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. 

Product Review

The Division 2 feels more like a revision, but fans will love it

If the private beta is any indication, The Division 2 is shaping up to be a better version of the original, rather than a brand-new experience. That said, the game is looking quite great.
Mobile

Need a date for Valentine's Day? Cozy up with the best dating apps of 2019

Everyone knows online dating can be stressful, time-consuming, and downright awful. Check out our top picks for the best dating apps, so you can streamline the process and find the right date, whatever you're looking for.
Social Media

Instagram test reveals direct messages may be coming to browsers

Instagram for the web has always been a minimalist affair compared to the feature-rich smartphone app, but in the last few years that's started to change. The latest news is that Instagram is considering adding direct messages.
Emerging Tech

Virgin Galactic donates record-breaking SpaceShipTwo rocket to the Smithsonian

Private space company Virgin Galactic recently donated the record-breaking rocket motor of SpaceShipTwo — aka VSS Unity — to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
Social Media

Twitter boss again teases the idea of a button to edits tweets

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has suggested the company is still looking at options for allowing people to edit tweets. Ideas include a function that gives you up to 30 seconds to recall a tweet before it goes live on the service.
Social Media

‘Instagram egg’ embarks on a new adventure as man behind it is unmasked

The Instagram egg made global headlines recently after it became the most-liked post on the photo-sharing app. The person behind the account has now been revealed, as has his reason for choosing an egg for the stunt.
Social Media

Periscope tool adds guests to feeds so streamers can become talk show hosts

Periscope users can now invite viewers to chime into the conversation with more than just the comment tool. By enabling the option to add guests, livestreamers can add guests to the conversation, in audio format only.
Photography

Crouching, climbing, and creeping, the perfect Instagram shot knows no bounds

Just how far will you go for the perfect Instagram? A recent survey shows just how willing Instagram users -- and Instagram husbands -- are to climb, lie down, embarrass themselves or let their food go cold for the perfect shot.
Social Media

Facebook’s long-promised ‘unsend’ feature arrives. Here’s how to use it

Send a message to the wrong person? Messenger now gives you 10 minutes to take it back. After an update beginning to roll out today, users can now retract messages if they act within the first 10 minutes after sending the message.
Social Media

YouTube boss admits even her own kids gave the ‘Rewind’ video a thumbs down

YouTube's 2018 Rewind video went down like a lead balloon at the end of last year, becoming the most disliked video in its history. And now YouTube's CEO has admitted that even her own kids thought it was pretty darn awful.
Social Media

Snapchat finally recovers from its redesign — so here comes an Android update

Snapchat's drop in users after launching a controversial redesign has finally stagnated. During the fourth quarter and 2018 earnings report, Snapchat shared that the company is rolling out an Android update designed to increase performance.
Social Media

Skype’s new ‘blur background’ feature could help keep you from blushing

Skype's latest feature for desktop lets you blur your background during video calls. The idea is that it keeps you as the focus instead of distracting others with whatever embarrassing things you might have on show behind you.
Social Media

Twitter users are declining but more people are seeing ads every day

Twitter's end-of-the-year report for 2018 is a mix of good and bad news. The good news is that more users are seeing adds daily, the metric the company will focus on moving forward. But the bad news is that monthly active users are…
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.