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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

Twitter Announces New 'Stickers' Feature With Visual Search Options

Following in the footsteps of a few changes and additions to its social networking features, Twitter today announced that a new photo-enhancing suite of stickers will be coming to iOS and Android users "over the next few weeks." The update will let users place Twitter's custom "rotating sets of stickers" onto any photo -- along with the hundreds of emojis offered on iOS and Android -- to personalize a picture before posting it on Twitter. Image via TechCrunch Similar to Snapchat, and the enhanced additions coming to Messages, users will be able to place multiple stickers on one photo, resize and rotate them, and show support for a timely cause or big event in entertainment with stickers that will only last for a short period of time. In addition, stickers will be searchable "in a new, visual spin on the hashtag," letting you click on a sticker in any Tweet and see similar trending pictures related to your photo. To do this, the company said that tapping on any sticker in a picture will reveal a new timeline, "where you can see how people all over the world use that sticker in different ways." Coming soon! Unleash your creativity by adding fun #Stickers to your photos on Twitter: https://t.co/Ph92Oivyhy pic.twitter.com/NZoM6nHenD— Twitter (@twitter) June 27, 2016 Although no specific release window was given, the company said the rollout for stickers on iOS and Android would be completed over the next few weeks. A version of the sticker service will be headed to Twitter.com as

Twitter Begins iOS Rollout of Location-Based Tweet Aggregating Feature

Twitter has confirmed to TechCrunch that all of its first party iOS app users will today begin to see a new location-based feature that aggregates tweets tagged to a specific geographic location. Called "Twitter Location Feeds," the update lets users scroll through tweets and profiles surrounding locations like the headquarters of a business, sporting event, music festival, or an entire city. Powered by Foursquare, users can jump into any Location Feed they want by first tapping on a tweet to check out more details, then tapping on the location tagged within to see a list of tweets compiled within the area. Once in the feed for any specific location, users can scroll through all tweets posted by users in the area, or specify a media-only category to stick with photos and videos. Location feeds will unlock the ability for users anywhere to immerse themselves in a place. You could drop into a sporting event, see what people think about a museum, find the favorite dish from a restaurant, check the vibe at a local park, virtually visit a concert, or even become engulfed in a protest. Instead of browsing a noisy hashtag with tweets from everywhere, you can discover what people on the ground are saying. This ability to immerse yourself in an unfiltered sea of information has always been one of the best parts of Twitter. Due to its focus on navigation starting from tags in other users' tweets, a lot of the functionality of Location Feeds rides on automatic location tagging, which many users might have turned off. As such, TechCrunch considers that an update with

Twitter Extends Video Limit From 30 to 140 Seconds, Launches New Analytics App

Twitter today announced that video lengths on the social networking site will be expanded from 30 seconds to 140 seconds long, with select publishers still granted exemption from the limit with the ability to post up to 10 minute long videos. The company called video "increasingly central to the real-time conversations happening on Twitter," and noted that video-related Tweets had increased over 50 percent since 2016 began. Now, everyone can post videos up to 140 seconds long! We can’t wait to see the amazing videos you create and share.https://t.co/DFsuvnXkuL— Twitter Video (@video) June 21, 2016 To help facilitate more video views from its users, Twitter will be updating its iOS and Android apps with a new "full-screen viewing experience" that pops up whenever you tap on any tweeted video on your timeline. Everyone will be able to take advantage of the new 140-second videos beginning today, but the app update is said to be "rolling out soon." The company is also launching a separate, all-new app focused on analytics. Called "Twitter Engage," users will be able to better understand and decipher the performance of their tweets with "real-time data and insights." The app, which is specifically targeted at "influential creators" but available to anyone who's interested, lets users track tweet activity, get notifications from the most important followers, and provide a breakdown of the highest and lowest performing tweets posted to an account. Similar lengthy video updates are also coming to the Twitter-owned Vine app, where a select handful of creators will be

