Social Media

Facebook kills App Invites, the native app Like button and other dev features

Facebook kills App Invites, the native app Like button and other dev features

It’s been a while since my Facebook notifications feed was filled to the brim with invites to play FarmVille, but I’ve been reminded every so often at how awful those times were. It seems that tool for growing an app’s audience is not long for this world as Facebook has announced that App Invites, alongside a bunch of other developer integrations, will be sunsetting over the next few months.

These features, which also include the Native Like Button, App Links Host, Comment Mirroring, Send Button, Sharing Insights and Follow Button products, are going to be shut down February 6 “in order for [Facebook] to build new products for [their] developer community.”

With Facebook’s 4.28 SDK version, App Invites are done and there doesn’t seem to immediately be another replacement coming for developers who relied on the tool. Comment mirroring is another feature getting the boot, if you had it enabled. It allowed Facebook comments to appear on pieces of content offsite that used the plug-in; now those comments will only live on the big FB itself.

The Sharing Insights tab lived inside Facebook Analytics and has previously been a pretty significant way for Page admins to get their hands on some of the more broad trends regarding demographics of users that were sharing their content.

The Native Like Button for Android and iOS mobile apps allowed companies to hop into people’s Facebook feeds without even requiring them to leave the site or app they were on. Now alongside the loss of widgets like the Follow Button it seems like Facebook is done giving away freebies and wants companies and organizations to think of their Facebook page as their central home and treat it accordingly.

One trend from many of these features is that Facebook is paring down the connection between its site and the web at large as many of these products sought to enrich outside experience and may only be detracting from core experiences buried inside Facebook at this moment. These features are living on for 90 days, but no longer.

Published at Thu, 16 Nov 2017 21:05:29 +0000

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Twitter confirms it’s testing a new ‘tweetstorm’ feature for lengthy rants

Twitter confirms it’s testing a new ‘tweetstorm’ feature for lengthy rants

Sometimes, tweets just need more than 280 characters to get the point across and composing a tweet series to achieve that purpose might be getting simpler in the future.  Twitter recently confirmed the test of a feature that allows users to compose tweet series or a “tweetstorm” and then post them all at once without manually numbering the series. The option was spotted inside the app by a developer in September and Twitter confirmed the option is being tested on both Android and iOS apps.

In September, an Android developer sent screenshots of the feature to The Next Web’s Matt Navarra, who tweeted the photos of the hidden feature. The option appears to accommodate the popular tweet storm or tweet series by allowing users to create the individual tweets in-app. While the tweet series is a popular way of getting around the character limit that has since gone up to 280, currently users have to manually type their post into multiple numbered tweets or in replies to the original. In the screenshots of the hidden feature, the platform appears to allow users to create a series, then post them all at once.

Social media platforms typically test a feature before a global rollout, and not all of those features make it through testing, which means it’s too early to say whether or not the tool will see a global rollout. With Twitter’s recent change to allow 280 characters, support for the longer format users have been creating manually for years wouldn’t be a surprising addition.

Twitter’s character limit is one of the social media network’s defining features, but it also limits the types of posts that can be shared on the platform. While that number was 140 characters since the launch of the platform, Twitter doubled that limit a few weeks ago. The longer posts come after Twitter changed the rules for what’s included in those numbers, with photos, GIFs, polls and quoted Tweets no longer applying toward that limit, and neither do usernames in replies.

While the character limit means that the social media platform isn’t ideal for crafting longer posts, it’s also what makes Twitter, Twitter. Just like Instagram has kept the “Insta” by not allowing users to schedule posts, the character limit, while twice the original, keeps the Twitter feed uniform and encourages brevity.

Update: Included Twitter’s confirmation of the testing.

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Published at Fri, 17 Nov 2017 20:25:30 +0000

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Dril, Twitter's weirdest hero, just got doxxed — and the internet is sad

Dril, Twitter's weirdest hero, just got doxxed — and the internet is sad

It me.
It me.
Image: Gareth Cattermole /Getty Images

The internet can be a disturbing, sad place. It takes a special kind of hero to remind us that its darkest corners can also be filled with joy. That hero is @dril, an embodiment of so-called “weird Twitter” who has — like some kind of joke-slinging caped crusader — remained an anonymous beacon of shining light. 

Anonymous until yesterday, that is. That’s right, someone went ahead and doxxed him, and the internet is really bummed about it. 

While we won’t reveal his name here, it turns out someone posted dril’s alleged identity to Tumblr, and the internet immediately facepalmed straight into a “this is why we can’t have nice things” spiral. 

Essentially, people are OK with a little mystery in the world. And, shockingly, the kind of Twitter user that loves accounts like dril’s is also ready to defend them at a moment’s notice. 

The entire ordeal calls to mind the big 2013 reveal that alleged Twitter bot Horse_ebooks was actually run by humans. That was a sad, sad day. Turns out some things are better left unsaid. 

As it is, however, we can expect every last bit of joy and mystery to be wrung out of the internet before the sun explodes and takes us all with it. Everything happens so much, and all that. 

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Published at Fri, 17 Nov 2017 21:40:04 +0000

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