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Facebook booming even as time spent on it drops

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook on Wednesday reported a big jump in profits even though people are spending less time on the world's biggest social network. The company said its priority is to encourage personal interaction among users, rather than simply boost the number of hours they spend on Facebook. Co-founder Mark Zuckerberg said changes enacted by Facebook cut time spent on the site by some 50 million hours per day. But Facebook's chief operating officer argued that having users engage more with friends' posts could…

Zuckerberg makes ‘fixing’ Facebook a personal goal

SAN FRANCISCO: Known for annual personal goals ranging from killing his own food to learning Mandarin, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg's stated mission for this year is to 'fix' the social network. Zuckerberg began taking on New Year's challenges in 2009, when he wore a neck tie every day as a reminder of the importance of making Facebook profitable despite global financial woes. "Today feels a lot like that first year," Zuckerberg said in a post on his Facebook page. "The world feels anxious and divided, and…

Twitter announces it is going to test 280-character tweets

SAN FRANCISCO: Twitter is testing allowing tweets to be expanded to 280 characters -- double the existing limit -- in the latest effort to boost flagging growth at the social network. San Francisco-based Twitter said Tuesday that the new limit, a major shift for the messaging platform known for its 140-character tweets, aims to address "a major cause of frustration" for many users. Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey fired off what may be one of the first expanded tweets. "This is a small change, but a big move for…

Optimistic int’l community will play role in Kashmir resolution: President AJK

ISLAMABAD: President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sardar Masood Khan expressed his optimism that international community will play its role in resolving the Kashmir dispute, ARY News reported on Saturday. He was addressing a gathering of students at a university in Islamabad. President Kashmir said that he hoped Britain will condemn human rights abuses being committed by Indian forces in the occupied territory. He urged Britain, Norway and other countries to link their trade agreements with India to the peaceful…

Facebook authorizes $6 bn share buyback

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook's board of directors on Friday authorized spending as much as $6 billion to buy back shares in the leading social network. The stock repurchase program would go into effect at the start of next year, potentially allowing Facebook to take advantage of a price dip triggered early this month by word that revenue growth will slow because the company has hit a limit on how many ads it can pack onto pages. "The timing and actual number of shares repurchased will depend on a variety of factors,…

Facebook-owned Instagram getting into shopping

SAN FRANCISCO: Instagram on Tuesday said it will start testing features that let smartphone or tablet users easily buy items they find on the popular photo and video sharing service. The test slated to begin next week in the US will be tailored for Instagram applications on Apple mobile devices, according to a blog post by the Facebook-owned service. The move will build on a strategy by the world's leading online social network to connect shoppers and shops, earning revenue from purchases. "Mobile has changed the…

Facebook launches smartphone app for event seekers

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook on Friday released a mobile app for finding local happenings to enjoy with friends. The Events app tailored for iPhones hit Apple's online shop, with a version "coming soon" for smartphones powered by Google-backed Android software, Facebook product manager Aditya Koolwal said in on online post. Events is a stand-alone spin on a section at the leading online social network that lets people share plans for concerts, poetry slams, plays or other types of events they are interested in attending. "When…