Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, and Twitch bans Donald Trump

Plus other platforms

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If you haven’t turned on the news for the past few days, you’ll find a shocking motif: America burning. Yesterday, pro-Trump protestors terrorized the U.S. Capitol building in hopes of preventing President-elect Joe Biden’s certification as the next president of the United States. Though the coup failed, all fingers pointed towards Donald Trump as the main instigator for the violent events. True enough, Trump took to his social media accounts and spread controversial statements. Finally getting fed up, Facebook, Twitter, and Twitch bans Donald Trump indefinitely.

Late Wednesday, Twitter kicked off the Trump ban after some inflammatory tweets that the latter refused to take down even after repeated warnings from the platform. Twitter banned the personality for only 12 hours after removing the posts. However, the platform also warns that further violations against its terms of service will result in a more permanent ban.

Afterwards, Facebook, a platform notoriously lax towards Trump’s statements, also blocked Trump for 24 hours for violations against its own policies. However, soon after the announcement, Facebook’s Zuckerberg ramped up the suspension “indefinitely,” or at least until Biden’s inauguration on January 20.

Naturally, Facebook’s indefinite ban also covers Instagram. Though his accounts are still up, Trump is forbidden from making any further posts for the time being.

Besides the two giants, other platforms have also banned him, including Snapchat and Twitch.

SEE ALSO: Facebook is now banning COVID-19 vaccine misinformation

Social Media

WhatsApp introduces voice and video calls on desktop

Update rolling out now

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Since the pandemic, telecommuting software has turned into one of the hottest tools you’ll need today. With everyone working from home, everyone needs a good way to communicate with others in the office. However, amid the rise of Zoom and Google Meet, one popular communication app has not joined in on the fun: WhatsApp. According to a new update, that’s rapidly changing. WhatsApp is introducing voice and video calls on desktop.

Compared to other apps, WhatsApp has quickly ascended into one of the most popular mobile communication tools. However, the app has never adopted a desktop version, outside of text messaging.

In the recently announced update, WhatsApp has started rolling out the update for its desktop users. (At the time of this writing, I already have the update on my laptop.)

Further, the update is optimized for any orientation. The desktop app can easily adapt to portrait or landscape orientations.

In terms of security, WhatsApp promises that the calls are end-to-end encrypted. The company is supposedly unable to listen in on calls on its end.

After the update, WhatsApp has also stated that it is working on a next one featuring group voice and video calls. Currently, the desktop update is only eligible for one-on-one calls. Still, it’s a useful feature for all users.

SEE ALSO: WhatsApp delays roll-out of new privacy policy until May

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Apps

Facebook unveils BARS, a TikTok-like app for rappers

Builiding a community dedicated for rappers

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Facebook has launched a new platform called BARS and it’s specially made for rappers. What’s its unique selling point? Unlike TikTok, BARS does not focus on transitions and lip-syncing to make content.

The app will allow budding rappers to focus on the lyrics rather than investing their time on expensive equipment and studios. You can choose from a wide array of premade beats, which can be leveraged by the rapper with their own lyrics and effects.

It also has a Challenge mode, wherein users can perform freestyle rap while incorporating auto-suggested lyrics. Aspiring rappers can just focus on the lyrics and record themselves to these beats. In addition, the app helps rappers finetune their craft as well with the help of auto-suggested rhymes while the user is writing.

BARS will let you select your rap experience level upon sign-up: Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced. The Beginner selection will provide a handy auto-rhyme dictionary to help kickstart your experience. Advanced rappers get the Freestyle mode with several words to create an instantaneous rap.

Once users finish recording their videos in the app, they can share them across various social media outlets. The app has a TikTok-like feed where the discoverability is maximum. The app also promises “studio quality vocal effects,” including actual AutoTune.

After creating the videos, you can save them to your camera roll and share them on other social media platforms. For now, only a small number of iOS users can download the app in the US. Interested users can also sign up for the waitlist in the app.

BARS Community Manager DJ Iyer revealed in a blogpost that the Coronavirus pandemic has been one of the major reasons behind the creation of the app. “I know access to high-priced recording studios and production equipment can be limited for aspiring rappers. On top of that, the global pandemic shut down live performances where we often create and share our work,” he Iyer added.

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Social Media

Twitter teases a premium Super Followers system

Plus, a Facebook Groups-like feature

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Compared to other social media networks, Twitter has a simpler system: character-limited tweets amplified by a hashtag system. However, as we know now, several networks have already dipped their fingers into other cookie jars, adopting features from one another. For example, practically every network now has a disappearing TikTok feature. Trying to catch up with its rivals, Twitter is working on more features including its own Facebook Groups and a Super Followers system.

First of all, Twitter teased its upcoming Communities feature. As the name says, the feature will function similar to Facebook Groups. Users can discover other users with the same interests and demographics. According to some examples shared by Twitter, Communities can revolve around a simple hashtag (like #SocialJustice) or more robust topics (like Crazy for Cats). Additionally, Twitter says that communities can implement more rules besides its own terms of service.

Currently, Twitter users can do the same thing by following topics. However, the Communities feature will emphasize Twitter’s user aspect.

On the other hand, Twitter’s upcoming Super Followers system takes a page from the freemium models popularized by Patreon and OnlyFans. Much like the mentioned platforms, Twitter personalities can offer their premium content for a monthly subscription price. On the flip side of things, Super Followers will get their own badge and exclusive access to premium tweets and content.

Right now, Twitter is still planning different business models for both Communities and Super Followers. The company has not announced when testing for the features will commence.

SEE ALSO: Twitter is launching its Stories-like feature worldwide

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