Sheryl Sandberg Joins Board of Directors at Facebook

Sheryl Sandberg Joins the Board of Directors at Facebook

The current COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg is going to join the Board of Directors at Facebook. After serving as COO for four years, Sandberg is the first woman to join the exclusive elite at the social networking giant. Sandberg has been in charge of hectic business operations and has dealt with a variety of areas ranging from HR, marketing, business development all the way to policy making.

In bringing Sandberg to this elite group, Mark Zuckerberg has been a strong advocate of Sandberg’s move to the top-tier as she has stood along with him through thick and thin. Moreover, Sandberg’s role has been elemental in transporting Facebook to the feat where it stands today, concluded Zuckerberg.

The decision was also backed by the fact that by bringing Sandberg into the exclusive elite would bring diversity to the group. As of now, the Board of Director comprises of the following:

  • Mark Zuckerberg, founder and chief executive
  • Marc L. Andreessen, Andreessen Horowitz
  • Erskine B. Bowles, President Emeritus,University of North Carolina system
  • James W. Breyer, Accel Partners
  • Donald E. Graham, chairman and CEO, The Washington Post Company
  • Reed Hastings, chairman and CEO, Netflix
  • Peter A. Thiel, Founders Fund.

Sandberg is going to be number eight in this list. More news will follow soon.

This story was originally shared by TechCrunch.

Facebook Disables ‘Find Friends Nearby’ Feature; Might Get Sued for Stealing the Idea

Earlier today we reported that Facebook quietly rolled out the ‘Find Friends Nearby’ feature, which basically provided users a way to find Facebook users who are close to their location at that very moment. However, the feature has now been pulled back, and of course, that was done quietly too.

There was no official announcement about the release of the ‘Find Friends Nearby’ feature, although no one expected one, since Facebook has been releasing a number of new features without letting its users know about it. Not to forget the very recent change in updating user’s email id to @facebook.com without the permission of its users’.

The ‘Find Friends Nearby’ feature has now been removed (with less than 24 hours) and the URL – fb.com/ffn is no more accessible. According to an update by ABC News, Facebook stated that it was an experimental release and was intended for testing purpose only:

“This wasn’t a formal release – this was something that a few engineers were testing. With all tests, some get released as full products, others don’t. Nothing more to say on this for now – we’ll communicate to everyone when there is something to say.”

But my real concern is about Facebook engineer Ryan Patterson, who claims to have developed the ‘Find Friends Nearby’ feature in a comment on TechCrunch’s site. Ryan had to reveal so much information about the feature, yet Facebook says, “We’ll communicate to everyone when there is something to say.

Here’s the comment added by Ryan Patterson:

I built Find Friends Nearby with another engineer for a hackathon project. While it was originally called ‘Friendshake’, we settled on ‘Find Friends Nearby’ for launch (the URL was a little bit of a homage to the previous iteration).

For me, the ideal use case for this product is the one where when you’re out with a group of people whom you’ve recently met and want to stay in contact with. Facebook search might be effective, or sharing your vanity addresses or business cards, but this tool provides a really easy way to exchange contact information with multiple people with minimal friction.

I don’t know if Facebook is aware of this comment, or has simply ignored it. Nevertheless, it is also possible that Facebook pulled back this feature, after a location-based app maker ‘Friendthem’ decided to sue Facebook for having knowingly steal their idea and ‘trademarked materials’.

An email from Charles Sankowich, CEO of Friendthem, to TheNextWeb claims that Facebook has stolen their idea, which Facebook calls it ‘Find Friends Nearby’. Here’s the email that TNW received:

I was amazed on Sunday to read that Facebook is blatantly stealing our idea with what they are calling, “Find Friends Nearby.”

Facebook engineer Ryan Patterson claims the feature was born at a hackathon as “Friendshake,” but we believe they simply stole trademarked materials of Friendthem.com.

More than two years ago we trademarked “Friendthem” and have had tremendous success and exposure with this concept. Even their language is similar to what has been on our website for year’s now – “Friendthem” is a location-based mobile app designed to help you make connections with people near you. Use the Friendthem app to follow up on missed connections for work and personal.

We are consulting attorneys and assuming this is true and expect to commence a lawsuit very shortly. One would think that Facebook would have learned to play fair after being through the mud previously with legal difficulties, but now they are doing it again.

We may not be billionaires but we are damn tough New York entrepreneurs, and we believe in this idea and will keep working to connect people.

