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Twitter rolls out 280-character limit to all users

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San Francisco, Nov 8: After running a successful trial with few users, Twitter has finally rolled out its new 280-character limit virtually for all users.

In September, Twitter launched a test that expanded the 140-character limit so that users could express themselves easily in a tweet.

“Our goal was to make this possible while ensuring we keep the speed and brevity that makes Twitter, Twitter.

“Looking at all the data, we’re excited to share we’ve achieved this goal and are rolling the change out to all languages where cramming was an issue,” the micro-blogging platform said in a blog post on Wednesday.

During the first few days of the test, many people tweeted the full 280-limit because it was new and novel but soon after, the behaviour normalised.

“We saw when people needed to use more than 140 characters, they tweeted more easily and more often. But importantly, people tweeted below 140 most of the time and the brevity of Twitter remained,” said Aliza Rosen, Product Manager, Twitter.

Only five per cent of tweets sent were longer than 140 characters and only two per cent were over 190 characters.

In addition to more tweeting, people who had more room to tweet received more engagement (Likes, Retweets, @mentions), got more followers and spent more time on Twitter during the experiment.

“Japanese, Korean and Chinese will continue to have 140 characters because cramming is not an issue in these languages. In fact, these languages have always been able to say more with their tweets because of the density of their writing systems,” the post said.

The average length of a tweet in Japanese is 15 characters, and only 0.4 per cent of tweets hit the 140-character limit.

But in English, a much higher percentage of tweets have 140 characters (nine per cent).

Most Japanese tweets are 15 characters while most English tweets are 34.

According to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, this is a small change, but a big move for them.

“The 140 limit was an arbitrary choice based on the 160 character SMS limit. Proud of how thoughtful the team has been in solving a real problem people have when trying to tweet. And at the same time maintaining our brevity, speed, and essence!” Dorsey had tweeted during the time of trial.

The 140-character limit has been around since 2006 and has become part of the product’s personality.

IANS

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‘Tech giants must spend real money on media literacy in India’

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New Delhi, Sep 22: To ensure smartphones remain a force for good, device makers need to spend some “real money” on media literacy in India so that people can take full advantage of the new technologies and learn to distinguish what messages to believe and what not, says the author of a new book on how the smartphone is changing the country.

“Media literacy should ideally start from elementary level in schools,” Ravi Agrawal, author of “India Connected: How the Smartphone Is Transforming the World’s Largest Democracy” told a gathering at The American Center here on Friday.

In the absence of such education, there could be misuse of technology, as evidenced by several cases of lynching incidents in India linked to rumours spread on WhatsApp, he said, while participating in a discussion on the impact of smartphones and the Internet on the Indian economy and society.

“Smartphones are doing to India what the automobiles did to America about a century ago. In fact, the power of smartphonoes in changing the lives of Indians has been stronger than that of automobiles and electricity,” said Agrawal, who is also the Managing Editor of Foreign Policy magazine.

While smartphones have opened new doors of opportunities for millions of people in India, the transformative power of the device has not always been for good, he pointed out.

“There have been intense discussions in the developed countries on how smartphones have driven screen addiction among teenagers which has been linked to depression and other mental health issues. But such discussions are missing in India,” he said, highlighting how the country is ill-prepared to deal with the adverse effects of technology.

Agrawal’s book, published by the Oxford University Press, has three parts: Opportunity, Society and the State.

“While the smartphone has unleashed many positive changes, it has not been so successful in breaking the barriers of class and caste in connecting Indians to their fellow countrymen,” said Agrawal who worked as CNN’s New Delhi Bureau Chief and Correspondent before joining Foreign Policy.

With 481 million Internet users (as of December 2017), India has the second highest Internet user base in the world after China, according to a report by not-for-profit industry body Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).

Most of the people in India access the Internet through their smartphones.

IANS

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Samsung launches 2 smartphones in 2 Galaxy J series

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Gurugram, Sep 22: Refreshing its budget J series, Samsung India on Saturday launched Galaxy J4+ and J6+ for Rs 10,990 and Rs 15,990, respectively.

Galaxy J6+ and Galaxy J4+ with glass-finish design and Dolby Atmos will be available from September 25 on retail outlets, Amazon, Flipkart and Samsung Shop.

“Galaxy J series is India’s most popular smartphone series, making up almost a third of all smartphones sold in India. We are making the J series even more exciting by introducing side fingerprint, emotify, glass finish and new reflective colours,” Mohandeep Singh, Senior Vice President, Mobile Business, Samsung India, said in a statement.

Galaxy J6+ is equipped with 4GB RAM + 64GB storage while Galaxy J4+ comes with 2GB RAM + 32GB ROM.

Both the smartphones are powered by a 3,300mAh battery and run Android Oreo operating system (OS).

Both Galaxy J6+ and J4+ offer true HD experience as they have L1 Widevine certification. This, coupled with Dolby Atmos, enables consumers to enjoy a full 360 degree surround-sound experience.

Galaxy J6+ comes with “Side Fingerprint” sensor — a first for any Galaxy device — which unlocks the phone in the most secure manner.

Galaxy J6+ comes with 13MP+5MP dual rear camera and an 8MP front camera while the Galaxy J4+ sports a 13MP rear and a 5MP front camera.

The new smartphones come with true HD+ infinity design that gives users nearly 15 per cent more display area without increasing the overall size of the device, the company claimed.

Both devices are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor.

IANS

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Google still allowing third-party apps read your Gmail: Report

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Washington, Sep 21: After facing a backlash over reports in July that third-party app developers can read your Gmail, Google has once again defended its policy to allow third-party apps to access and share data from Gmail accounts.

According to a CNNMoney report on Thursday, Gmail lets third-party developers integrate services into its email platform.

“Developers may share data with third parties so long as they are transparent with the users about how they are using the data,” said the report, quoting from a Google letter sent to the US Senators.

Google also makes “the privacy policy easily accessible to users to review before deciding whether to grant access”, said Susan Molinari, Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs for the Americas at Google, in the letter.

The Wall Street Journal reported in July that despite assuring users to “remain confident that Google will keep privacy and security paramount”, the search giant is still allowing third-party app developers scan through Gmail accounts.

Gmail has nearly 1.4 billion users globally — more users than the next 25 largest email providers combined.

Later, Google said in a blog post that the company is continuously vetting developers and their apps that integrate with Gmail before it opens them for general access.

According to Google, it gives both enterprise admins and individual consumers transparency and control over how their data is used.

“We make it possible for applications from other developers to integrate with Gmail — like email clients, trip planners and customer relationship management (CRM) systems — so that you have options around how you access and use your email,” said Suzanne Frey, Director, Security, Trust and Privacy, Google Cloud.

Before a published, non-Google app can access your Gmail messages, it goes through a multi-step review process at the company, it said.

“It includes automated and manual review of the developer, assessment of the app’s privacy policy and homepage to ensure it is a legitimate app, and in-app testing to ensure the app works as it says it does,” Frey noted.

In 2017, Google had said its computers will soon stop reading the emails of its Gmail users to personalise their ads.

IANS

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