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Facebook Launches Snap-clone ‘Threads’ for Instagram Users: Report

"Status” is an opt-in feature on Threads for sharing what you’re up to with your close friends

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FILE - In this April 30, 2019, file photo, Facebook stickers are laid out on a table at F8, Facebook's developer conference in San Jose, Calif. The Boston-based renewable energy developer Longroad Energy announced in May that Facebook is building a… VOA

In yet another attempt to clone Snapchat, Facebook has launched a stand-alone app for Instagram users called “Threads” — a new camera-first messaging app that will help users stay connected to close or smaller circle of friends.

After the Facebook announcement, Snap shares fell as much as 7 per cent on Thursday. Instagram claims it has over 500 million daily active users while Snap has 203 million daily users.

According to Facebook, Threads will let you share photos, videos, messages, Stories and more with your Instagram close friends list.

The app will be available for iPhone and Android users.

“You are in control of who can reach you on Threads, and you can customise the experience around the people who matter most,” said Robby Stein, Director of Product, Instagram.

Over the last few years, Facebook introduced several ways to share visually on Instagram and connect with people — from sharing everyday moments on Stories to visual messages on Direct.

“But for your smaller circle of friends, we saw the need to stay more connected throughout the day, so you can communicate what you’re doing and how you’re feeling through photos and videos.

“That’s why we built Threads, a new way to message with close friends in a dedicated, private space,” Stein added.

You can use Threads to message close friends on Instagram and you’ll have a dedicated inbox and notifications just for them.

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The Facebook mobile app on an Android smartphone. Wikimedia Commons

Threads opens directly to the camera and allows you to add shortcuts, so you can share what you’re doing in just two taps.

According to Karina Newton, Head of Policy, Instagram, the company has built Threads with privacy in mind.

“Your close friends list is private and totally in your control — only you can see it, no one can request to be added to it and no one will be notified if you add or remove them from your list,” said Newton.

On Threads, there is no pending inbox with message requests, so only the people you choose to put on your list can send you a message.

Also Read: Amazon Receives Orders from 99.4 per cent of Pincodes in India

“Status” is an opt-in feature on Threads for sharing what you’re up to with your close friends.

“You can choose from suggested statuses or turn on Auto Status, which automatically lets your close friends know what you’re up to without having to actively send them a message.

Facebook said that Auto Status will not share your precise location with your friends, and when Threads sends location information to our server to look up locations, it’s not stored there — this information is only stored on your device for a limited time. It is also deleted if you remove Threads. (IANS)

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Facebook Raises Questions Over EU Ruling on Removing Content

In a public Q&A, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had said that the ruling sets a "very troubling precedent"

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Corporate, America, Climate Change
FILE - In this April 30, 2019, file photo, Facebook stickers are laid out on a table at F8, Facebook's developer conference in San Jose, Calif. The Boston-based renewable energy developer Longroad Energy announced in May that Facebook is building a… VOA

Facebook has raised objections over the European Union (EU) ruling that the bloc’s member countries can not only order the removal of content in their own jurisdiction, but all over the world.

According to the social networking giant, the ruling opens the door for courts to order the removal of content that is similar to the illegal speech, “meaning that something you posted might be removed even if you knew nothing about the earlier post that a European country had deemed illegal”.

“Imagine something you wrote and shared on Facebook was taken down, not because it violated our rules, and not because it broke the law in your country, but because someone was able to use different laws in another country to have it removed,” Monika Bickert, VP, Global Policy Management at Facebook, said in a statement on Monday.

“Imagine as well that your speech was deemed illegal not by a judge who carefully weighed the facts, but by automated tools and technology,” she added.

The European Court of Justice has ruled that Facebook can be forced to remove content internationally.

The ruling arose from a personal defamation case brought by an Austrian politician.

The post in question shared a news article in which the Austrian politician had outlined her and her party’s views on immigration, together with a comment from a Facebook user strongly critiquing the Austrian politician.

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An iPhone displays the app for Facebook in New Orleans, Aug. 11, 2019. VOA

The court’s ruling raises critical questions for freedom of expression, in two key respects, said Bickert.

First, it undermines the long-standing principle that one country does not have the right to impose its laws on another country.

“This is especially important with laws governing speech, because what is legally acceptable varies considerably in different parts of the world and even within the EU. The ruling also opens the door for other countries around the world, including non-democratic countries who severely limit speech, to demand the same power,” said Facebook.

Second, the ruling might lead to a situation in which private internet companies could be forced to rely on automated technologies to police and remove “equivalent” illegal speech.

Also Read: 5G Carries Potential to Contribute to India’s GDP Growth by the Year 2025

In a public Q&A, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had said that the ruling sets a “very troubling precedent”.

“We have had precedents but we have successfully fought them. This is one where a lot of the details of exactly how this gets implemented are going to depend on national courts across Europe, and what they define as the same content versus roughly equivalent content.

“This is something we and other services will be litigating and getting clarity on what this means. I know we talk about free expression as a value and I thought this was a fairly troubling development,” Zuckerberg added. (IANS)