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Facebook ships an experimental app for couples

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Today, Facebook quietly released a new app for couples. Called Tuned, the new release is a multimedia messaging app designed to help significant others communicate.

The app is available for download in the U.S. and Canada, app analytics firm Sensor Tower tells us. Tuned was developed and released by Facebook’s New Product Experimentation (NPE) team. The division is — as the name suggests — very experimental and thus a bit quicker to pull the plug on projects if they don’t show traction.

The Tuned app arrives during a very interesting time for couples. Couples that live together are spending every waking moment in each other’s presence in the midst of quarantine and could probably never have less of a need for an app like this. For couples that don’t live together, there’s more of an appeal, as people are emboldened to build out digital toolsets to stay close with their partners during an unprecedented time.

The app is by all means just a messaging app that’s more focused on pushing updates and stickers to a singular person. Users can also integrate the app with Spotify to share songs, or use dedicated widgets to share how they’re feeling or what they’re up to. The company refers to the app’s feed as “scrapbook-style.”

It’s not integrated with the company’s dating platform, Facebook Dating; in fact, the most interesting quality of the app is the sheer lack of Facebook tie-ins.

For years, Messenger was the testing bed for Facebook’s social curiosities, but Messenger became too important and users weren’t responding positively to constantly seeing nominal changes in an app they frequently used. The issue is Facebook doesn’t have a default experimentation app anymore, and so these NPE team releases kind of force Facebook to get by with less user data and make judgment calls on how fast functionality can develop when starting from a standstill. It’s unclear how successfully this strategy is progressing. NPE Team’s only other release that’s still available, a Pinterest competitor named Hobbi, was released two months ago and has only received one review on the App Store — a one-star review.

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Facebook fighting against disinformation: Launch new options

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Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has dismantled new malicious networks that used vaccine debates to harass professionals or sow division in some countries, a sign that disinformation about the pandemic, spread for political ends, is on the wane not.

“They insulted doctors, journalists and elected officials, calling them supporters of the Nazis because they were promoting vaccines against the Covid, ensuring that compulsory vaccination would lead to a dictatorship of health,” explained Mike Dvilyanski, director investigations into emerging threats, at a press conference on Wednesday.

He was referring to a network linked to an anti-vaccination movement called “V_V”, which the Californian group accuses of having carried out a campaign of intimidation and mass harassment in Italy and France, against health figures, media and politics.

The authors of this operation coordinated in particular via the Telegram messaging system, where the volunteers had access to lists of people to target and to “training” to avoid automatic detection by Facebook.

Their tactics included leaving comments under victims’ messages rather than posting content, and using slightly changed spellings like “vaxcinati” instead of “vaccinati”, meaning “people vaccinated” in Italian.

The social media giant said it was difficult to assess the reach and impact of the campaign, which took place across different platforms.

This is a “psychological war” against people in favor of vaccines, according to Graphika, a company specializing in the analysis of social networks, which published Wednesday a report on the movement “V_V”, whose name comes from the Italian verb “vivere” (“to live”).

“We have observed what appears to be a sprawling populist movement that combines existing conspiratorial theories with anti-authoritarian narratives, and a torrent of health disinformation,” experts detail.

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They estimate that “V_V” brings together some 20,000 supporters, some of whom have taken part in acts of vandalism against hospitals and operations to interfere with vaccinations, by making medical appointments without honoring them, for example.

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Change on Facebook

Facebook announces news that will facilitate your sales and purchases on the social network.

Mark Zuckerberg, the boss of Facebook, announced that the parent company would now be called Meta, to better represent all of its activities, from social networks to virtual reality, but the names of the different services will remain unchanged. A month later, Meta is already announcing news for the social network.

The first is the launch of online stores in Facebook groups. A “Shop” tab will appear and will allow members to buy products directly through the group in question.

Other features have been communicated with the aim of facilitating e-commerce within the social network, such as the display of recommendations and a better mention of products or even Live Shopping. At this time, no date has been announced regarding the launch of these new options.

In the light of recent features, the company wants to know the feedback from its users through the survey same like what Tesco doing to get its customers feedback via Tesco Views Survey. However, the company is still about this feedback will announce sooner than later in this regard.

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