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By Jefferson Mangubat
Facebook unveils 'Drives' to help gather basic necessities for people in need
by Jefferson Mangubat
Facebook is launching a couple of new initiatives meant to help those in need. One of these efforts is called "Drives", a new way for people in the U.S. to gather food, clothing, and other basic needs for people who need them.
Drives is starting to roll out in the U.S. today and it will be live for all users in the country over the coming days.The new feature will be available via Facebook's Community Help center, where Facebook streamlines information about recent crises and provides quick access to crisis response services such as Safety Check and fundraisers. The center was introduced in 2017 and was later refreshed to provide users accurate and real-time information on COVID-19.
With the new feature, Facebook is letting users create and share efforts for collecting items such as a Canned Food Drive that seeks to gather food for local shelters. To create a Drive, you can go to Facebook's Community Help and click the “Request or Offer Help” button.
In addition to Drives, Facebook announced that it will match up to $7 million in eligible donations to nonprofits in the U.S. as part of the GivingTuesday event on December 1. Meanwhile, Instagram will soon add new fundraising tools designed to help users create and share nonprofit fundraisers directly within their feed. All donations will be processed via Facebook Pay and all proceeds will go to the recipient nonprofits.
WhatsApp's disappearing messages are now available for everyone, here's how you can use it
by Anmol Mehrotra
Earlier this month, WhatsApp officially announced the Disappearing Messages feature for all its users. The feature allow users to send messages that will self-destruct after a predefined period of time. At the time, WhatsApp noted that the feature will start rolling out in November and now the company has completed the rollout, making the feature available to all the WhatsApp users.
If you are interested in trying out Disappearing Messages then you can follow the steps below:
Open WhatsApp and select a contact. Click on the three dots on the top right corner and select 'View contact' Select 'Disappearing Messages' Select 'On' to turn on Disappearing Messages feature The Disappearing Messages feature is available for WhatsApp web users as well. They can follow the aforementioned steps on both the web and desktop app to enable or disable the Disappearing Messages feature.
Once enabled, the other party will receive a message notifying them that the feature has been turned on. Earlier this month, WhatsApp published an FAQ page that shed light on the feature. Notably, WhatsApp's Disappearing Messages feature will delete all the messages seven days after they were sent. WhatsApp, however, notes that users can still copy or take a screenshot of the message to save it so it should be used with trusted contacts only. Furthermore, the feature will work with media files as well but if auto-download is enabled then media files will be saved to the gallery even if the corresponding message is deleted from the WhatsApp chat.
The Disappearing Messages feature is available for Android, iOS, KaiOS, Web, and Desktop users. Unfortunately, WhatsApp users cannot define a time duration after which messages will be deleted. However, it is possible that the Facebook-owned firm improves the feature in the future by adding the ability to select a custom duration for the expiration of the messages.
By Jay Bonggolto
Instagram is letting you search for posts using keywords
by Jay Bonggolto
Instagram is changing the way you search for posts on its platform. The photo and video sharing service is starting to surface relevant content when you look for posts using keywords.
Prior to this update, you could only search for hashtags or account names. It was a longtime limitation that restricted the way you discover content on Instagram since it won't surface photos or videos that did not contain the hashtags you were trying to find, for instance.
With the latest change, you can search for content that matches your keywords regardless of whether it contains relevant hashtags or not. Instagram's new algorithm considers various factors such as when you shared the post, the caption, and the photo or video being shown. In addition, the service relies on machine learning to surface “the highest quality content that’s relevant to you.”
There are some restrictions to the type of content you can find, however. For example, Instagram won't let you search for terms like "QAnon" or content related to politicians like Donald Trump or Joe Biden. That said, you can still look for their profile names. Instagram noted that its new search tool is limited only to general topics and keywords that obey its community guidelines.
Source: The Verge
Facebook begins rolling out new design for Messenger Kids
by João Carrasqueira
Facebook's messaging app for children, aptly called Messenger Kids, is getting a significant update starting today. The update brings a brand-new look for the app, but availability is pretty limited for now - only iPhone users in the United States and Canada will see it, though Facebook plans to expand to more countries and devices in the coming months.
The new app brings some notable changes, starting with a tabbed design for the inbox, with Chat and Explore tabs allowing children to switch between conversations and other activities like games. The Chat tab also now brings the most recent conversations to the top, and it's now possible to see message and media previews without opening the chat. Additionally, it's now possible to swipe on a conversation in the inbox to start a call with the user in question.
Another new feature, which has been in the main Messenger app for some time, is the ability to choose different colors for the chat bubbles in a conversation.
Aside from the new looks, the app is the same as before, with the same parental controls that allow parents to keep an eye on their children's activities on the platform. Parents can manage their kids' contacts and see media shared recently in their chats, as well as delete anything potentially inappropriate. The kid-oriented app has no ads or in-app purchases, and it doesn't automatically create a Facebook profile for the child now or in the future.
By Jay Bonggolto
Facebook Messenger now lets you send disappearing chats with Snapchat-inspired feature
by Jay Bonggolto
Facebook is taking a page from Snapchat's book anew with a fresh update that's rolling out to Messenger and Instagram. The company announced today that you can now send disappearing chats on its messaging app with Vanish Mode.
The new capability was first unveiled in September when Facebook introduced cross-platform messaging for Messenger and Instagram. It's designed to let you send disappearing texts, images, emoji, and stickers when these are viewed by the recipient or when you close a chat window.
To turn on Vanish Mode, you can simply swipe up on your phone screen in a current conversation. You can also swipe up again in order to return to your regular chat experience.
The feature works only with people you're connected to and it gives you the choice whether you'd also like to enter Vanish Mode with someone. In addition, you will receive a notification when a contact takes a screenshot of your ephemeral chat. It also supports the option to block or report a chat.
Today's release comes more than a week after WhatsApp detailed how its own ephemeral chat feature would work when it goes live for all. For now, Vanish Mode is available only for Messenger users in the U.S. and a few other territories, with more regional expansion set in the future. It's also coming to Instagram in the U.S. soon, though you'll have to switch to Messenger's cross-platform experience in order to use it.