Facebook to co-host ‘town hall meeting’ with President Obama

townhall meetingFacebook’s been good to him, so why not? President Obama will make an appearance at Facebook headquarters on April 20 for a live streamed town hall meeting to “connect with Americans across the country.” Check out the Facebook event for yourself.

Just yesterday, the President’s administration launched its re-election efforts on the social networking site with a designated page, and BarackObama.com has introduced additional features for logged in Facebook users accessing the site. And why not? Facebook was an important piece of the President’s election, and his popularity with young voters gives his campaign a very easy way to reach them.

The event was announced, where else, via Facebook, and as of late this afternoon had reached over 5,000 attendees. President Obama will appear with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg to “discuss the tough choices we must all make in order to put our economy on a more responsible fiscal path, while still investing in areas like innovation that will help our economy grow and make America more competitive.” Sounds like quite a bit to chew off for a Facebook event, but urging users to participate is an inspired move. The President will take questions from the event’s wall, as well as from WhiteHouse.gov/facebooktownhall. Already the queries are pouring in and we’ve got more than two weeks until the actual event.

This isn’t the first time a politician has used Facebook as a platform to connect with the public. Former President George W. Bush made an appearance last November to promote his autobiography, which was a well-attended and watched, if not exactly focused, event. Regardless, reaching out via Facebook is a natural option for politicians: Recent elections have become trending topics on multiple social media outlets, including those that let you brag about voting, or convince others to do so. And if any of them can command an audience, it’s definitely Facebook.

Features

The numbers don’t lie: Facebook is faltering. So what will eventually replace it?

Facebook is faltering, and the data prove it. User growth is slowing, employee outlooks are dipping, and young people are looking elsewhere. But for Facebook to fail, an alternative must arise. Who will it be?
Computing

At Def Con, children show how easy it can be to hack an election

How hard is it to hack a voting machine or government website? Well, it turns out that it is literally child's play. Def Con tasked a group of children with hacking replica government websites, and many proved successful.
Movies & TV

Premium network, premium content: The best movies on HBO right now

HBO always has a solid selection of feature-length films on tap, but the offerings rotate fairly regularly, and browsing fatigue can set in given the sheer volume of the catalog. Here are our current favorites.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

Amazon Prime brings more perks than just free two-day shipping. Subscribers get access to a huge library of TV shows to stream at no extra cost. Here are our favorite TV shows currently available on Amazon Prime.
Social Media

Facebook dismantles fake accounts that had thousands interested in a rally

A group of coordinated fake Facebook accounts created a rally that had thousands of users interested in attending. Facebook removed the Pages and accounts, shared data with law enforcement and is notifying users that followed the event.
Social Media

Time alerts put the brakes on your Facebook and Instagram consumption

Just how much time do you spend scrolling through the Facebook and Instagram feeds? Facebook is about to tell you. The new features also include daily alerts that tell users when they've spent too much time on the social networks.
Social Media

It’s over: Tinder won the dating wars. Swipe or stay home

From OKCupid to Bumble, a variety of online dating apps still elbow for superiority, but look at the numbers and the verdict is clear: Tinder wins by a mile. Here’s why the swiping model can’t be beat.
Social Media

Snapchat now uses speech recognition to animate your face

Get your tongue back in your mouth -- Snapchat's latest Lenses react instead to a specific keyword. The new Lenses animate after hearing a specific keyword, which Snapchat displays on the screen.
Mobile

Here’s how to hide your active status on Instagram

The Activity Status mode on Instagram shows people whenever you are online, similar to Facebook Messenger. If that annoys you, here's how to hide your active status on Instagram with a quick settings change.
Computing

The Facebook dating service will be free of charge and free of ads

Facebook is getting into the dating game. While the feature was one of the surprises from this year's F8, new details suggest what the feature may entail, including a few screenshots from a computer programmer.
Social Media

Three million people quit Snapchat after the redesign

After a million users signed petitions to get the old Snapchat back, the network's user count is showing the early results of the changes with a three-million-user drop in daily active users.
Social Media

Facebook wants to help you find a mentor with its latest Groups feature

Facebook is designed for connecting to other people -- so why not mentors? Today, Facebook launched a program inside Groups that allows for two users to go through a mentorship program together.
Social Media

Facebook’s less cluttered friend list feeds are no more

Facebook friend feeds created a more curated news feed -- but not anymore. Facebook discontinued the feature, saying it wasn't widely used. The move will help the network focus on improving the news feed, the company says.
Photography

Starting a vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability.