Facebook has groups for just about any subject you can think of. Some of the most popular groups are those that are used rather like classified ads where people can go and post the items that they no longer want and sell them. Anyone who has visited these sites knows that many of the items for sale are guns.
Facebook is cracking down on who can see the guns posted for sale on its pages and taking steps to stop illegal gun sales from happening. Facebook says that from now on any page listing guns for sale will be shielded from minors.
Some gun control advocates feel that Facebook isn't dong enough. They want Facebook to ban any advertisement for the unlicensed sale or transfer of guns in the US. In most states, you are supposed to have a license to sell firearms. Currently Craigslist and eBay both prohibit the listing of weapons so Facebook is one of the few outlets that people have.
Twitter is currently showing off another user profile redesign in its test channels, with the redesign looking like the lovechild of Google+, Facebook, and Pinterest.
The new look features support for large header photos (up to 1500x1500 pixels), left-aligned profile images, and flat content cards to represent each tweet. It is a far cry from previous designs, where tweets can be be seen side by side, which is a massive change to how Twitter has worked up until now.
We don't know when this will be rolling out to the general public, but I would dare say it would be sooner, rather than later.
During Facebook's Q4 earnings report, we found out that there are over 1.23 billion monthly active users, 757 million daily active users, 945 million monthly active mobile users, and 556 million daily active mobile users.
These are some interesting numbers, but just how many of these Facebook accounts are fake? The social network says that at least 67.65 million fake accounts were used last month alone, with this number exploding out to as high as 137.76 million accounts, if its higher-end estimate is to be believed.
Facebook estimates that in 2013, between 5.5% and 11.2% of its total users, were fake. It's a huge number, but not totally surprising.
Facebook turned 10 years old today, and to celebrate, the social network has created a customized video for each of its users that chronicles their history on the site since joining. Titled "A Look Back" the video showcases everything from the users very first interactions with the site, all the way to their most liked post. You can can take a look back by watching your custom video at this custom page on Facebook's website.
Not surprisingly, my most liked photos are from my days as a professional photographer, and my most liked and most commented post are from both very high points and very low points in my life since joining Facebook back in 2008. While the 1 minute long video was a nice trip down memory lane, the technology behind generating a custom 1 minute video for every registered Facebook user is what interest me the most. Facebook as not released any information on how they did it, but I suspect that HTML 5 and the Open Graph API were used heavily.
It may not seem like that long ago for some of you, but Facebook has just turned 10 years old today. Back on Feburary 4th 2004, a young Mark Zuckerberg launched what was known as, TheFacebook, a social network designed to connect students at Harvard in one place instead of the schools individual dorm pages.
While many doubted that TheFacebook would ever take off, no one but Zuckerberg himself ever dreamed that it would become the dominant social media platform in the world. With more than 1.23 billion active monthly users, Facebook is a powerhouse like never before seen on the internet. More people use the service every day than any other social / profile website in the world, a trend that is projected to continue into the foreseeable future.
This morning Facebook announced that it has made changes to the algorithm that is used to determine which content to display on your news feed. The tweaks are designed to show users less text only post from pages they like but will increase the number of link-based and photo-based updates users see from their favorite pages.
Facebook says that while this will decrease engagement on page updates that are just plain text, pages that frequently share links, videos and images will see an boost in engagement. Facebook admits that it is quite hard to judge what its users really want to see more of on their news feed, but it added that "In general, we recommend that you use the story type that best fits the message that you want to tell - whether that's a status, photo, link or video."
This morning Facebook announced that it will be bringing video ads to its social networking service. This is a move that has been rumored for about a year now and was expected to launch earlier this year. Facebook says that the ads will incorporate an "auto play" feature as well, something that is sure to annoy all.
Fortunately, the videos will not feature sound when activated, and users must first click on the video to open it full screen before the audio will play. Facebook did win back points with me here as I simply hate video ads that start with the sound on. As someone who usually has 20-30 tabs open at any given point, it is a major hassle to track down which tab keeps playing the annoying commercial.
How long has it taken Facebook to get to this position? I don't understand how hard it is for the tens of thousands of coders, designers and employees at the world's largest social network to not have implemented a 'dislike' or what its rumored to be called, 'sympathize' button onto Facebook.
The Telegraph is reporting that Facebook is working on a 'sympathize' button that would be used to 'dislike' or not 'like' a post. The new sympathize button is thanks to a recent hackathon event, and will be tied to emotions tagged within updates to indicate your 'dislike' in the post, so it might not roll out in the way we think it will. Time will tell.
