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5 Interesting New Social Media Tools

5 Interesting New Social Media Tools

Social networks have grown to become an integral part of our everyday lives. These days, we communicate more through social networks than by using our telephones. We keep up to date with people we care about passively by following their profiles and voicing out our appreciation for them through likes, tweets and so on. This type of use for social media is just the tip of the iceberg, and the business aspect that is its underlying purpose has grown in significance as time goes by. The two most commonly used social media networks are Twitter and Facebook.

The profiles on these two networks have become so important that they are now included in standard background checks in job interviews. Furthermore, having a Twitter profile with a large following is considered a business asset these days. This is why it is important to keep up with the latest changes they apply to their platforms, as well as the newest tools to manage them. There have been quite a few juicy novelties for both Twitter and Facebook recently, so let’s see what they bring us, shall we?

1. Managers for memorialized Facebook profiles

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Facebook Legacy

    What happens to a media profile when the user passes away? Not many people think about that, but Facebook has thought ahead and implemented the memorialization system which removes the profile from public situations like ads, suggestions and so on. The feature that is new allows the users to designate a manager of their memorialized profile to have limited control over it when they are no longer around to do that. The manager will be able to pin posts, respond to friend request, and change the profile image and cover photo. This is achieved through the legacy contact option located in the security settings of your Facebook profile. They have also added a “remembering” label to memorialized profiles to indicate their status. The motivation behind this was providing the families with  the opportunity to nurture the memories of their loved ones, say the officials at Facebook. You also have the option to have your profile deleted, of course.

    2. Voice-To-Text feature in the Facebook messenger app

    Facebook voice transcription

      Users can now transcribe their voice messages that they send through the messenger app into text automatically. The process is quite similar to the one Google Voice uses. A user can tap the microphone icon to make a voice recording which you can then transcribe by tapping the three line icon. Of course, the quality of the transcription is not guaranteed, and depends on various factors. These factors include your accent, possible interference, and the overall quality of your recording. The feature is still being tested on a small scale in order to improve its functionality, but it may end up being quite useful.

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      The possibilities for business applications of this new feature are something that is already being discussed, and the reactions seem quite positive. Facebook has acquired Wit.ai, a speech recognition company which offers a voice recognition API for developers, in the beginning of January, so we can surely expect more than a few improvements along the way. This might be the Facebook’s attempt to appeal to business users more, and get back in the race with Twitter and YouTube.

      3. An online tool that helps you create a perfect tweets

      Retweeted More

        We all know about the business potential that Twitter possesses, and this may make things a bit difficult. Anyone who has ever attempted to get a new Twitter profile on its feet is aware how hard this can be. The biggest issues is viability, and provoking a reaction amongst the sea of information that is the Twitter stream of an average user. This makes optimizing your tweets a top priority, and it can take quite a bit of time, and a lot of trial and error testing in order to be done right. The researchers at Cornell University used a study, backed by Google and National Science Foundation, to create a tool which takes two different tweets and calculates which one of the two has more potential to be shared.

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        The study was focused on determining which language constructs are more likely to boost this potential, and showing you which of your two options is better. You can also take a quiz to improve your familiarity with the rules. The tool is not perfect since it can’t distinguish humour, but it provides some results and statistics are there to prove it. New users who are attempting to grasp the nature of tweets, and use their profiles for professional purposes might see the most benefit from using a tool like this one, and they might want to give it a shot.

        4. Twitter video uploads

        Twitter video uploads

          Since the update on January 27th Twitter users can record, upload, edit and share 30 second long videos in order to quickly share their current point of view, life events, and whatever they deem worth sharing. This feature was recently promoted by Oscars host Neil Patrick Harris to bring us a small announcement before the show. The editor and the camera interface are easy to use, and you can really get used to them quickly. It can be quite convenient to be able to transfer your experience from various events, travels within a few taps of the screen.

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          5. Twitter group chat

          Twitter group chat

            Another feature was added to Twitter along with the video recording option within the same update. Twitter users can now add up to 20 people into a direct message and communicate with them this way. The members included into the message don’t have to follow each other, and this creates opportunities for situations where public conversations turn to private chats among a group of people. This option can also be a great tool for brands to use in the Twitter environment, where they can engage followers and create a more direct connection with the users.

            Twitter and Facebook remain consistently present in the social network world because of their consistent ability to adapt to the times. They have accepted the fact that a platform needs to evolve constantly, and that it needs to apply to the users’ needs for casual and business application. It also needs to follow current trends when it comes to functionality. These updates show promise for both, but a lot of them are still in the testing period and are only to get better down the road.

