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Micro-blogging Site Twitter to Soon Let Users Follow Topics

Twitter revenue grew 18 per cent year-over-year to reach $841 million in the second quarter of 2019, while its average monetisable daily active users (mDAU) hit 139 million

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Twitter is a social media app that encourages short tweets and brief conversations. Pixabay

Not just people, Twitter is now testing a way to let users follow topics including sports teams, celebrities and TV shows.

Topics will be curated by Twitter, with individual tweets being identified through machine learning, and for now, only sports-related interests can be followed, The Verge reported on Wednesday.

“Our desire is to be a little bit more ambitious about the level of change that we introduce into the product,” Twitter product lead Kayvon Beykpour was quoted as saying.

You will also be able to mute topics.

For example, if you are following a TV show but have not seen the most recent episode, you can temporarily hide tweets about it.

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FILE – A man reads tweets on his phone in front of a displayed Twitter logo. VOA

The micro-blogging platform aims to roll out the feature by the end of the year.

“The company is also exploring other features such as a search tool for your direct messages and the ability to reorder photos after you attached them to a tweet,” reports CNET.

Also Read: Facebook Working on Dark Mode in its Android Mobile App

The edit button, however, is not expected anytime soon.

Twitter revenue grew 18 per cent year-over-year to reach $841 million in the second quarter of 2019, while its average monetisable daily active users (mDAU) hit 139 million. (IANS)

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Google Announces a New Initiative Called ‘Privacy Sandbox’ to Protect Users’ Privacy on Web

Recent studies have shown that when advertising is made less relevant by removing cookies, funding for publishers falls by 52 per cent on average

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A man walks past a Google sign outside with a span of the Bay Bridge at rear in San Francisco, May 1, 2019. VOA

In a bid to protect users’ privacy as they open ads on the web, Google has announced a new initiative called “Privacy Sandbox” to develop a set of open standards to fundamentally enhance privacy on Internet.

Google said it will work with the web community to develop new standards that advance privacy, while continuing to support free access to content.

“Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve started sharing our preliminary ideas for a ‘Privacy Sandbox’ — a secure environment for personalization that also protects user privacy,” Justin Schuh, Director, Chrome Engineering, said in a blog post on Thursday.

The company also aims to ensure that ads continue to be relevant for users, but their personal data shared with websites and advertisers would be minimized by anonymously aggregating user information, and keeping much more user information on-device only.

According to the company, large scale blocking of cookies undermine people’s privacy by encouraging opaque techniques such as “fingerprinting”.

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FILE -Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during the keynote address of the Google I/O conference in Mountain View, Calif., May 7, 2019. VOA

With “fingerprinting”, developers have found ways to use information that vary between users — such as what device they have or what fonts they have installed to generate a unique identifier which can then be used to match a user across websites.

“Unlike cookies, users cannot clear their fingerprint, and therefore cannot control how their information is collected. We think this subverts user choice and is wrong,” said Google.

However, blocking cookies without another way to deliver relevant ads significantly reduces publishers’ primary means of funding, which jeopardizes the future of the vibrant web.

Also Read: Top Investor of Tesla Wants Elon Musk to Step Down as CEO

Recent studies have shown that when advertising is made less relevant by removing cookies, funding for publishers falls by 52 per cent on average.

“So we are doing something different. We want to find a solution that both really protects user privacy and also helps content remain freely accessible on the web,” said Google, asking for feedback on this approach from the web platform community, including other browsers, publishers and their advertising partners. (IANS)