Earlier this year, social media users were less than thrilled when they found out about Twitter’s new story feature “Fleets.”
The new feature, which is an almost identical option to what is available on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn and other social media platforms, was widely ridiculed and ignored.
Twitter picked up on the negative feedback from its users and decided to take down the “Fleets” feature as of August 3, eight months following its launch.
The San Francisco-based company was just beginning to test out advertisements on the new feature. According to the micro-blogging platform, Fleets failed to excite users, as the number of people who joined the conversation through fleets was extremely low.
“Using our learnings from Fleets, we’ll focus on creating other ways for people to join the conversation and talk about what’s happening in their world,” Twitter said in a statement.
In a highly polarized digital world, one cannot blame Twitter for experimenting with new features even though they are going against what users are accustomed to. However, the micro-blogging site has racked up a list of its own when it comes to features that it took down
Twitter decided to take down the live streaming app Periscope, after coming to the realization that the social media platform witnessed a decrease in usage while its costs were only going up.
The company later published a statement that the live streaming app had been in an “unsustainable maintenance-mode state.”
The app was later discontinued in March 2021.
2. Twttr (Threaded replies)
In December 2020, Twitter shut down Twttr, following the negative feedback the site received. Initially, Twitter decided to introduce Twttr to allow for easier and swifter conversations between users.
However, the layout which consisted of showcasing previous replies with grey thin lines to indicate a thread was difficult on users to configure and understand. The San Francisco-based company suggested that users should switch back to the main app (Twitter) and continue their conversations there.
Going all the way back to 2018, Twitter decided to stop assisting Twitter for Apple Watch and Twitter for Mac. Back then, the company issued a statement clarifying that they believe that the best Twitter experience provided today is “through our owned and operated Twitter for iOS and Android apps, as well as a desktop and mobile twitter.com.”
4. Twitter moments
That same year, another feature barely achieved any usage during its time. Twitter announced to its users that the feature under the name “Twitter moments” will be taken down within iOS and Android Apps.
The feature enabled users to curate stories by publishing a collection of tweets to show different perspectives on the same topic or event.
Almost everyone used vine at some point in their life and at some point, still watches compilation videos on YouTube.
However, the cost of keeping Vine running was more than what Twitter was able to maintain. In October 2015, the micro-blogging site decided to shut down Vine to keep its costs low and cut down nine percent of its global workforce.
Twitter users have seen it all, from fleeting thoughts to temporary moments. In today’s highly advanced tech world, one can only give Twitter some form of credit for paying attention to their audience’s ques.
What to expect from Facebook’s smart glasses
During Facebook’s recent earnings call, Mark Zuckerberg confirmed the company’s next hardware release will debut the tech giant’s collaboration with Ray-Ban eyewear on a pair of augmented reality glasses.
The long-awaited Ray-Ban “smart glasses” were supposed to launch in 2021. However, as a steep plunge in COVID-19 cases forced most of the world into a lockdown, a lot of tech firm’s plans changed.
“Looking ahead here, the next product release will be the launch of our first smart glasses from Ray-Ban in partnership with EssilorLuxottica,” Facebook head and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said. “The glasses have their iconic form factor, and they let you do some pretty neat things.”
The “neat things” Zuckerberg is talking about remains a mystery. However, the smart glasses concept came up while Zuckerberg was describing his outlook on Facebook’s future, which includes a virtual reality unlike no other.
“I’m excited to get these into people’s hands and to continue to make progress on the journey towards full augmented reality glasses in the future,” Zuckerberg expressed.
Considering Zuckerberg’s comments on the release didn’t satisfy tech fan’s curiosity, CNET spoke with Andrew Bosworth, Facebook’s head of AR/VR hardware, who explained that they’re indeed smart glasses, but not AR glasses as Facebook has said so far.
“We’re being careful not to call them augmented reality glasses. When you’re overlaying digital artifacts onto the world, that’s really augmented reality. These aren’t augmented reality glasses. However, they do a lot of the concepts we think will eventually be critical for augmented reality glasses,” Bosworth said.
The features of the smart glasses aren’t all unique. However, as much as it’s ironic to state, Bosworth made it clear that one of the things Facebook is looking at for all their AR, starting with the smart glasses, is how can they help users be more present.
This isn’t the first attempt a major tech company produces smart glasses, as Google did quite a stir back in 2014 following the release of “Google Glass,” which was a bold move, but failed nonetheless.
The idea seemed exciting, but eventually transformed into an online meme. Besides, many weren’t keen with the idea of having a tech tool constantly emitting radiations at face level.
The road to actual AR glasses could take more time than anticipated, while other tech giants hunt after similar goals.
