Facebook Lite Gets Speed, Reliability Improvements; Now Has Over 200 Million Users

Facebook has announced that over 200 million people are now using the stripped-down version of its main app – Facebook Lite. Facebook Lite, launched back in June 2015 for low-end Android devices, was introduced by the social media networking giant specifically for emerging markets as a solution for connections that are usually weak and spotty.

Facebook Lite Gets Speed, Reliability Improvements; Now Has Over 200 Million Users

“In many areas, networks can be slow and unable to support all the functions available on Facebook. FB Lite gives people access to core Facebook experiences like News Feed more quickly and while consuming less data,” Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said in a blog post on Wednesday. Sandberg pointed out that Facebook Lite is especially helping out those business users who are in countries that are mobile first or mobile only.

“FB Lite is helping business owners grow and reach customers on mobile even when bandwidth is at a minimum,” Sandberg said.

Notably, the latest update to the app brings along improvements for reliability and speed to the app. The update also brings the app to more regions like Israel, Italy, United Arab Emirates, and South Korea, notes TechCrunch. Interestingly, the app has been rolled out even to developed markets in order to cater the needs of those with net connection issues.

To recall, Facebook Lite clocked 100 million monthly active users in March last year, less than nine months since its launch, which made it the fastest-growing interface from the company to hit the milestone.

Facebook Year in Review 2016 Reveals India and Global Trends

Facebook has shared its year-end review for 2016, showcasing the “moments, events, and trends” that bathed in the most limelight this year, both for India and the globe. With its ongoing shift towards video, the social network has also revealed the top Live videos of 2016. Separately, the Facebook-owned Instagram also got its 2016 list.

Facebook Year in Review 2016 Reveals India and Global TrendsAlongside, as it does every year, the company also unveiled a new way users can take a stroll down their Facebook memory lanes, with a personalised ‘Your Year in Review’ video. As before, users will be able to edit the video before sharing it with their family and friends. You can access it by visiting facebook.com/yearinreview2016 when logged into your profile. The link will become accessible for all users in phases over the next month.

Getting back to India and global trends for Facebook’s 2016 Year in Review, the social network says it measured top 10 moments of the year by counting how frequently a topic was mentioned in Facebook posts made between January 1 and November 27, 2016. Mentions were analysed in an “aggregated, anonymised way”, and then ranked. It added that the top 10 Live videos were measured by total cumulative views.

In its press statement, the company reiterated its Q3 2016 India usage statistics, released late last month – 166 million monthly active users, 159 million mobile active users, 85 million daily active users, and 81 million mobile daily active users in India.
Starting with India, Facebook said tech products like hit augmented reality game Pokemon Go and Apple’s iPhone 7 smartphone made it to the top 10 list of most discussed topics on the social network in the country this year. Across the globe however, only Pokemon made it to the top 10 list.

Top 10 most talked about topics from India in 2016 on Facebook:
1. Diwali
2. Cricket
3. Uri attacks and surgical attacks
4. Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Movie)
5. Hardwell (India Tour)
6. Priyanka Chopra
7. Rio Olympics
8. Pokemon Go
9. Pathankot
10. iPhone 7 launch

Top 10 Live Videos on Facebook from India:
1. https://www.facebook.com/ajaz.qamer/videos/1769859169954467/
2. https://www.facebook.com/sonakshisinhaofficial/videos/10154155457904701/
3. https://www.facebook.com/AmitabhBachchan/videos/1440239589343159/
4. https://www.facebook.com/IamSRK/videos/1660059270686996/
5. https://www.facebook.com/aajtak/videos/10154902993692580/
6. https://www.facebook.com/KajolDevgan/videos/1756974501230484/
7. https://www.facebook.com/BollywoodTabloidOfficial/videos/1183974758358529/
8. https://www.facebook.com/aajtak/videos/10154980331897580/
9. https://www.facebook.com/AAPkaArvind/videos/1129804343783728/
10. https://www.facebook.com/AjayDevgn/videos/1067612059943103/
Global Top Moments on Facebook

