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Facebook rolls out 'safety check' for disaster areas

Facebook has rolled out a new feature that enables people to check if their loved ones are safe during natural disasters.

Facebook's new tool asks people in areas hit by disasters if they are safe. Credit: Facebook

The built-in tool will be activated after a natural disaster like earthquake or tsunami hits, asking users in the affected area if they’re safe.

If they click “I’m Safe”, a notification and News Feed story will be generated in their feed.

"Unfortunately, these kinds of disasters happen all too frequently. Each time, we see people, relief organizations and first responders turn to Facebook in the aftermath of a major natural disaster," Facebook said in a statement.

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Facebook gets EU approval for $19bn WhatsApp bid

Credit: PA Images

The European Union has given clearance to Facebook's proposed $19bn (£11.8 billion) bid to takeover mobile messaging app WhatsApp.

The landmark deal is the largest in Facebook's 10-year history and will give it a strong foothold in the fast-growing mobile messaging market, Reuters have reported.

The European Commission said the Facebook-WhatsApp deal would not hurt competition in the lucrative European mobile communications market.

"We have carefully reviewed this proposed acquisition and come to the conclusion that it would not hamper competition in this dynamic and growing market. Consumers will continue to have a wide choice of consumer communications apps," European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said.

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EU regulators 'to approve Facebook's $19 billion WhatsApp deal'

Facebook's $19 billion offer to but WhatsApp will be unconditionally approved by European Union antitrust regulators, two people familiar with the matter have told Reuters.

EU regulators 'to approve Facebook's $19 billion WhatsApp deal' Credit: Armin Weigel

The landmark deal, the largest in Facebook's 10-year history, will give the company a strong foothold in the fast-growing mobile messaging market and pit it against telecoms companies.

Facebook apologises for third outage in three months

Facebook tonight apologised after the site went down again for the third time in three months.

Facebook said it was "thoroughly investigating the matter".

In a statement it said: "Earlier today we encountered an error while making an infrastructure configuration change that briefly made it difficult for people to access Facebook.

"We immediately discovered the issue and fixed it, and everyone should now be able to connect.

"We apologise for the inconvenience and will thoroughly investigate this issue so we can learn from it and ensure that Facebook is there when people need it."

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