Tag Archives: Facebook

Facebook’s New Feature Notifies You About Engagements and Weddings

Thanks to Facebook, I never miss wishing any of my close friends on their birthdays. At least that saves me from being cursed for not wishing that person on his/her birthday. With the popularity of birthday reminders, Facebook is now adding up a similar notification feature for engagements and weddings, which will notify you when your friends are getting married or engaged, so that you don’t miss congratulating the couple, or scare them about marriage life :P

Facebook has already started to roll out the new “Wedding and Celebrations” feature, which automatically notifies you based on the change in the relationship status to “engaged” or “married.” The notification will be showed on the top-right corner above the sponsored ads.

Facebook Wedding Engagements Updates

A Facebook spokesperson said that the new feature is all about sharing the important events in your life with friends:

Facebook has become a unique way people share and congratulate friends around exciting life events such as engagements and weddings or the arrival of a child. To make it easier to keep up with these momentous occasions and to ensure you can share in your friends’ joy, we are rolling out a “Weddings and Celebrations” feature. Beginning today, special events starting with engagements and weddings will be displayed along with friends’ birthdays when you log into Facebook.

When a new notification arrives, users can simply click on it and congratulate the couple without having to switch between profiles, just like the way you post a birthday wish. In addition to this, you can even send a friend request to the person your friend is getting engaged or married with.

Interestingly a lot of Facebook employees are getting married, which includes the CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself, and Facebook co-founder Chris Huges wedding his boyfriend. It is also interesting to see how Facebook is focusing more on important life events. In the recent past, Facebook announced the organ donor feature that provides an ability to add your organ donor status on your Timeline, which in return may inspire others to sign up as donors as well.

Facebook has also revamped the Events feature with the new calendar and list view that highlights a list of current and upcoming events. However, the engagement and marriage events won’t be listed or added to the calendar view.

Image credits: mashable.com [via]

Facebook Redesigns Events with New Calendar, List View

Keeping track of upcoming events on Facebook is a lot easier, as the company has finally redesigned Events with the all new List view and Calendar view that is designed to highlight the upcoming events such as birthdays, parties, and suggested events.

The new Facebook Events was started and built overnight as a part of the hackathon project by Facebook developers, who were looking forward to improvise the social networking giant’s Event’s features and functionality.

“Before a recent hackathon, a few of us created a Facebook group called “Social Calendar Dreamers” to spark discussion around making Events more visual. At the next hackathon, engineers from the events, photos, messages and other teams hacked through the night to build a better way to view events. By 6 a.m., we had a prototype that worked.”

As the prototype was finalized, the engineers revealed it to Facebook, which led to the addition of new features and was then taken into consideration to implement on the site.

The improved Events for Facebook with list view and calendar view comes with some great essentials. The calendar view lets you view all your RSVPs right in one page on a set of grids, rather than the traditional way of scrolling down through each event. The design of the calendar is something similar to Google Calendar, and each day’s box is listed with the event, which can be hovered over or clicked to go through the event details.

Facebook Events Calendar View

At the top of the calendar is a list of pending events along with the buttons to access past events. You can also create an event using the “Create Event” box placed at the top. For upcoming events, you need to scroll (infinite scrolling) down, and the list is generated accordingly.

The List view provides a different look with the current and next month calendar placed on the left alongside the list of present day events and upcoming events. You can leave comments or respond to invites within the same window rather than switching between pages and windows.

Facebook Events List View

Google+ is one of the reasons why Facebook revamped Events with new features. Google+ recently unveiled the Google+ Events, which offers some great features such as the “Party Mode.”

Facebook is slowly rolling out this feature to all Facebook users. You can check it out by going to your Events page on Facebook and then clicking the “Calendar” tab on the top left side of the screen.

Your Last Chance to Change Your Facebook Page Vanity URL

Facebook made it easier for page owners by allowing them to provide a username or vanity URL for their Facebook pages. When it was launched three years back, Facebook stated that once the page owner has set a username, it could not be changed. Facebook warned page owners and asked them to think wisely before they chose a username for their page.

However, a lot of people made mistakes while choosing an appropriate name, for which they have been regretting ever since. The only way was to delete the existing page and create a new page. However, deleting a page will not only delete the posts and updates, but also the “likes” your page has generated.

Since this was the most difficult part, many page owners requested Facebook to allow them to change the vanity URL of their Facebook fan page. Facebook has been listening to its users and has finally decided to give page owners/administrators one last chance to set things right.

Facebook, on Tuesday, made an announcement stating that Page owners can now change the vanity URLs of their page to anything they want. However, this change is allowed only once and cannot be changed again no matter what.