Facebook's Like buttons have become a cultural icon for the internet age, and today the company released updates to the iconic button. The like button is not alone though, as the Share button has been updated as well, with both now appearing more flat in appearance.
Gone is the heavy gradient and overly rounded corners which gives the buttons a more refined and elegant look. Additionally, less emphasis has been placed on the iconic "thumbs up" icon which now only appears in 2 of the button models. The new buttons employ the Helvetica typeface which is actually quite pleasing to the eye. What do you think about the new buttons? Let me know in the comments.
Twitter's Initial Public Offering (IPO) is fast approaching and is scheduled to kick off this Thursday, November 7th, and the company could offer as many as 80.5 million shares. This morning the company announced that ahead of the IPO, it has raised the per share price to $23 to $25 per share.
If the company does offer 80.5 million shares instead of the 70.5 it initially filled for, it could raise more than $2 billion in just a few days. Twitter will finalize everything Wednesday night and trading will open Thursday morning. Let's hope that this IPO turns out better than Facebooks IPO last year, and investors begin seeing returns much faster than they did with Facebook.
This morning Facebook launched its all new app for Windows 8.1 in conjunction with Microsoft's release of the operating system for digital download. The App appears to be very similar to its Windows 8 predecessor with the typical status, photo and check in tabs. The standard chat interface is present as well.
Facebook has included the friend request, inbox and notification icons with touch friendly buttons, and the app now supports Share Charm. Search functionality is also built in, and the app features several Snap Views, but reports suggest some are disabled. At the moment, it appears that the app is not backwards compatible with Windows 8, and users who try to install it from the Windows Store are prompted with a message that says they must upgrade to 8.1 to install the app.
Facebook has began providing television networks with metrics on what TV shows its users are talking about the most. ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS have all began receiving reports from the social network that clue these companies in on what shows Facebook users like, share, and comment on.
Facebook says that the reports are delivered weekly, and that all user data is anonymized, and the only thing networks see is a final compiled metric such as "total social interactions that occurred." Facebook is hoping that this new initiative will take some of the market share away from Twitter, which is usually the go to for real-time viewer stats during big TV events.
"The conversation is being generated by a group that is much more representative of the general population," Daniel Slotwiner, the head of Facebook's TV metrics team, said in an interview. "That means we should have a better signal as it relates to ratings."
Facebook has been banned in China for what seems like forever, but now Beijing has lifted the ban on the Internet access within the Shanghai free-trade Zone to foreign websites that were previously considered politically sensitive by the Chinese government.
These websites included Facebook, Twitter and The New York Times, but now according to government sources who told the South China Morning Post, the authority in charge of the Hong Kong-like free-trade zone in Shanghai is a first in mainland China. This would also see bids coming in from foreign telecommunications companies for license to provide Internet services within the new zone.
One of the government sources told the South China Morning Post: "In order to welcome foreign companies to invest and to let foreigners live and work happily in the free-trade zone, we must think about how we can make them feel like at home. If they can't get onto Facebook or read The New York Times, they may naturally wonder how special the free-trade zone is compared with the rest of China."
Twitter has increased the feature set of its #music service, adding two music streaming companies to the mix: Spotify and Rdio. These two music streaming services will now offer the ability to view playlists generated by Twitter #music.
Popular songs and songs with the #NowPlaying hashtag will be featured, with users being able to view all 15 of the playlists on the #music page, as well as the apps. This is just another step in the ever-evolving world of Twitter, which is looking to go public in the very near future, and another great step to see more users continue to use Spotify and Rdio.
Celebrities will enjoy Twitter's new feature which is hot off the press, with the social networking giant unleashing two new filters for the Connect tab. Filtered, tries to cut down on spam while Verified only shows interactions with other verified profiles.
You can see the new feature in action in the shot above, with it mainly being implemented for celebrities. Twitter needs to keep celebrities happy, with some celebrities enjoying millions of followers on Twitter.
It appears that Facebook is going to jump into the professional social networking ring and go head-to-head with LinkedIn. A new report is showing off a new section that Facebook is said to be testing called the "Professional Skills" tab. Much like LinkedIn, it would allow users to list out their professional skill sets.