Twitter Rolls Out 'Go Live' Periscope Button to Small Group of iOS Users

Twitter recently began rolling out a new live-streaming Periscope button into its iOS app, letting users initiate a real-time broadcast from Twitter's first party app without having to jump into the company's year-old live-streaming video service Periscope. If a user doesn't have Periscope downloaded, the app will nudge them towards its location on the App Store. The new "Go Live" button can be found when composing a Tweet, sitting to the right of the Photo and Video media options. The company began testing the feature on Android back in May, but confirmed to BuzzFeed yesterday that a "small group" of iOS users would begin to see the button this week. Of course, the long-term plan and launch window were kept secret. Image via BuzzFeed A rep for Twitter told BuzzFeed News, “a few weeks ago we rolled out a ‘Go Live’ button in Twitter to a small percentage of Android users. We’re beginning to roll this out to a small group of iOS users. Over time, everyone will have the ability to start a Periscope broadcast from Twitter.” Periscope launched in March of 2015, on the heels of similar live-stream service Meerkat. Since then, Facebook has shifted a lot of its focus into the live video space, updating its mainline app with a live video-heavy "Discovery" tab and discussing its plans for the future during the company's F8 Developer Conference in April. A rumored standalone camera and live video app is said to be in the works at Facebook, as well. Twitter [Direct Link] and Periscope [Direct Link] can be downloaded on the App Store for

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Comments on Snapchat's Rise in Popularity Amid Twitter's Stagnation

While at Re/code's Code Conference this week, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey commented on a few aspects of the social network's failings in recent years, especially in comparison to the dramatic upswing in popularity other apps, like Snapchat, have seen. Dorsey mentioned that he believes Snapchat's method of messaging -- which incorporates transient text messages and time-locked photos and videos -- is "very modern," and that at times even he thinks Twitter can be somewhat confusing and alienating to its install base. His train of thought has been represented in user numbers, recently reported by Bloomberg, that suggest Snapchat has 150 million active users every day, while Twitter has fewer than 140 million. That's an impressive boost to Snapchat, which had just 110 million daily users back in December of 2015. Twitter has 310 million monthly active users, according to its most recent earnings report. The company doesn’t disclose how many of those people check in daily, but in the third quarter, it said about 44 percent of monthly users are active each day in the service’s top 20 markets. Twitter Chief Financial Officer Anthony Noto said at the time that the percentage had been stable but that “we’ll be sure to disclose” if there was a significant change. The company hasn’t given an update since then. This implies a daily active user count of 136 million. Of course, the company is constantly moving forward with innovations and changes to its user ruleset, recently announcing plans to drop handles and media attachments from its steadfast 140-character limit. A move to

Twitter for iOS Gains Support for Peek and Pop 3D Touch Gestures

The official Twitter app for iOS was today updated to version 6.54, quietly adding expanded 3D Touch support. As noticed by MacStories, the update enables Peek and Pop gestures within the Twitter app itself, allowing Twitter users with an iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus to preview content through a "Peek" and then quickly open it up with a "Pop." Peek and Pop gestures are available for previewing tweets, pictures, links, and user profiles, and with a swipe up on a Peek gesture, there are quick tools for sharing, reporting, muting, and blocking. Twitter previously featured 3D Touch support, but it was limited to Home screen Quick Actions, allowing users to do things like search, create a new tweet, or send a direct message. Twitter can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Twitter to Drop Handles and Media Attachments From 140-Character Limit

Twitter announced today that it will be making a number of expected changes to simplify tweets over the coming months. First and foremost, when replying to a tweet, Twitter handles such as @MacRumors will no longer count toward the 140-character limit. Media attachments, like photos, GIFs, videos, polls, and Quote Tweets, will also no longer be counted. The changes should provide Twitter users, including brands and websites, with more characters for actual text and article headlines. Meanwhile, new non-reply tweets that begin with a username will now reach all of a user's followers, eliminating the need to use the ".@" convention to broadcast a tweet widely. Last, Twitter users will be able to Retweet and Quote Tweet their own tweets. Twitter expects the changes to have a significant impact on tweets, so the microblogging service aims to provide its developer partners with time to make any needed updates to products built using the Twitter API.