Change Facebook Page Vanity URL

So, if you had mistakenly chosen a wrong username for your Facebook page, here’s your chance to rectify your error, but be wise enough while making this change. To change Facebook page vanity URL, follow the steps below:

Step #1: Click on the “Edit Page” link button from the top of your Page

Step #2: From the drop-down menu, select the “Update Info” option

Step #3: Make sure you are on the “Basic Information” page. Click on “Change username” in the Username section

Step #4: Enter a new username and check for its availability. If the username you want is available, click “Confirm” to save it.

Note: Please keep in mind that you cannot change the username again after hitting the “Confirm” button.

Facebook Looking to Tie Up with Banks for Online Banking

Facebook seems to be looking at yet another avenue — social banking — to generate additional revenue. It is apparently working to enable users to access banking features like paying bills, transfer money and access checkbooks through its platform.

By integrating standard banking features within its offering and tying up with banks and other financial institutions, Facebook could not only become a more intimate part of its users’ lives thus boosting engagement on the platform, but also generate additional revenue eventually.

Facebook is working with Australia’s Commonwealth Bank for an initial rollout, and will soon enable its customers to make payments to their friends and contacts and also offer a more social experience.

Though there might be some privacy and security issues which would need to be ironed out, social banking could be a huge hit and become one of Facebook’s major revenue engines. Facebook could take a cut off each fund transfer or each bill payment as a convenience charge.

Given its massive user base of more than 900 million monthly active users, even if a small fraction start transacting regularly, it could mean a significant source of cash for Facebook, which currently relies primarily on socially targeted advertising to make money.

via Fortune

Facebook to Serve Mobile Ads Based on App Usage; Users Concerned About Privacy

Facebook is better known for privacy issues that its users are confused about, and here is yet another Facebook privacy chaos. The social media giant has crossed the limits of privacy and has now decided to track the apps that you use on Facebook via your mobile phone.

In the latest report by WSJ, Facebook is launching a new way of serving ads for mobile users by keeping a track of the apps that they use. The social network, which currently has over 900 million users, would use its Facebook Connect feature that enables millions of users to log into applications using their Facebook ID and password, to track consumers’ apps, and serve ads accordingly.

The advantage Facebook will have here is that the ads won’t necessarily be based on anything you or your friends have “liked” in the past, but will be based on the apps you have installed and the data collected from it.

Facebook for Mobile

This is done in order to display relevant ads and target the right customers. It is very much similar to what Google has done by unifying its privacy policies and displaying personalized advertisements by filtering out unwanted ads.

The problem, however, is the users’ privacy. According to the WSJ, the main problem is that “the product allows Facebook to know which apps users have downloaded on their phones and then target ads based on that information.”

Unlike its traditional way of serving ads by considering users’ own preferences, friends, and their “likes”, the new Facebook mobile ads serving method is completely different, if you ask. Earlier, with the permission of the user (by “liking” a product or company), Facebook would show a promotional content in the news feed, however, with the new ad serving methods, you will be displayed with certain targeted ads based on your activities and apps without your permission.

Users cannot opt-out of this mobile advertising no matter what as this is a forced change just like the Timeline feature. This is definitely a problem that users will face and is likely to strike privacy fears.

It is also known that Facebook is planning to release tools for developers to take advantage of the new mobile ad unit sometime at the end of this month.

Also Read: Facebook’s IPO and its challenges in Mobile Advertising

Facebook, after it went public in May 2012, is under immense pressure to generate revenue, especially through mobile devices, since nearly half of the users on Facebook use the network via their mobile devices. The company is yet to recovery complete from its IPO failure. Facebook has been working hard to get more users to use the site via mobile devices and is now figuring out a way for advertisers to reach them.

Facebook, Twitter Feeds Escalate Anxiety

Facebook, Twitter Feeds Cause Anxiety Among People

Over the years, technology has been a critical component for the betterment of human life. However, everything is not as green as you might think. When we talk about the more recent evolution in technology, everyone would chatter about online media. Yes!  We are talking about social media, something which has entered into the lives of millions by storm. It has affected the way people live, the way people behave, the way people connect and the way people socialize. All in all, it has made people more dependent on it on an everyday basis. This massive dependency is extremely counterproductive, says a study conducted at Salford Business School in the UK. The odds are that you have a Facebook account and/or a Twitter account which acts as your daily dose of information. How do you feel at a personal level after spending significant everyday logged on to either Facebook or Twitter? Experts are Salford Business School reveals that Facebook and Twitter feeds cause anxiety among people and makes them feel insecure. Further findings indicated that people admitted the fact that they feel worse about their lives. The people surveyed also indicated that their confidence level dropped after seeing the accomplishments of their peers.

