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  1. Now you can make the Facebook app (slightly) less irritating – here's how Finally, you can banish notification dots (Image credit: Facebook) Facebook is introducing a new option that will let you customize the shortcut bar, and eliminate the red notification dots that pop up within the app. This will be welcome news if you find they appear seemingly at random, and frequently unhelpfully. Did you want to know about new additions to the Marketplace? No, we thought not. The Shortcut Bar Settings feature is rolling out now for iOS users. It lets you take control not only of notification dots, but also the icons that appear in the shortcut bar at the bottom of the screen in the app. This is great news if you only use a limited range of Facebook's features. After all, if you never use the Marketplace, there's little point in cluttering up the screen with a permanent shortcut to it. Speaking to TechCrunch, a Facebook spokesperson said: "We are rolling out navigation bar controls to make it easier for people to connect with the things they like and control the notifications they get within the Facebook app". To access the newly introduced options, you just need to tap and hold any of the buttons in the shortcut bar. A pop-up menu will appear from which you can opt to disable notification dots, hide the button you tapped, or access a more advanced Shortcut Bat settings screen. What about Android? For now, the new customization options are only available in the iOS version of the Facebook app. While it is quite common for Facebook to bring new features to the iOS and Android version of the app at different times, in the end both tend to end up with the same options. That said, there can sometimes be something of a delay between the arrival of a particular feature on one platform and its appearance on the other. It would be surprising if such sought-after features were exclusive to iOS. Indeed, Facebook has confirmed to TechCrunch that Android users can expect to see notification dot and shortcut bar customisation option "in the next few weeks". Watch this space for more details. Source: Now you can make the Facebook app (slightly) less irritating – here's how (TechRadar)
  2. There's a problem with those calls to Delete Facebook: some people physically can't. Want to delete Facebook? Too bad. Some Samsung smartphone owners have found that they're unable to remove the pre-loaded Facebook app from their phones, according to a new report from Bloomberg. That's concerning for people who are trying to remove the mammoth social media app from their lives, either because they no longer enjoy it, or because they're concerned about their privacy and security. The new report also brings to light how little the public knows or has control over the app pre-load deals that Facebook makes with smartphone makers, including but not limited to Samsung. Most mobile phones come with some apps pre-loaded onto them, like email and messenger clients, or other utilities. But phone makers have also started including apps like Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, YouTube, and others as pre-installed apps. You can usually customize your phone, removing and adding apps as you like, though some are immutable; iPhone users couldn't remove certain annoying pre-loaded iPhone apps like Stocks until 2016. Facebook comes as one of the pre-installed apps on some Samsung devices, though Bloomberg reports that there is no list of all the Samsung and non-Samsung devices on which it is installed. Facebook declined to provide that information to Bloomberg as well. Apparently, when some Samsung users tried to delete the pre-installed Facebook app, they found there was simply no "delete" option. The best they could do was "deactivate." This reportedly means that the app stops functioning; it acts as if it's not there, but that little blue square remains. Facebook says that deactivating means that the Facebook app won't collect any data on you. And social media and reverse engineering expert points out that the pre-installed Facebook app is just a shell, or a placeholder — not the actual app. So it's not clear what simply having the defunct pre-loaded app on your phone could do, other than be annoying. However, Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg have been caught making misleading statements about the extent of data Facebook collects on both users and non-users plenty of times in the past few years. So its assurances that the deactivated apps won't affect users are not something users can (or should) necessarily trust. In the past year, Facebook has claimed its watchwords are "transparency" and "choice." But Facebook is declining to say with whom it has pre-install agreements and what the nature of those agreements is. And apparently some Samsung users simply do not have a choice about whether to completely remove Facebook from their digital lives. Sorry, isn't that the opposite of both transparency and choice? Just checking. Source
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