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Twitter App Introduces Rich Notifications Support in iOS 10

Twitter's first-party iOS app recently began rolling out support for rich notifications for anyone on iOS 10, letting users get a larger glimpse at their incoming notifications without having to open their iPhone or the Twitter app. The new notifications include a few formatting retouches, as well as the inclusion of images in relevant posts. With the new notification set-up, users will get pop-ups for the usual Twitter activities, including @ mentions and direct messages, but now a small thumbnail appears alongside the text of the Tweet on the iPhone lock screen and in Notification Center. Whenever users force touch the notification, they'll get an expanded view of the content with a larger image, along with the normal options to like and retweet. Rich notifications were one of the flagship features when iOS 10 launched in September, and have been included in many of Apple's first-party apps like Messages and Mail. Other companies have slowly been adding support for the feature, including apps like Netatmo Security, which let users watch clips of a connected security camera directly within the

Twitter Introduces QR Codes for Sharing and Following Accounts

Twitter today introduced Snapchat-style QR codes, which are designed to make it easier to find and follow friends on the social network. Each Twitter QR code is unique to an individual Twitter user, so when scanned, it'll bring up the person's account. To access your Twitter QR code, you'll need the official Twitter app for iOS. In the app, go to your profile, tap on the gear icon, and select the "QR Code" option to generate your own personal QR code or scan someone else's code. Scanning a QR code is as simple as using the iPhone's camera to either scan from a secondary screen or an image you've saved to the camera roll. You can follow MacRumors on Twitter by scanning the below code with your iPhone and the Twitter app. QR codes were first made popular by Snapchat as a quick way to find your friends without having to search for them, but they may not be as popular on Twitter because the QR code settings are buried so deeply within the app. Twitter's QR codes are currently rolling out to users and may not be immediately available for everyone. Twitter for iOS can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Twitter Addresses Anti-Harassment Concerns With New Mute Filter and Reporting Features

Almost three months after news first broke that Twitter was planning to launch new features in order to address a bevy of concerns leveled at the company in regards to bullying and harassment among its users, the company today announced the launch of a few anti-abuse steps it'll be taking to make its platform more inclusive. The final product is slightly different from what was detailed in August, and comes as a simple expansion of Twitter's pre-existing "mute" ability. Whereas mute was limited to entire accounts before, now users will be able to mute keywords, phrases, and even entire conversations within notifications in Twitter. This way, users can block specific content they don't want to be notified about, without having to completely mute an entire account. The expansion of mute is still a step behind third-party apps like Tweetbot, which let users mute words, hashtags, and users everywhere they appear on Twitter, not just in notifications. The amount of abuse, bullying, and harassment we've seen across the Internet has risen sharply over the past few years. These behaviors inhibit people from participating on Twitter, or anywhere. Abusive conduct removes the chance to see and share all perspectives around an issue, which we believe is critical to moving us all forward. In the worst cases, this type of conduct threatens human dignity, which we should all stand together to protect. Because Twitter happens in public and in real-time, we've had some challenges keeping up with and curbing abusive conduct. We took a step back to reset and take a new approach, find

Apple Wins 'Gold' Customer Service Award From Twitter

Twitter today announced the results of its first ever #Awards initiative, naming Apple as the top customer service provider on the social networking platform. Apple was awarded with the "Gold" #Customer award for the @AppleSupport Twitter account, which Apple uses to quickly respond to customer service requests. According to Twitter, the @AppleSupport account ranks #1 among support accounts for average engagements and average engagements for followers, racking up 150,000 likes and retweets since its launch. The average online customer service response time is a long, grueling 17 hours. Hours! @AppleSupport decided to do something about that sad stat and use Twitter to respond to customer inquiries and comments. Because of the live nature of Twitter they are also able to pick up conversations with customers at any time, and incorporate rich media into responses to provide even more help to people when and where they need it most.Apple launched its Apple Support Twitter account in March of 2016, marking its first support account on a social networking site. Apple uses the Apple Support account to answer customer questions, offer support, and provide Apple customers with tips and tricks on using Apple products. Illustrate your point. Draw, zoom, and add text to images before sending. pic.twitter.com/WKXfjlac5j— Apple Support (@AppleSupport) November 9, 2016 Apple interacts directly with customers through the Apple Support Twitter account and provides quick solutions to problems, often responding to requests in a matter of minutes during the hours of 5:00 a.m. to 8:00

