Social Media

Twitter is launching its Stories-like feature worldwide

After a long beta phase

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Back in June, Twitter announced its first disappearing messages feature. Though an experiment at that point, the new feature brings the social media platform into the fold of other platforms with the same functionality. Now, after a lengthy beta period, Twitter is launching its Stories-like feature worldwide.

Previously, the feature — officially called Fleets — came first to Brazil, India, Italy, and South Korea. Fleets are now coming to other countries worldwide.

Much like Instagram or Facebook Stories, Fleets will last only for a day. The feature includes compatibility for text, photos, and videos. Twitter, like others, is a public record of one’s thoughts and opinions, oftentimes to the detriment of one’s personal life. Fleets offers a compromise, allowing temporary ways to share thoughts.

Users cannot like or retweet Fleets, placing the feature away from the pressure of accumulating engagement. Replies will fall to direct messaging, instead of public responses.

Twitter is also testing a new audio feature called Spaces. The audio feature will allow users to engage in conversations inside chatroom-like groups. The platform has not announced when the feature will finally debut.

At least, users can now enjoy Fleets. Twitter is getting an essential feature, further extending its lifespan atop networks.

SEE ALSO: Twitter’s Birdwatch is a new approach to tackle misinformation

Social Media

There’s an app that will drop Bernie Sanders anywhere in the world

Bernie and his mittens

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As the Biden administration begins, a new era of lighthearted, political memes has surfaced along with it. Compared to the heady Trump administration, the next four years of memes will certainly take on a lighter flare, much like those in the Obama administration. True enough, we’re off to a great start. Biden’s inauguration yesterday spawned the first meme: Bernie Sanders and his adorable mittens. Quick to the draw, there’s already an app which will allow you to drop Bernie Sanders anywhere on Google Maps.

The website-slash-app, created by NYU student Nick Sawhney, taps into Google Street View and superimposes Bernie Sanders’ now-iconic pose on a foldable chair anywhere you want. Naturally, since it was hastily made for the occasion, the site runs a bit slowly.

Working the site is simple: There’s a search bar where you can input addresses and locations. After searching for a location, the site automatically places Bernie somewhere in the location. Unfortunately, the app doesn’t allow users to manually place Bernie, which can end up in less-than-ideal locations.

Regardless, the new app is a quick way to generate your own Bernie memes if you don’t have Photoshop with you. Try and experiment with various locations around the country or around the world.

SEE ALSO: Twitter has permanently banned Donald Trump

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Social Media

Twitter has permanently banned Donald Trump

After violating policies even after warnings

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Yesterday, the world’s biggest social media networks finally brought their foot down against Donald Trump after Wednesday’s violent riots at the U.S. Capitol building. For example, Facebook suspended Trump’s account “indefinitely” or until Biden’s inauguration on January 20. However, Twitter suspended his account for only 12 hours. Now, after internal pressure inside the company, Twitter has permanently banned Donald Trump from the platform.

Yesterday, Twitter’s ban on Trump was comprehensive. His account was required to delete two tweets that went against the company’s terms of service. Thereafter, Trump will receive a 12-hour ban. Further, if Trump continued to violate Twitter’s policies, Twitter threatened to permanently ban the account.

Perhaps unwillingly, he complied but went back to his ways soon after the ban. According to an official Twitter post on Friday, Trump’s latest tweets after the suspension still incited violence and violated terms of service. As such, Twitter officially removed the account effective immediately. If you search for it now, Trump’s account cannot be found anymore.

Of the account’s recent tweets, one of which was a video that supposedly and finally conceded to Biden’s victory during the presidential elections in November.

Besides Twitter, Trump has also received bans and suspensions on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Shopify, and Twitch. Among them all, Twitter is definitely the personality’s biggest loss.

SEE ALSO: Twitter’s Birdwatch is a new approach to tackle misinformation

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WhatsApp now forced to share data with Facebook

No more opt-out option

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For years, Facebook has notoriously misused its users’ data, prompting several legal actions in numerous countries including the United States. However, though Facebook’s own reputation plummeted, the company’s sibling platforms got through relatively unscathed. That, unfortunately, was always going to change. Now, despite previous promises to the contrary, WhatsApp is now requiring users to share their data with Facebook.

Today, the messaging company updated its privacy policy. WhatsApp must now share all its data with other Facebook companies. This will include all identifying information including IP addresses, phone data, location data, and possibly even payment data. Naturally, this also covers the basics such as messages and contacts. As expected, WhatsApp states that the information is used only for analytic purposes.

Starting on February 8, users have no choice but to agree to the terms. There is no opt-out option. It’s either say yes or uninstall the app.

The update rolls out globally except in the European Union. The region’s stricter GDPR policies prevent internet companies from sharing their data with other parties. Unfortunately, other regions have not implemented similar policies.

Years ago, WhatsApp promised minimal data sharing between companies, marking a difference from Facebook’s more invasive policies. However, with Facebook’s renewed drive to simplify its platforms, both Instagram and WhatsApp are now drawn into Facebook’s web. Already, Facebook has simplified both apps’ messaging system into one ecosystem.

SEE ALSO: Facebook might be forced to sell Instagram and WhatsApp

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