Facebook came up with an interesting statistic today: 450 million people visit buy-and-sell groups on the social network each month. Realizing how much potential there is in e-commerce, Facebook decided to launch Marketplace, which is a lot like eBay.
In the next few days, Facebook users from four countries (US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand) will be receiving the Marketplace update on both Android and iOS. Once installed, the new interface will feature a shopping icon you can tap to begin buying or selling.
Enter the Marketplace, and you’ll notice how everything is neatly laid out for you. It’s just a matter of typing what you want to buy in the search bar, and filtering the results by category, location, or price. Tap on an item, and you’ll be provided with the product’s details and the seller’s profile.
Selling through Facebook’s new service is just as simple: Take a photo of the item; enter the name, description, and price; and then confirm your location and the category before posting online. Really, it’s that easy.
What’s tough is keeping tabs on all your dealings, so Facebook includes a crafty “Your Items” section to view your saved items, products you’re selling, and messages with people.
One major selling point of Facebook’s solution is that sellers must use their legitimate profile to begin transacting. The social network is known to be very stern when it comes to people using their real names, and we can now see why. Buying from mysterious sellers has always been a deterrent for consumers wanting to shop through sites like Craigslist or eBay.
Another advantage over the aforementioned competitors is how Facebook won’t be taking any cuts from transactions between users. This means you’ll be raking in the full amount you ask for. This is to be expected, however, since Facebook doesn’t offer any means to pay through Marketplace or even Messenger; you and the buyer or seller must agree on your own payment and delivery terms.
Surprisingly, a desktop version of Marketplace isn’t available yet, and will only roll out in the “coming months.” Considering how straightforward the system is, we doubt it’ll take long for the service to expand.
[irp posts=”11115″ name=”Love means more than just a like, even on Facebook”]
Twitter expands character limit to 4,000 characters
But not for everyone
Despite the traditional limitations, the platform’s users have always found a way to express themselves beyond Twitter’s character limits. Whether broken through extensive threads or third-party sites, strict limitations don’t exist anymore. Now, Twitter is essentially getting rid of the character limit by introducing its biggest expansion to date.
Announced today, Twitter will allow users to post tweets with up to 4,000 characters. That’s a gigantic leap from the original 140-character limit and the expanded 280-character limit in 2017. But, of course, some good things come with a price.
need more than 280 characters to express yourself?
we know that lots of you do… and while we love a good thread, sometimes you just want to Tweet everything all at once. we get that.
so we're introducing longer Tweets! you're gonna want to check this out. tap this 👉… https://t.co/lge9udRzLE
— Twitter Blue (@TwitterBlue) February 8, 2023
Not everyone will have access to the new feature. Currently, only Twitter Blue subscribers in the United States can create tweets of up to 4,000 characters. Besides original tweets, subscribers can also quote tweet with the same expanded limit.
Thankfully, the new feature will not inundate everyone’s feeds with an ocean of text. Any tweets going beyond 280 characters will be cut off with a “show more” prompt.
Through the past few months, the platform has changed a few fundamental elements before Musk took over. Most importantly, Twitter Blue, the platform’s paid subscription service is now much more expansive. Among other things, subscribers now get the coveted blue checkmark attached to their profiles. Now, they also get a massive boost in capabilities when it comes to tweeting.
Alibaba is working on its own ChatGPT alternative
Joins Microsoft and Google
The United States isn’t the only country interested in language learning software. After the widespread success of ChatGPT, a few other companies — including Microsoft and Google — are developing their own versions of the popular software. Today, a new contender is joining the fray. Alibaba has officially announced the development of its own chatbot.
Reported by CNBC, the Chinese giant is currently testing its alternative to ChatGPT. Unfortunately, the announcement did not come with any more details or a timeframe for its release. However, the company does assure enthusiasts that it has been working on generative AI since 2017.
Within only a few months, ChatGPT created a maelstrom of hype for language learning models. The software can generate lengthy but comprehensible essays about any topic. Though there is some debate as to how ethical it is, remarkably intelligent software is slowly finding its niche in today’s world.
To compete with ChatGPT, Microsoft and Google have announced their own software this week. Microsoft is infusing the technology into Bing and Edge. Meanwhile, Google has its own software called Bard.
Also, besides Alibaba, Chinese search engine Baidu is also testing a chatbot called “Ernie bot.” With several companies working on generative AI, the technology is undoubtedly here to stay.
Google will blur NSFW photos soon
Turned on by default
When I search for “food porn” in Google, I’m looking for enticing photos of food to whet my appetite for dinner. Sometimes, Google has other plans and shows me more than what I bargained for. Finally, the search engine is implementing a way to save us from those awkward moments. Google will soon blur explicit images from search results.
For Safer Internet Day, Google has announced the feature to help protect users from accidentally seeing graphic images — including both gore and pornography — from a search. The feature, which will start rolling out in the coming months, will turn on by default. Instead of showing the images directly, users will face the blurred version and a prompt to view the image despite the warning.
If you don’t mind an accidental shower of NSFW imagery, you can turn the feature off at any time. Alternatively, as always, users can also choose to filter out all explicit search results, blurred or otherwise.
Though the feature is easily adjustable, Google will not offer the same flexibility to supervised accounts. Any accounts supervised by a parent or a school will not be able to change how they view explicit content. Parents can add supervision to the accounts of their children.
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