Twitter May Sell Vine Instead of Shutting It Down

Twitter last week announced plans to shut down Vine, but it looks like the video sharing service could potentially live on as Twitter is currently entertaining multiple purchase offers. According to TechCrunch, Twitter is vetting term sheets from several companies who are offering to buy Vine and "hopes to make a deal soon." Its not known which companies have made offers for Vine, but one rumor suggests Japanese company Line is in the running.One source says that at least some of the offers are for under $10 million, indicating Twitter might not generate significant revenue directly from selling Vine. However, Vine could still benefit Twitter even if it's owned by someone who would help it thrive and retain the strong integration between the two apps. Vine content plays instantly in the Twitter stream, bolstering its current parent company's quest to serve more video that could attract user engagement.First introduced in 2013, Vine lets users capture six-second-long looping video clips that can be shared on social networks like Twitter and Facebook. Vine has had some stiff competition in recent years from companies like Snapchat and Instagram, leading to Twitter's decision to shut it down. Should Vine not be sold, Twitter plans to shut it down "in the coming months." The Vine website will remain intact so Vines will continue to be available to watch and download, though no new content will be able to be created. Vine's demise comes in the midst of significant layoffs at Twitter. In October, Twitter let go of nine percent of its staff, or 350 people, in an

Twitter iOS App Gains 'Highlights' Notifications Feature

Twitter has begun rolling out its opt-in Highlights feature to all iOS users. The feature notifies users via push notifications (up to two a day) about the most interesting content from Twitter, tailored just for them. Highlights are based on a number of different factors, says Twitter, including but not limited to: Conversations among people users follow and popular tweets from their accounts, as well as trends, news, and personalized topics. The Highlights feature, which has been available on Android for some time, began rolling out to iOS users on Monday. To enable it, Twitter account holders should tap on the gear icon in the Twitter app, tap Notifications, followed by Mobile notifications, and toggle the "on" button next to Highlights. Twitter is a free download for iPhone and iPad from the App Store. [Direct Link]

Twitter Tests Opening All Web links in Safari 'Reader Mode' on iOS

Twitter for iOS is currently testing a new way of opening web links in Safari with the Reader mode automatically turned on (via TechCrunch). Safari's built-in Reader mode, usually activated by tapping an icon in the browser's search bar, enables users to load a distraction-free version of websites minus formatting, ads, links, and so on, with font type and size custom options available. The Guardian was the first to notice that all the links they were clicking on in the Twitter app defaulted to the Reader mode. Twitter later confirmed to TechCrunch that it is testing the feature with select users, the aim being "to refine the product and make Twitter easier to use", according to a spokesperson. The downside to any potential rollout is that content publishers can't customize the Reader view of their site, nor will they be able to generate ad revenue from page views that come from Twitter links. And as pointed out by The Guardian, some sites do not display correctly in Reader mode, potentially detracting from the user experience. Twitter developers are said to be testing a series of changes to the social media network, in an attempt to improve the service after the company's recent internal turmoil, such as layoffs, the shutdown of Vine, and its much-publicized failure to find a

Twitter Shutting Down Vine

Twitter today announced plans to shut down Vine, the video sharing service it acquired in 2012. Twitter plans to discontinue the mobile app "in the coming months," but did not give a specific timeline. Introduced in early 2013, Vine allows users to capture and share looping video clips that are six seconds in length, sharing them on various social networks like Facebook and Twitter.Thank you. Thank you. To all the creators out there -- thank you for taking a chance on this app back in the day. To the many team members over the years who made this what it was -- thank you for your contributions. And of course, thank you to all of those who came to watch and laugh every day.Twitter plans to leave the Vine website intact, so Vines will continue to be available to watch and download. Twitter promises to notify users well in advance of any changes to the app or website. The shuttering of Vine comes amid massive layoffs at Twitter. Twitter is letting go of approximately nine percent of its staff, or 350 people, as it works on cutting down on costs and restructures its

Twitter Testing Out Expanded 'Moments' Tab Now Called 'Explore'

Twitter is opening up a new "Explore" tab on iOS and Android to a select group of users of its service. The new section is aimed at "content discovery" and showcases trending topics and simplified search tools in addition to "Moments," which the tab was previously dedicated to (via Mashable). Moments launched a year ago this month with the purpose of showing users stories and conversations unfolding on the service in differing categories. The tab had sections like "Entertainment" and "Sports," with individual Moments changing throughout the day as big events occurred. Image via Mashable Explore aims to expand Moment's singular purpose with more useful data for users, as well as keeping the basic structure of Moments packaged into the tab. For those who have seen the Explore section show up on mobile, it appears various sections are highlighted at first, including "Trending Now," "Today on Twitter," and "Explore All." "As part of our continued efforts to make it easier to find what’s happening on Twitter, we’re testing a new tab for content discovery," the company said in a statement. With Moments recently expanding into a customizable user feature, the company's future goals for Explore remain uncertain. It didn't comment on whether or not Explore would become a permanent feature for all users on iOS and Android, either. The company has gone through a hard time over the past few months, facing its slowest revenue growth in years amid talk of rocky waters at the social network's headquarters because of uncertainty surrounding a potential buyout by other