Tweetbot for Mac Updated With 'Topics' Feature for Linking Multiple Related Tweets

Earlier this month, Tweetbot for iOS was updated with a new "Topics" feature designed to link multiple related tweets together in a cohesive way, and now the Tweetbot app for Mac has been updated with the same feature. Topics are built around the Twitter feature that links conversations. Tweets composed as a topic in Tweetbot are linked together via Twitter's conversation threading mechanism and use the same hashtag, so "Tweetstorms" or tweets surrounding a single topic connected. Linking multiple tweets together is often desirable in situations where a single tweet doesn't suffice, such as a lengthy rant or live event coverage.This release introduces Topics. A Topic is a way to let you quickly Tweet a group of related Tweets without having to manually reply to yourself and/or manually add the same hashtags over and over again. They are really great for rapid fire live Tweeting events. You can access Topics by tapping the gear menu in the New Tweet screen. They are also stored in and require iCloud, so you can start a topic on your iPhone and easily continue it on your iPad and Mac.Today's Tweetbot update also includes support for Collections, a way to save tweets linked together as a topic, and there are a number of feature improvements and bug fixes.- Collections Support - Improved Quote Preview in Compose Window - Removed play/pause button from video playback. Clicking on the video will toggle play/pause. - Fixed an issue where incoming DM's would play a sound even when notification center was set to 'Do not Disturb'. - If you mute someone you don't

Twitter Plans to Stop Counting Links and Photos in 140-Character Limit

Twitter has plans to stop counting photos and links within the 140-character limit allowed for each tweet, reports Bloomberg. Removing photos and links from tweets will allow tweets with media to contain more text. At the current time, photos take up 24 characters and links take up 23 characters, eliminating 47 available characters when both are included in a tweet. Twitter is reportedly introducing the change to give Twitter users "more flexibility" after exploring methods that would allow users to include more text in tweets. Twitter has made efforts to give users additional characters to work with in the past, implementing tweet quoting features, using link shorteners, and removing character limits from Direct Messages. Twitter has included a 140-character restriction since it launched in 2006, put in place to stay within the limits of the standard 160-character length of SMS messages with 20 characters left as space for a username. Reports in January suggested Twitter was considering eliminating the 140-character limit and allowing tweets to contain up to 10,000 characters as part of a project it called "Beyond 140," but Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey later said the character limit would not be changed. Twitter is expected to implement the change in the next two

Twitter for Mac Gains Support for Moments and Polls

Twitter today updated its dedicated Mac app with support for several Twitter features that have previously been available to Twitter users on iOS and the web, including Moments and Polls. Introduced in October, Moments is a new Twitter tab that's designed to help users discover popular news stories, events, and trending topics, aggregating interesting content into categories like News, Sports, Entertainment, and Fun. The ability to create custom polls embedded within Tweets was also added in a separate October update, allowing Twitter users to query their followers through multiple choice 24-hour polls. Along with support for Moments and Polls, Twitter for Mac users can now share GIFs in tweets and Direct Messages through a new GIF search feature.What's New - Find the best of Twitter in an instant with Moments. Follow top stories through immersive pics, clips, and conversations. Get insights and perspectives you won't find anywhere else. - Create polls on Twitter and with just a couple of taps, people can weigh in on all the topics they care about. - Sharing GIFs in Tweets and Direct Messages is even easier with our new GIF search.Today's Twitter for Mac update comes five months after a major app overhaul that was introduced in December. The Twitter for Mac 4.0 update introduced a slew of features like inline video playback, group direct messages, mute, a dark theme, and Notification Center widget. Twitter for Mac can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Twitter Launches 'Connect Tab' on iOS and Android to Curate Recommended Accounts

Twitter today announced a new feature for its iOS and Android applications that will connect people to Twitter users around the world who share similar interests. Using the new "Connect tab," users will be able to browse a list of people and accounts that the social network believes you will be interested in, all without having to manually search topics and hashtags yourself. Finding new accounts to follow used to require jumping through a few hoops and a dash of luck. That’s why we’ve reimagined the experience with our new Connect tab. Starting today, you’ll see a detailed list of people and accounts we think you’ll enjoy following, all easily accessible in one place. To curate the best selections in the Connect tab, the company said it uses the people you already follow, liked tweets, popular local Twitter accounts, and current world and entertainment events. It also assured users that it will "let you know exactly why we’re showing you each recommendation," to avoid any confusion. Beyond random accounts, the Connect tab will serve as an easier way to find friends and family members with the option to sync a smartphone's address book to find pre-existing Twitter users, and give you a heads up if a contact in the address book joins Twitter. The company said the new Connect tab is rolling out to everyone using Twitter for iOS and Android beginning today, but didn't mention the possible addition of the new feature to its desktop site. Twitter for iOS can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link

