Facebook testing auto-private messaging feature, so gear up for the complaints

Screen Shot 2013-06-04 at 2.38.45 PMIf there’s anything Facebook users have taught us, it’s that they are really, really opposed to redesigns. Every time Zuckerberg and his hoodied companions introduce a revamped look, certain users act like they’ve violently disemboweled the soul of the Internet. 

And there’s a new change coming to Facebook that’s relatively minor compared to the introduction of Timeline or the advent of Facebook Chat, but it might end up causing some embarrassment to people who don’t get the hang of it quickly, so expect uproar. TechCrunch reports that Facebook will be integrating messaging into its status update box — so instead of just having the option to post a status, you can start writing in the box and then just send it to a friend. We reached out to Facebook, but they haven’t commented on this new test, though TechCrunch says it has a variety of sources. 

Right now, messaging isn’t as front-and-center on the Facebook homepage as it could be. And you can tell that Facebook wants to prioritize messaging as a feature by the way it highlighted messages in Facebook Home. But this is wading into dangerous territory, since it seems like that would make it a lot easier for people to accidentally update their status with something they meant to go in a message. Just think about how many people have accidentally tweeted something atrocious when they thought they were DMing someone. I’m looking at Anthony Weiner and Allison Pill showing their junk to the world. Or Bret Easton Ellis accidentally tweeting what he meant to send to his drug dealer. Since Facebook is used as a way to private message far more frequently than Twitter, this makes it even more likely that we’re going to see some wholly inappropriate things go down while people figure out how to use this. 

So it remains to be seen whether Facebook will make additional changes to make sure that people don’t accidentally put private messages as statuses, but if they don’t, I’m looking forward to the Great Scandalous Facebook Status Controversy of 2013. And since Facebook doesn’t exactly have a stellar record with introducing changes to private communication, I think we might be gearing up for a silly time. 


Former student uses USB Killer device to fry $58,000 worth of college’s PCs

A former student used a USB Killer device to short circuit more than $58,000 of computers at a private New York college earlier this year. The student pled guilty to the charges and sentencing is scheduled to begin in August.
Movies & TV

Clip from John Wick: Chapter 3 confirms the dog is totally fine

John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum, the third installment of the wildly successful action series that stars Keanu Reeves as a deadly assassin forced out of retirement, hits theaters in May 2019. Here's everything we know about it so far.

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.

How to share your best gaming moments with friends on the PS4

Check out Digital Trends' quick guide to everything you need to know to save your outstanding PlayStation 4 gameplay moments, share them online, and transfer them to your computer.
Social Media

Looking to officially rid your inbox of Facebook messages? Here's how

Deleting messages from Facebook Messenger is almost as easy as scrolling through your News Feed. Here, we show you how to delete an entire conversation or a single message, both of which take seconds.
Social Media

LinkedIn: Now you can express love, curiosity, and more with new Reactions

LinkedIn is following in the footsteps of Facebook (three years later!) with the rollout of new reactions that give users more ways to express themselves when responding to posts in their feed.
Social Media

Twitter’s experimental Twttr app is even more popular than the real thing

Twttr, the new app that lets regular Twitter users test new features, is proving more popular than the main app, according to the company. The revelation suggests some of the innovations may land for all Twitter users soon.
Social Media

Messenger and Facebook, together again? Facebook tests integrating chats

Longing for the old days where Facebook and Messenger were one app? Facebook is testing an integrated chat option. While Messenger remains more feature-rich, the test brings some chat functionality back into the Facebook app.
Social Media

How to download Instagram Stories on iOS, Android, and desktop

Curious about how to save someone's Instagram Story to your phone? Lucky for you, it can be done -- but it does take a few extra steps. Here's what you need to know to save Instagram Stories on both iOS and Android.
Social Media

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp went down worldwide for 2 hours this morning

Chaos erupted on the internet this morning, as Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp all went down from 6:30 a.m. to approximately 9 a.m. Thousands of users were unable to access the sites or send or receive Whatsapp messages.

Skype screen sharing for mobile will let you share your swipes on dating apps

Skype is prepping the launch of screen sharing for mobile so you can share your swipes on dating apps, shop with buddies, or, perhaps, show a PowerPoint presentation to coworkers. It's in beta just now, but anyone can try it.
Social Media

Facebook toys with mixing Stories and News Feed into one swipeable carousel

Facebook's News Feed could look a lot like Stories if a prototype the social media giant is working on rolls out to users. The design change mixes Stories and News Feed posts into a full-screen slideshow that users swipe left to navigate.
Social Media

No more moon showers as Facebook Messenger’s dark mode gets official rollout

Facebook Messenger launched a dark mode last month, but to activate it you had to message the crescent moon to someone. Now it's been rolled out officially, and it can be accessed in a far more sensible way — via settings.

Twitter has revealed a launch date for its handy hide replies features

Twitter has revealed a launch date for a feature that lets users hide replies to their tweets. The hope is that it will help the original poster filter out offensive or irrelevant content from conversation threads.