Perhaps this is the main reason why Facebook had to pull their ‘Find Friends Nearby’ feature. Or, maybe it is serious about launching a feature something similar to ‘Friendthem’, but will the company, which claims that Facebook has stolen their idea stay put? Or, perhaps we may see Facebook ending up with an acquisition deal with ‘Friendthem’.

Facebook Changes Your Email Without Your Permission

It’s one of those moves that leaves me scratching my head saying, “What the heck!?!” If you haven’t looked at your Facebook profile lately, you might want to take a minute and check it out. It appears Facebook has decided to switch everyone’s default email address to an “@facebook” account. Problem is, they didn’t even bother telling us of the change, much less asking us for permission to do so.

Not too long ago Facebook rolled out its “Gmail Killer” email service. For most, it was clunky at best and honestly, most people already have a well established email address to begin with. In other words, the service didn’t really catch on. So, much to the surprise of many users, Facebook changed the listed email address on everyone’s profile. They even decided on an email address for you. For instance, if your profile is “http://www.facebook.com/abcdefg”, then your new Facebook email address is “[email protected]” Fortunately, there is an easy way to get your email address back.

Go to your wall or profile and click “About”. On the “About” page there is a section listed with “Contact Information”. See the picture below for an example. Click the “Edit” button to change the default email address displayed.

Facebook Contact Info

When you click the “Edit” button, it will take you to a place where you can edit all your contact information. Find the section at the top labeled “Emails”. See image below for an example.

Find the email address that you would like displayed, and click the dropdown arrow on the right, as displayed in the picture above. Click the selection that says “Shown on Timeline”. If you don’t want people to use your “@facebook” address, then select “Hidden from Timeline”. Then save your settings when you are finished.

This is an outrageous ploy on Facebook’s account and is not something that builds trust. This blogger http://blog.gerv.net/2012/06/facebook-email-mitm/ actually said it best when they described this as a “Man in the middle attack”. That is serious stuff folks. Facebook needs to hear about this from you and me! This isn’t safe, it is sneaky, and it makes me wonder about the future of Facebook and whether they can ever be trusted.

 

Every Minute of the Day

One of Pakistan’s leading journalists, Dr. Shahid Masood Khan shared interesting stats via his Facebook status on June 24, 2012. These stats reflect contemporary data about the internet – how people approach media consumption and what kind of activities they perform online. The emergence of new technologies, new tools and a democratic environment have empowered people to have their voices heard and take on the role of “prosumers”, providing a conventional consumer to become a producer of powerful  and compelling content. The result of this empowerment has been overwhelming. Every minute of every hour of every day, incredible stuff is happening online. To substantiate this claim, let’s take a look at the following visual:

Every Minute on the Internet: Source, Dr. Shahid Masood’s Facebook Wall

Stunned?

Facebook User Teaches LinkedIn a Branding Lesson

For any company to be successful, the connection it has with its consumers is of extreme relevance. The way it connects, the way it engages and the way it is able to evoke emotions among its consumers to build relationships are elements that interplay collectively to create a powerful brand. Companies invest heavily in branding to not only understand customer needs and wants but also to compete better than competition. This process is demanding, costly and highly volatile. Let’s briefly discuss these three factors.

  1. Demanding: It is demanding in terms of effort required – a company requires specialized strategists who carrying our massive brainstorming to model an effective branding strategy. In the process, companies carry out massive research on where they are doing well and the areas they can capitalize on.
  2. Costly: Branding is expensive! Not only in terms of money but also in terms of time and manpower a company invests to help itself reach a point where it becomes renowned to the target customers.
  3. Volatile: While companies strive to oblige with the two former criteria, a single minute error can tarnish brand image. This is particularly true in the era of social media where brands attempt to relate with consumers via this channel due to the large presence of consumers. If a brand falls in the trap of committing a silly error, it can affect its image adversely. AND LINKEDIN HAS DONE JUST THAT!

On Monday, June 25, 2012, 2am CET, LinkedIn launched an update on its Facebook page stating that Reid Hoffman, the chairperson of the company, had visited the company’s Japanese branch to attend an event. Supposedly, this piece of communication was to hold a link to a video of the event which was directed at people who follow LinkedIn activities on Facebook. Apparently, no link as such as included along with the message. Take a look at this:

 

Facebook User Teaches LinkedIn a Branding Lesson

Within seconds of the post, one user pointed out what was missing. Within minutes, a second user expressed his discontent. A couple of minutes later, a third user attempted to send out a message to the team responsible for branding and/or social media at LinkedIn by stating what to do to carry out effective media branding (clear as you can see in the image above).