Interestingly, two-thirds of the sample admit that they do not get proper sleep after visiting these sites whereas a quarter of them state that these sits have cut into their personal interactions either at work or in their relationship. It is not only limited to that. The survey pattern showed that 55% of the people felt “worried” when they were not able to log onto their Facebook or email accounts. To get some mental rest, 60% of the people are compelled to turn off gadgets.

These stats are testimony to the fact that where social media has helped achieve wonders such as a democratic sphere where every individual has an equal say, it has also become an arena where people are deviating from the physically connected world to a virtual one. It affects the feelings of people and their sentiments in a negative way, alienating them from people while staying connected. Such studies are more consistent nowadays. It is important that these consequences are not overlooked.

Facebook Kills Face.com’s Face Recognition APIs Including Klik iPhone App

In under a month after Facebook took over the popular facial recognition technology service Face.com, the social media giant Facebook has now decided to kill the entire service by closing down its facial recognition APIs in the next 30 days. Although the company assured to continue supporting the developer community, it now appears to be a white lie after this unexpected announcement.

In an email sent to the developers, Face.com stated that it will no longer be able to support its developer APIs, as it is looking forward to collaborate with the Facebook team:

“We’re excited to move forward to work with all our friends at Facebook. Part of this process includes closing down other products and services that we are no longer able to support, and this includes the Face.com developers API.”Face.com API Shut Down

Currently, Face.com has updated the site with the following message:

“We’re working with Face.com developers to transition as we wind down support for our APIs”

Facebook has not only acquired a great service and an awesome domain, but also maybe planning to integrate Face.com’s technology into Facebook itself. The company had about 20,000 developers in 2011, and within a year, the number doubled with nearly 45,000 developers signing up.

This has left the developers devastated. Some of them are putting out their frustrations on Twitter, while some are craving for open source alternatives. One of the developers posted the following on Hacker News:

“I literally just finished a hardware project based on the face.com API. I want to be furious but I guess you can’t blame them for creating such a great product. I knew it must be too good be true, and free forever. It sucks though because this was just a side project for me and I’m not sure it’s worth the time to develop my own OpenCV system.

I’ll be checking out the alternatives and resources you guys are posting though, HN is great!

F*** you Facebook…”

This shut down also includes the death of the facial recognition app Klik, which is no more to be found in the App Store. The app users, which allowed people to tag faces in photos using Facebook, are given a deadline until July 20 to retrieve their photos, after which all data will be deleted.

In announcement on Klik’s site, “After this date Face.com will dispose of the data we collect in connection with your use of the KLIK app and will not be migrating data to Facebook. All your data will be deleted – no exceptions.”

Facebook Working on a Social Jobs Board

Facebook may be working on a new jobs board feature, according to a new report by the WSJ. It will essentially act as a job postings aggregator and make them available to Facebook users.

With this move, Facebook is trying to leverage the power of social to enter the job search market. Instead of cutting off popular job search apps like BranchOut and JobVite on its platform, it is going to involve them in the new service. The new job board may directly compete with LinkedIn.

It’s not one of Facebook’s core focuses for now. It could initially be used just to drive user engagement on the website. However, if it eventually takes off, it could generate a sizable amount of revenue for Facebook, as recruitment solutions are a huge market.

While it is expected to be a standalone section of the site initially, it may be integrated into a user’s News Feed going forward.

Given Facebook’s massive user base, this could be the greatest threat LinkedIn has ever faced. Even apps like BranchOut and GlassDoor on Facebook have amassed a sizable user base in a matter of days due to the inherent virality or connectedness of the network. Since this is Facebook’s own baby, it could be reasonably expected to do even better.

Find All Your Friends’ Relationship Status on Facebook with RelationBook

I have been using for the past few years now, and one thing I have noticed is that a relationship status change on Facebook generates a lot of likes and comments. While it is impossible to keep an eye on the relationship status of each and every friend of ours in real life, Facebook does provide a easier way to do it.

Also See: Friendsheet Provides Pinterest like Browsing for Facebook Photos

However, most of the times, you might not know what the relationship status of a friend is unless they update it or you look at their profile. If you have hundreds of friends, that could be a lot of work. Well that was until a new app came through.

Relation Status on Facebook - RelationBook

RelationBook is a new Facebook app which will tell you “who’s in a relationship” and who is not by looking at your friends profiles. The app sorts out your friends into various relationship status Facebook allows a user to set, thus allowing you to browse their profiles by clicking on links on the left side. RelationBook also allows you to search for friends using their name and filter their profiles by their gender.

