Facebook to nix “Trending” topics feature
THE TECH CIRCUIT - Yasunari Ramon Suarez Taguchi (The Freeman) - June 6, 2018 - 12:00am

Facebook revealed last week that it was pulling the plug on its “Trending” topics feature, a move which stems from the social network’s current efforts to battle the proliferation of misinformation and fake news.

The firm is currently testing various methods to display verified news reports to take the place of the feature, which includes tests for a section that’s dedicated for local news reports from verified news organizations, a “breaking news” tag, a “today in…” tag, and news-video-to-watch suggestions, among others.

Facebook indicates that the feature accounts for less than 1.5 percent average linkages to posts by news publishers, compelling the firm to look into better ways to address the spread of fake news within the platform.

To take effect this week, the change comes months after Facebook has been under fire for a data mishandling incident with third-party consultancy firms that work with Facebook data, alongside questions on the quality of information that’s circulating in the network. More information on the change is hosted on Facebook’s official online channels.

Apple rolling out “phone to phone” AR feature?

Reports suggesting that Apple is rolling out a “phone to phone” augmented reality (AR) feature cropped up over the weekend.

Citing an unnamed source familiar with the matter, a report by Reuters indicates that the feature is designed to let two iPhone users share augmented reality-anchored content to each other, with limits to personal data sent over to servers.

It’s noted that the feature circumvents privacy-related concerns by avoiding the storage of raw mapping scans of surroundings or environments in the cloud.

AR content essentially entails the superimposition of images over “real world” surroundings – a virtualization, so to speak, of various environments using a camera-enabled smartphone or tablet.

Apple has yet not issued a statement on its purported release of “photo to phone” AR feature, but the firm had already rolled out AR software development kits to app developers last year.

Snapchat to open up to third-party developers?

There are reports that Snap Inc., the holding firm of popular messaging app Snapchat, is looking to launch a developer platform.

The news comes years after the firm has been pretty much a closed platform that has enjoyed a huge following for novel camera-anchored features and functions.

The reports indicate that the developer platform – which has been billed “SnapKit” – would allow third-party developers access to Snapchat features like its login system and camera-anchored augmented reality features.

Snapchat’s augmented realty highlights are argued to be its most valuable, given that it popularized augmented reality virtualizations.

Industry experts have weighed-in their views on the said developer platform, comparing it with how Facebook opened up to third-party developers in 2010, a move which afforded Facebook a significant rise of members and followers.

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