Rando friends can see your Facebook Stories and you can’t stop it

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Facebook Stories are... well, they're a lot. 

The feature is the latest and most drastic step in the Snap-ification of Facebook and its properties, as Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp have all added the ability to share quick, ephemeral image and video slices of your life with your friends and followers. 

That's all well and good — it's fun to share the fun moments of your life with your closest friends. But unlike the photo-centric Instagram, where Stories have been a huge success, the feature is an odd fixture at the top of our mobile Facebook home screens.

More about Utility, How To, Privacy, Facebook Stories, and Tech

How to decapitate annoying ‘Chat Heads’ in Facebook Messenger

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You never have to be interrupted by your friend's floating head again.

Chat Heads were introduced several years ago on Facebook Messenger for Android. The feature uses profile pictures of the people you're talking to on Messenger as shortcuts for the chat—they pop up on your screen, regardless of what you're doing, and invite you to tap into the conversation. 

While the feature can be useful sometimes, it's mostly just in the way when you're doing something else on your phone. 

Messenger also has a feature that lets you directly reply from your notification bar when you need to, so the Chat Heads are frankly a bit superfluous—and again, annoying. But they're still on by default. Read more...

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Zoom comes to Instagram after a half-decade wait

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It has taken Instagram five whole years, but it has finally delivered the most basic feature to its users: Zoom. 

As of Wednesday, iOS users can zoom in on Instagram photos with a pinch of the fingers — a standard maneuver since Steve Jobs introduced the original iPhone way back in 2007.

It isn't clear why the app didn't allow users to zoom so easily before, instead forcing iPhone users to change their phone's setting to allow zoom before forcing a super awkward three-finger double-tap to get a closer look. It was like athletics for your fingers.  Read more...

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10 hidden tricks to get the most out of Facebook Messenger

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On Thursday, Facebook announced there are more than 800 million monthly active users on Messenger. While we can assume they're all at least chatting with each other, there's a whole lot more you can do in the app beyond instant messaging.

Over the last year, Messenger has shown it wants to be a one-stop shop for all your mobile needs — from sending GIFs to requesting an Uber. With so many updates, you may have missed some of the app's best new features.

From paying friends to customizing your message threads, we've rounded up 10 of our favorite hidden tricks that will help you get the most out of Messenger. Read more...

More about Facebook, How To, Social Media, Tech, and Facebook Messenger

How to follow Mashable at CES 2016

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CES 2016 is around the corner, which means it's time for thousands of tech reporters to make the annual trip to Las Vegas. Taking place during the week of Jan. 4, International CES enables startups and entrepreneurs from around the world to showcase their products to the public.

CES gets bigger every year and to help you keep up with the most important information, Mashable will be on the ground to bring you the most important updates in realtime.

Here's how you can follow along with our team at CES: Read more...

Follow Mashable staffers on Twitter

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How to keep technology from mocking your broken heart

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After 16 years of marriage, the text from Lisa Arends’ husband read: “I’m sorry to be such a coward leaving you this way but I’m leaving you and leaving the state.”

She collapsed to the floor. And never received any communication from him again.

But their digital interactions haunted her in a way she never could have imagined. With linked email accounts, she saw in his junk email that he had failed to pay the tab on the cost of a band — for his recent wedding.

Arends’ extraordinary story is, of course, on the very extreme end of the digital heartbreak spectrum, but the technological echo of a past lover is something many people understand far too well. Read more...

More about Dating, Apps, How To, Social Media, and Technology

Save the date for Mashable’s 6th annual Social Media Day

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In today's tech-savvy society, it's very easy to forget that social media hasn't been around for very long

Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have revolutionized the way we communicate with each another. Not only does social media have the power to keep us in touch with our friends and family, it can also connect us with the world

Mashable is thrilled to announce that our sixth annual Social Media Day will take place on June 30, 2015Social Media Day is an annual global celebration that highlights the contributions made by developers and social media enthusiasts alike Read more...

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5 tips to make Facebook Messenger work better for you

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Whether you like it or not, Facebook's standalone Messenger app is an essential part of a full FB experience on iOS

Below, we take a look at a few ways you can super-charge the way you use Messenger

1. Mute notifications for a set period.

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One of the biggest complaints about Messenger is the annoying notifications. You can manage these both in the app and in your iPhone's settings to ensure they are at a level — and of a style — that suits you

To manage notifications in-app, head to the Settings menu (the cog icon at the bottom-right of your screen) to view your options. To change your iPhone's Messenger notification settings, go to your iPhone's Settings menu, and then scroll down until you see "Messenger" in your list of apps. Tap it, and then hit the "Notifications" option Read more...

More about Mobile, Facebook, How To, Features, and Tips And Tricks

Your social media cheat sheet for perfectly sized images

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Images are a vital element of social media. Set a photo with screwy dimensions as your profile pic or cover photo, and you've immediately set the tone all wrong

But don't worry — we took a look at the optimum image sizes for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn, so you can make sure your profiles and content look as good as they possibly can

Bookmark our convenient graphics now, and you'll have the sizes handy next time you want to redesign your profile

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments. Read more...

More about Mobile, How To, Social Media, Photography, and Features

How to use Facebook for thank you notes

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We're all a little lax when it comes to sending as many "thank you" notes as we should

That's where Facebook comes in. It's the perfect platform for thank you missives that can be personalized and shared, giving a public shoutout to someone who's done you a solid

Here's our how and why of using Facebook to say thanks. Let us know your ideas in the comments below

Thank you scenarios

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Image: Facebook

There are endless ways in which Facebook is ideal for sending a thank you note

  • Someone's given you/your child/your pet a gift. Snap a picture of the recipient with said gift and create a photo post, tagging the giver as a thank you. You get to show her how much the present was appreciated and she gets a public shoutout for her thoughtfulness

  • You enjoyed a delicious meal at someone's home. Be sure to grab a tasty-looking image of the food and the next day, post a Facebook #foodgram complimenting his amazing cuisine and tagging him as the chef. He'll be flattered you liked the food so much to create a post

  • You were invited to a party or other event. Take some arty shots and create a mini-gallery on Facebook, tagging the organizer. Make sure you mention details (the decorations, the venue, the music, etc.) so the organizer knows you really noticed the small things Read more...

More about Facebook, How To, Social Media, Features, and Family Parenting
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