Wednesday January 16, 2019
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Facebook Testing a Feature That May Help You Befriend Strangers

The tool is being tested as part of Facebook's efforts to make public discussions more meaningful, the report said

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Facebook
Facebook App on a smartphone device. (VOA)

Facebook is testing a feature that can point to the commonalities you have with other random users — whether you share a neighbourhood with them or went to the same university.

The feature, called “things in common”, may help you connect with random commentators on public posts, Engadget reported on Sunday.

The tool, currently available for a few users in the US, displays titbits of information a user has in common with people they are not friends with.

Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay

Facebook said the tags that the feature uses will not violate a user’s privacy as they only show information that are publicly available, meaning the same information can also be seen by someone by visiting a user’s profile.

The tool is being tested as part of Facebook’s efforts to make public discussions more meaningful, the report said.

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“Knowing shared things in common helps people connect,” a Facebook spokesperson told Engadget.

“We’re testing adding a ‘things in common’ label that will appear above comments from people who you’re not friends with but you might have something in common with. Only information that people made publicly available on their profiles will be eligible to show up.” (IANS)

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Facebook To Invest Over $300 mn to Support Local News

"This year, we'll commit over $20 million to continue our local 'Accelerator' programme in the US and to expand the model globally, including in Europe," said Brown

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Facebook
Facebook commits $300 mn to support local news. Pixabay

Facebook has announced to invest over $300 million over the next three years to support local news organisations.

In a blog post, Campbell Brown, Vice President, Global News Partnerships, said that Facebook wants to support local journalists and newsrooms with their news gathering needs in the immediate future and help these organisations build sustainable business models, through both its product and partnership work.

“We heard one consistent answer: people want more local news, and local newsrooms are looking for more support. That’s why today we’re announcing an expanded effort around local news in the years ahead,” Brown said late on Tuesday.

In 2018, Google also committed $300 million for over three years to strengthen quality journalism, support sustainable business models and empower newsrooms through technological innovation.

Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay

It was also committing to spend $300 million over the next three years on its various journalism-related projects.

According to Facebook, it would invest $300 million in news programmes, partnerships and content.

Among the components is a Pulitzer Centre — a $5 million endowment gift to launch “Bringing Stories Home”, a gift that will provide local newsrooms across the US with reporting grants to foster coverage on topics that affect local communities.

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“Report for America” is a $2 million investment in the initiative to place 1,000 journalists in local newsrooms across America over the next five years.

“This year, we’ll commit over $20 million to continue our local ‘Accelerator’ programme in the US and to expand the model globally, including in Europe,” said Brown. (IANS)