Stop ranting to your friends — Facebook now lets you ‘tag’ your local politicians

Facebook Pages
Marcel De Grijs / 123RF
Facebook political rants are getting a bit fancier — now users can add a button for followers to easily find a politician’s contact information.

Facebook appears to be testing the feature, first spotted by TechCrunch, which uses location data to tag local politicians. On personal profiles and some public pages, the feature appears under the “doing/feeling” options, then under “contacting,” while some public pages have a shortcut dedicated to adding government contact information. Once inside the contacting option, users can tag government organizations, government officials, or public figures.

Profiles associated with a location will automatically bring up the appropriate representative after clicking on the United States Senate or United States House of Representatives. Tagging a specific politician will include either the direct contact information or a link to that figure’s page.

If users tag a group instead of a specific politician, such as the Senate or House of Representatives, a “Find Your Reps” button will appear on the status, allowing users to type in their address to find the representative for the area. On Facebook’s Town Hall page, users can then click to follow or contact that politician via phone, snail mail, email or Facebook message.

While using the “contacting” tag doesn’t appear to send a notification to that politician’s contact page, the feature, by putting political contact information a click away, could encourage users to do more than just send out a rant to their followers.

The feature expands the Town Hall platform Facebook launched this spring that allows users to search for their local representatives. When the feature first launched in March, users that liked or commented on a post by a political figure would see quick contact information. After clicking on that contact information, those details could be shared as a status update. Now, the feature doesn’t require first interacting with a political page, but is accessible from a status update by using the “doing/feeling” options.

Without an official update from Facebook, it’s unclear if the feature is currently rolling out to all users or if it is being tested with a select group or region.

Smart Home

With a simple command, Alexa can arm all your security devices

Alexa customers can query status plus arm or disarm home security systems several companies. New Alexa Guard skills set your home to away mode, send alerts when alarms or sensors go off, and contact home security monitoring services.
Home Theater

How to master your equalizer settings for the perfect sound

You may know what an EQ is, but do you know how to adjust equalizer settings for the best possible sound? We go through the basics of the modern EQ and lay out some guidelines for how to achieve tip-top sound from your system.

Need to record calls on an iPhone? Check out our handy guide

Are you wondering how to record calls on your iPhone? It isn't as easy as you might think, but we'll walk you through the process of doing so with Google Voice, and identify several other apps and external voice recorders that can help.

Firefox 64 helps keep your numerous tabs under control

Mozilla officially launched Firefox 64 by placing new features into the laps of its users including new tab management abilities, intelligent suggestions, and a task manager for keeping Firefox's power consumption under control.
Social Media

This event topped Facebook’s biggest moments of the year — again

As the year comes to a close, Facebook is looking back on what users discussed most over the last year. For two years in a row, International Women's Day topped the list. So what else is on the list?
Social Media

This band owns Twitter, according to list of top accounts and tweets for 2018

What was the biggest buzz on Twitter in 2018? Twitter's 2018 Year in Review highlights the biggest tweets, accounts, and hashtags. The most-tweeted celebrities, movies, TV shows, athletes, politicians and more in Twitter's 2018 trends.
Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.
Home Theater

It took Tom Cruise to raise awareness of this troublesome TV setting

Tom Cruise, in an unexpected PSA tweet, asks you to turn off motion interpolation on your TV, but stops short of how to do it. Here's more on the topic, along with links to a guide on how to rid your TV of the dreaded "soap opera effect."

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.

Amazon scouted airport locations for its cashier-free Amazon Go stores

Representatives of Amazon Go checkout-free retail stores connected with officials at Los Angeles and San Jose airports in June to discuss the possibility of cashier-free grab-and-go locations in busy terminals.
Social Media

Snapchat facial recognition could soon power a new portrait mode, code suggests

Digging into Snapchat's code suggests a handful of upcoming camera features, including a portrait mode. The feature appears to use facial recognition A.I. to blur the background. The code also suggests an updated camera interface.

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.
Social Media

Walkie-talkie voice messaging finally comes to Instagram

In its latest grab from messaging apps, Instagram now lets you send walkie-talkie style voice messages. Apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and iMessage have offered the feature for some time.
Social Media

‘YouTube Rewind 2018’ is about to become its most disliked video ever

YouTube is about to achieve a record it really doesn't want — that of "most-disliked video." Yes, its annual recap of featuring popular YouTubers has gone down really badly this year.