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Twitter Launches Close Friends Circle Feature Globally

Twitter, famously known as the “Bird app” by its users, who are referred to as “Tweeps” is launching its circle feature globally

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Twitter, famously known as the “Bird app” by its users, who are referred to as “Tweeps” is launching its circle feature globally. The feature allows you to select your choice of people who you would want to see your tweets.

The company began testing Instagram’s close friends feature in a limited beta in May before deciding to make it available to its users globally.

Users are capable of adding 150 Tweeps to their Circle, and there’s no limit to who you can add to your Circle, including Celebrities.

Members of the Circle will see a special green badge under tweets to indicate that the tweet is only available to that Close group and not the user’s public timeline.

The company said in a blog post “You choose who’s in your Twitter Circle, and only the individuals you’ve added can view, reply to and interact with the Tweets you share in the Circle. People in your Circle will see a green badge under Tweets sent to the group.”

Tweeps don’t get a notification when added or removed from the Circle, and Tweeps are not allowed to leave a Circle, Tweeps only have to block the creator of the Circle to stop being a part of it.

The Circle Feature is one of the means Twitter adopted to stop Tweeps from putting their profiles on private while maintaining some level of privacy on some specific tweets, although this was not officially admitted by Twitter.

As tweets from private profiles can’t be seen or retweeted, similarly, Tweeps can’t retweet the tweets posted in a Circle. Tweeps now have the option to post a tweet to the public timeline, selected Circle, or their community.

Last week, Twitter officially included over two million podcasts with live Spaces. The revamped Spaces tab and the inclusion of podcasts will be available to a set of global English speakers on iOS and Android.

The revamping introduces personalized “Stations” for users on diverse topics like sports, news, movies, music and more, offering both live audio sessions and recorded podcasts.

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Jury Orders Meta to Pay Voxer $175 M For Violation of Patent

Facebook parent company, Meta, has been ordered by a jury in Texas Federal court to pay $175 million to walkie-talkie app maker, Voxer, for violation of its patent.

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Facebook parent company, Meta, has been ordered by a jury in Texas Federal court to pay $175 million to walkie-talkie app maker, Voxer, for violation of its patent.

Voxer filed a lawsuit in 2020, where it accused Meta of violating its patents and incorporating its streaming technologies into its Facebook and Instagram live.

Voxer launched the Walkie-Talkie app in 2011, after which it was approached by Facebook about a potential collaboration.

By 2012, Voxer went ahead to share its patent portfolio and proprietary technology with Facebook, but when early meetings failed to result in an agreement, Facebook identified Voxer as a competitor.

According to the document filed in the court, Facebook had no live video or voice product at this time.

The social media giant company then went ahead to revoke Voxer’s access to key components of the Facebook platform, together with eradicating entry to the Discover Buddies” characteristic.

The lawsuit additionally states that the founder and Chairman of Voxer, Tom Katis had met with a senior product supervisor at Facebook to discuss about Meta’s infringement of Voxer’s patents, which was declined by the company, refusing a settlement with Voxer relating to its continuous use of its patent. 

The jury at the Texas federal court discovered that both Facebook and Instagram Live, launched in 2015, and 2016 respectively incorporated Voxer’s technologies and infringed two of its patents.

After much deliberation from the court, the jury concluded that Meta infringed two patents held by Voxer, and therefore awarded Voxer $175 million in damages.

Following this judgment, a Meta spokesperson disputed the claims filed in the lawsuit by Voxer, arguing that the proof introduced in the trial confirmed that Meta didn’t infringe on Voxer’s patents.

Meta’s spokesperson said, “We consider the proof at trial demonstrated that Meta didn’t infringe Voxer’s patents. We intend to hunt additional reduction, together with submitting an attraction.”

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Whatsapp Ventures Into The World of Entertainment, Set to Premiere Short Film ‘Naija Odyssey’

Whatsapp is set to premiere an original short film ‘Naija Odyssey’ on YouTube and Amazon Prime Video on the 21st of September

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Meta-owned messaging app, Whatsapp has ventured into the world of entertainment as it is set to premiere an original short film ‘Naija Odyssey’ on YouTube and Amazon Prime Video on the 21st of September.

‘Naija Odyssey’ is a short film that features Greek-Nigerian professional basketball player Giannis Antetokounmpo as he reconciles his roots, birthplace and two cross-cultural worlds.

The film also features his mother Veronica who narrates the different moments in her son’s life as a journey loosely based on the Greek epic poem ‘The Odyssey.’

 “In Greece, my teachers told stories of travelers battling the sea, fighting to find their way home to find themselves. “I was on that same journey”,  Antetokounmpo narrates in the trailer.

Speaking on the role WhatsApp plays in the short film, WhatsApp’s global head of marketing on the inspiration for the short film, Vivian Odior said ‘Naija Odyssey’ is a story that reinforces how WhatsApp helps us embrace our multifaceted lives.

“In navigating relationships, identity, and even adversity, WhatsApp is there, enabling you to embrace all sides of you by connecting you to those who matter most.”

Giannis Antetokounmpo signed an endorsement contract with the social messaging platform, he is the first brand ambassador of WhatsApp.

The short film ‘Naija Odyssey’ seems to be a strategic way Whatsapp seeks to not only promote its brand but also show the brand’s ethos of connecting people around the world.

Giannis has already taken to his social media accounts to post the trailer of the short film, as he is seen in places like Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and several other places.

The tagline, “Across worlds, across cultures, across identities”, like the film tries to capture the duality of belonging to two different places, which tells the story of the basketball player.

‘Naija Odyssey’, was Directed by filmmakers, Nono Ayuso and Rodrigo Inad (2021 short film ‘Terra Cene’), edited by Mikkel E G Nielsen, who won the 2021 Oscar for film editing for Amazon Studios’ ‘Sound of Metal’.

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Twitter Launches Alt Text Feature, Enables Users Add Descriptions To Photos Shared

Twitter has officially launched the alt text feature that enables users to add descriptions to their photos

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Microblogging and social networking platform Twitter, has officially launched the alt text feature that enables users to add descriptions to their photos.

The social networking site began the testing of this feature on limited accounts in July this year. After the successful testing phase, it then decided to roll out the feature for all users on the platform.

In an effort to ensure that thousands of images that get posted and retweeted daily on the platform are accessible to visually impaired people, Twitter had to introduce the alt text feature, which is a written description of what’s in an image that can be picked up by a screen reader software used by internet users who are blind or visually impaired.

After a few disability activists urged Twitter to introduce the alt text feature, they have described the introduction of the feature as a long time coming, adding that Twitter should urge users who are not visually impaired to be more consistent with adding alt text to images.

With this newly launched feature, when a user is about to post a picture of the platform, he or she will be given the option to add the alt text which they will need to click on the edit button on the image and then go to the tab named ALT.  When they tap on that, they will be presented with up to 1,000 characters to describe the picture.

Twitter is aware an alt text reminder feature is something users have wanted for a while, says Gerard Cohen, software engineering manager on Twitter’s accessibility experience team.

In his words, “If it was up to us, we would snap our fingers and the world would be accessible. We understand that it’s been a long time coming.

“We’re very grateful for those bot makers, those people that have gone ahead and done it.”

The alt text reminders will be opt-in, meaning that users will need to go into their account settings to turn on the prompts, which will sync across the device.

Once reminders are on, users will get notified each time they add an image without alt text, prompting them to go back and add descriptions before posting.

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