Instagram steals from Snapchat for new Threads app

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Threads
Instagram has yet another standalone app.
Photo: Instagram

Facebook-owned Instagram launched a new standalone app today that pretty much steals some of Snapchat’s key features.

Threads, rolling out globally to iOS today, is built around Instagram’s Close Friends feature, giving you a quicker way to message the people you care about on Insta the most.

Facebook is the latest tech giant to face antitrust probe

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Facebook faces antitrust investigation.
Google was targeted earlier this month as well.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The U.S. Justice Department is reportedly preparing an antitrust investigation into Facebook. This comes the same month that U.S. attorneys general revealed plans to probe Google for antitrust violations.

No Facebook investigation has been announced yet. But a “person familiar with the matter” says that is going to happen. This would be the fourth recent antitrust probe of Facebook — and the latest example of the growing pushback against tech giants.

Facebook eyes 2023 launch for smart glasses project

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Facebook messaging apps
Zuckerberg has reportedly asked that the project be made a priority.
Photo: Facebook

Apple’s long-rumored AR glasses project could get some competition from the world’s biggest social network company.

Facebook is reportedly developing its own augmented reality glasses. The social network recently struck a partnership with Ray-Ban parent company Luxottica to speed the product along, according to a new report.

Instagram will finally let you schedule posts for the future

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Instagram lawsuit
Instagram fans have been waiting forever for this.
Photo: Pixabay

Facebook revealed some big updates coming to its tools for creators including one feature Instagram users have been begging for for years.

Post scheduling is finally being adding to Instagram but only for business accounts that are linked to a Facebook page. The feature is being added alongside some other tools for live video broadcasting and analytics on Facebook.

Facebook reveals how its iOS apps track user location

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Facebook faces antitrust investigation.
Facebook may be trying to get on top of potential negative publicity.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Facebook has clarified how its apps collect and uses location data, ahead of the release of iOS 13.

While this data gathering is nothing new, iOS 13 will make it more obvious to users by calling out apps which behave in this way. It therefore looks like Facebook is trying to get out ahead of any potential negative publicity.

State antitrust probes of Google and Facebook don’t include Apple… yet

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Millions of iPhone users in the U.K. are suing Google for illicit data collection
States have launched investigations into Facebook and Google but not Apple.
Photo: rawpixel.com/Pexels CC

Separate groups of US state attorneys general are investigating Facebook and Google for antitrust violations. So far, there has been no word of AGs probing Apple.

However, that doesn’t mean the iPhone maker has escaped probes by other government bodies, both in the US and Europe.

Facebook left huge database of users’ phone numbers exposed

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Facebook faces antitrust investigation.
Oh look! Another Facebook data leak.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

A Facebook server containing hundreds of millions of users’ phone numbers was left completely exposed to potential attackers, according to a new report.

The data linked each phone number to a user’s unique Facebook ID, potentially exposing personal information that could be used against victims. Some of the records also contained the person’s name, gender and country.

Facebook and YouTube would be more profitable without advertising

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the Facebook logo on an iPhone 6 Plus
Facebook would be more profitable if users paid a monthly subscription fee.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Many of our favorite applications are free because advertisers pay for them. But what if that changed? How much would you pay for Facebook or YouTube without advertising… and without these apps profiling everything about you?

A survey conducted by a market-research firm found that subscription fees people would pay for these apps would make them more profitable than they are now.