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By Jay Bonggolto
Facebook Messenger unveils emoji search bar, a new chat theme and more
by Jay Bonggolto
Facebook Messenger unveiled last week a new feature to elevate the users' emoji experience with Soundmojis, which allows you to send short sound clips over chat. The messaging service is now rolling out another capability that should make finding your favorite emojis a breeze.
Messenger has added a new search bar for emojis to let you easily look for the most appropriate reaction for your conversations. The search bar appears in the reaction picker when you long-press a chat in Messenger and then tap on the "+" sign. This helps you save time when you're in a hurry and don't have time to scroll through a long selection of emojis.
Right below the search bar is another new feature showing your recent reactions. This field should also make it easier to find your recently used emoji reactions all in a single place. Facebook says that recent reactions and the emoji search bar are rolling out worldwide.
In addition, Messenger has cooked up a new chat theme for fans of the 1996 film Space Jam and its 2021 standalone sequel. The Space Jam chat theme features Bugs Bunny in the background and a ball as the default chat emoji. The new experience is also available in Instagram's Direct Messages. While the latest features are minor changes, they nevertheless add improvements to your overall messaging experience.
By Jay Bonggolto
Oculus is making it easier to invite others to play with you, along with other features
by Jay Bonggolto
Oculus is making it easier to invite other users to play a game with you using two new options. The fresh capabilities are part of a new software update for the Quest virtual reality system that also introduces new Messenger features and security changes.
Through a new “Invite to App” button, you can select who to invite to a game or an app by sending a pop-up notification to your friends or recent teammates. The button will appear in the Quest universal menu, although it will be available only in a few compatible VR apps. The people you invite will be visible in your multiplayer session, with the ability to view and manage your teammates right from within the universal menu. The capability will be available soon in several games such as Beat Saber, Blaston, Demeo, Echo VR, ForeVR Bowl, Hyper Dash, PokerStars VR, and Topgolf with Pro Putt.
If you'd like to bring the shared experience outside the VR headset, you will soon be able to generate a link for supported games and apps and share it with others so they can join the fun. To do that, you can simply head over to the Social tab in the Oculus app and pick the VR app where you want to start a session. This update is coming to the Oculus app on iOS and Android. You will also get to decide when the invite link will expire.
Messenger, which launched on Quest earlier this year, is also getting send and read receipts as well as reactions emoji on Oculus. The browser app will also let you save and autofill your passwords as well as set an unlock pattern in the new Security Settings panel to secure those passwords. These updates will roll out soon as part of Oculus software version 31.
By Usama Jawad96
Twitter will be undergoing a brand safety audit
by Usama Jawad
Back in December 2020, Twitter announced that it will undergo an accreditation process conducted by the Media Ratings Council (MRC). This will include four areas, namely Viewability, Sophisticated Invalid Traffic Filtration, Audience Measurement, and Brand Safety. Now, Twitter has disclosed that it has finalized the scope of the last assessment from the aforementioned list, and will be undergoing an audit soon.
In the first half of this year, Twitter worked with the MRC to determine the scope, sequencing, and timing of each audit, and now it has signed an agreement for the "pre-assessment" of Brand Safety throughout the rest of the year.
In this audit, the MRC will assess if Twitter complies with the brand safety standards set by the industry, especially around displaying ads across a variety of places on the platform such as search results, user profiles, and Amplify. The pre-assessment will take several months and will ensure that Twitter is ready for the actual audit in terms of readiness of operations, processes, and methodology. If gaps are identified in terms of potential for improvement, Twitter will work to close them. The date for the audit has not been revealed yet.
Twitter has highlighted that as a founding member of the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM), it will also be engaged in improving the ad industry for the better.
In the same vein, the company will continue working with the MRC to agree on the scope of the remaining three audits. The next audit that it will be tackling is Audience Measurement. The firm has previously stated that the aim of being accredited by the MRC is to demonstrate its "enduring commitment to transparency".
By Jay Bonggolto
Twitter is testing downvote and upvote buttons for tweet replies on iOS
by Jay Bonggolto
A dislike button has been one of the most requested features on Twitter for quite a while as a way to tell the service whether a tweet is relevant or not. Last year, Twitter’s product lead Kayvon Beykpour revealed that the company was considering adding a dislike button or a downvote system.
Today, Twitter announced that it's testing a downvote and upvote system for a small group of users on iOS. The new capability appears in a few different ways on top of the usual options to interact with a reply to a tweet. For some, the upvote and downvote buttons show up as up and down arrows, thumbs up and thumbs down, or a heart icon and a down arrow.
The micro-blogging platform said the new system is designed to gauge the types of tweet replies people like on Twitter. It also clarified that downvotes won't be shown to the public while upvotes will appear as likes. This means that downvotes won't trigger notifications and will be visible only to the user whose tweet reply is being downvoted. On the other hand, notifications for upvotes will show up in the Likes tab.
Contrary to popular assumption, however, Twitter's new experimental system isn't quite similar to a dislike button. The company said that the test is only part of its research to determine what type of reply seems to be irrelevant to a conversation.
Votes will also not affect the order of replies. Unlike in Reddit where votes alter the position of replies in a conversation, Twitter's implementation does not have the same impact on tweet replies. That said, this isn't the only tweet interaction that Twitter has been testing; in May, the platform was spotted experimenting with tweet reactions.
By Fiza Ali
Instagram introduces a new translation tool that supports over 90 languages
by Fiza Ali
Instagram has released a new feature that comes with the capability of automatically translating foreign texts in Stories. Now, users will be able to see translations of over 90 languages including Portuguese, Japanese, Hindi, and Arabic with the latest translation tool. This is one of the numerous steps that Instagram has taken to make the app more inclusive.
Recently, Instagram also got content sensitivity controls that enable users to moderate the content in their Explore section, added more safety measures for kids so that they can have a safer experience on the app, and introduced additional safety tools that are capable of filtering out offensive DMs. Along with these improvements, the app also added pronouns to be displayed on user profiles.
Now, with the translation tool, whenever users open a Story, they will be given a "See Translation" prompt if the app identifies a foreign language. They will be able to click the option to see text in their native language. However, based on the operating system being utilized, support for some languages might differ.
The enhancement will be available for users across the globe. But for now, it only works with text and we'll have to wait and see if it'll be able to generate translations for audio in the future as well.
Source and image: Engadget