Tuesday January 21, 2020
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Instagram Internally Testing Web Version of Direct Messages

In the current design, Direct on the web is reportedly available from a Direct arrow icon in the top right of the screen.

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Instagram
In the current design, Direct on the web is reportedly available from a Direct arrow icon in the top right of the screen. Pixabay

Facebook-owned photo-messaging app Instagram is reportedly testing internally a web version of Direct Messages (DMs) that would allow personal chat and sharing of posts between users on the app.

If and when the feature rolls out for public, it would enable Instagram users to chat via DMs on a desktop, laptop PC, Mac and non-Android or iPhone.

“Mobile reverse-engineering specialist and tipster Jane Manchun Wong alerted us about the Instagram’s test. It’s still being internally ‘dogfooded’ — used heavily by employees to identify bugs or necessary product changes. But she was able to dig past security and access the feature from both a desktop computer and mobile web browser,” TechCrunch reported late on Tuesday.

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Rolling out a web version of Direct could prove to be a full-fledged SMS alternative rather than just a tacked-on feature for discussing the photo and video app’s content, the report said. Pixabay

In the current design, Direct on the web is reportedly available from a Direct arrow icon in the top right of the screen.

Instagram added notifications feature in 2016, and later in 2017 added Explore and some other features for web users.

With a 1-billion user-base worldwide, the app still does not allow web users to post Stories from the desktop.

Rolling out a web version of Direct could prove to be a full-fledged SMS alternative rather than just a tacked-on feature for discussing the photo and video app’s content, the report said.

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With a 1-billion user-base worldwide, the app still does not allow web users to post Stories from the desktop. Pixabay

Facebook launched its chat feature on web before releasing it on mobile phones.

Similarly, Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp launched a web portal in 2015 followed by desktop clients in 2016.

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It could also pave the way for Facebook’s upcoming unification of the back-end infrastructure for Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram Direct that should expand encryption and allow cross-app chat, the report added.

Instagram has not officially responded or commented on the subject.(IANS)

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71% Parents Feel That Video Games May Have Positive Impact on Kids

71% parents believe video games good for teens

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Video Games
86 per cent of parents agree that teeagers spend too much time on video games. Pixabay

Seventy-one per cent of parents believe that video games may have a positive and healthy impact on their kids’ lifestyle, while 44 per cent try to restrict video game content, says a new study.

According to the CS Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health in US, 86 per cent of parents agree that teeagersspend too much time gaming. Parents also reported very different gaming patterns for teenage boys than girls.

Twice as many parents said that their teen boy plays video games every day compared to parents of teen girls. Teen boys are also more likely to spend three or more hours gaming.

“Although many parents believe video games can be good for teens, they also report a number of negative impacts of prolonged gaming,” said poll co-director Gary Freed from University of Michigan.

Video Games
Parents can play an important role by setting clear rules about appropriate content and how much time is too much time spent on video games. Pixabay

“Parents should take a close look at their teen’s gaming behaviour and set reasonable limits to reduce harmful impacts on sleep, family and peer relationships and school performance,” Freed added.

Overall, parents surveyed said that gaming often gets in the way of other aspects of their teen’s life, such as family activities and interactions (46 per cent), sleep (44 per cent), homework (34 per cent), friendship with non-gaming peers (33 per cent) and extracurricular activities (31 per cent).

Parents of teens ages 13-15 (compared to those with older teens) are more likely to use rating systems to try to make sure games are appropriate (43 per cent versus 18 per cent), encourage their teen to play with friends in person rather than online and to ban gaming in their teen’s bedroom.

Parents polled also use different strategies to limit the amount of time their teen spends gaming, including encouraging other activities (75 per cent), setting time limits (54 per cent), providing incentives to limit gaming (23 per cent) and hiding gaming equipment (14 percent).

The researchers noted that while gaming may be a fun activity in moderation, some teens -such as those with attention issues — are especially susceptible to the constant positive feedback and the stimulus of video games.

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This may lead to prolonged play that is disruptive to other elements of a teen’s life, the researchers added.

“Parents can play an important role by setting clear rules about appropriate content and how much time is too much time spent on video games,” Freed said. (IANS)