousands of users

Dec 07, 2021 - 10:49 PM - by Reverend
Several Amazon.com services including Prime Video and applications that use Amazon Web Services (AWS) were down for thousands of users in the U.S., while also impacting the company's ability to provide regular updates on the outage.

Amazon said on Tuesday the outage was related to network devices and linked to application programming interface, or API, which is a set of protocols for building and integrating application software.

"This issue is also affecting some of our monitoring and incident response tooling, which is delaying our ability to provide updates," the company said on its status dashboard.

"We are pursuing multiple mitigation paths in parallel, and have seen some signs of recovery, but we do not have an ETA for full recovery at this time."

Downdetector.com showed more than 28,000 incidents of people reporting issues with Amazon, including its namesake e-commerce website. Downdetector tracks outages by collating status reports from a number of sources, including user-submitted errors on its platform.

The outage might be affecting a larger number of users.

Other services including Amazon's Ring security cameras, mobile banking app Chime and robot vacuum cleaner maker iRobot were also facing issues according to their social media pages.

Ring said it was aware of the issue and working to resolve it, while iRobot said a major AWS outage was impacting its iRobot Home app.

Reuters
  0 Replies | 119 Views


Google’s Gmail app now lets you make voice and video calls

Dec 07, 2021 - 12:45 PM - by Reverend
One-on-one voice and video calls are now rolling out for Google Chat inside the Gmail app on iOS and Android, Google has announced. The feature was first announced in September, but as of December 6th it’s started rolling out for anyone with Google Workspace, G Suite, or personal Google accounts.

It’s previously been possible to start calls from within the Gmail app, but until now it’s involved sending an invite to a Google Meet video conferencing call, which feels excessive for a one-on-one conversation. Going forward, however, there’ll be simple phone and video icons in the top right of every one-on-one chat which can be used for calls.

It’s a simple addition, but it’s one that furthers Google’s goal of making Gmail the central hub for all its communication services. In fact, Google’s post says you’ll be redirected to the Gmail app, even if you start a call from within the Google Chat app.

The Verge
  0 Replies | 120 Views


WhatsApp now lets you set all chats to disappear by default

Dec 06, 2021 - 8:03 PM - by Reverend
WhatsApp is adding new functionality to its disappearing messages feature, which lets users set messages in a chat to automatically be deleted after a set period of time. WhatsApp says users will now have the option to turn on disappearing messages automatically for all their new one-on-one chats, so that all future messages will be automatically deleted from the service.

The Meta-owned messaging service also says it’s giving users more options for how long before a message is deleted. When the feature first launched in November last year, users only had the option of having messages disappear after seven days. Going forward, however, there will also be the option of deleting them after just 24 hours or 90 days. The new functionality was previously reported as being in development by WABetaInfo.

WhatsApp notes that turning on disappearing messages by default won’t affect existing chats. When you start a new one-on-one chat, a notice will appear to say that the disappearing messages feature is turned on, alongside a note that says it’s on by default (so your contacts don’t think it’s anything personal). You also have the option of turning the setting off for individual chats.

Although the new default setting doesn’t affect group chats, WhatsApp says it’s added a new option when creating groups to let you enable the disappearing messages feature.

WhatsApp says the new features are available now across all platforms. Instructions for how to use them3m4 can be found in WhatsApp’s FAQ.

The Verge
  0 Replies | 186 Views


Google is making its first in-house smartwatch that could launch in 2022

Dec 02, 2021 - 11:23 PM - by Reverend
Google is finally making its own in-house smartwatch that’s set to launch in 2022, according to a person familiar with the matter and a new report from Insider.

While Google has made its own smartphones for years under the Pixel line (which has since extended to other accessories, like wireless headphones), the company has never designed its own smartwatch, despite the fact that Google has had a companion wearable platform for Android since 2014.

The watch (codenamed “Rohan”) is being worked on by Google’s Pixel hardware group separately from Fitbit, which Google bought for $2.1 billion earlier this year. According to Insider’s report, the new upcoming Google watch — it’s not clear whether Google will actually be calling it a “Pixel Watch” yet — will serve much the same role as the Pixel phones do for Android: an example for both consumers and hardware partners of what Google’s software is truly capable of when given the right hardware. The device is expected to cost more than a Fitbit and compete more directly with the Apple Watch, according to The Verge’s source.

The watch will have basic fitness tracking features, including step counting and a heart rate monitor, with Google also reportedly working on debuting a Fitbit integration into Wear OS (codenamed “Nightlight”) with the new watch when it launches.

The Verge
  0 Replies | 338 Views


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