Twitter Moves to 'News' Category in App Store to Boost Visibility

Twitter yesterday changed how its iOS mobile app is categorized on the App Store in order to enhance its visibility, following the company's poor Q1 earnings report earlier this week (via TechCrunch). Twitter now appears in the "News" category, where it's the #1 ranked app ahead of CNN and Reddit. Previously it could be found in "Social Networking", where it occupied #5 in the category rankings, behind the likes of Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp. Achieving a #1 ranking in the App Store should also give Twitter's "Overall" ranking a boost, which equates to better visibility in the top "Free" apps chart, where Twitter currently sits at #28. The company has not commented on the thematic switch, which has yet to be reflected in the Google Play store (where it still sits in the "Social" category), but the change indicates that Twitter is looking to court a new audience interested in sources of breaking news and curated information on current affairs, as it seeks a strategy that will heighten its online profile and significantly boost growth. Twitter's Q1 earnings earlier this week showed poor performance, with $595 million company revenues falling short of the $607.8 million analysts expected. The platform had zero growth in new users in Q4 of 2015, but a new tallying system enabled the company to report a 2 percent increase in active users in Q1 (310 million, up from 305 million users in Q4). The company remains unprofitable, with a Q1 net loss of -$79.7 million, and gave bleak guidance for the quarter ahead. Twitter has attempted to improve its

Twitter for iOS Gains Message Button to Make it Easier to Share Tweets Privately

Twitter today announced the addition of a new "Message" button to the Twitter apps for iOS and Android, giving users a simpler method for sharing tweets through Direct Messages to start private conversations. Sending a tweet to a user through a Direct Message is a feature that was originally implemented in 2014, but using the feature required long pressing on a tweet in the timeline and choosing the correct option, a method that wasn't intuitive, especially to new users. Today's change will add a Message button directly adjacent to the standard Reply, Retweet, and Like buttons, making it more accessible.Every day, millions of people send Direct Messages to communicate privately with friends, family, experts, brands, and anyone else they find interesting on Twitter. In fact, we've seen the number of messages sent grow over 60% in 2015. And the number of Tweets shared privately has grown even faster, at 200% in just the second half of last year. With all this interest, we've also heard from many of you that it could be easier to share a Tweet using Direct Message. So now -- in just a few taps -- you can share unique Twitter content from your timeline right into your private conversation.Twitter plans to make the Message button available through an update that will be released later today. The Twitter app for iOS can be downloaded through the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Apple Support Has Responded to Nearly 100 Tweets Per Hour So Far

Apple's new support account on Twitter has quickly gained momentum after launching on Thursday morning, surpassing 125,000 followers in just over 24 hours. The account has over 2,750 tweets as of writing, meaning that Apple's support team has responded to nearly 100 customer tweets per hour so far. Keyhole, a real-time social media analytics website, provides a closer look at the Apple Support account. The data shows that the account, and related tweets, have already generated over 124 million impressions, with 44.6% of users viewing the tweets from an iPhone. 77% of the account's followers are male. Apple joins a growing number of companies, ranging from retailers to banks, that provide customer service on Twitter in 140 characters or less. A customer can send a tweet to @AppleSupport, and an Apple Advisor will typically reply with a generic message that requests the user send more details via Direct Message. We’re always looking for new ways to help you get the most from  products. Meet @AppleSupport! https://t.co/YhdvY44PPS— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) March 3, 2016 The account will respond to customer inquiries every day between 5 a.m. and 8 p.m. Pacific, and it will also share tips, tricks, and tutorials related to Apple products and services. Apple support continues to be available on the web, or by phone, email, or scheduling a Genius Bar