1. US Presidential Election
2. Brazilian Politics
3. Pokemon Go
4. Black Lives Matter
5. Rodrigo Duterte & Philippine Presidential Election
6. Olympics
7. Brexit
8. Super Bowl
9. David Bowie
10. Muhammad Ali

Top ten global Live videos:

1. Candace Payne, Chewbacca Mom
2. Ted Yoder, Soundscapes
3. Buzzfeed, Countdown to the next presidential election
4. Atlanta Buzz, People are lining up to hug police officers in Dallas
5. NBC News, Election results
6. Under the Hood, Video of a truck completely carved out of wood
7. Viral Thread, Population count from US to CA
8. CNN, Election results on Empire State building
9. Dena Blizzard, Pokemon Go for moms ”Chardonnay Go”
10. Super Deluxe, Election map

Most Instagrammed locations of 2016 from India:
1. Marine Drive, Mumbai
2. Taj Mahal
3. Hauz Khas Village, New Dehli
4. Juhu Beach, Mumbai
5. India Gate, New Dehli
6. Baga Beach, Goa
7. Connaught Place, New Dehli
8. Select CITYWALK, New Delhi
9. Golden Temple, Amritsar, Punjab
10. Nandi Hills, Bangalore

Most Used Hashtags from India:
1. #love
2. #instagood
3. #fun
4. #india
5. #instagram
6. #picoftheday
7. #instapic
8. #instadaily
9. #instalike
10. #photooftheday

Most Instagrammed Days in India:
10/30/16 – Diwali, Festival of Lights
11/14/16 – Children’s Day
10/11/16 – Dussehra, celebration of good over evil

Facebook will now let you make payments through Messenger

Much to the joy of Facebook Messenger fans, they will now be able to make payments via their favorite app. Facebook Messenger app has more than a billion users today and it is well on its way to introduce this payment option via chatbots, which can be used by customers to make payments for goods and supplies directly via Messenger. Users will not be required to visit the URL of a different website.

Image result for Facebook will now let you make payments through Messenger

What is this payment facility all about?

It was at the TechCrunch Disrupt Conference that David Marcus, VP of messaging products at Facebook said that the social networking giant was already working with multiple payment providers like Visa, PayPal, Master Card, Stripe and American Express.

The tiny Artificial Intelligence software programs were added to Facebook Messenger in the month of April (2016). They enabled individuals to interact with businesses and secure updates from them as well. He said that 34,000 developers had joined the platform to build around 30,000 bots in the month of April itself. 10,000 developers joined in the month of May.

The payment facility will be available with Messenger Platform v1.2. This platform has a “Buy Now” button which, on being clicked, will take you to a page where you can insert your credit card details and other important information to make the payment. If you already have some credit information stored in Messenger or Facebook, that information will be used instantly to complete the payment proceedings.

Besides making business-related payments, you can also use Messenger to pay your friends in future.

Sam is an experienced tech writer, who has contributed articles to prominent sites DX news, Rocketnews.com, Tech Crunch and others.

Over 148 million humans actively use facebook in India

Fb is a worldwide sensation and has end up a part of our lives in ways that we could not have imagined some years ago. The social media giant has now introduced that there are approximately 148 million active month-to-month users in India on my own, talking volumes about the popularity of the platform inside the us of a.

Over 148 million people actively use Facebook in India

The information turned into given away by using fb’s vp of Asia Pacific, Dan Neary. He also noted that about 95% of these users access facebook from their mobile devices.

now not is fb considered a luxury, thanks to services like fb Lite, which gives get admission to to the platform even though customers do not have a full blown pc or a cellphone. This aggressive outreach campaign has ensured that practically every tech-savvy character within the u . s . has an account on facebook.

The organization has large plans for India as the following billion net users are predicted to come from the vicinity. There are numerous India orientated promotions being run on fb, even as the company has also tailored its platform to work on slower connections, that’s a practical approach given how a few customers still do not have a proper internet connection in India.

