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#SongbirdStories - The Rest From The Nest Of #SocialMedia

So we come to the end of another week, and it's been a very turbulent one. Following news breaking about the terror attacks in Paris, as well as the ones in Lebanon and Iraq, the earthquake in Japan and the continued bombing runs in Syria, there has been a distinctly morbid, polarizing aspect to all the usual buzz. We've covered that side of things as best we can, but there's been plenty more else to discuss, so without further adieu, here's our Saturday roundup of everything else that's been going on.

Facebook Launch Instant Articles for Android in India

Tech Goggles
Facebook's news thingy has been available pretty widely on iOS for a while, but India are now the first nation to able to access it on Android. Why India, you ask? Well didn't you hear? Facebook have been buddying up with India for quite some time, especially following the public backlash against Internet.org, which buoyed Zuckerberg to start improving the platform's relations with the country. 


Fernando Alonso isn't really the kind of person who had a reputation for being chill, but a chance snap of him waiting for his engines to cool down in Sao Paulo certainly gave that impression. Before long, the F1 driver was being photoshopped into all manner of scenarios that even the bastard child of The Fonze and a three-toed sloth would find it hard to stay calm in, alongside others that made more sense contextually, but were no less hilarious.

Marc Andreessen Dumps Most of His Facebook Stock

Marc Andreessen has been an instrumental force within Facebook for years. Famously, he's the one who talked Mark Zuckerberg out of selling it on to Yahoo for the sizable, but now comparatively laughable sum of $1 billion. Now, in a slightly worrying move, he's started hemorrhaging Facebook stock. Since the end of last month, he's traded off 1.5 million shares, which equates to roughly $160 million, or 73% of his total ownership of the company. The even more worrying thing is that he hasn't offered any explanation as to why he's doing it, but if someone as plugged into to the corporate world is selling off social media stock at such an alarming rate, there will be damn good reason.

Facebook Introduce Ephemeral Messaging

Taking a leaf out of Snapchat's book, Facebook have also brought in a new messaging feature: vanishing messages. They're only available on a limited basis in France at the moment, and it's most certainly being characterised as a test, but it could end up becoming a standard fixture. It's pretty simple: each chat has a new hourglass icon and when pressed, all the messages disappear within an hour, tap it again and it goes back to normal. It's not going to set the world on fire, but it adds an extra angle to Messenger that some might find appealing.

Ronda Rousey Declares She 'Will be Back' on Instagram

A photo posted by rondarousey (@rondarousey) on

Even if you don't follow UFC in any capacity, it's been difficult to get away from the news that Ronda Rousey got knocked the hell out. Grizzly photographs and clips of her defeat at the hands (and feet) of Holly Holm started popping up everywhere even before the new champion had been given her belt. Rousey has a huge, fiercely dedicated fan-base, and many of them were understandably concerned to see her as banged up as she was at the end of the fight, so to allay their concerns, Rousey turned to Instagram to confirm that she had recovered that despite what some sensationalist detractors were saying, it wasn't the end of her career at all.

Obama Joins Facebook

USA Today
Obama has been heavily active on Twitter for quite some time now, but he's only just started taking a vested interest in Facebook, as he approaches the end of his second term. Coincidence? Probably. In his opening status/statement, he said that he  hoped "you'll think of this as a place where we can have real conversations about the most important issues facing our country – a place where you can hear directly from me, and share your own thoughts and stories. (You can expect some just-for-fun stuff, too.)," Hard to say what the exact thinking behind this is, but more than anything else it probably means more work for his PR team.

Charlie Sheen Lauded for His HIV Announcement

In rather upsetting news (at least for fans of auto-tune parodies), Charlie Sheen has been diagnosed with HIV. In order to announce this, he appeared in an interview with Matt Lauer on Today. His honesty, frankness and willingness to discuss all the issues surrounding HIV (alongside the implication of further activism) struck a chord with a lot of people, and Twitter erupted in a cry of support for the ailing actor. HIV doesn't carry a death sentence in the way it used to, and it's fair to suggest that someone of Sheen's stature will be accessing the highest level care available, but the seriousness of it can still not be understated.

Snapchat Update Emphasises the 'Chat'

There seems to be a new, significant update to Snapchat every week now, they're kind of hit-and-miss, but this one seems to be a worthwhile addition. Now, while watching a friend's story, you can simply swipe up and send them a quick reply, simple as that. You can now also use the lenses feature with the rear camera, meaning that, provided you have someone's face in shot, you can fire off a message of said subject vomiting rainbows in the same way you do for yourself 300 times a day. 

Steps Taken in US to Outlaw 'Swatting'

What is 'Swatting'? You would think it's just a concise description for killing flies, but in fact it's a social media based form of tomfoolery that's been getting a little bit (or a lot) out of hand. The perpetrators call up the emergency services and get heavily armed response teams sent out to the homes of their unsuspecting victims. Fun, right? Yeah, $100,000 per incident's worth of fun. Hoax reports of bomb threats or terror attacks are strictly illegal, but the ground doesn't cover other kinds of reports, and a group of lobbyists and lawmakers are fighting to change that.

Instagram Make Life Difficult for Third Party Developers

Oh Instagram, you big bully. Introducing new rules seems to be something of an unfortunate habit for the photo-sharing app and in the latest update, they've decided to make things distinctly more difficult for third party developers who are working with the app. The access to the Instagram API will now be limited to apps which use it to either share content, advertise or print. This means that apps which allow you to view your Instagram feed externally will be blocked. You can understand why they're doing this, but it still seems pretty harsh. In any case, apps will have until June to submit themselves to the new guidelines, or away they go.

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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#SongbirdStories - The Rest From The Nest Of #SocialMedia Reviewed by Unknown on Saturday, November 21, 2015 Rating: 5

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