Facebook handed over info on those Russia-linked ads under a search warrant

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There’s more to the $100,000 in ads that Facebook sold to a Russian propaganda company. 

Special counsel and former FBI Director Robert Mueller obtained a search warrant that forced Facebook to hand over the ads it sold to a company known for pro-Kremlin propaganda, as well as information about them. The Wall Street Journal first reported that Facebook gave up the ads, and CNN later added it was because Mueller obtained a warrant. 

Facebook first admitted to the dealings with the pro-Kremlin interest under testimony to Congressional intelligence committees last week. Without a warrant, however, Facebook didn’t have to actually turn over the ads or relevant records to Congress. Read more…

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Facebook will soon let you "snooze" annoying people and pages

You know that you’re using Facebook the right way if you have a ton of friends on there, have liked a million pages, and are constantly getting annoyed by someone or something while scrolling your feed. Fret not, however, for the Zuck has your back!

Facebook may soon introduce a “snooze” button that will essentially be the same as unfollowing someone, or a group, but only temporarily – for a day, a week, or a month. The company has confirmed for TechCrunch that the feature is currently being tested by a small number of people, but there’s no word yet …

Facebook is testing the waters with a new "Instant Videos" feature

We’ve known for a while that Facebook is aiming to become a “video-first” platform in the future, and it’s already making the first steps. TechCrunch reports that an experimental feature called “Instant Videos” has gone live for some users on mobile.

Instant Videos is similar to Facebook’s Instant Articles, in that it aims to load content faster, and works similarly to how Spotify and other music streaming services cache songs that you’ve played for offline listening. What Instant Videos does, is that it downloads, or caches, videos to your device …

Facebook and Instagram go down on Saturday morning

Facebook, and Instagram, one of the messaging apps it purchased years ago, were both down on Saturday morning and afternoon. Instagram users are joining those Facebook subscribers who cannot log into their accounts, or are having other problems. A quick test shows both services are now up and running in South Florida. Facebook has issued a statement this morning that said that the problem was a technical issue and that service is being restored.

In April of 2012, Instagram was purchased by Facebook for $1 billion. At the time, this seemed like an expensive purchase for Facebook to make, …

Patent application shows Facebook working on its own pair of AR smartglasses

A patent application filed by the Oculus division of Facebook reveals that the latter is working on AR powered smartglasses. The patent application is titled “waveguide display with two-dimensional scanner” and puts “computer generated elements” over a real world background. The display could be inside a frame used for eye-wear in a way that “presents media to a user’s eyes.” Sounds like the definition of AR-powered smartglasses to us.

The patented display uses waveguide technology, allowing a wave of light to be guided through the lens. The display will be able to show video and images …

Facebook announces app redesign that will make your profile picture circular

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: a major social media announces a redesign of its mobile app that makes profile photos circular. Back in March, it was Twitter, but now (unsurprisingly, given the company’s habit of copying ideas from competitors), Facebook has also followed suit. Corners are so 2016, you guys.

But making profile pictures circular (and a bit smaller) isn’t the only visual tweak the company is introducing: alongside it, there’s an overall shift towards wireframe iconography throughout the app’s interface, as well as a change …

Facebook Camera updated with support for GIFs and new option to go live

Since more and more Android and iOS fans are taking advantage of its camera app, Facebook has decided to add a couple of new features that will bring it on par with the competition.

Starting today, Android and iOS fans will be able to make use of three new improvements. The first one will allow them to go live from the Facebook Camera, which will also enable them to use some of the app’s creative effects. Going live will make your video appear in your Story and the audience you’ve previously selected will be able to watch it.

Furthermore, the update adds …

Here's how to turn off autoplay videos on Facebook and Twitter

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Autoplay videos can be one of the most frustrating parts of social media feeds.

Facebook and Twitter turn this setting on by default to juice the view numbers for publishers and advertisers. But for users, it can be annoying at the least and, in some cases, downright disturbing—especially around violent news events.

But there is hope. It takes less than a minute to disable this feature on apps and sites alike. We’ve broken down the steps for each platform.

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Click the downward carrot icon in the upper righthand corner of the home screen, and select “Settings.” Choose “videos” from the menu on the far left, then switch the setting for “Auto-Play Videos” to “Off.” Read more…

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Facebook shuts down its Lifestage app for teenagers

Remember Lifestage? Yeah, neither do we. It’s a teen-oriented app, which launched in August last year. Its basic premise was to have users fill a small portfolio of videos that show “who they are” — you were asked to record a mini clip of you being sad, mad, happy, with your best friend, you know — the works.

The app was probably supposed to be a Snapchat competitor, as its features are reminiscent to the story and disappearing photos format, just with a different twist to them. However, it barely took off and Facebook has finally pulled the plug on it today.

For the past months, …

Facebook may launch a video chat Android device and a Google Home rival in 2018

Rumors about Facebook working on a new smart speaker surfaced about a week ago, but the information wasn’t entirely clear on how exactly the device will work and when it might be launched on the market. Today, a more in-depth report sheds light on Facebook’s plans to take on Amazon Echo and Google Home.

Apparently, Facebook’s Building 8 lab is already working on a video chat device that will be powered by Android. The social media giant doesn’t consider the addition of an in-house OS for this particular device and has chosen Android, but things might change over …