It became currently referred to that about 70 million customers in India get admission to facebook every day, whilst the monthly consumer count number increases significantly as a few users don’t use it normal. There are approximately 1.65 billion lively users of the platform world over. Given the character of the platform, it has additionally emerge as the go-to area for breaking information and different content material that you in any other case might not discover online.

Teen pregnancies may be on the way out but what’s replacing them could be worse

Teen girls on their phones (posed by models)

The dramatic fall in teenage pregnancies in England and Walesis undoubtedly cause for celebration. The rate has halved in 16 years – an achievement described as “extraordinary”. And so it is.

Where 47 out of 1,000 women under 18 got pregnant in 1998, now the figures are just 23 out of every 1,000. In the last year alone, the Office for National Statistics says the conception rate for under-18s fell by 6.8 per cent.

But one of the reasons cited for the trend does worry me. According to the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, teenagers are spending so much time interacting with each other online that they’ve got less time to make unwanted babies.The new figures reveal something darker about society

So they’re not getting laid, but getting “likes” instead. The decline in binge-drinking tells the same story. Hurrah! Oh hang on a minute…

Being a teen mum or dad, or getting boozed-up might wreck your life, but so, we’re told, does excessive use of social media.

The very same statisticians who came up with today’s triumphant teen pregnancy figures also revealed just  a few months ago how detrimental social media can be for children. Nearly a third of kids glued to the likes of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat for more than three hours a day reported symptoms of mental ill-health. And girls are far more likely to spend longer than is good for them on social media than boys.

These days, when a bunch of girls “hang out” (pre-teens and teens are far too grown-up for playdates, you understand), they’re often barely talking to each other, instead scrolling endlessly through Instagram posts, obsessively counting “likes”. And parents of boys report that they “play” by getting stuck into the computer game Minecraft.

Part of me thinks this is just their world, and parents have got to get with the programme. But then I think of all the malign influences of social media, and want to reach for the off button.

Social media follows our kids everywhere, so they can’t park their playground grievances at the school gates.

What’s more, there’s something horribly narcissistic about posting on Instagram or wherever, encouraging girls to agonise over their looks far more than is healthy.

Girls living their lives online isn't necessarily healthier (posted by model)

I was a girly swot at school, I played the violin, I had buck teeth and I wore heavy NHS glasses. So I’m not surprised I was a magnet for the bullies. But at least I was spared the ignominy of having my own awkwardness reflected back to me in endless selfies for my tormentors to cackle about long after school had ended.

And even if they emerge unscathed from the trials and tribulations of the teenage years, excessive screen time is in danger of cramping our children’s style as they enter the adult world. Business leaders say that new recruits find it hard to communicate, because they’re simply unaccustomed to what we’d consider a normal level of face-to-face contact.

It’s enough to make any loving parents take themselves and their children “off grid”. But that’s like kidnapping them from the modern world. I didn’t have a telly when I was little, and although in some ways I’m grateful I never had the distraction, I know I missed out on a whole cultural hinterland too.

So there’s got to be a third way.

With the help of the array of parental spyware on the market now, it’s arguably easier to keep tabs on what your kids are up to online than it was in the past for our parents to keep track of our illicit drinking or sexual experimentation.

And teenagers, too, can, with a little help, take control of their lives, moderating their social media activity before it gets out of hand.

It’s surely easier to learn the self-belief and resilience needed to cope with the vicissitudes of life online than to deal with an unwanted baby, or wean yourself off alcohol. As long as their screen life is circumscribed, (and by that I mean spend significantly less than three hours a day on Instagram and the like), growing up online might be the lesser of many teen evils. You can’t be a little bit pregnant. But you can dip a toe in the online world, and then retreat when it all gets a bit hectic.

Facebook to Kill Its Parse Mobile Development Service

Facebook to Kill Its Parse Mobile Development Service

In what comes as a surprise, Facebook has announced that it is shutting down Parse, its mobile backend as a service (MBaaS). The social networking juggernaut said that it will discontinue the service completely on January 28, 2017. It has made available guides and tools to help users with the transition.

