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Many social media services have developed dark modes for using their websites at night. The glare of a bright screen at night usually puts a strain on a person’s eyes. Twitter and Gmail already offer Dark Mode settings and Facebook already has it for its Messenger app. According to software engineer Jane M. Wong, Facebook proper is already using an early version of Dark Mode, but it will take a while for this idea to be fully implemented.

Facebook frequently tests new features without making it obvious. However, the company doesn’t have set timelines for when new features are released. This new feature may negatively contribute to the problem of tech addiction. Daytime addiction to social media is already common among web users. Only time will tell if social media companies will ever begin to take the problem of tech addiction seriously.

Social media apps, like any other product or service, can drop with a bang or end with an aw dang.   Just ask Vine or Google+.  While the world of social media is ever-expanding and ever more connected, with the likes of Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter at the forefront, we should take a quick look back at two apps that came in hot, then fizzled. Vine dropped in 2013 and was later bought by Twitter. Upon release, it was pretty hilarious and the first of its kind. Edit 6 second videos in different pieces to make something funny. What an idea. Vine was a hit. But then Snapchat added a story, Instagram added a story, and the limited 6-second video became a negative. Still, love to those who rocked the Vine platform. The creativity and comedy by Viners was a pre-curser to the meme world of today. Then there’s the story of Google+ and why it even existed. Why did it exist? Few could figure out its value. Was it for kids? Was it an alternative to LinkedIn?  It lasted for 8 years be virtue of Google’s deeeep pockets and still, few had a clue. RIP to that platform – no sweat off Google’s back, they run the world anyway. Finally, let’s take a moment to remember all of the other failed social media platforms that are no longer with us and let us thank them for their service.
Teen users of Instagram are increasingly switching to business accounts to get better metrics about their posts. These accounts show how many times posts have been viewed, at what times their posts are being viewed, who likes their posts and how many likes and views they’re getting.  Sounds great, but according to Facebook, which owns Instaram, business account holders are required to make their email and phone number available to the public.  When a teen is involved that’s a problem. Alex Meron-McCann from the cyber security firm McAfee, warns of serious consequences for teens who share personal information by using business account.  Alex is especially concerned about sexual predators contacting kids through these accounts. Data Scientist David Stier tells us that millions of teenagers have switched to business accounts; he also emphasized that if a 13-year-old develops a business account their contact information is available to over a billion people. A Facebook spokesperson explains that their set up process warns users that their contact information will be available to the public if they switch to a business account. Is this feature enough to keep a generation of young people safe?  Given fair warning, is Facebook responsible if someone blows through warning and misuses their platform?
Facebook is set to launch a new service this fall codenamed ‘Catalina’, which will serve as a larger version of their current Facebook Portal. Portal is like an iPad that primarily serves for making video calls and listening to music. Catalina will essentially be a bigger version of Portal. It will connect with your television, enabling video calls on a massive scale. The device will come with a remote and will steam to other boxes within the household much like Apple TV. Facebook has approached some of the big names in tech and entertainment – Disney, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and HBO – to discuss the prospect of having their services streamed across Catalina. Imagine video chatting with your friends while you are all watching the same movie.  FB is apparently not looking to create content, they seem happy to leave it to others in hopes that major streaming services sign on.  One notable exception is Google’s YouTube, which has apparently not been asked to join the party.  More specifics are expected as we approach this fall’s release date