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RIP "Lol"? Facebook Data Suggests the Expression Is on Its Way Out

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For fans of old school Internet abbreves, this is no laughing matter: "lol" may be on its way out.

According to a new report issued by Facebook (and inspired by this piece about online laughter from The New Yorker), people—or at least, Facebook users—tend to use “haha” to indicate laughter on the world wide interwebs far more frequently than any other form of expression.

 

Facebook combed through posts and comments from the last week of May (don’t worry: they note that everything had been “de-identified”), and, as The Verge explains, found that 51.4 percent of the expressions of glee contained a “haha” or related term. Laughing emojis were the second most common, appearing in 33.7 percent of posts, and “hehe” took third place, appearing in 13.1 percent of instances of written laughter. Poor “lol,” on the other hand, accounted for just 1.9 percent of jovial messages exchanged on the social network.

 

The Facebook team took it a step further, determining that “lol” devotees skewed a bit older and—not surprisingly—emoji-only pronouncements tended to be made by the site's youngest users. 

These discoveries surrounding the decline of “lol” represent just a tiny portion of what Facebook found when it broke down the data even further.

“As denizens of the Internet will know, laughter is quite common: fifteen percent of people included laughter in a post or comment that week. The most common laugh is haha, followed by various emoji and hehe,” the researchers write. “Age, gender, and geographic location play a role in laughter type and length: young people and women prefer emoji, whereas men prefer longer hehes. People in Chicago and New York prefer emoji, while Seattle and San Francisco prefer hahas.”

For more on the latest in virtual laughter, click on over to Facebook for the full report.

[h/t: The Verge]

All charts via Facebook 

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How Google Chrome’s New Built-In Ad Blocker Will Change Your Browsing Experience
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If you can’t stand web ads that auto-play sound and pop up in front of what you’re trying to read, you have two options: Install an ad blocker on your browser or avoid the internet all together. Starting Thursday, February 15, Google Chrome is offering another tool to help you avoid the most annoying ads on the web, Tech Crunch reports. Here’s what Google Chrome users should expect from the new feature.

Chrome’s ad filtering has been in development for about a year, but the details of how it will work were only recently made public. “While most advertising on the web is respectful of user experience, over the years we've increasingly heard from our users that some advertising can be particularly intrusive,” Google wrote in a blog post. “As we announced last June, Chrome will tackle this issue by removing ads from sites that do not follow the Better Ads Standards.

That means the new feature won’t block all ads from publishers or even block most of them. Instead, it will specifically target ads that violate the Better Ad Standards that the Coalition for Better Ads recommends based on consumer data. On desktop, this includes auto-play videos with sound, sticky banners that follow you as you scroll, pop-ups, and prestitial ads that make you wait for a countdown to access the site. Mobile Chrome users will be spared these same types of ads as well as flashing animations, ads that take up more than 30 percent of the screen, and ads the fill the whole screen as you scroll past them.

These criteria still leave room for plenty of ads to show up online—the total amount of media blocked by the feature won’t even amount to 1 percent of all ads. So if web browsers are looking for an even more ad-free experience, they should use Chrome’s ad filter as a supplement to one of the many third-party ad blockers out there.

And if accessing content without navigating a digital obstacle course first doesn’t sound appealing to you, don’t worry: On sites where ads are blocked, Google Chrome will show a notification that lets you disable the feature.

[h/t Tech Crunch]

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Live Smarter
Amazon Will Now Deliver Whole Foods Groceries To Your Door
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Since its acquisition of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in 2017, Amazon has slowly been ramping up synergy between the two brands. An Amazon Go concept convenience store in Seattle allows customers to enter, scan their cell phone, and walk out with groceries without having to stand in line; select Amazon products, like their Echo devices, have made their way onto retail shelves.

Now, consumers in Austin, Dallas, Cincinnati, and Virginia Beach can use their status as an Amazon Prime customer to get free home delivery of their Whole Foods groceries. Beginning Thursday, February 8, the market will drop off orders within two hours. (One-hour delivery carries a $7.99 charge.)

“We're happy to bring our customers the convenience of free two-hour delivery through Prime Now and access to thousands of natural and organic groceries and locally sourced favorites,” Whole Foods Market co-founder and CEO John Mackey said in a statement. “Together, we have already lowered prices on many items, and this offering makes Prime customers’ lives even easier.”

Most everything in the store is eligible for delivery, though we’re not certain they’d deliver a live lobster. “Select” alcohol is also available. You can visit primenow.com to see if you’re in their delivery region. Keep checking, as they plan to expand throughout 2018.

If you’re not near a Whole Foods at all, other regional grocery chains like Wegman’s also offer home delivery on a subscription-based pricing structure.

[h/t The Verge]

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