For a while, LinkedIn had not responded to any of the three users who posted comments. Now, what should have LinkedIn done or do? Let the issue cool down or acknowledge the error. The COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg pointed out at the iStrategy Conference in 2011 how brands should react to customer outrage on social media. She stated that furious consumers are just a simple apology away from becoming a brand ambassador. We’ll see if LinkedIn realizes this and complies with the commandment revealed by Sandberg. On the contrary, we can also witness if LinkedIn decides to go with the flow.

Mickey Rourke Dies in Snowboard Accident Hoax

Another new celebrity death is being spread on both on with regards to famous actor Mickey Rourke dying in a snowboard accident. The news is similar to earlier hoaxes which Arnold Schwarzenegger and Keanu Reeves were victims of.

The message is being spread through the same satire website mediafetcher and is a hoax and not real news. Rest assured, Mickey Rourke is not dead.

The link in question leads you to a fake story page, which has the following content:

Actor Mickey Rourke is reported to have died shortly after a snowboard accident earlier today – June 24, 2012.

The actor & novice snowboarder was vacationing at the Zermatt ski resort in Zermatt, Switzerland with family and friends. Witnesses indicate that Mickey Rourke lost control of his snowboard and struck a tree at a high rate of speed.

Mickey Rourke was air lifted by ski patrol teams to a local hospital, however, it is believed that the actor died instantly from the impact of the crash. The actor was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident and drugs and alcohol do not appear to have played any part in his death.

Please do not spread this fake message around.

With over 800 million users on Facebook, the social networking giant has always been the main target for spreading scams. It is quite difficult to identify scams on Facebook. Here is a post on How to Identify and Avoid Facebook Scams. Bookmark Techie Buzz Facebook Scams or Subscribe to Scam Alert Feed. We always keep you updated with the latest scams spreading on Facebook.

In addition to that, don’t forget to check out our article about Avoiding Facebook Lifejacking and Clickjacking scams.

Facebook, Google & Twitter Unify To Combat “Spam”

In the digital world, people are consuming media in a totally new fashion. New patterns emerge where substantial data is gathered to analyze media consumption. The results obtained from such data serve as a tool to understand what type of content people consume, like and share. In order to keep providing content as such, it is imperative to provide exceptional user experience. Companies have understood this and aim to not only maintain the rate of media consumption but increment for increased traffic, revenues and most importantly, a larger volume of consumers. Media companies are constantly challenged to come up with innovative methods to capture the eye-balls of media consumers and are investing heavily in research to understand the essential ingredients that make up an exceptional user experience. To add to the challenge, companies have been battling spam and malicious advertising which has been a major obstacle to this feat. This time around, big names such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, AOL and IAB have joined hands to combat spam once and for all.

Facebook, Google, Twitter Combine Forces

Captioned under the Ads Integrity Alliance, the initiative was launched a week ago under the StopBadWare organization. The objective is to mitigate malicious ads and contribute to better practices, better service. According to Maxim Weinstein, the Executive Director of the organization, no single player can attempt to fight this cause of its own which is why they are unifying the big players in the industry to fight this problem together.

Google’s Public Policy Manager, Eric Davis affirmed that the Ads Integrity Alliance will serve as a platform where companies can work together to protect users from malicious ads. He further added if the user feels deceived, the entire web’s reputation is on stake.

Facebook Enables Comment Editing Feature; Keeps Original Comments in “Edit History”

Facebook is releasing yet another essential feature that many users have craved for all these years – Editing comments. The new “Edit” feature that Facebook is releasing enables users to edit their comments, giving them complete flexibility to rewrite and correct their wrongs in their comments. This eliminates the burden of deleting and rewriting the comments all over again.

Additionally, when you edit a comment, Facebook will keep a copy of the original comment in the edit history, which will be visible to all users. This edit history will contain all the previous versions of your comment. According to Facebook, this is done to ensure “subsequent commenters or likers have the full context of the conversation.”

Facebook is rolling out the feature now and will be made available to all its in a couple of days. Perhaps, you would have already got the feature by now. Go to your Timeline and browse through any of the comments that you have previously added. On the top-right corner, you will see an icon, and clicking it will provide you with two options – Edit, and Delete.

Clicking the edit button will switch the comment in edit mode, and you can continue editing the comment. However, you can simply cancel any edits by pressing the escape button on your keyboard.