Overall, RelationBook is a nice app which allows you to find out your friends’ relationship. However, it could add some more features like telling you when someone changed their relationship recently.

People Brag about Happiness on Facebook; Stanford Study

People Brag About Extent of Happiness on Facebook: Makes Peers Feel More Lonely

While Facebook has created a platform for people to connect with their friends and peers, it has also contributed to exaggerating happiness. A study carried out by Benoit Monin, Professor at the Department of Psychology at Stanford University reveals people tend to overestimate their friends’ happiness thanks to Facebook. It has become a norm for people to update status on Facebook and brag about their accomplishments, share photos in happy and exciting situations, and make jokes about the slightest of happenings and talk about a crazy night out. When such content is shared among friends, people tend to overestimate the person’s happiness who shared it in the first place. It is a big illusion and a larger misconception which leads people to think how lonely they are.

Professor Monin claimed his research showed three reasons why people tend to solidify this fallacy. One, people feel good in social situations and express their delights which leads their peers to conclude that their friend (who brags on Facebook) is happier than them and fail to realize that they can be sad and lonely as any other person. The second reason drew a direct analogy with the American culture which favors individuals who are positive and happy. A tendency has been observed in the sample that people tend to hide feelings no matter how bad they feel and pretend to be happier than they actually are. This reinforces the illusion. Finally, people on Facebook tend to talk more about the upsides than their downsides.

Professor Monin also talked about how to combat this phenomenon. He argues one can pay attention to the “silent majorities”. This group of people is the kind who does not talk much about what happens in their lives and therefore, their presence is overshadowed by the more vocal peers. In view of this, one should take into account the entire distribution of contacts on Facebook and not just a sample of it.

One can also filter out people who tend to over play their joy. This acts as a strong catalyst in contributing to emotional downturns. Professor Monin also recommends more private, one-to-one conversations and interactions as it is easier to communicate and express with people who are closer to a person.

The full details of the study can be found here: http://psp.sagepub.com/content/37/1/120

Facebook Down; Not Accessible on Web

Just a week after suffered a massive outage, seems to be suffering it’s own outage and is not accessible on the web. The problem seems to be happening only at http://www.facebook.com and not on mobile devices for now.

A couple of years ago, Facebook suffered two similar outages one of which was related to a new feature rollout and one was related to a programmatic error. It looks like the current outage is similar to the previous ones.

The current outage does not affect mobile versions of Facebook, so you can continue accessing and updating Facebook on your mobile devices. As a workaround you can access Facebook using http://m.facebook.com or http://iphone.facebook.com on your web browser.

We have reached out to Facebook for info on this outage and will update this post when we have more to share.

Update: This outage may be restricted to a few users as some users are still able to access Facebook web.

Facebook Testing New “Want” Button for Products

You’ve always had the option to “Like” something on Facebook. But when it comes to products, you may “like” it, but what if you want it and add it to your wish list? Well, a feature something like that might soon appear on Facebook, as the social media giant is testing a “Want” button feature, which will allow you to add the product to your “Want” list, or simply called as a wish list.

The new feature hasn’t been rolled out yet, but was found in the latest Facebook JavaScript software development kit. Developer Tom Waddington, who discovered the new “Want” button tag in the SDK, states that button is currently disabled, however, it does render when used.

Here’s an instance of the new “Want” button (it throws an error):

Here’s the code that was used for the “Want” button:

<div class="fb-want" data-href="...."></div>

The new button will work only with entities that are labelled as “products.” This could be a necessary feature apart from the all-time popular “like” button. People on Facebook “like” products, pages, photos, or any other thing, however, with the new “Want” button, it would allow users to show their interest and desire to purchase a product.

Does Facebook really want a “Want” button?

The data pulled from the Facebook want button is worth a lot, especially for business purposes. Take for instance, you want to own the latest Samsung Galaxy S3. So, you head over to the Galaxy S3 page and add the product to your wish list by clicking on the “want” button.

Now, imagine the same thing done by a thousand other users. Though not every person who clicks on the “want” button may buy it, it will provide an insight to the product distributor on how successful the product is and the number of people wanting to buy the phone.

You may now say that there is no big difference between the “like” and the “want” button. You can “like” anything on Facebook, but “want” is something that is restricted to products only, which shows a user’s desire in purchasing the product. This makes the big difference between the two buttons.

Yet another difference between the two buttons is that, a number of users “like” a product on ecommerce sites, but that doesn’t specify the number of users who already have the product and the number of users who are looking forward to buy it.

With everything considered, the new “Want” button looks promising and will surely be very useful to manufacturers and retailers. So, what do you think of the new “Want” button?

[Source]

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.