Social Media

Facebook is developing its own smartwatch

Slated for a 2021 launch

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After purchasing the Oculus, Facebook subtly presented its plan to go beyond its massive social media network. Currently, Facebook’s Oculus is already one of the more recognizable devices in the virtual reality industry. Apparently, the company isn’t done expanding. According to a rumor, Facebook is developing its own smartwatch slated for a release later this year.

According to The Information, sources within Facebook have confirmed development of an upcoming smartwatch from the company. Obviously, the watch’s software will work heavily with Facebook’s services. However, it will run on Google’s Wear OS. For future iterations, Facebook is still trying to develop its own software.

Unfortunately, the report does not reveal what type of smartwatch it is. Since the company already has Oculus in its repertoire, Facebook can definitely build its own wearable.

Besides the rumored smartwatch, Facebook is also working on its own smart glasses. The company is truly expanding its device ecosystem. However, amid Facebook’s ongoing privacy and information issues, users might find it difficult to adopt Facebook’s ecosystem. Currently, Facebook is in a subtle war against Apple over user privacy. Lately, the latter promised more transparency for users as to how apps use their user’s data.

SEE ALSO: Facebook blasts Apple’s policy, uses misleading info

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Yahoo Answers will permanently shut down on May 4

The end of an era

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Launched as a knowledge-sharing platform in 2005, Yahoo Answers was a popular destination on the internet where you could find the most bizarre questions with equally insane answers. But starting April 20, it’ll be available in read-only mode, meaning you can’t ask or answer anything new.

And on May 4, the website will shut down entirely. In a note, Yahoo admits that the platform had become less popular over the years, prompting the company to shift its resources to other growth products.

It’s not very surprising because Yahoo Answers feels like a museum now. The service was top-rated at launch, but its shine faded as users started flocking other web portals like Google and social networking became the new buzzword. It also lost importance amid a host of new specialized services like Quora, which offered a far better ecosystem for Q&A content.

If you were an active Yahoo Answers user and want to get a copy of your content, you can request to download all the text or images you’ve posted to the service until June 30. You won’t be given other people’s questions or answers, however.

However, it’s unlikely you’d want to download a copy of your content. It’s a widely known fact that Yahoo Answers had lost its serious charm rather quickly and was filled to the brim with content that made no sense. The platform was a hotspot for college kids to crack jokes, ask extremely naive or irritating questions, and annoy others by posting irrelevant text or images. In the end, the site was a Buzzfeed writer’s paradise.

The biggest challenges of maintaining Q&A sites are — misinformation, trolls, manipulation, and even flame wars. Yahoo used to be a very busy portal a decade ago but has now lost its dominance to Google. Now that netizens have fled to better search engines, portals, and email services, Yahoo has a plethora of old products waiting in line for the disconnection.

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Twitter is experimenting with emoji reactions

Following Facebook?

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Over the past year, Twitter has tried adopting features from other social networks, expanding what the platform can do. Already, the company is pondering on a premium subscription system, mimicking the success of popular creator services OnlyFans and Patreon. Now, Twitter is potentially adding a well-known feature from Facebook, emoji reactions.

Spotted by TechCrunch, Twitter is conducting some surveys on what the perfect emoji reaction will be. Some examples include a heart react, a laughing emoji, and a sad react. Currently, Facebook has the same system, allowing users to react in different ways to posts. If Twitter pushes through with the experiment, it will follow Facebook’s footsteps.

Echoing the report, Twitter has officially confirmed that the experiments are truly ongoing. According to a statement sent to The Verge, Twitter is hoping to share more details about the upcoming feature soon.

At its most basic form, the upcoming emoji reactions feature will expand how users can react to tweets by adding a downvote option, much like how Reddit or YouTube handles comments.

Unfortunately, doing so will likely add an extra element of anxiety for Twitter users. Instead of just worrying about how many likes or retweets a tweet gets, users might soon have to worry about what type of reactions that a tweet gets.

SEE ALSO: Twitter is working on an undo tweet button

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Instagram is releasing an Instagram Lite version soon

Rolling out globally

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Despite dropping data plans, Instagram is still one of the most data-heavy apps for smartphone users. If you’re commuting, the photo-sharing app is a definite no-no. Thankfully, the days of Instagram-less commutes are over. Announced by its parent company Facebook, Instagram is releasing a Lite version soon.

As expected, the Lite version takes up less space and will consume less data. According to the post, the new Android app will only go up to 2MB. To consume less data, Instagram Lite will take out the more data-heavy features like AR filters and transitions. The app will also have an inherent dark mode.

Instagram Lite will roll out to 170 countries worldwide. Unfortunately, the company did not enumerate which countries will receive the new app. However, the app will certainly roll out to countries with less than favorable data conditions. For example, the company has already tested the app in India, Tel Aviv, and Brazil.

Regardless, the app is still a huge help for commuters all over the world. With the app, more users can keep up with everyone’s feeds and photos. Besides Instagram, other platforms — like Facebook — have also released Lite versions of their apps.

If you’re in a data-constricted country, you might enjoy the app soon.

SEE ALSO: Instagram is making a Vertical Stories feed

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