Edit Facebook Comments

Facebook displays the following message after you have edited a comment:

Facebook Edit Comments Tip

All this sounds well and good, however, the feature is currently available on the browser version of Facebook. We are not sure if this will also be available in the mobile versions. Additionally, it is not known whether this feature will be available on Facebook’s social commenting plug-in that websites use as their comment box.

Facebook has been releasing a lot of new features, including some updates to its existing features. Here are some of the recently added features and updates that Facebook announced:

Facebook Updates Hovercards; Displays Timeline Cover Photos

Facebook is seriously on fire. Lately, it has been releasing several series of new features and updates which are quite essential, although they are small and unnoticeable. Few moments back we reported that Facebook has added the new emoticons menu in the chat window for better communication among users while chatting.

Yet another new feature update that has been spotted is the hovercards – the small information box that appears when you hover over a profile name or a Facebook page. The hovercards have been upgraded to display the Timeline profile picture along with the cover photo of a user/page when you hover over the name.

Regardless of whether it is a user or a Facebook page, the hovercard will now show a smaller version of the cover photo, providing the viewer with more context on who they are, or what page it is.

The new hovercards are designed to look more like a business card rather than the hovercard itself. Take a look at the examples shown below, shared by Manoj on his blog Most viral Media.

Facebook Hovercards With Cover Photo

From the images above, you can see that the hovercard of a user contains the user’s profile pic, the name, current job/designation, including a thumbnail gallery of mutual friends. At the bottom, there are the two usual buttons – Message and Friends (used to indicate whether you are a friend of that person or not). The Facebook page hovercard on the other hand, contains a thumbnail gallery of users that have “liked” the page, name of the page, location, the fan page picture, including the Message and “Liked”/”Like” buttons.

Here’s how the older version of the hovercards look:

Facebook Old Hovercards

Although it looks pretty much same as the earlier version of the hovercard, the new one particularly has the cover photo displayed in the background. This update is yet to be made available for all users, and users who aren’t using the new Facebook Timeline, will have the older hovercard design, until they switch to Timeline and add a cover photo.

Facebook has been releasing a lot of new features, including some updates to its existing features. Recently, it made some changes to its notifications by allowing users to opt out of the unwanted and annoying notifications. We have also spotted a new feature that shows activity of recently logged in friends.

Facebook Brings Emoticons to Desktop Chat; Includes a New “Like” Icon

Lately, Facebook has been releasing a lot of new features, including some updates to its existing features. First we saw the announcement of the Facebook plugin for WordPress, followed by a “Call” button placed below the user’s cover photo in order to popularize the video chatting feature.

We then saw a new feature that shows activity of recently logged in friends, along with the new notification control that lets you opt out of useless notification from the drop down menu – a much needed feature. And not to forget, Facebook has also acquired the facial recognition technology company face.com with the deal closing somewhere between $55 and $60 million.

Interestingly, all of these features (including the acquisition) were released during this month itself. Those are a lot of new releases in a single month. However, that doesn’t stop right there. Today, the social networking giant made a post from its Facebook Tips account announcing the introduction emoticons to its desktop chat.

You can now easily add smiley faces and other emoticons to a conversation when you’re chatting with your friends. Look for the icon in the bottom right corner of your chat window and emote away.

Facebook- Emoticons List

Emoticons aren’t new to Facebook, however, the emoticons menu is something that wasn’t available before, and was a highly required detail for chatting. Earlier users had to smiley type in the smiley code, which then used to get converted to an emoticon automatically. This, however, did not show the list of emoticons supported in the chat, leading to which some of the users simply had guess the code to see if it worked or not.

Also Read: Facebook Chat Emoticon Trick: Use The Profile Photo Of A Person, Page Or Event In A Chat Message

Having realized the need of an emoticon menu (for better communication and adding appropriate emoticons), Facebook has introduced this new menu to its chat windows. Additionally, Facebook has added the “like” icon (thumbs-up icon), which users can use it by simply typing (y) – including parentheses.

Sadly, the kiss emoticon has gone missing. Perhaps Facebook does not want its users to kiss-kiss while chatting ;) However, users can still use it by typing the code :-*

The new emoticon menu is available in the desktop chat application (also within Facebook chat window), while it is unclear if Facebook is going to add the same to any of its mobile apps. Also, emoticons are not available on status updates. However, considering the rate at which Facebook is releasing such tiny updates, emoticons for status updates is very likely.