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Facebook, Messenger, Whatsapp, and Instagram Are All Offline

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Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp have apparently all gone down in a major outage. The social network and the Facebook-owned platforms all stopped working around 7:30 pm UAE time, today, according to the site Down Detector. The outage affects nearly 7 billion users between the three platforms. Users going to Facebook’s site saw an error page or an onscreen message that said, “Sorry, something went wrong. We’re working on it and we’ll get it fixed as soon as we can.”

Instagram and WhatsApp are not showing new or updated content. On Instagram, messages including “Couldn’t Refresh Feed” or “5xx Server Error” appeared. “We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products,” Facebook communications director Andy Stone tweeted today. “We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible and we apologize for any inconvenience.”

During Sunday’s episode of 60 Minutes, former Facebook product manager Frances Haugen, who worked on Facebook’s civic integrity team, alleged that the company was aware that its platform was used to spread misinformation and violence and that their inaction may have enabled the planning of the January 6 Capitol riot.

“The thing I saw at Facebook over and over again was there were conflicts of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook. And Facebook over and over again chose to optimize for its own interests, like making more money,” Haugen said on 60 Minutes. “I’ve seen a bunch of social networks and it was substantially worse at Facebook than anything I’ve seen before.”

In its response to Haugen’s claims, Facebook stated in part, “We’ve invested heavily in people and technology to keep our platform safe and have made fighting misinformation and providing authoritative information a priority. If any research had identified an exact solution to these complex challenges, the tech industry, governments, and society would have solved them a long time ago.”

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PUBG MOBILE Partners with YouTube Premium

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Today PUBG MOBILE has announced a new partnership with YouTube Premium and Google Play, bringing players a whole host of exciting rewards. players will have the opportunity to claim a FREE YouTube Premium-themed gift bag including a 3-month trial of YouTube Premium, an exclusive 15-day limited edition parachute,1000 BP, and more. Additionally, PUBG MOBILE players can look forward to earning free gear, with new content available every month until May 28th,2022. Players will have an opportunity to claim exclusive permanent in-game items.

YouTube Premium gives viewers uninterrupted access to YouTube, where over a billion hours of video are watched each day! Experience ad-free viewing, download videos to watch offline and play videos and music seamlessly whether you’re on the move, using other apps or your screen is turned off.

YouTube Premium also includes access to YouTube Music Premium, featuring over 80 million official songs, covers, and remixes. The partnership between PUBG MOBILE and YouTube Premium is part of the new Version 1.7 update, bringing new content, game modes, and even more exciting collaborations to the game.

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Spotify Pulls the Plug on its Car View Feature

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Spotify is taking away the Car View feature, a report says, just as users began to notice it unexpectedly missing. Car View, available through the Spotify app for iOS and Android, had a more streamlined interface and playback controls to make for a better way to play music while driving.

“We can confirm that we’re retiring the car view feature,” a moderator on Spotify’s forums wrote. “This, however, doesn’t mean we don’t want to improve on how our users listen to Spotify while driving. On the contrary, we’re actively exploring a variety of new ways to deliver the best in-car listening experience. Think of retiring car view as something that needs to happen in an effort to make way for new innovations coming down the track.”

The move was viewed with skepticism by some users, who have posited that the company is instead just trying to push its upcoming “Car Thing” program on users. Car Thing is an $80 smart device player, designed for use in cars, which isn’t available except for preorder in the U.S. as of right now.

The aforementioned moderator said on the forum that the company was looking for the best way to have an in-car listening experience. Spotify has not offered any alternatives as of press time, though a moderator has said users could make use of Google Assistant for hands-free music control, along with a Google Maps feature to allow for listeners to control music playback.

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WhatsApp May Be Building a new Communities Feature

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WhatsApp may be working on a new “communities” feature that allows group admins greater control. With the feature, admins will be able to create separate clusters of people within a group, who are tied to specific activities. For example – some people might be interested in movies, others in music, and group admins can filter them to specific communities.

Group admins can also invite other people into the community by using a link, which can be shared publicly or privately. Another thing to note is that you may not be able to interact with all groups within a community when you join.

The feature was first spotted by XDA Developers and now WABetaInfo has also seen evidence on a recent test build. This means that the feature has not hit Beta channels yet, and is currently being worked on. While unknown at this time, WhatsApp may also ship some advanced tools for group admins when it is released.

WhatsApp will also differentiate Groups from Communities using subtle design cues, like using a square profile image with rounded borders for Communities while maintaining the circular profile image for Groups.

Recently, WhatsApp announced a slew of new features that will roll out on the platform very soon. This includes new Undo buttons while editing images or video, an option to convert stickers into images, a new control bar for videos that use Picture-in-Picture (PIP), an option to enable notifications for reactions, and new privacy settings that gives you more control over your profile and info.

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