Apple, Google, Disney Unlikely to Bid for Twitter Buyout, Claims Report

Twitter shares took a tumble yesterday following reports that neither Apple nor Google are interested in making a bid for the social media company. Last month, Twitter shares rose 20 percent after rumors emerged that it had received takeover approaches from several tech giants and that its board of directors was open to a deal, which could come by the end of this year. But according to sources who spoke to Recode yesterday, Twitter should have "low expectations" of receiving an offer from Apple, whose focus "remains on its flagship consumer products and not on social networks", while Google – hitherto considered its most likely suitor – is no longer moving forward with an effort to buy at this time. Disney, which had also considered a bid, has also ruled itself out. That leaves American cloud computing company Salesforce in the driving seat for a potential acquisition, but the firm has so far refused to comment publicly on speculation that it is considering a buy. Twitter is said to be eager to wrap up any deal before its quarterly earnings report on October 27, but the latest share slump suggests investors are wringing their hands over the likelihood of a firm buy offer any time soon. For the last two years Twitter has been searching for ways to attract new users as the growth and profitability of rival social media companies like Snapchat and Facebook continue to outpace it. In June, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey suggested Twitter can be somewhat confusing and alienating to its install base in comparison, but it remains to be seen whether its recent flurry

Twitter's 'Moments' Feature Now Available for Everyone

Starting today, Twitter is opening up access to its Moments feature to everyone, allowing all Twitter users to create their own story timelines through tweets and photos. Launched in October of 2015, Moments is designed to help Twitter users discover stories unfolding on the social network, like conversations between world leaders or celebrities, cultural memes, sports commentary, world events, and more. At launch, Moments could only be created by Twitter's curation team and a select group of publishing partners, but expansion started in August of 2016 when Moments became available to influencers, partners, and brands. At the time, Twitter promised Moments would be opened up to everyone "in the coming months," and has finally made good on that vow. Moments can be accessed both through the Twitter app for iOS devices and on the web through dedicated tabs. Moments offer streams featuring full-width images, autoplaying videos and GIFs, and text-based tweets. For everyone who wants to make a Moment – starting today you can! Creators everywhere can now tell stories with Tweets. pic.twitter.com/ZJtNBoTPWf— Twitter (@twitter) September 28, 2016 Creating a new Moment can be done through the "Moments" tab available on each user's profile page. Twitter users can create a title, set a cover image, and add tweets to tell a story. Moments is available to everyone starting today, but the feature appears to be rolling out to users and may not be immediately

Twitter Rolls Out Algorithm-Training 'I Don't Like This Tweet' Button on iOS

After announcing that it would move to an algorithm-based feed earlier in February, Twitter recently began rolling out a button to users on its iOS app that allows them to provide feedback for tweets on the social network (via BuzzFeed). Through the "I don't like this Tweet" button, Twitter will eventually learn to showcase less tweets related to the content you flag as poor in its algorithmic feed. Currently available for "some iOS users," and rolling out slowly, the button can be found after tapping in the options menu on any individual tweet. Alongside options to report the tweet, block, mute, or unfollow the user, and share the tweet, you'll find "I don't like this Tweet." Tapping it will immediately hide the content from your timeline and Twitter lets you know that it “will use this to make your timeline better.” Image via Twitter Support Reached for comment, a Twitter spokesperson pointed BuzzFeed News to a Twitter Help Center post that says the function “helps Twitter better understand the types of Tweets that you’d like to see less of in your Home timeline. We may use this information to optimize and tailor your experience in the future.” Twitter began introducing its algorithmic timeline in February, putting its selected tweets in a prominent placement on the user timeline, atop the reverse chronological organization of regular Tweets that the social network has been known for before the update. Users can choose to turn the feature off, but according to Twitter only 2 percent of its user base has done so since the update debuted. According to BuzzFeed,

Twitter Dropping Handles and Media Attachments From 140-Character Limit Starting September 19