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            Ivan Dimitrijevic

            Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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            Published on September 25, 2020

            10 Best VPNs to Browse the Internet More Securely

            10 Best VPNs to Browse the Internet More Securely

            When it comes to digital security, public Wi-Fi networks aren’t safe enough, making it much easier for hackers to access your personal data. Whether you are studying in a library or scrolling through Facebook in a coffeehouse, it is vital to have a VPN installed on your device.

            VPNs work wonders when it comes to securing your internet connection. By creating an encrypted tunnel between a remote server run by the VPN service, they protect your personal data from prying eyes. There is a variety of VPNs available on the web, and we have collated a list of the best VPNs that stand out from the rest.

            How to Choose a VPN

            • Free trial period – Free trials allow you to try the product risk-free. The same idea technically applies to those with 30-day full refunds as well.
            • Speed – You want your VPN to be just as fast as the internet speed at home. Good quality VPNs are ones where you see little difference between those speeds.
            • Device connection – Of course, the more devices that can connect to VPNs, the better. It increases the customers’ coverage and the product’s value. You also want to consider compatibility since fewer VPNs may work for Mac or Windows only.
            • Number of servers – The number of servers determines how much capacity a VPN can handle while you are connected. The more servers there are, the more users it can handle without running into potential disconnections or slow speeds.
            • Kill switch feature – Having this feature means that your IP address isn’t exposed if the VPN disconnects for some reason. A lack of this feature is a big deal since the whole reason why you’re paying for a VPN is to hide your IP address, among other things. (Find out how to avoid getting tracked online here: Big Brother Is Watching You Online: How To Avoid Being Tracked)

            Why You Should Trust Us

            Our hand-picked VPNs are incredibly efficient and offer such distinctive features that grant you safe browsing. They outperform many VPNs in terms of both speed and security. Their primary aim is to provide you the utmost security, thus enabling you to surf the web safely and prevent any potential threat from causing harm.

            Among the best VPNs’ many unique features include split tunneling, strict logging policies, high encryption level, and availability of international servers. We have gathered them in this article to enlighten our readers and offer the best pieces of advice before you get one. Therefore, take our word for it, and if you go for a VPN mentioned below, you’d be fully appeased.

            1. NordVPN

            The most popular VPN on the market these days is NordVPN, and it’s easy to see why. It has widespread coverage, offering a selection of over 5,000 servers spanning across 59 countries.[1] Due to the high number of servers, its speed is similar to your Wi-Fi at home.

            Lifehack’s CEO, Leon, has been using NordVPN for many years and wants to recommend it for its remarkable server count in different locations with no-logs policy. The VPN perfectly works with Netflix and Fire TV stick, too.

            NordVPN is also compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux. You can download the app onto Chrome, Firefox, Android, and Mac OS. Thanks to its massive coverage, it’s easy to connect multiple devices onto these servers.

            In terms of pricing, while NordVPN doesn’t have a free trial period, they argue that their plans are considerably cheaper than those of their competitors. For example, a one-year plan for ExpressVPN costs $8.32 per month, but NordVPN only charges $6.99 monthly.

            NordVPN has a new protocol called NordLynx that is based on WireGuard with speed benefits, though it’s still under development.[2] If you’re looking for general quality and affordability, this is one of the best VPNs around.

            Buy this VPN.

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            2. ExpressVPN

            ExpressVPN is the second-best option out there for keeping your privacy while browsing the internet. Like many other VPNs here, they will encrypt your IP address, offer vast coverage, and can have multiple devices connected to their servers.

            Compared to NordVPN, while the pricing point is higher, ExpressVPN’s biggest selling point is the number of countries that their connection covers. Depending on where you are in the world, this may be the only option you have. They have fewer servers — 160, to be precise — but they make up for the low server count by covering 94 countries.[3]

            Cost-wise, your best bet is to go with the yearly plan where they charge $8.32 a month. They also have one- and six-month plans.

            Buy this VPN.

            3. Surf Shark

            With regards to Surf Shark, you can connect multiple devices to its servers, and it’s compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac. It is also available on Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, and FireTV.

            Furthermore, Surf Shark can whitelist apps and sites, letting them bypass the VPN. This, along with the lines of split-tunneling, is another feature that many VPNs offer. The difference is that Surf Shark allows you to whitelist specific apps or any website, while most VPNs will whitelist all sites or none at all.

            The other consideration for this app is the price. While lower-tier plans are more expensive compared to others, Surf Shark’s 24-month plan is priced at $2.69 a month, so it’s cheaper than even NordVPN’s equivalent plan!

            Buy this VPN.

            4. CyberGhost

            Another top-reviewed VPN is CyberGhost. They’ve been around for 15 years and have fine-tuned their offers and features to stay competitive. They provide the standard package of browsing the web and logging into accounts safely and give you access to regionally blocked content.