Facebook announced this week that it is discontinuing Parse, a startup it acquired in 2013. Parse is a suite of paid tools and services for developing mobile apps. The startup before its acquisition by Facebook helped mobile developers handle push notifications, manage identity log-ins, and run custom code. It made a lot of sense for Facebook to have Parse because it was its biggest bet to get mobile developers to serious about its service.

The demise of Parse comes as a surprise as over the years, Facebook actually showed a lot of interest in it – pushing new features and improvements to enhance the developing experience. The company added an analytics dashboard measuring custom-designated events, and a library of low-level code for speeding up the design and development of mobile apps among others. Facebook reportedly acquired the service for $85 million (roughly Rs. 5,770 crores).

Parse has released a database migration tool that you can use to transition with any MongoDB database. The service says that the Parse API movie will work with any of your new databases. Facebook is also releasing the open source Parse Server, which will let you run most of the Parse API from your own Node.js server. The company has also made available a guide, should you need any assistance with the transition.

“We’re proud that we’ve been able to help so many of you build great mobile apps, but we need to focus our resources elsewhere,” Facebook Parse chief technology officer Kevin Lacker wrote in a blog post.

So why is Facebook then killing the service? Re/Code reports that it is because Facebook doesn’t see a future in it – and hence is unwilling to spend resources to compete with the offerings by giants such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Google.

Facebook Should Have ‘Acquaintance’ Category

Facebook Should Have 'Acquaintance' Category: Study

People cannot have 1,000 real friends on Facebook. Nor 500. In fact, anything over 200 starts seeming unlikely, an unusual study asserted on Wednesday.

Limitations on brain capacity and free time meant that humans can nurture no more than about 150 true friendships on social media, just as in real life, said a paper in the journal Royal Society Open Science.

The rest are acquaintances, or people recognised on sight.

A theoretical limit of 150 friends has become known as “Dunbar’s Number” after British evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar, who coined the concept.

He also authored the new study, and concluded the same limits applied online.

“There is some flexibility, perhaps, but not very much, and it mostly depends on how weak or strong you want your friendships to be,” Dunbar told AFP.

“It is as though we each have a limited amount of social capital and we can choose to invest it thinly in more people, or thickly in fewer people. But you can’t exceed these limits.”

Dunbar believes human relationships are layered in ever larger circles from closest to furthest.

We have on average five intimate friends, 15 best friends, 50 good friends, 150 friends, 500 acquaintances and 1,500 people we recognise on site.

“The 150-layer is the important one: this defines the people you have real reciprocated relationships with, those where you feel obligations and would willingly do favours,” the scientist explained.

“People can (and sometimes do) have 500 or even 1,000 friends on Facebook, but all they are doing is including people who we would normally call acquaintances or people we just recognise by sight but don’t know very well.”

Facebook didn’t distinguish between types of friendship, Dunbar pointed out.

Psychologists like Dunbar believe friendship limits are determined by two things: the ability of our brain to process multiple relationships, and time limitations.

‘Free fan club’
There has long been speculation that social media may allow us to pierce through some of these barriers, partly by allowing us to communicate with more people at a time — so stretching limited available social time.

For the new study, Dunbar used data from a two polls targeting more than 3,300 people in total in the United Kingdom.

The first group had 155 Facebook friends on average, and the second about 183.

When asked how many of their Facebook friends they could turn to for support in a crisis, people responded four.

Asked how many they could go to for sympathy, the answer was 14 – echoing the pattern of real-life friendship layers.

Dunbar said there are some people with more than 300 friends, of course, “enough to confirm the urban myth”.

“They are the exceptions and not the rule, and we have to ask how well they really know these friends after the fist 200 or so,” he said.

“We should also be careful not to include professional users such as Justin Bieber in here: journalists, congressmen, writers, singers etc use Facebook as a kind of free fan club – it doesn’t matter to them whether they really know these people or not.”

