Tech News

You’re Not Sharing Enough on Facebook, About That Netflix Price Rise… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 11-04-2016

Facebook is suffering from under-sharing, Netflix users need to pay more, Facebook’s secret inbox is revealed, Reddit launches an official app, and Clarkson, Hammond, and May discuss names for their new car show.


Facebook Wants You to Share More

Facebook has a problem, and it’s all your fault. According to The Information [Paywall], the amount of things being shared on Facebook has peaked, dropping 5.5 percent between 2014 and 2015. More worryingly than that, during the same time period, personal sharing dropped 21 percent.

This means that people are sharing fewer tidbits of information about their own lives, whether that’s what they’re doing, where they’re doing it, or who they’re doing it with. Which is, or at least was, Facebook’s bread and butter. Videos, memes, and news articles have somewhat filled the hole, but clearly not entirely.

Facebook issued a statement saying, “People continue to share a ton on Facebook; the overall level of sharing has remained not only strong, but similar to levels in prior years.” However, while the social network might be putting a brave face on, if this trend continues it could spell disaster for Facebook.

It may be that we are emerging from the era of oversharing Just How Dangerous Is It To Share Your Information On Facebook? Read More , or it may just be that the tools we use are evolving. Indeed, it seems that rather than sharing personal news with thousands of (almost) strangers on Facebook, people are now sharing personal news with smaller groups of actual friends on the likes of Snapchat, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

Have you changed where, and with whom, you’re sharing personal information?


Netflix Price Rise Hits Users

Headlines across the Web are screaming about Netflix raising its prices again. And it’s true, Netflix is about to get more expensive for millions of users. The thing is, this isn’t a new price rise, just two previous price rises affecting those longtime users previously shielded from them.

As we reported in January of this year Netflix Is Getting More Expensive, Watch New Super Bowl Ads... [Tech News Digest] A reminder that Netflix prices are going up, YouTube shows Super Bowl ads early, Microsoft recalls Surface Pro power cables, HBO is travelling to Spain, and a real-life lightsaber fight... kinda. Read More , Netflix has raised its prices twice in two years, from $7.99 to $8.99 in May 2014, and from $8.99 to $9.99 in October 2015. However, existing subscribers were immune from the price hikes for 24 months, which means they’re going to be hit with the new price point from May.

It’s thought that around this applies to around 17 million people, who now have to decide whether to a) cancel Netflix 7 Reasons to Avoid Subscribing to Netflix We love online streaming, but is Netflix worth it? Here are the disadvantages of subscribing to Netflix and why you might skip it. Read More , b) drop down to the basic standard-definition streaming plan, or c) stick with the standard high-definition plan and take the $2-a-month hit.


We suspect most people will choose C, and, having previously argued why we should all be paying more for Netflix Why You Should Be Happy to Pay More for Netflix Every time Netflix increases its prices, millions of binge-watching users balk at the prospect of paying a couple of dollars more. But this is dumb, because Netflix is an absolute steal. Read More anyway, this is probably the correct decision.

Facebook Has a Secret Inbox

You could have some important messages from friends sitting unread on Facebook. This is because, in its infinite wisdom, Facebook has been filtering messages into a hidden inbox most people won’t have ever checked. Until now.

Facebook has essentially set this inbox to collect spammy, unsolicited messages. However, as with all spam filters, some actual messages have been caught in its net. Which has led to some people discovering important messages from long lost friends sitting waiting to be read.

You can see this hidden inbox either on desktop or Facebook Messenger Facebook Messenger Icons and Symbols: What Do They Mean? In which we explain what all the Facebook Messenger icons and symbols mean and how to use them properly. Read More . On desktop either go to or click on Messages > Message Requests > See filtered requests. On Messenger, click Settings > People > Message Requests > See filtered requests.


If you find anything interesting lurking within, please do let us know in the comments below.

Reddit Launches an Official App


Reddit has finally launched an official mobile app, after years of relying on third-party apps to deliver the goods. Reddit: The Official App is now available on Android and on iOS, completely for free, bringing all of Reddit to your smartphone of choice.

The official Reddit app replaces Alien Blue How To Kill Productivity With The Reddit App Alien Blue [iPhone & iPad] If you are anything like me, you spend any free time during your work day sitting on Reddit and reading random stories or looking at funny pictures. Of course, this can have a negative impact... Read More , the unofficial Reddit client Reddit acquired in 2014. While existing users can continue to use Alien Blue, it will no longer be available for download, and the development team will be working exclusively on the new app.


Reddit: The Official App looks promising, but initial reactions from longtime, committed Redditors The Awesome Guide to Reddit Wonder how your friends always find cool stuff on the Internet before you? They're probably using Reddit, the self-proclaimed "front page of the Internet". Read More hasn’t been good. Your best bet is trying it out for yourself to see if it offers the right experience for you personally. And remember, this is only Version 1.0.

The Old Top Gear Team Discuss Names

And finally, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May are struggling to come up with a name for their new car show, which the trio are now shooting. While Top Gear is continuing on at the BBC (in name alone) with Chris Evans at the helm, Clarkson and co. have disembarked for Amazon, which has bought the exclusive rights to the new Top Gear.

This video shows Clarkson, Hammond, and May discussing various names for the show, and failing miserably to agree, or even come up with anything even close to usable. It doesn’t help that they’re not allowed to use the word “Gear” in the title, at least according to Clarkson. So, if you have a suggestion, tweet @JeremyClarkson and tell him what it is. And please do tell him who sent you!

