Tinder, the popular dating app, is getting ready to launch a subscription-based service called Tinder Plus next month which will require a paid-membership, but allow users to undo selections they have made and include a feature called Passport which lets people broaden their search criteria to geographic regions outside their immediate location, giving users access to matches around the world. The update is already being tested in select markets, with price points being tinkered with in the UK, Brazil and Germany. Rumours suggest that the updated version of the app could cost anywhere between $1.99 and $19.99 for a monthly subscription.
While scrolling through your Facebook News Feed this holiday season, you probably encountered the typical statuses from friends: photographs of families opening gifts and inevitably, a few “Year in Review” posts, a photo slide of highlights from your Facebook Timeline over the past year.
Unfortunately, Facebook’s algorithm for choosing the images wasn’t very thoughtful, dishing out good memories along with the bad.
The Year in Review gathers your most-engaged-with posts from 2014, and compiles them into a chronological photo album complete with cheesy clip art. Initially, The Washington Post reported that the feature’s default tagline was, “It’s been a great year! Thanks for being a part of it.”
Because the algorithm chooses the default photos and moments that had the most interaction, it also includes sad memories. However, users are given the option to customize their Year in Review prior to sharing.
Web design consultant and writer Eric Meyer’s Year in Review highlighted the death of his young daughter; he wrote about the negative experience in a post on his website titled “Inadvertent Algorithmic Cruelty.”
And I know, of course, that this is not a deliberate assault. This inadvertent algorithmic cruelty is the result of code that works in the overwhelming majority of cases, reminding people of the awesomeness of their years, showing them selfies at a party or whale spouts from sailing boats or the marina outside their vacation house.
But for those of us who lived through the death of loved ones, or spent extended time in the hospital, or were hit by divorce or losing a job or any one of a hundred crises, we might not want another look at this past year.
According to The Post, Facebook’s product manager for Year in Review, Jonathan Gheller, reached out to Meyer and personally apologized.
“[The app] was awesome for a lot of people, but clearly in this case we brought him grief rather than joy,” Gheller reportedly said. “We can do better — I’m very grateful he took the time in his grief to write the blog post.”
In addition to sad memories, users also criticized Year in Review for its overwhelming presence on Facebook. Many are annoyed at how pushy the feature is, constantly reminding users of its existence.
Having updated its selection of filters two years ago, Instagram‘s offerings have fallen out of favor with smartphone photography enthusiasts as tastes have changed and technology has progressed. These enthusiasts more often than not gravitate now to the more evocative options under third-party apps like VSCO Cam and Snapseed among many others, even though Instagram itself is more popular than ever. In an attempt to regain some of that flavor, the photo sharing platform has introduced five new filters in its newest update for iOS and Android. The five color filters, namely Slumber, Crema, Ludwig, Aden and Perpetua, tend towards soft and subtle shifts in color for a more restrained aesthetic that complements and elevates the subject matter rather than over-saturating the tones. Also included in the update are new capabilities to organize the order of the filters, allowing the user to put their favorite filters at the front while hiding those that are least used.
The long-awaited and much talked-about Polaroid Socialmatic camera is now available for pre-order. This 14 MP camera packs amazing Polaroid insta-print abilities and it connects to the web for quick online sharing. Snap a pic then use the touchscreen to make edits, add filters, text and graphics. Socialmatic prints pics in real life too, library card-sized, sticky-backed photos print right out at the push of a button. It also has Android built in, so you can log GPS data with each photo, download your favorite apps, and even browse the web from the huge touchscreen. Furthermore, the Socialmatic boasts a 2 MP selfie camera on the back. The Polaroid Socialmatic camera is now available to pre-order at Photojojo for $299 USD.
Social networking platform Twitter has just recently added filter options for photos uploaded with tweets. The new photo filters can be accessed by double-tapping the thumbnail of the photo: multiple filters are offered, and each can be adjusted to increase or decrease intensity. Twitter’s new feature tags along on the photo-editing app craze, which includes the likes of the photo-sharing app, Instagram. Simply download the latest Twitter app for iOS and Android to attain and enjoy.