Apps That Are Getting India Online – for Free

Apps That Are Getting India Online - for Free

Should differential pricing of the Internet be allowed in India? How about whether Facebook’s Free Basics violates net neutrality? Questions like these are very important, and although the debate is an ongoing one, it is going to determine the future of the Internet for a vast number of Indians. Regardless of which side of this discussion you fall on, one thing that all participants can agree on is that it is important that people be given tools to get connected to the Internet – the full and unrestricted Internet – and experience its transformative power.

The question is how to get the next wave of data users online, and we’ve made a list of apps that give free, unrestricted Internet data to their users, who can use it on any sites or apps they choose. Most people who are against initiatives such as Free Basics because they restrict the websites a user can access, feel that this kind of free data does not violate the spirit of net neutrality, as the user is not being restricted in any way.

“When we were making the app, we weren’t thinking of net neutrality first, and then working backwards from there,” says Shailesh Nalawadi, co-founder at Mavin, the company that made Gigato, one of the apps featured in our list. “What we were thinking of was that Internet access is a pain point for people, and so how can we make it so that we can get more people online? And we built forward from that idea to the app you see right now.”

gigato_apps.jpg

The way it works is simple – Gigato subsidises the cost of Internet access to partner apps, by reimbursing you for the amount of data used by that app and often gives you a little extra, which can be used on any site or app. Since many of the apps that have partnered with Gigato are ones that you might be using on a day to day basis anyway, it actually works out quite well. For example, if you’ve installed Gigato on your Android phone, and use WhatsApp and Twitter, then for every 20MB of mobile data you consume, you’ll get 25MB of data that can be redeemed from your operator on any website.

“I think that everyone is trying to solve the problem of getting people online. For our part, we wanted to make sure that anyone can partner with us, and we’ve made it clear that there are no exclusive tie ups on our app,” says Nalawadi, “and from the user side, we’re trying to support all the different operators, so that all users can use Gigato, and we don’t mandate how you use your free data. You can use it anywhere, anyhow. So there are no exclusives and there is no restriction, which is why this is not against net neutrality.”

“It’s really more like a shop giving a cashback to a loyal customer, to make a somewhat bad analogy,” he adds.

airtel_tvc_800.jpg

This is different from a concept like Airtel Zero – a service Airtel planned to roll out to companies, to allow them to pay for data access by users. Under Airtel Zero, it would have been free to visit websites that were paying for the service, but this kind of differential pricing obviously gives a huge advantage to companies with deep pockets. A service like Airtel Zero would drive up the initial cost for Internet startups making it harder for new companies to emerge. With Gigato on the other hand, you’re “earning” data for using the apps you already have, and this can then be used for free access to any site on the Web.

Music streaming service Saavn has also experimented with the concept, with its FreeStream app thatoffered free data to users. The idea is simple – you pay for the mobile data you used to listen to music, and as a way of thanking loyal customers, Saavn offers a recharge voucher you can use on your operator. On a blog post, Saavn CEO Rishi Malhotra writes that the company is strongly in favour of net neutrality, adding: “It also keeps startup jobs in India, which enables innovation and skills to compound rather than letting only the large companies thrive based on sheer capitalisation.”

saavn_STI_banner.jpg

According to him, the biggest point of friction for many users is that they don’t know what value the Internet can offer to them personally. Programs like Freestream, he argues, enable users to “test” the Internet without having to spend much money, which leads to greater adoption and usage of the Internet over time.

Paytunes is a young Indian startup that launched only in October, and so it’s no surprise that it’s Chief Marketing Officer, Rakesh Sehgal, says it’s in favour of net neutrality. “We wanted to be very clear about what we’re doing – you listen to an ad and get paid for it,” he says. “So there is no question of net neutrality at all, it’s completely fair – anyone can use this, and access any websites, or any apps. There is no benefit to using any websites or apps, and there is no data you have to spend either.”

paytunes_splash.jpg

Paytunes replaces the ringtone on your phone with ad jingles – each time you get a call, the ads play, and if the jingle gets to run for 6 seconds, you will earn a point for it (if the call lasts for 30 seconds). This ensures that you’re not spamming the system to fake up points, and every 3 points can be redeemed for Re. 1. That might not sound like much, but even 10 calls a day means a free recharge of Rs. 100.