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Are you sharing less on Facebook these days? If so, why? Are you happy to pay more for Netflix? What messages were lurking in your secret Facebook inbox? How do you browse Reddit at the moment? What should Clarkson, Hammond, and May call their new car show?

Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.

Image Credit: Denkwerk GmbH via Flickr

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  1. Phillip
    April 13, 2016 at 3:43 am

    It seems like the Facebook juggernaut is starting to fall apart... at least for its original purpose. And it's all because, when they went public, they had to appease the shareholders. This meant monetizing. Which in turn means that they had to get people to pay for various elements of the site. Since the site has already been free, the only way they could get a steady stream of people paying was to appeal to the businesses that were really starting to use the site as a means of advertising. And in order to make it worth it to the paying businesses, they had to structure the site to be friendlier to businesses.

    And so now you have the social network that's got a screwed up "timeline". Which doesn't follow the strict linear progression of time. People can't keep up with their friends; some stories and posts will come days after it happened. And so it become futile and there is no incentive to share one's life. All you have now are people posting jokes and articles and stuff.

    • Anonymous
      April 16, 2016 at 8:37 pm

      If you think that until FB went public, they were a warm and fuzzy, altruistic company, you are sadly mistaken. They were monetizing users from Day 1.

  2. Gozer
    April 12, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    Captain America is going to host Top Gear???

    • Dave Parrack
      April 12, 2016 at 10:30 pm

      Unfortunately not, but man, that would be good. This is the British Chris Evans, who clearly isn't very well known outside of the UK. Weirdly, Joey from Friends IS co-hosting the new Top Gear though.

  3. Anonymous
    April 12, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    I guess the FB secret email piece should also be a timely reminder to run and check the spam folder in ANY email service you use. No telling what gold lies amongst the postal turds therein...

    • Dave Parrack
      April 12, 2016 at 10:29 pm

      That's a very good point actually. You never know what might have got caught in there for whatever reason. That may be worth a PSA-type article.

  4. Susanna
    April 12, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    I just found 16 unread messages in the inbox. Why did Facebook do this? I had several angry people trying to get a hold of me for a posting I put up about a piece of furniture I had for sale. This gave me a bad name with this site too. Let me decide which messages I want!

    • Dave Parrack
      April 12, 2016 at 10:28 pm

      It's essentially Facebook's version of a spam filter, but I agree, it seems a little overkill for anyone other than those with thousands of friends.

  5. Susan
    April 12, 2016 at 5:24 am

    Can I save any of the messages in this secret inbox, if so, how would I do that? Thanks.

    • Dave Parrack
      April 12, 2016 at 10:27 pm

      It doesn't look like you can move them to your inbox, which sucks. But they remain there unless you delete them, and you can mark them as Unread if you want to keep track of them.

      • Susan
        April 13, 2016 at 3:12 am

        That's what I thought, thanks, Dave.

  6. Rhonda Lea Kirk Fries
    April 12, 2016 at 5:05 am

    "Facebook Has a Secret Inbox"

    Uh huh. This is news?

    I still have a message in there that dates from 2009. (I don't delete anything.)

    I can understand reminding people to check their other inbox now and again, but to write about it as if it's something new just boggles the mind.

    • Susan
      April 12, 2016 at 5:22 am

      It's news to me, Rhonda.

      • Rhonda Lea Kirk Fries
        April 12, 2016 at 6:20 am

        I guess it's true that there's nothing new under the sun.

        I see old stuff posted as new all the time, and it drives me crazy, because it feels so click-baity. Then someone like you posts, and it occurs to me that if the same information isn't repeated over and over, it will get lost in the data dump.

        No good choice there, I guess. So pass the word and share the knowledge, and maybe if we're lucky, no one will need to repeat it five years from now.

    • Dave Parrack
      April 12, 2016 at 10:24 pm

      It is news. Last year there was a big thing about the Other inbox, but this is a different set of messages.

  7. Anonymous
    April 12, 2016 at 4:30 am

    Just say "NO" to Facebook.

  8. fred
    April 12, 2016 at 1:29 am

    I won't share ANYTHING with Facebook. :-) EVER!!!

  9. Cindy
    April 11, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    Thanks much for the Facebook Secret Inbox tip! I think I knew about this, but hadn't checked it out in more than a year. So here's my "if you find anything interesting lurking within:" about a week ago, I naively made a (clean) funny comment on a post by the US Army. Perhaps predictably, the friend requests from apparently lonely soldiers around the world started pouring in; I've deleted them (I don't know any of them). But now, I've just found a dozen filtered messages resulting from the same single, clean, funny comment... including a couple of marriage proposals. Accepting any would be very big-a-my, since I'm already married. [Ba-dum-bum.]

    • Dave Parrack
      April 12, 2016 at 10:21 pm

      No problem. I remember something about a hidden inbox spreading last year, but it was slightly different than this one. Unless Facebook just renamed it or something. Anyway, I'm glad you found its contents... interesting. I don't envy females online.

  10. Anonymous
    April 11, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    "Facebook Wants You to Share More"
    You mean FB is running out of personal data it can sell?! I have two words for FB & Mark Zuckerberg and they are not 'Good Morning.'

    • Dave Parrack
      April 12, 2016 at 10:14 pm

      Facebook dies if no one shares, so they're always going to push to know more about you!

      • Anonymous
        April 12, 2016 at 10:40 pm

        "Facebook dies if no one shares"
        Quelle domage!

      • Anonymous
        April 13, 2016 at 1:32 pm

        Facebook is more evil than the NSA. At least the NSA can hide behind the pretext of National Security. What is FB's excuse? Pure, unadulterated corporate greed?!