Microsoft shutting down OneDrive groups in October

Microsoft have announced that the Groups collaboration feature for their cloud storage service, OneDrive, will be discontinued in October. When the date comes along, existing groups will be deleted. Read more…

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Facebook takes on Vine and Snapchat with new Riff app

What if you combined the viral nature of Vine with the mini-story capability of Snapchat? That’s what Facebook is trying to do with Riff, a new app that’s available for download today. Created by Facebook’s Creative Labs (the same group…Read more ›



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Facebook Announces ‘Work’ App for iOS Focused on Workplace Social Networking [iOS Blog]

Facebook today plans to launch a new app for iOS and Android, simply titled „Work“, that will allow businesses to build their own Facebook-like social networks to facilitate interaction amongst employees.

The service, which will also available on the main Facebook website, has been beta tested in „a very small set“ of businesses around the world, Lars Rasmussen, the engineering director at Facebook who is heading up the project, told TechCrunch. Today’s launch is the next step in testing the project, a continuation of a process the company has essentially been working on for a decade due to its basis in Facebook’s own employees using the service to plan meetings, share files, and collaborate on projects.

“Facebook at Work’s strength is that we’ve spent ten years and incorporated feedback from 1 billion active users,” he says. “All of that is embedded now in the same product but adapted for different use cases.”

And it’s actually used by staff. “When Mark makes an announcement he just posts it on Facebook at Work,” Rasmussen says.

No details on pricing of the app, or overall service, were given, though TechCrunch points out that Rasmussen never rules out advertisements as a future possibility for the service. Facebook at Work will also be a bit bare bones when it launches today, as the service will allow users to share and receive documents, but due to the company’s time crunch to meet today’s launch, there won’t be any in-app editing yet.

Rasmussen also gave TechCrunch a run-down of how the service functions when starting out, describing linking accounts amongst a user’s personal Facebook and an overall similarity to the company’s previously established Groups service.

“When an employer adopts Facebook at Work, they can construct it with a set of new accounts. Users can then link their work and personal accounts together so that they are logged into both at the same time.” This would work much like Groups and public profiles do today. On mobile, you would have two mobile apps running at the same time, he adds. “Even if the employee chooses to link there is no crossover. The content stays entirely within your personal or work Facebook.”

Though Facebook’s new app is decidedly business-focused, it follows the company’s recent trend of separating individual aspects of the service into multiple independent apps acting autonomously from the main Facebook app.

The nascent service has a bit of an uphill battle, with competing services already filling the market and ensuring users their personal data won’t leak over into the work side of things, but Rasmussen points out he’s already seen how a service like this can fail by working on Google Wave, a similar work-focused service. “I can say that the challenges of making work more efficient is something that has been on my mind for a long time,“ he told TechCrunch, „And I come to it with a lot of passion and the knowledge of a failure of doing this at a different company.“

Facebook’s Work for iOS app is scheduled to launch later today.




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Facebook Introduces New Standalone ‘Groups’ App [iOS Blog]

Facebook today announced a new Facebook Groups app, which is designed to let Facebook users access and interact with the Facebook groups that they have joined.

Facebook has long had a groups function, where families, clubs, workplaces, and more can band together for a custom sharing experience. The groups feature lets people post and share content that is exclusive to the group, which can be open, closed, or private.

According to Facebook, its new dedicated Groups app is designed to help people „share faster and more easily“ with all of their groups, as group interactions are typically buried under other functionality in the standard Facebook app.

This app gives you a dedicated space for you and your groups.

See all of your Facebook Groups in one place. Discuss, plan and collaborate easily and without distractions. Follow your groups here or on Facebook, whichever is easier for you.

– Create a group for just about anything.
– Share information, post photos and links, and stay in touch.
– Discover and join new groups for whatever you’re into.

The main view of the Groups app displays all of a user’s groups, with the most recently visited group listed at the top. New groups can be created from within the app with the „Create“ button, and the app also delivers notifications on group activity. There’s also a discover feature to suggest new groups to people based on pages that they’ve liked.

While Facebook removed messaging functionality from its main app to redirect its users to the Facebook Messenger app, the company says that groups will continue to be accessible from the main Facebook app as well as the new Groups app.

Facebook’s new Groups app can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]




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Facebook testing new "Moments" app for limited sharing of timeline content

Facebook is supposedly trying out a new app, which would allow users to share their updates with only a very limited number of people. In a way it’s very similar to what Path tried. Read more…



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Google Launches iOS Version of Multiplayer Augmented Reality Game ‘Ingress’ [iOS Blog]

Google’s mobile-augmented reality game Ingress today launched for iOS devices, coming seven months after the game’s general release on Android. The title’s product manager confirmed last October that an iOS version of the game was in the works after a closed beta saw over ten thousand active players a month and one million total activations.

The title’s story centers around The Enlightened and The Resistance, two factions who compete against each other to unlock clues about a mystical technology. Events in the game progress in real-time as Google delivers new clues each week, while players claim local landmarks in the real-world to earn points for their respective team.

The World is the Game
Move through the real world using your iOS device and the Ingress app to discover and tap sources of this mysterious energy. Acquire objects to aid in your quest, deploy tech to capture territory, and ally with other players to advance the cause of the Enlightened or the Resistance.

Strategy
The struggle is being played out globally. Track the progress of players around the world, plan your next steps, and communicate with others using an Intelligence map.

Form Alliances
The struggle to save the planet spans the entire world. Groups of people acting together can be more effective than individuals acting alone. Cooperation across neighborhoods, cities, and countries will be needed to achieve the ultimate victory.

Ingress is a free app for iOS devices and can be downloaded through the App Store. [Direct Link]




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