Twitter's planned update that will make additional characters available for tweets is coming on September 19, reports The Verge. As was announced in May, Twitter will stop counting Twitter handles, photos, GIFs, polls, and other media content within the 140-character limit allowed for each tweet, leaving more room for text. All @names, such as @MacRumors, will no longer count towards the 140-character count, nor will media attachments, retweets, or quoted tweets, but links will still eat up 23 characters. Twitter declined to comment publicly on The Verge's leaked release date, nor is a source for the launch date given, but the change has been in the works for months. Twitter announced the news early to give its developer partners time to make any needed updates to products using the Twitter API. Twitter has used a 140-character restriction for each tweet since it launched in 2006. Reports earlier this year suggested the microblogging site was considering eliminating the 140-character limit altogether, but Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey later said the limit will remain in place. Still, Twitter has been exploring ways to allow people to better express themselves and has said it has additional plans to make existing uses easier and enable new

Apple's Five-Year-Old Twitter Account Gets Active Ahead of September 7 Event [Updated]

Created five years ago in September of 2011, Apple's official twitter account, @Apple, has begun stirring today. The company updated the page with a new logo -- a classic black Apple image on a white background -- and the same teaser art for next week's September 7 event that was included on invites earlier this week. Although Apple appears to be preparing a new section of its social media presence, the account has yet to tweet anything to its more than 110,000 followers. With the timing of the reactivation, and the similar art, it seems likely that Apple will begin using the account to share news and updates from its event in the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, California. Apple hasn't been completely averse to social media, since over the past few years the company has created Twitter accounts for iBooks, Apple Music, iTunes, and just this year began bolstering its presence on Twitter with Apple Support and Apple News. Apple was recently rumored to be working on a social media app of its own for launch in 2017, with similarities tying its video-heavy features more to Facebook and Snapchat than to Twitter. Update: Apple’s Twitter account has shared a promoted tweet reminding users about next week’s event. Users can retweet the status to get an event reminder. September 7 at 10 a.m. PTWatch the event on https://t.co/yLa2e4Xr2R.RT for a reminder on event day. #AppleEvent pic.twitter.com/e9MHNkLeoi— Apple (@Apple) September 2, 2016 (Thanks, James!)

Twitter Working on Anti-Harassment Tool With Keyword Blocking Abilities

Following a recent string of high-profile stories centered around cruel tweets, Twitter is said be gearing up to launch a new tweet moderation feature that will let users filter content they see by using keywords (via Bloomberg). Any subsequent tweet with the specifically designated harmful words would be blocked from the user's timeline and invisible to them, but still posted for anyone else to see. The anti-harassment tool is said to have been in production "for about a year" at the company, and is still not quite ready for a wide rollout yet. The news comes from a group of people close to the project, and is most likely gaining traction after a particularly public year of unfortunate incidents surrounding the social network, where both reporters and celebrities were attacked on the service. Twitter needs to attract and retain users as the growth in their numbers slows. The company has spent the past few months consulting with an outside council of anti-harassment groups about its strategy for addressing the issue, which has become one of Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey’s top priorities. Twitter took some small steps this year, such as making it easier for people to report abuse by letting them identify multiple offending tweets while filing their complaints. But the keyword tool, if implemented, would be the first to give users more control over what they see instead of blocking individual users after they attack. Twitter and CEO Jack Dorsey have attempted to make inroads towards creating a less harmful atmosphere on the social network, but as yet haven't

Twitter Rolls Out 'Quality Filter' to Block Abuse and Automated Content

Twitter has announced a new "Quality Filter" feature that enables users to filter notifications so that they only see "quality tweets" and mentions from people they follow. The feature initially rolled out as a test and was created partly as a means to combat users' exposure to abusive trolls, but Twitter says the filter is now available to everyone. "Last year we began testing a quality filter setting and we're now rolling out a feature for everyone. When turned on, the filter can improve the quality of Tweets you see by using a variety of signals, such as account origin and behavior," Twitter said in a blog post. The filter works using an algorithm to distinguish between good and abusive mentions. Any duplicate tweets or automated content identified by the feature are also filtered out of feeds, so that users don't see them at all when browsing the social media service. Two simple settings to give you better control over your Twitter experience. https://t.co/pEJuMUhCYs pic.twitter.com/jmFd0rDoV6— Twitter Support (@Support) August 18, 2016 Content from accounts users follow and any recent interactions with accounts they don't, aren't affected by the filter, according to Twitter. To turn the Quality Filter on or off in the iOS app, users can tap Notifications in the navigation bar, tap the Settings icon at the top left of the screen, and toggle the associated feature switch. A second option on the screen ensures users only see tweets from people they

