Top Stories

Threads Lets Users Delete Accounts Separate from Instagram

Threads, the Twitter competitor launched in July by Meta Platforms to record-breaking numbers, has added features that make it easier for users to separate their Threads feeds from Instagram and Facebook. Users can now delete their Threads accounts separate from Instagram, something that previously confounded users. Because those signing up for Threads were required to do so either from their existing or a new Instagram account, the two were entwined. Instagram/Threads CEO Adam Mosseri also announced that propagation of Threads posts to Instagram and Facebook can now be turned off, to keep discussions separate. Read more

Meta’s WhatsApp Launches Voice Chat for Up to 128 People

Meta Platforms-owned instant messaging and VoIP service WhatsApp has updated its Voice Chat feature for mobile so it can now host group calls of up to 128 participants. Voice chats allow WhatsApp users to instantly talk live with members of a group chat while still being able to message within the group. The new feature, which is being compared to a Discord server, is being rolled out globally. The idea is to have the Voice Chat be less disruptive than group calling, which rings-in all group members. Voice chats can be quietly started with an in-chat bubble users tap to join. The updated version will have end-to-end encryption by default. Read more

Apple’s Vision Pro May Compete in the AR Enterprise Space

Apple Vision Pro, the $3,499 mixed reality headset announced for release in early 2024, could be getting a B2B marketing push, as evidenced by a recently published Apple post on development apps. That would make competing products in the $3,300 to $5,000 range — including the Microsoft HoloLens and headsets from Magic Leap — Apple’s competition for the Vision Pro. That would also leave Meta Platforms and its Quest line, including the $500 mixed reality Quest 3 that began shipping last month, unchallenged in the consumer space, where it currently enjoys an estimated 80 percent market share. Read more

Meta, Amazon Team for In-App Shopping on Social Platforms

Meta Platforms is offering its social media users a “more seamless shopping experience” by inviting them to link their Amazon accounts to Facebook and Instagram so purchases will complete without having to leave the apps when clicking on display ads. “The opt-in experience will allow you to see real-time pricing, Prime eligibility, delivery estimates and product details on select Amazon product ads in Facebook and Instagram,” according to Meta. In the past year, Meta has made improvements to its online ad system, leveraging artificial intelligence to counter the effect of Apple’s 2021 privacy changes. Read more

Google Seeks Out Scammers Using Bard to Spread Malware

Google has filed suit in federal district court in California to stop alleged fraudsters from leveraging public interest in artificial intelligence generally and Bard in particular to spread malware. The perpetrators, who are believed to be based in Vietnam, are said to be using Facebook to promote an “unpublished” version of Bard that when downloaded installs password-stealing malware into the host system. The suit claims the scammers are using Google’s trademark-protected intellectual property — including its name and that of Bard, its brand look and colors, and photographs of CEO Sundar Pichai to promote an illegal scheme. Read more

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