Tech Columnist Karan Bajaj published an article on the 9 hidden features & tips for Facebook, YouTube and other services

The most popular platforms out there evolve at a rapid pace. Any user will know the basics but there are hidden tricks too. Hitesh Raj Bhagat & Karan Bajaj put together a list of the things that even regular users may find interesting


Regular Facebook users will probably be aware of exactly how it works across platforms -they make it so easy to use! You probably also know that anyone on Facebook can message you, regardless of whether they’re friends with you or not. All of these messages go into a special inbox called `message requests’.

If you choose to accept the request, it doesn’t mean that you’re accepting a friend request. But did you know that there are actually two message in boxes? There’s another one called `filtered requests’ and you can access it from the Facebook Messenger app or if you’re signed in on a web browser. Look though it once in a while and you may find something interesting.


There are a bunch of ways to use Twitter better and power users will know all about lists, hashtags, conversations, keyboard shortcuts and mentions. But there is a way to read a lot more about your tweets, engagements, top mentions and biggest followers -using Twitter Analytics. This is Twitter’s own analytics tool and can be accessed at http:analytics.twitter .com.

This will show you a month-bymonth account of your Twitter stats and you can use this info to grow your following. Another cool Twitter trick is to schedule tweets, done using third-party tools like Twuffer and Hootsuite.


WhatsApp GIF support is currently available for iOS only . Within the app, WhatsApp has its own collection of animated GIFs that can be used directly . In the chat window, tap the `+’ button and select photo and video library . On the lower left, you will see a search sign with GIF next to it -tap to view and search the GIF collection.

WhatsApp also lets you individually manage storage for friendsgroups. By default, you cannot view how much data is being consumed by a chat. Go to Settings > Data and Storage Usage > Storage usage -you can view your chats arranged as per the amount of storage consumed. Tap on a chat name to view details of the type of media for each chat -you can even tap manage to delete the media from the chat.


YouTube has a built-in feature that automatically generates captions for uploaded videos. Once you upload a video, YouTube takes some time (depending on the length of the video) to generate the transcript. You can open the video, tap the `More’ button and select Transcript to view the text. All this text can also be copied to a notepad for later use. If you have an audio file and need it transcribed, you can use YouTube.

First, you need to convert your audio file into a video file using just upload to YouTube. Keep in mind that the transcription is not 100% accurate but it does beat manually transcribing something.Finally, YouTube has a section called TestTube where you can try out experimental features.Currently , they’re testing 4k video playback at 60 fps -if you have a powerful enough computer and a fast-broadband connection, you can try it out.


A lot of people really love the unique filters on Instagram.However, there is an easy workaround if you really want to use one of those filters without sharing anything. This works on both Android and iOS versions of the app. First, open the app, click on your profile tab and settings (top right).

Under Account and Story Settings, switch on the option to `save shared photos’. Then, you can load a photo into Instagram and apply your filter. Before you click share, switch the phone to airplane mode. The post will fail obviously , but the edited image will be saved to the image gallery .

There’s another small trick most users may not know -the ability to reorder the filters. If you favourite filters are way down the list, you can arrange them so that they come up first. While scrolling through the filters, go to the end till you see `Manage’. Tap this and use the three lines on each filter’s name to rearrange their order according to your favourites.


On the iPhone versions of these apps, there is a hidden Labs menu that you can access by using a special gesture: you have to use four fingers and tap four times on the screen when the app is open. If this doesn’t happen at first, slow down your taps, with a short gap between the first two and last two taps.In Hyperlapse, you can switch resolution from 720p to 1080p, adjust frame rate from 30 to 24fps and change the speed of the video.

With the looping video app Boomerang, you can also increase video resolution to 1080p, change the video direction (forward and back, forward only, back only) plus adjust a host of other settings like frame count, playback frame rate etc. Experiment with these settings to get a unique video.


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