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Here’s how Twitter @mentions are changing

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Posts on Twitter — tweets — are about to undergo their most significant change in a decade. Most of the changes, like no longer counting photos and Twitter handles against your character count, are obviously awesome. However, one change has left the Twitter faithful a little confused: @mentions.

Pronounced “at mentions,” @mentions is when you start a tweet with a Twitter handle, say “@WilliamShatner.” Because Twitter assumes that tweets starting with a handle are replies to the owner of that handle, they’re hidden by default in your followers’ streams — unless the follower follows both of you. Smart Twitter users have skirted this rule by starting such tweets with a period. Read more…

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Facebook goes down and Twitter lights up

Facebook crashed for at least 10 minutes today and then struggled to fully come back online.

When users tried to open or refresh their Facebook pages a little after 12:30 p.m. ET today, they were greeted not with their news feed but with a largely blank screen that simply said, “Sorry, something went wrong. We’re working on it and we’ll get it fixed as soon as we can.”

The site began to come back online around 12:50 p.m., though some users reported still having trouble loading the site until about 1 p.m.

Facebook did not return a request for information on what caused the problem.

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Twitter app ads now support autoplay video

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App ads are about on Twitter are about to get a bit more lively; brands can now promote their products with video. Previously, companies had to use regular old promoted text or image tweets as their best bet to advertise apps to their audiences. Twitter says video leads to higher user engagement and nearly triple the app installs, given nearly 90 percent of its video views are on mobile devices. WATCH: Bring your app to life with the Video App Card https://t.co/OEhtqHUy7r — Twitter Advertising (@TwitterAds) September 24, 2015   Overall, 82 percent users watch video on the platform, so the ads…

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Twitter confirms it’s experimenting with native polls in tweets

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Twitter is looking at possibly letting users add quick polls to their tweets. A company spokesperson confirmed the move in a statement to VentureBeat saying, “We’re experimenting with a new way to poll users on Twitter.”

Right now, it looks like polls are only visible on Twitter’s mobile apps and website, but not on desktop applications like TweetDeck. There’s no indication of whether this capability will be rolled out to the rest of the 316 million monthly active users, as it’s an experiment that could wind up being shelved.

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This isn’t the first time that Twitter has rolled out polls on its communications service. Previously, companies were able to poll their followers through custom card polls. In 2014, Twitter revealed that it was testing out a feature that would enable native ads for publishers. Today’s sightings may hint that these could be rolled out to a wider audience.

From what we’ve seen, all polls have a 24-hour time limit on them.

While Twitter declined to provide more information, a quick query on the site showed that at least Twitter employees and also some verified profiles, including those in the media and in sports, have access to embed these polls.

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