Twitter Looking to Launch Apple TV App for NFL Live Streaming

In a piece covering Twitter's successful effort to win live streaming rights for Thursday night National Football League games this season, The New York Times reports that Twitter is in discussions with Apple to launch a Twitter app for the Apple TV that would let Twitter's users watch the NFL games on Apple's set-top box. Twitter has directed [Chief Financial Officer] Mr. [Anthony] Noto, a former Goldman Sachs banker with deep ties to the sports media industry, to lead the charge on live streaming and has assigned an engineering team to create its streaming video player. Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s chief executive, considers streaming a critical component of the company’s focus on “live” experiences, along with Periscope, its app that allows smartphone users to live-stream video. To bolster the effort, Twitter is in talks with Apple to bring the Twitter app to Apple TV, which would potentially let millions of Apple TV users watch the streaming N.F.L. games, according to the two people briefed on the discussions.Beyond the NFL, Twitter continues to strike deals for other live streaming content, and while the company's strategy for live streaming is not yet "fully formed," Twitter is considering how to bring that content users either in the main timeline or in the Moments tab of the current app for various platforms. The NFL had solicited a number of companies, including Apple, to gauge interest in streaming rights for Thursday Night Football, but Apple ultimately declined to submit a bid. Twitter's first Thursday Night Football live stream will take place on

Twitter for iOS Gets Shortcut Keys for Smart and Bluetooth Keyboards

Twitter has quietly introduced new keyboard shortcuts for iPad owners using Bluetooth and Smart Keyboards, in the latest update to its iOS app. The new shortcuts were revealed in a series of tweets by Twitter app developer Amro Mousa yesterday. Mousa let it be known that holding down the Command key brings up a shortcut sheet on connected devices running iOS 9 or later. Holding down the key shows shortcuts for a new tweet (Command+N), move left one tab (Shift+Command+[), and move right one tab (Shift+Command+]), but there are others available, as Mousa later highlighted. @amdev CMD+R to reply in tweet details or a DM conversation. And CMD+Enter to send. 😋— Amro Mousa (@amdev) August 2, 2016 The additional shortcuts are for closing a tweet dialog (Command+W), replying in tweet details or a DM conversation (Command+R), sending a tweet (Command+Enter), and another way of cycling through Home, Notifications, Moments, Messages, and Me screens in the app (Command+1 through 5). Twitter can be downloaded from the iOS App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Twitter Extends Functionality of 'Moments' for Users to Easily Follow Olympics

Twitter today revealed a change in how its "Moments" feature will work during the weeks of the Summer Olympic Games being held in Rio de Janeiro beginning August 5. A new tab for the Rio Olympics will be added to Moments -- and every platform the Twitter feature is available for -- but now users will be able to pipe news from the tab and into their own timeline for the entirety of the Olympic Games, which run until August 21. Previously, Moments would only fill up a user's timeline with news from any particular channel for a couple of hours, sometimes as long as a few days, but the Rio Olympics mark the first time the feature has been extended to nearly a month (via TechCrunch). Like with traditional Moments, when the event is over, the tweets and news disappear from your timeline completely. Twitter hopes that this will allow those interested in the Olympics to follow along with news and updates coming out of the ceremony with minimal hassle, since they won't need to go in and specifically follow individual news personalities, media companies, and olympians -- whom they might just end up unfollowing when it's all over anyway. You’ll see the option to follow country specific Moments, which will last throughout the Games, so the best of what’s happening with your team will appear in your timeline for the entirety of the Olympics. You can also just opt to follow your favorite sports and events to see these Tweets in your timeline, or catch up on what you missed every day with recap Moments that will highlight results, medal counts and more. Of course, when a

Twitter Debuts 'Stickers' as it Faces Slowest Revenue Growth in Three Years

Twitter today will begin rolling out its new "Stickers" feature for iOS and Android devices, which it first announced in June, letting users choose from a set of custom-made stickers in order to customize photos before posting them to the micro-blogging social network. The update brings Twitter a step closer to the comical editing capabilities of Snapchat, where users can place, enlarge, and filter emojis layered on top of their pictures. But, ahead of the official launch of Stickers, Twitter reported "its slowest revenue growth since going public in 2013." As reported by Reuters earlier this week, Twitter's most recent earnings forecast referenced a "disappointing" near future for the company as it struggles to keep pace with services that are catching fire, like Snapchat and Instagram. Now, everyone can use #Stickers on photos! Celebrate with us tomorrow as we #StickTogether . pic.twitter.com/LOh2jygRno— Twitter (@twitter) July 27, 2016 Overall, this year the company's user base expanded 1 percent from Q1 (310 million monthly active users) to Q2 (313 million MAU). Revenue during the second quarter also hit below expectations, as the company's current quarter forecast of between $590 million and $610 million fell below analyst estimates of about $678.18 million. The question now for investors, and executives at Twitter, is whether the service should pivot into a "niche product," now that its days of booming growth are behind it, and most people sticking around are longtime, loyal users. Either way, the company is said to have a plan in mind to turn things