Pac-Man is back and on our news feeds!
Facebook makes a huge leap into the world of gaming with the introduction of their latest in-app feature ‘Instant Games’.
The gaming feature allows users to play a series of instant games straight from their newsfeed and through the messenger app, without having to download any further add-ons. Exciting news for 90s babies, the ‘Instant Games’ feature has a series of nostalgic and beloved games including Pac-Man and Space Invaders. Facebook stated that nostalgia was an important factor in bringing a gaming feature to life.
With the opportunity to bring old school and modern games straight into your newsfeed, Facebook aims to re-engage with audiences and allow users to compete against one another, play and discover games. The feature currently has 17 games available, however, will introduce new games within the near future.
Facebook is continuing to grow their services to adapt to the digital world – so just how successful will their plunge into gaming be?
Twitter rules apply to all!
Twitter has cracked down on hate speech, and rightfully so! We all hate ‘hate speech’. Twitter have come out and said that these bans apply to all accounts, and if Donald Trump were to say the wrong things, then he too would face a ban from Twitter. It would be quite a move to ban a presidential elect!
Don’t fear, you can still Insta-stalk without being caught out
Following a recent Instagram update that would alert users when friends take a screenshot of their disappearing messages, many immediately assumed that Instagram would be sending those same notifications when they take a screenshot of a post.
The great news for all the avid stalkers out there is that this is definitely not the case. While a new alert will pop up saying, “You can share this post with your friends” when you take a screenshot, it does not alert anyone that you have done so.
This new feature is quite simply a way for users to easily share photos with friends, not to unveil your inner stalker to the world.
– Natalie Gyftopoulos
50 Million and Gone
Prominent YouTube personality ‘PewDiePie’ (Felix Kjellberg), has vowed to quit the video streaming platform upon reaching his milestone of 50 million subscribers.
This shock announcement came as Kjellberg accused YouTube site bosses of attempting to ruin his channel, claiming that they are moving his videos further down for people’s feeds and instead promoting “clickbait” channels.
The vlogger also made a subtle reference to his race as being part of the reason his videos are being left behind, stating, “I’m white… Can I make that comment? But I do think that’s a problem.”
YouTube officials are yet to respond to the growing frenzy surrounding these circumstances, but many believe this is a mere publicity stunt, creating hype and buzz only to eventually see Kjellberg take a short break and return bigger and better than ever.
Only the coming weeks will tell how this scenario plays out, however, if the claims surrounding YouTube’s suppression of content are true, this is sure to be an interesting saga to follow.
– David Clapton
Three days ago, Melbourne street artist Lushsux painted another piece of one of his favourite pop culture muses, Kanye West. In the past, he has portrayed Yeezy in bed with Taylor Swift, the Richmond mural an #iconic staple of the journey home on the Pakenham, Cranbourne, Frankston and Sandringham lines.
His latest work, however, was far from a masterpiece. Lushsux had painted Kanye in a straight jacket following the recent incident of Kanye cancelling his Pablo tour and being hospitalised with serious mental illness issues. Lushsux’s ‘Free Yeezy’ caption was just the icing on top of the seriously problematic mural.
Mental illness is an extremely sensitive topic that has only recently come out of its dark, shaming shadow. Conditions like depression and anxiety are increasingly being talked about with campaigns such as ‘R U OK?’ Day urging people to speak out about how they are feeling and seek necessary help.
Selena Gomez has recently opened up about her mental illness, using her celebrity influence to normalise a once taboo issue. Despite all this progress, the ‘Free Yeezy’ mural highlights how much work we still have to do as a society in order to combat death from mental illness.
After receiving a decent amount of (justified) backlash, Lushsux edited the mural and apologised on Instagram for his initial problematic statement with the hashtag #staywoke. Whether he meant stay woke on the popular culture ‘scandal’ or the presidency of Donald Trump, I would like to interpret the caption as a message to stay woke of the seriousness of mental health issues. Stay Woke people!
– Siobhan Joffee
Snapchat’s intriguing job listings
Recent speculation has been forming around Snapchats development and integration of 3D digital characters in the video sharing app.
Snapchat parent company Snapchat Inc has posted a job listing on the look out for individuals with expertise in 3D character animation and game design, including a 3D lighting artist and someone who can ‘digitally sculpt 3D characters’. According to the job description, building these characters will ‘play an important role in shaping how Snapchat tell visual stories’.
Business Insider also reported that the job posting hinted that Snap chat is ‘exploring other ways of blending the physical world with the virtual.’ A role for a performance capture specialist says that whoever fills the role will ‘develop internal and external tools to support the creation of new Snapchat experiences.’
Snapchat has not commented on its plans to integrate 3D characters into the app whoever we can expect Snapchat to continue to lead the pack in virtual and augmented reality.
Netflix Introduces Offline Viewing
Netflix has finally introduced the ability to download movies and TV shows for offline viewing. Netflix has introduced an ‘Available for Download’ section, which allows users to search through the catalogue of downloadable TV series and movies. Videos available for download have a “↓” icon next to them. Once tapped, the video will save to your Netflix app. Netflix announced the new feature in a blog post on Tuesday:
“Many of your favourite streaming series and movies are already available for download, with more on the way, so there is plenty of content available for those times when you are offline. For example, Orange is The New Black, Narcos and The Crown are available for download today”
The new feature is not exactly an innovative move for online streaming services. Amazon introduced a similar feature for its Prime video streaming service over a year ago. The majority of the content that is available to download is Netflix’s homegrown shows, this includes Orange is the New Black and The Crown. However, it is likely in the upcoming months that Netflix will make deals with their content partners to secure download rights to a number of series and films in their catalogue.
There does not appear to be a limit on the amount of content you can download, which allows for the ultimate binge-watch of TV shows and movies while offline. The downloaded videos appear to be compressed and optimised for storage on mobile devices. Those with the two-screen video option allows for streaming to occur on two separate screens. However, Netflix does not allow videos to be downloaded onto two separate screens. The only way to enable offline viewing for other devices is to delete them off another. So if you download a TV series on your iPhone, you will not have the ability to watch it on your laptop.
To enable the new feature, you’ll need to update the Netflix app for iOS 8 or later or Android 4.4.2 or later.