Social Media

Twitter rolls out soft block feature for everyone

Remove those followers

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Being a social media platform, Twitter can get its fair share of toxic followers and commenters. Though the platform has always had a block feature, sometimes the toxicity can come from people we know but not necessarily dislike. Perhaps in response to an imminent need to control our feeds much more reliably, Twitter has launched a soft block feature for everyone using the platform.

As the name suggests, the new soft block feature won’t be as harsh as a total block. A complete block prevents users from seeing your content or messaging you directly. Ultimately, minus creating a new account, it completely burns off a bridge from toxic users.

On the other hand, Twitter’s new soft block feature just removes the user from your followers list. As a result, the said user won’t see your posts anymore on their feeds.

To soft block a user, go to your list of followers, click on the three-dotted icon beside the user you want to block, then select “Remove this follower.”

However, since it isn’t a hard block, soft-blocked users can still follow your account again. Similarly, they can still view your content or message you directly without needing to follow again. (Then again, if someone is that dedicated to toxicity, a hard block might be a better solution.)

The new feature is available for all users starting today.

SEE ALSO: Twitter starts rolling out more emoji reactions

Apps

TikTok wants to get into streaming with TikTok Live Studio

Ongoing experiment rolls out to few thousand users

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Everyone’s getting into streaming these days. Since the pandemic started, people at home have figured out more ways to either make money or keeping themselves entertained while at home. As such, streaming platforms — like Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook Gaming — erupted in popularity. Everyone, including platforms themselves, wants to get into the lucrative industry. As confirmed by a new experiment, TikTok is joining that growing group.

Spotted by streaming news reporter Zach Bussey, TikTok has quietly released its own streaming platform called TikTok Live Studio. Currently still in an experimental phase, the software allows TikTok users to broadcast apps and games to TikTok.

If you’re familiar with streaming software, TikTok’s software has the same functions. It allows users to monitor their chat, set up scenes, and control streaming quality options. Users can stream in portrait, landscape, or from their mobile device.

The report states that the software shares the same code as OBS, one of the most popular streaming software available today. In essence, it’s an OBS fork.

OBS is open-source and available for other software companies to use or customize. However, the developer still requires other companies to comply with certain guidelines. Ben Torell, an OBS developer, said that the current state of TikTok Live Studio does not comply with those guidelines and is, therefore, an illegal fork of OBS. Just last month, Streamlabs, another popular software, was found guilty of doing the same.

TikTok Live Studio is still experimental. The company rolled the software out to only a few thousand users in a few countries for testing. Though it does not portray what TikTok streaming might look like, it shows that TikTok is taking the huge market seriously.

SEE ALSO: TikTok overtakes YouTube in hours watched

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News

Messenger is adding a bill-splitting feature for friends

Plus a few new features

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Splitting bills sucks. Of course, paying equal parts is a satisfying conclusion to a shared meal. But figuring out how much that equal part is can become torture especially for those who never liked math. Some apps have already added new features which can automatically split bills for groups. Given how useful the feature is, there’s no harm in having another app that can do the same thing. Facebook has confirmed that Messenger is getting bill-splitting soon.

Facebook is testing the new feature in the United States for now. If you’re in a group chat, users can now divide a bill among other members, pay the bill from the app, and see who hasn’t paid their share yet.

For a while now, Messenger included more ecommerce features for the platform. For example, users can already send money straight from the app. Introducing a feature to split a bill does make sense, given what the platform can already do.

Besides the ecommerce feature, Messenger is also adding more customization features for video calls made in Messenger and on Instagram. Both parties can now mutually have effects applied to themselves. Finally, Messenger is adding “soundmojis” or what is essentially an audio-based emoji.

Facebook hasn’t announced when the features will debut in other territories outside of the United States.

SEE ALSO: Facebook is launching messaging between Messenger and Instagram

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Security

Facebook will force at-risk users to use two-factor authentication

As part of its Protect program

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Compromised accounts are now a part of our daily lives. Every week, more and more of our personal accounts get involved in potential attacks. As such, several platforms always encourage us to change our passwords especially when the account is involved in a massive breach. Now, with more security options available to us, sites can encourage us to do much more. Reflecting this, Facebook will soon force potentially compromised accounts to implement two-factor authentication.

The platform’s Protect program detects individuals in a higher risk of having their account compromised. It can help activists, politicians, celebrities, journalists, and public figures to save their accounts before attacks happen. As part of that program, Facebook will start forcing members of the program to implement the additional safety feature as soon as possible. The new policy will start rolling out all over the world in the coming months.

Two-factor authentication involves using an authentication app — like Google’s Authenticator — to access the app right after inputting the account’s password. Nowadays, a password is already an inadequate way to protect an account. Though the program will force compromised accounts to use the security feature, it is still recommended for everyone to use two-factor authentication to protect their accounts.

SEE ALSO: Facebook terminates Facial Recognition from platform

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