Unlike LinkedIn, however, when clicking on a person's professional skill, it will not take you to a page showing who endorsed you for that skill, but rather to other professionals who claim to possess the same skill. Additionally, the new professional skills tab will only allow you to add skills that have existing Facebook pages. This can be confusing as a quick search shows that skills such as "marketing" have several different pages created by the community.
Facebook has not announced a launch date for this feature, nor has any information on a beta program been released, but we expect some kind of announcement soon. With Facebook adding job-search features and other professional-style searches, users may want to rethink the content they post on the service or at least adjust their privacy settings to only display content they wish the public to see.
Today, the popular professional networking service LinkedIn began suffering from several technical issues. Some users were unable to load their profiles, while other profiles were missing bits and pieces of information. Additionally, other profile issues arose such as missing photos or certain posts not showing up.
As of this writing, some reports are still coming in that their profile is not working as normal, or that it is unreachable altogether. LinkedIn said in a Twitter post that they are aware of the issues and their team is working on fixing the problems now. My profile was down this morning for a few hours and appeared to be down at the time of this writing, but a quick clearing of my browser cache solved the issue and I'm now able to see my full profile again. So if you're experiencing issues, try clearing your browser cache to see if the issues are resolved for you as well.
All Twitter users are being advised today to log into their account and revoke access to all third-party applications after an Islamic hacker managed to pull the entire OAuth database for users of Twitter. Calling himself the Mauritania Attacker, the hacker from the West African country of Mauritania posted details from just over 15,000 Twitter users earlier today and claims to have millions more. It's not clear whether he attacked Twitter or a third-party site. The latter is much more likely. Twitter says they are looking into the situation.
Twitter says that the stolen files do not include passwords, but do contain all of the usernames as well as OAuth access keys used by third-party applications to manage your Twitter account on your behalf. Security expert Allen Woodward, of the University of Surrey in the UK, told website Gigaom that the easy way to protect your account is to log-in and delete all third-party access to the account. Then by simply reauthorizing those accounts, a new key will be generated and everything will be safe again.
"Personally, I do regular housekeeping where I go into the Apps settings of Twitter and delete the third party apps that have access. The reason is that at present Twitter OAuth tokens once issued do not expire. You have to manually revoke them," said Woodwars. "So, I think best thing one could [do] is to go in and revoke third party's apps rights and then just relogin when/if you want to reaccess Twitter via that app. This way a new token will be issued."
Today, LinkedIn announced that it has launched a new Page for Universities feature that allows post-K-12 educational institutions to have their own featured page similar to the pages companies currently have. LinkedIn is hoping that this new feature will better help high school students choose the right university for them.
The program launched today with over 200 universities participating worldwide. Each university's page displays very important metrics such as where the majority of the institution's alumni work and what careers many of its alumni go into. Universities can set up their respective page for its community similar to how pages on Facebook work. They can then assign page managers who can post announcements and updates to the page for anyone that is following. LinkedIn's Christina Allen officially announced the new Pages for Universities in a blog post that I have copied below (source #2).
According to a report from website All Things D, Facebook is working on a system that will allow users to make payments via their mobile device in similar fashion to how PayPal and Google allow users to pay with their smartphone. The report says that the new mobile payment solution is in a very limited test at the moment and will let shoppers make purchases with credit card information stored in their Facebook account.
Of course, this will only work if you have a credit card already on file with Facebook that you have used in the past to purchase gifts, in-game purchases, or even targeted advertising. The new one-click mobile payment system will use the same information and will allow shoppers to quickly navigate around entering details such as billing addresses, expiration dates, and even security codes found on the back of their cards. For the moment, it is unclear if Facebook will expand the mobile payment program beyond its current test, and with all of the security and privacy concerns already surrounding Facebook, this may be one tough cookie to sell to its members.
Celebrities are an odd on bunch. One moment they accost the public and demand privacy, but just a few minutes later, they will jump onto Facebook or Twitter and post about every moment of their daily lives. Apparently posting to Facebook is not easy enough for celebrities and the company is said to be developing a new VIP app that would allow them extended access to the social network.
The new VIP app will allow celebrities and public figures to better manage their content and engage with their followers. Some see this as an effort on Facebook's part to lure celebrities away from Twitter and back into the white and blue social network. The app will supposedly let celebrities jump into conversations about them even if they are not following one of the commenters or are not a part of the group of friends having the conversation. Website TechEYE says that Facebook is even briefing celebrities on "best practices" for interaction with their fans on Facebook.