The Ray-Ban glasses coming this year will be a steppingstone into Zuckerberg’s “metaverse” vision for Facebook, but they likely won’t do as much as we’d like to believe.
Facebook profits top $10B as its CEO exalts the ‘metaverse’
Concerns about a revenue growth slowdown pushed Facebook’s shares lower in after-hours trading Wednesday, not long after the company reported that its second-quarter profits doubled thanks to a massive increase in advertising revenue.
But CEO Mark Zuckerberg set his sights far beyond the second half of 2021, exalting what he sees as the next phase of how people experience the internet. What the rest of the world might know as augmented and virtual reality with a dash of science fiction, Zuckerberg and others are calling “the metaverse,” a futuristic and somewhat vague notion that encompasses AR, VR and new, yet-to-be-imagined ways of connecting to one another via technology.
Zuckerberg expects the metaverse to be the next big thing after the mobile internet, although he’s had a spotty track record when it comes to predicting major trends of the near future. At Facebook’s f8 conference four years ago, for instance, Zuckerberg predicted a future where you will sit in your bedroom wearing a headset and take a virtual vacation with faraway friends and family, or use your smartphone’s camera to virtually spruce up your dinky apartment.
So far, this has not materialized. Then there’s Libra — now known as Diem — a cryptocurrency project Facebook launched in 2019 amid great fanfare. At the time, Facebook envisioned Libra as an emerging global digital currency; its ambitions have since been scaled back considerably amid regulatory and commercial backlash.
In a conference call with analysts, Zuckerberg called the metaverse the “next generation of the internet and next chapter for us as a company,” one that he said will create “entirely new experiences and economic opportunities.”
For now, though, Facebook still has to contend with more mundane matters such as antitrust crackdowns in the U.S. and elsewhere as well as concerns about how it handles vaccine-related and political misinformation on its platform. The company said, as it has before, that it expects challenges in its ability to target ads this year — including regulatory pressure and Apple’s privacy changes that make it harder for companies like Facebook to track people who can opt out of that form of surveillance.
Although the social network doubled its profit in the second quarter, in part because of higher average prices it charged for the ads it delivers to its nearly 3 billion users. But the company said it doesn’t expect revenue to continue to grow at such a breakneck pace in the second half of the year.
“This quarter’s results are extremely strong and show little sign of impact from Apple’s iOS update as of yet,” said eMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson, noting that in the year-ago quarter Facebook saw its slowest revenue growth since going public, so it was an easy comparison. “But it’s also due to the fact that there is enormous demand for Facebook and Instagram advertising, and more competition leads to higher ad prices.”
Separately, Facebook said on Wednesday that it will make vaccines mandatory for employees in the U.S. who work in offices. Exceptions will be made for medical and other reasons. Google announced a similar policy earlier in the day.
The Menlo Park, California-based company earned $10.39 billion, or $3.61 per share, in the April-June period. That’s up from $5.18 billion, or $1.80 per share, a year earlier. Revenue jumped 56% to $28.58 billion from $18.32 billion. Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of $3.04 per share and revenue of $24.85 billion, according to a poll by FactSet.
Advertising revenue growth was driven by a 47% year-over-year increase in the average price per ad and a 6% increase in the number of ads shown to people. Facebook said it expects ad prices, not the amount of ads it delivers, to continue to drive growth.
The company predicted uncertainty for 2021 back in January, saying its revenue in the latter half of the year could face significant pressure. Because revenue grew so quickly in the second half of 2020, Facebook said at the time that it could have trouble keeping up that pace.
Williamson said the third quarter will be an important one for the company, “as the full effects of the Apple update take hold.”
“We will have a much better sense of how well Facebook has been able to adjust its core ad targeting products to manage the reduced amount of information it can tap into,” she said.
Facebook had 2.9 billion monthly users as of June, up 7% from a year earlier.
Shares fell $11.77, or 3.2%, to $373.28 in after-hours trading. Earlier in the day, the stock hit an all-time high of $377. 55 in anticipation of the results, so the decline wasn’t unexpected.
This request is not new, as the Big Tech revealed earlier in May that developers must declare their safety information within a deadline between October and April.
However, Google decided this week to provide more details on the kind of data developers need to provide for the new mandatory policy.
The app policies will allow users to view safety and privacy guidelines before downloading the app, which will let them understand how their data is collected, protected, and used in advance.
The safety section on the Play Store will require app developers to disclose their security practices, including information on data encryption, whether an app follows Google’s families policy, and whether users will have a choice to share data.
The safety section is currently due to start appearing in app descriptions in the first quarter of 2022.
Google in a blog post disclosed screenshots of what the safety section might look like. Yet, the company said that the design is subject to change.
There’s also a “see details” option to get more specifics on what collected data is used for, and whether the collection is essential for using the app.
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