An explanation of this Facebook Bitstrips nonsense and how you can block it

explanation facebook bitstrips nonsense can block

The latest annoying Facebook trend has hit, and it’s called Bitstrips. You may have seen these comics popping up over the last week, wherein your friends create animated version of themselves and others in “funny” or “wacky” situations. Mostly, they’re inside jokes that come with caricature versions of users. 

These Bitstrip comics are flooding the social network. The app has already been downloaded by 11 million users and new cartoon character templates are being added quickly to keep up with the demand. Right now, it’s the top app in the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store. Just let that sink in for a moment.

The demand is puzzling. This is literally an app that lets you add word bubbles and one-liners to an avatar of yourself. Its success is mind-boggling. It’s not a game, there’s no real function … it’s like making a Wii character and then using Facebook through it. So it’s Second Life built into Facebook. (Making it third life? I can’t. I don’t even know anymore.)

To wax philosophical for a second: It’s almost like Facebook has become too real for us. We’ve started to feel like the things that happen there and the conversations we have are “real life.” Living out these activities through cartoon versions of ourselves injects the virtual back into it.

It’s all very juvenile-looking, too. It makes Farmville look like an e-game of chess. And there’s something that feels like reverse engineering here: Why use a comic to create an avatar for your Facebook profile to make an update about your mood in the box where you would normally write a status update? Are we adding more steps to this social networking thing?

Whatever the reason for Bitstrips’ viral popularity, it’s definitely becoming an annoying News Feed filler for most of us. If you’re one of the aggravated masses, it is incredibly simple to block from your account. Simply click the pull down in the right-hand corner and select “Hide all from Bitstrips.”

block bitstrips
Emerging Tech

A.I.-generated text is supercharging fake news. This is how we fight back

A new A.I. tool is reportedly able to spot passages of text written by algorithm. Here's why similar systems might prove essential in a world of fake news created by smart machines.
Product Review

The new iPad Mini certainly isn’t a beauty, but it performs like a beast

Apple’s new iPad Mini has beastly performance, fluid iOS 12 software, and good battery life. It also looks like it came straight out of 2015, because the design hasn’t been changed. Here are our impressions of Apple’s new 7.9-inch…
Gaming

Here’s all the news from the Google Stadia GDC presentation

Google announced its new game streaming service Stadia during GDC 2019. Here is all the news from the event, including news on YouTube streaming and quickly accessing your favorite new games.
Mobile

The Xiaomi Mi 9 is the powerhouse smartphone 2019 has been waiting for

The Xiaomi Mi 9 is the brand's latest phone, and it's a real powerhouse. It comes with a Snapdragon 855 processor, a triple-lens camera, a new in-display fingerprint sensor, and a new design. Here's what you need to know.
Social Media

Yep, it’s not just you. Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are down for many

Facebook's family of apps has been suffering issues for much of the day. Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Facebook itself have been out of action for users around the world, with the company scrambling to sort it out.
Social Media

Facebook may soon let you watch live TV with friends in Watch Party

Facebook Watch Party is designed to allow friends to watch together, even when they can't be in the same physical space. Now, that feature could be expanding to include live TV. Facebook announced a test of the feature, starting with live…
Social Media

Federal investigation digs into Facebook’s data-sharing deals

Facebook confirmed it is cooperating with a federal criminal investigation. According to a report, the company is under investigation for sharing user data with smartphone and tablet companies.
Social Media

Facebook explains its worst outage as 3 million users head to Telegram

Facebook, if you didn't already know it, suffered a bit of an issue on Wednesday, March 13. An issue that took down not only its social networking site, but also Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. On Thursday it offered an explanation.
Gaming

Snapchat could soon let you play games in between your selfies

If a new report is accurate, Snapchat will be getting an integrated gaming platform in April. The platform will feature mobile games form third-party developers, and one publisher is already signed on.
Social Media

Twitter is testing a handy subscription feature for following threads

Twitter has recently started testing a feature that lets you subscribe to a thread so that you’ll no longer need to like a comment or post to it yourself in order to receive notifications of new contributions.
Social Media

Your Google+ public content will remain viewable on the web, if you want it to

Google's failed social network — Google+ — will soon be wiped from the internet, but there's a team of volunteers working right now to save its public content for the Internet Archive.
Computing

There’s more space on MySpace after ‘accidental’ wipe of 50 million songs

MySpace is no longer a safe refuge for music and media produced in the 2000s. It said that almost any artistic content uploaded to the site between 2003 and 2015 may have been lost as part of a server migration last year.
Computing

Intel and Facebook team up to give Cooper Lake an artificial intelligence boost

Intel's upcoming Cooper Lake microarchitecture will be getting a boost when it comes to artificial intelligence processes, thanks to a partnership with Facebook. The results are CPUs that are able to work faster.
Social Media

New Zealand attack shows that as A.I. filters get smarter, so do violators

The shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand were livestreamed to social media, and while stats show networks are improving at removing offending videos, as the system improves, so do the violators' workarounds.