This ain’t fake news. It’s fun news.
Today on their blog, Facebook announced a new gaming feature their messaging app. Called Instant Games, the new feature is set to release 30 countries with 17 launch titles, including Word With Friends Frenzy, Space Invaders, Galaga, Pac-Man, and more.
On their blog, the Facebook team wrote:
We’ve made it very simple to start playing: In the latest version of the app, open a conversation with a friend (or friends!), tap on the game controller icon just below where you type your message, and choose a game to start playing right away. After you finish a round, people in the conversation will see your score and will have the opportunity to challenge you back. People can also discover games within the Messenger search field, or on Facebook News Feed where they can play solo or challenge friends back in Messenger.
They also write that “1 billion people use messenger every month,” so you can expect for Earth’s collective productivity to drop by a seventh.
Instant Games is available today. Check out Facebook’s blog for more info.
Hey, if you’re going to steal a cop car, why not share the experience with your friends?
Police arrested John Pinney, a Tulsa resident, who stole a cop car and streamed the joyride on Facebook Live on Monday night. Pinney's friends and followers got to join in the fun of stealing a patrol car, engaging in a high-speed police chase, and singing along to the radio without the added stress of breaking the law.
Oklahoma's News on 6 reports that Pinney simply walked up to the unlocked patrol car, opened the door, and took off.
News On 6 continues, "Tulsa police sergeant Steve Stoltz said a woman called 911 and told the dispatcher a man got into a police car near 5th and Denver, asked if she wanted a ride, then drove off when she said no."
Presumably, when this woman declined to be Pinney's audience, he turned to the officer's iPad, where he logged onto Facebook and proceeded to bring officers and followers on a 30-to-40-minute, 120-mile-per-hour car chase.
Stoltz "Liked" Pinney's approach to expediting police procedure, though.
"I would encourage every criminal out there to Facebook Live their crimes so that we can catch you a lot easier," said Stoltz. "Use that Facebook Live at your trial to get a better conviction."
According to News on 6, Pinney was arrested "on nine complaints, including eluding, resisting arrest, and possession of a firearm by a felon." Thanks to Facebook Live, we’ll be able to relieve these crimes over and over again.
Just a quick update on all those Facebook check-ins in North Dakota yesterday. As it turns out, the Morton County Sheriff's Department says that it is not looking at check-ins to verify protesters of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
The Morton County Sheriff's Department took to Facebook and said:
Yesterday, thousands of Facebook users "checked in" at Standing Rock Indian reservation in Cannon Ball, ND in hopes of confusing police and showing support for the activists.
Despite the validity of the original post, The LA Times says, "Some Native American activists still welcomed the check-ins as another form of showing support for the months-long protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline, proposed to run past tribal land on its route between North Dakota and Illinois."
Does this look familiar to you? Are you one of the 130,000 people at Standing Rock Reservaton in Cannon Ball, ND?
By most estimates, probably not, but that hasn’t stopped possibly you and a good chunk of your Facebook friends from checking-in at Standing Rock today.
If you’re one of the countless people who were wondering why all of your friends were suddenly in North Dakota, they're not. The check-in is part of a viral social media campaign to confuse the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, who is allegedly using Facebook geotags to round up protesters of the Dakota Access Pipeline or DAPL. In addition to the check-ins, a handy explainer has been going around Facebook as well. Most of them read something like this:
This is all done in service of standing in solidarity with the protestors of the controversial pipeline, which cost billions of dollars and aims to connect the Bakken and Three Forks oil pipelines, which, altogether, could transport nearly 500,000 barrels of crude oil a day. However, among other things, DAPL will cut through Sioux Native American reservations.
“The Standing Rock Sioux opposes the pipeline's construction near the Sioux reservation on the grounds that it threatens their public health and welfare, water supply and cultural resources,” writes Aaron Sidder of Smithsonian. “What began as a small protest camp in April on the Standing Rock reservation has since morphed into an encampment with over 1,000 people. Over the past few months, the Sacred Stone Camp, as it is now called, has been the site of a number of antagonistic face offs between protesters and the oil company.”
"The Standing Rock Sioux maintains that the government did not properly consult with them prior to shifting the pipeline’s route, and that the new crossing would entail destruction of sacred spots and old burial grounds."
There is still speculation, however, as to the validity of the Facebook campaign. According to Snopes, the Facebook post is still “Unproven,” so its affiliation to actual police activity is still unconfirmed.
We’ll have to wait and see if this form of protest is effective or not, or even if the Morton County Sheriff’s Department is using these Facebook check-ins to smoke out protesters. Until then, you’ll likely see more check-ins over the next day or so.
If you go to Facebook’s house this Halloween, expect a big treat. The social media giant has released a slew of new reactions in the spirit of Halloween. All your favorites are there: a witch, a ghost, a pumpkin, a Frankenst — oop, a Frankenstein’s monster.
So don’t expect the same old thing when you laugh at your friend’s joke later. This is a whole new haunted house.
Facebook released reactions last year in lieu of giving the world that “Dislike” button users have been asking for since around 2010.
It’s all very delightfully ghoulish!