“We wanted to make an app that fits into your day to day routine, so you don’t have to do anything you wouldn’t normally do just for earning points,” says Sehgal. “With the other free talktime apps you have to download apps or use apps that you might not normally do, but everyone has to answer calls. It’s an easy way to get free data, and it fully supports net neutrality.”

Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe Explains Why the Rift Has a $600 Price Tag

Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe Explains Why the Rift Has a $600 Price Tag

This week, Oculus finally announced the consumer launch of its Rift virtual reality headset — more than three years after its original Kickstarter launch, and nearly two years since Facebook bought the firmfor $1 billion (roughly Rs. 6,688 crores).

The launch came with a lot of hype, and pre-order supplies went quickly. (Try to pre-order one now and you get an estimated ship date of June.) But there was a bit of a blot on the announcement as well, as many potential buyers complained about the $599 (roughly Rs. 40,000) price tag.

I sat down with Brendan Iribe, chief executive of Oculus, at the Consumer Electronics Show. He said that there’s a very simple reason that the cost of the Rift is so high: It’s made from expensive components. The company, Iribe said, wanted to focus on bringing the best virtual reality experience possible to market and didn’t want to compromise on the quality of the headset or the experience.

“We made it as close to the cost of the hardware as possible,” Iribe said. “The margin is razor-thin.” He said that the company, at least initially, is looking at the Rift as a break-even initiative.

Part of the kerfuffle over the price is due to earlier comments from Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey, who had indicated the Rift’s price would be in the ballpark of $350 (roughly Rs. 23,400) – the price of the kits the company was sending to developers. That set expectations for a much lower consumer price than the one announced this week.

On Reddit, Luckey apologized for his earlier comments, explaining that at the time he was trying to combat expectations that the Rift would cost more than $1,500 (roughly Rs. 1,00,340).

“My answer was ill-prepared, and mentally, I was contrasting $349 with $1,500, not our internal estimate that hovered close to $599 – that is why I said it was in roughly the same ballpark,” Luckey wrote in an open Reddit question-and-answer session.

Still, Iribe acknowledges that the price of the Rift does mean that it’s not for everyone, but he thinks the price is still a good value for the experience you get.

Finding the right price for the Rift is a tricky dance. There are cheaper ways to try VR. The wirelessSamsung Gear VR, for example, is much cheaper at about $200 (roughly Rs. 13,380) and uses Oculus’s technology and is powered by a smartphone. But you get what you pay for. While the Gear VR is a good introduction to VR, it is nowhere near as immersive as the Rift.

And the experience of using the Rift is very good. Oculus let me try out a couple of demos with the headset and its forthcoming Touch controllers.

It’s hard to explain just how convincing the virtual reality is, particularly when using the controllers, which loop around your hands and replicate the position and angle of your hands inside the virtual world. In one demo, called the Toy Box, I played catch with an Oculus demonstrator and used a slingshot to take down an array of targets. (Or tried to, anyway.) When I was done, I actually tried to set the controllers in my hand down on the virtual table, forgetting for a moment that they weren’t there.

But even without the ability to see your hands in the virtual space, the Rift’s stability and replication can really convince your senses that you’re somewhere else – and that a person who might be in another room or another continent is actually standing next to you.

Iribe said that it’s been exciting for him to see how people outside the company have reacted to the latest version of the headset.

“Most of the people, when they take it off, immediately say, ‘What if you did this with it?’ Everyone has an idea,” he said.

It will be interesting to see how Rift competitors such as Sony and HTC, which is working on a VR system that requires you to place multiple sensors around the room, will also handle the price question. Dedicated gamers will likely pick up the devices – if you take a cue from Oculus’s pre-order numbers, in fact, perhaps more than anyone anticipated. But even with the first consumer models headed out into the real world, the cost of these headsets may keep them from going mainstream for quite a while yet.

