Twitter No Longer Counting Usernames in 140 Character Limit on Replies

Twitter Replies Cleaned Up

Twitter continues to tweak their service to give you more space in your replies on the service.  Starting today, the company is rolling out an update to users that eliminates the username of those to whom you are replying to from your 140 character limit.  This means you will have those characters to formulate your reply and, hopefully, not have to do so in multiple Tweets.

How this works is pretty straightforward.  When you reply to a Tweet, the @username part is removed from the tweet but you are shown who you are replying to at the top of the page on your Android phone.  While this isn’t a big deal for individuals you are replying to, for large groups, it is a big space saver.

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Google+ Quietly Removes Menu Link to Google Spaces

Google+ With Link to Spaces Removed

In the latest update to the Google+ app for Android, Google has quietly removed the menu link to Google Spaces.  It could be the first indicator that the carcass of yet another social networking attempt by Google is about to be thrown on the pile.  And frankly, it wouldn’t be all that shocking.  The change can be found in the 9.6.0 build of Google+ for Android and if you open up the menu using the hamburger menu or a swipe from the left side of your screen, you’ll see that there is no link to Spaces.

The idea behind Spaces was never fully articulated.  It was somewhat like Circles in the original Google+ but it was also aimed to allow you to create a “space”, invite friends so that you could discuss the space’s defined topic.  You could also share videos, images, texts and other media.  In theory, a pretty cool idea but Spaces never really took off.

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Instagram Update Allows Multiple Photos in A Single Post

Multiple Photo Sharing in Instagram

Instagram has rolled out an update to their Android app that brings a long wanted feature to the social sharing app.  Now you can select multiple photos or videos from your phone and have them in a single post.  Up to this point, you were limited to one photo or video per post.  Most people got around this by creating collages but that doesn’t always have the desired effect as it shrinks the photos down considerably.

To use the new feature, you have to have version 10.9 of the Instagram app for Android.  That build is rolling out in the Play Store now so it may be a day or two before everyone sees it hit their phones.  Once you have it and you start a new post, you will see a new “select multiple” feature.  Tap it and then tap all the photos you want to add to your post.  You can have up to 10 and you can mix pictures and video.  After you have selected your photos, you can apply filters to one or all of the photos and the post it as normal.  Once your post is done, those who see it can swipe through your photos to see all of them.

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Google+ Events Now Live

Google+ Events

As previously announced, Google+ has begun enabling Events in the community app.  It is still in the process of rolling out but for many, Events are now showing up both on the web and the Android app.  You will know if you have received the behind-the-scenes update if you go to Google+ on your phone and tap the menu.  If it has come to your account, you will see events.

As the name suggests, Events allows you to create events either at a location or on Hangouts to your circles or public on Google+.  You can create the event, add dates and times and select who you want to invite and it will show up as an event to attend.  If you invite a select circle, they will be notified via the app while the public will have it appear in the timeline of the community feed.

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Instagram Live Stories Now Available To Everyone

Instagram Live Stories

After rolling out to a limited number of users in a limited number of regions, Instagram has thrown the switch to give everyone Live Stories in the social sharing app.  If you are running the latest version of the app on your Android phone, you now have the option to create a live story by tapping on your profile icon at the top of the main display in the app.  There you will see the new Live feature where you can immediately start live streaming yourself or an event.

Functionally, this new feature in Instagram works like the Live feature in Facebook.  One interesting thing however is that once you are done with the live story in Instagram, it is gone.  They disappear after it is over and do not appear in your timeline.

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Google+ Your Influence Feature Rolls Out To All Users

Google+ Insights

Google+ has a new feature rolling out that allows you to quickly see how posts you have made are being received.  Called Your Influence, it is found on your Google+ profile next to the About button.  There you will find an overflow menu (the three vertical dots) which you can tap and then see your stats.  The stats can be viewed for the last 7 days or the last 30 days and give you a lot of information about how many new followers you have, how many new collection followers you have for your collections and the influence of your posts.

The feature is rolling out now so it make take a few more hours for everyone to see it.

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Instagram Adds Bookmark Feature To Save Posts

Instagram Bookmark Feature

Instagram has a nice new feature in the latest build of their app for Android.  The new 10.2 version has a save feature that allows you to save posts in a private area of your account for viewing later.  The new version is rolling out from the Play Store now so everyone should see it in the next day or two.  Once you do have it, the new save feature is easy to use.  Just open up Instagram on your phone and below each photo, on the right, you will see a bookmark-like icon.  That’s the save feature.  When you see a photo or video you want to save for later, just tap that icon and it is bookmarked to your account.  It is quick and simple to use and a great way to save those posts that you want to remember or reference later.

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Twitter Adds Improved Muting Features to Curb Online Abuse

Twitter has announced changes to their app and policies with the specific aim of cutting down on online abuse and bullying.  The changes will be rolling out over the course of the next few days and will bring a much enhanced mute feature.  This new feature will not only allow you to mute a particular account (which you can already do) but also allow you to block keywords and emoji too.  Notifications can also be muted after this update so if you are a victim of bullying or abuse on the service, you can quite literally turn that person or those words completely off in the app – and make your life a little bit easier.

Bullying and abuse has been a seemingly constant problem for Twitter.  Many individuals have left the service for a wide range of abuse issues from gender, orientation and political views.  Twitter in their update today stated that they know these changes won’t end it overnight but is working to try to cut it down.

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