            The network also maintains security from hackers, malware, and phishing. Aside from that, you can connect multiple devices, and it’s compatible with all kinds of platforms.

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            What separates CyberGhost from the others is their extensive coverage. They have multiple servers, and the pricing point is still very low. It covers over 88 countries and has roughly 6200 servers for you to choose from, all while charging $2.75 for their 18-month plan.

            Buy this VPN.

            5. IPVanish

            IPVanish’s prime purpose is to give users online freedom by providing fast speeds and private connections. It’s clear that they can meet that promise as they provide many of the features that have been listed previously from their competitors.

            IPVanish is a part of SugarSync now. What is that, you may ask? It’s a cloud-based service that syncs files across devices and computers for sharing, backup, and many more. What this means is that other devices can access various files and videos so long as they are connected to your specific VPN. Furthermore, it can serve as a backup plan if you get hacked or lose your device for some reason.

            Buy this VPN.

            6. Private Internet Access

            Private Internet Access (PIA) is a remarkably generous company in many ways. Aside from the obvious features, they offer great incentives and discounts for people to try out their products. They claim to be the most trustworthy and reliable VPN around, and we believe that.

            One notable thing is that PIA offers a free two-month trial. Compared to other VPNs to this point, none have provided free trials (though all come with a 30-day money-back guarantee). On top of that, small businesses can avail of their VPN at a discounted rate. There is also the fact that their pricing plans go as low as $2.69 a month for two years, and they let you pay with gift cards.

            In terms of specs, PIA has over 2695 servers that cover 47 countries right now.

            These particular aspects make PIA unique and one of the best VPNs to consider.

            Buy this VPN.

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            7. Hotspot Shield

            Hotspot Shield is all about offering protection while you’re browsing the internet or using streaming services like Netflix. The encryption is military-grade, and its speed is ultra-fast. In truth, it is even marketed as one of the fastest VPNs.

            Hotspot Shield offers a plan that only costs  $7.99 a month; however, it’s one of the few in this list to provide its services for free. Like other Freemium apps, the free version comes with limited features. That said, it gives you a much better feel for the VPN.

            Also, take note that the encryption feature is still there, though the limitations in the free plan include connecting to one location in the US and having limited streaming options and speed.

            Buy this VPN.

            8. TunnelBear

            As unusual as a name choice for an online security protection service can be, TunnelBear is nothing short of incredible. It makes our list of the best VPNs for various reasons.

            The biggest one is that the company goes through a yearly security audit. This is notable because many VPNs don’t bother about independent audits to ensure their systems are secure and safe from any issues. This is critical as VPNs have gotten some bad reputation over the years, as TunnelBear has noted in their post about their security audit.[4] The fact that they are doing this annually ensures that nothing is being compromised.

            Furthermore, TunnelBear offers limited services for free, but even their paid plans are pretty cheap. For individuals, you’re merely paying $3.33 per month. The only catch is that you can connect five devices regardless of which paid plan you pick.

            Buy this VPN.

            9. Norton

            Norton has been on the security scene for some time, and it’s actually one of the founders of the internet security industry. It started with virus and malware protection in 1991 and has since branched off to other sectors as the industry has shifted.

            As you might expect from a company that’s been around for a long time, Norton provides excellent services, and a few of their other services have gone into the VPN package. In reality, Norton is the only one thus far to offer a password manager with their VPN services. They provide 50GB of cloud storage as well.

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            Norton has one of the cheapest VPNs, considering you can get their deluxe plan at $49.99 per year. That comes up to roughly $4.17 a month. It might be slightly higher than other equivalent plans, but you get a lot of extra value that makes it worth the price.

            Buy this VPN.

            10. StrongVPN

            The final VPN we want to cover is StrongVPN. Like many others, it’s great at blocking unnecessary web traffic and providing a fast and simple solution to navigating the internet without any hindrance.

            StrongVPN has over 900 servers. It is available in more than 30 countries and compatible with all devices. Beyond that, the only notable selling point it has compared to others is that it also offers Sugarsync services and 250GB of storage, irrespective of your chosen plan.

            As for the pricing, their year-long plan costs $5.83 a month, while their month-long one is $10.

            Buy this VPN.

            Bottom Line

            Getting online protection is important these days, and companies recognize this.

            With more hacks and breaches occurring every single day, the best VPNs can provide an excellent haven for many people who value their security and privacy.

            We hope that by putting together this list, you’ll be able to find the best VPN that you can trust and enjoy using. As you can see, there are several great options with no real wrong one out there. Pick the VPN that’s best for you.

            Featured photo credit: Petter Lagson via unsplash.com

            Reference

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