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Twitter Users Can Finally Fight Trolls With Tools to Mute Keywords, Phrases and Conversations

For years, Twitter has faced criticism for failing to manage online abuse in a way that honors free speech while still protecting its users from hate speech and bullying. Now, it's finally taking a step further in the fight against digital trolls. Today, the company says it's rolling out a way for users to not just block a user, but also to "mute" keywords, phrases and entire conversations at the notification level. Take that, trolls.

  • November 15, 2016

How Game Theory Improves Dating Apps

Traditional heterosexual dating apps have a fatal flaw: women get flooded with low-quality messages – at best vapid, at worst boorish – to the point where checking the inbox becomes an unappealing chore. Partly as a result, men see most of their messages ignored. Nobody is happy, but nobody can do anything about it. Well, none of the users, individually, can. But a new generation of dating apps impose limitations on daters that might liberate them. Don't hate the player.

  • November 10, 2016

You Will Soon Be Able to Order McDonald's From Your Smartphone

McDonald's has long been a leader in the fast food industry, but it has fallen behind its competitors in one big way: it hasn’t provided customers with a way to order and pay for their meals via smartphone or other mobile device. Now, the company is getting ready to roll out mobile order-and-pay technology. McApp coming your way.

Snapchat Gears Up to Win App-Install Ads From Facebook

Snapchat is looking to fight Facebook and others for one of the biggest categories of mobile advertising: app-installation ads. After introducing directly-sold app-install ads earlier this year, the messaging app is talking with direct-response specialists about giving them access to its ads API, or application programming interface, in the first half of next year, according to people familiar with the effort. Head to head.

Twitter is Shutting Down Vine

With Twitter’s future still in question following failed attempts at finding an acquirer and laying off nine percent of its workforce, the company announced it’s shutting down its standalone short-form video app, Vine. The announcement was devoid of any explanations about what led to the decision, only stating that Twitter would share more news on its blog and via its official Twitter account in the future regarding what comes next. Damn, Daniel. That sucks.

The Rise of Dating-App Fatigue

Services like Tinder and Hinge are no longer shiny new toys, and some users are starting to find them more frustrating than fun. Tired thumbs.

The Scientists Who Make Apps Addictive

Tech companies use the insights of behavior design to keep us returning to their products. But some of the psychologists who developed the science of persuasion are worried about how it is being used. The more influence that tech products exert over our behavior, the less control we have over ourselves. Trick or tech.

Paypal Tightens Integrations With Facebook Messenger

PayPal is expanding its ties to the Facebook Messenger platform with new services aimed at closing the gap between mobile and social commerce. Customers will be able to link their PayPal and Messenger accounts at PayPal checkout, and they'll also receive payment notifications directly within the Messenger app. So money.

Snapchat’s Created the First Ever ‘Welcomed’ Ads – and It's Making a Killing

Advertising has had a long history of being much-maligned. Nobody likes ads, we just put up with them. We recognize that they prey on our insecurities but, by virtue of both their prominence and ubiquity, can’t escape them. Well, one company appears to agree that its public ads do belong to you, and are yours to take and re-use. They're on to something.

What Will Break People’s Addictions to Their Phones?

While some blame our collective tech addiction on personal failings, like weak willpower, Tristan Harris, a product philosopher, points a finger at the software itself. That itch to glance at our phone is a natural reaction to apps and websites engineered to get us scrolling as frequently as possible. The attention economy, which showers profits on companies that seize our focus, has kicked off what Harris calls a “race to the bottom of the brain stem.” All part of the plan.

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