For Iribe, the next steps are clear: Find more applications for the Rift to make it a more compelling device. The company has actively courted game developers to launch content with the Rift and is fielding other ideas by way of its app marketplace.

“We’re focused on content now,” he said, adding that it does Oculus no good to have a great device with nothing to do on it. “Content drives hardware.”

Obama Shifts Online Strategy On Islamic State

Obama Shifts Online Strategy On Islamic StateWASHINGTON:  The Obama administration on Friday announced a wide-ranging overhaul of its efforts to respond to online propaganda from the Islamic State after months of acknowledgments that it had largely failed in its attempts to counter extremist recruitment and exhortations to violence on social media.

The administration has emphasized that it needs the assistance of some of the nation’s biggest technology companies, and a group of top White House and national security officials flew to California on Friday to plead their case with executives.

In a reflection of just how urgent the White House views the efforts, the discussions involved officials like Denis R. McDonough, the White House chief of staff; Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch; James R. Clapper Jr., director of national intelligence; James B. Comey, the FBI director; and Lisa Monaco, the president’s counterterrorism adviser. They met with Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, as well as top executives from Facebook, Twitter and Google.

“Given the way the technology works these days, there surely are ways that we can disrupt paths to radicalization, to identify recruitment patterns and to provide metrics that allow us to measure the success of our counter-radicalization efforts,” Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, said before the California meeting began.

A task force will be created in the departments of Homeland Security and Justice to coordinate the government’s new effort.

The State Department announced the creation of a center to respond to disinformation from extremist groups around the world by highlighting their misdeeds and creating positive images of the West.
After the terrorist attack last year that killed 130 people in Paris, President Barack Obama delivered a series of speeches seeking to reassure the country while demanding rapid changes within the administration to improve responses to jihadi propaganda.

Obama has been speaking for some time about the need for the West to more effectively counter the austere and apocalyptic pronouncements of Islamist extremists. At the United Nations in September, he told world leaders that “ideologies are not defeated with guns; they are defeated by better ideas – a more attractive and compelling vision.”

But the State Department has largely foundered in its efforts to fashion the kind of war room that would effectively counter the propaganda flowing out of the Islamic State, which is widely seen as adept at using social media to recruit and inspire followers.

For help with these challenges, the administration turned Friday to Silicon Valley. “I do have a lot of confidence that those companies that are run by patriotic Americans are not interested in seeing their tools or their technology used by terrorists to harm innocent Americans,” Earnest said.

Those executives, however, are in charge of global corporations whose revenues are increasingly derived from people outside the United States. The executives have long pushed back on demands by governments to censor posts, provide access to user accounts, or hand over the keys to encryption technologies.

If the companies begin to work with the government to monitor and remove posts or create anti-terrorism counternarratives, they might have a harder time resisting similar requests from foreign governments.

“It’s a slippery slope with free speech where if you start making exceptions, where do you stop and where do you draw the line?” said Emma Llanso, a director at the Center for Democracy in Technology, a think tank.

She said the consequence could be an erosion of trust by consumers.That erosion of trust began in the wake of revelations from Edward J. Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor, who showed previous coordination among some technology companies with U.S. surveillance efforts. Executives are eager to avoid a repeat.

There is also the technological challenge of sifting through vast amounts of user-generated content in different languages on a growing number of social media platforms.

Law enforcement officials for years have expressed frustration that technology companies are increasingly creating products like smartphones with encryption technologies that make it difficult, if not impossible for the government to monitor conversations. But the discussion Friday, while touching on encryption issues, was expected to focus largely on social media and how technology companies could more effectively police their platforms.

Some former top administration officials now work at prominent technology firms, including Jay Carney, a former White House press secretary, who is now a senior vice president at Amazon. Megan Smith, the administration’s chief technology officer, who worked at Google, and Alexander Macgillivray, the administration’s deputy chief technology officer, who worked at Twitter, both attended the meeting Friday in California.

“This meeting is the latest in the administration’s continuing dialogue with technology providers and others to ensure we are bringing our best private and public sector thinking to combating terrorism,” said Melanie R. Newman, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department.