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We all know that Facebook is in business to make money. It's easy to forget that the social network isn't there just to let you quote random saying from the web and let you keep in touch with people you probably don't want to see in the real-world. Yesterday Facebook was down for about half an hour, and for some it was the longest half hour of the day.
The short outage reportedly cost Facebook $500,000, which suggests that the site rakes in about a million dollars an hour during normal operation. That $500,000 figure came from Facebook's quarterly earnings report for Q1 that showed $2.5 billion made in ad revenue, working out to about $1.16 million an hour.
At one time Myspace was the most popular social network out there. It didn't take long after Facebook launched for that to change. Today many people have abandoned Myspace and the aging social network is trying to change that.
Myspace has been sending previous users old photos that they uploaded to the site in an effort to lure them back to the social network. Emails that previous users are receiving reportedly include one or two old photos accompanied by a tagline.
Privacy has always been a big concern when it comes to social networking, and Facebook has been at the frontlines of both sides of the privacy debate. Back in 2009 Facebook introduced a new default option to let the entire world see your post, but that lead to several outcries from privacy advocates. Today it appears as if those cries have been heard, and Facebook has made some adjustments to fix this issue.
Facebook now defaults all new users post and images to the "Friends Only" option which means that those pieces of content will only be visible to that users friends, and the public will not be able to read or see them. Existing users will see their settings remain the same, but Facebook is notifying them of their current privacy settings and asking them if they would like to change them. Facebook is calling this a Privacy Checkup, and the message will appear in the form of a popup when existing users post a new post.
Facebook has pulled the wraps off a new app that has the ability to identify the songs and TV shows you are listening to. Once the songs or TV shows are identified, the app will post them to your Facebook status. This new feature is available in the latest version of Facebook for iOS and Android.
The audio recognition feature will begin listening to what you are hearing as soon as you start typing a status. Facebook designed the new feature to help you identify what you are hearing or watching and to make it easy to update people on what you are doing.
Some people like to constantly update their relationship status on Facebook as a way to keep people updated on whom they are dating or seeing. Some folks don't like to put their relationship status on the social network. For the people who leave that status blank, Facebook has rolled out a new way for friends to ask.
A new Ask button has been added to the social network that will let friends inquire about your relationship status. When users click the Ask button, a popup that tells you to let the person know why you are asking about relationship status appears.
Facebook has released an updated version of its app for iOS users that brings the mobile app to version 10.0. The updated app brings with it contextual cards that go along with your posts. The feature will do things like offer photos of restaurants you have checked in at, list friends you have checked in with or mentioned in a post.
The contextual cards will also list friends that have listened to a song that you posted. With the updated app users can also preview a status update and then strip any unwanted links from the post that Facebook would add as cards.
Pinterest announced last year that it would be rolling out a new form of advertising for the site called Promoted Pins. These pins would be placements from select retailers and other businesses that could be pinned on the site. This week the company has begun rolling out a test of these Promoted Pins.
Pinterest says that the ads will only show up in the search and category feeds on the site. Brands and companies that are participating in the test are limited to a small group to start. Participating companies include ABC Family, Banana Republic, Expedia, GAP, General Mills, Kraft, lululemon athletica, Nestle (select brands), Old Navy, Target, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and Ziploc.
Many users of Facebook have quite a love/hate relationship with the social network. They love using it to keep up with friends and family they don't get to see that often, but many hate how much data they have to share with Facebook. The social network has reportedly unveiled a new anonymous login feature that allows users to log into apps without sharing any personal information.
Along with the anonymous login feature also comes a new version of Facebook Login with improved privacy controls. The goal of anonymous login is to let the user try apps without sharing personal details. The feature is currently in testing with developers and will be rolled out to more developers in the future. It's unclear when users will gain access to anonymous login.
If you use social media like Twitter or Facebook, you know that some people get really annoying. Twitter is said to be testing a new mute function that will allow you to silence tweets from annoying users. The new mute function will give you an option to do something other than unfriend them.
Mute is a great option if the person annoying you is family or a close friend in the real-world who aren't quite as annoying in person. Mute functionality is in testing on the iOS and Android apps according to users. Once muted, the user's tweets are blocked from your timeline.
Finding interesting news stories on Facebook has become increasingly hard to do over the last few years, and that is mainly due to the dilution of the news feed caused by so many useless and noninformative pages. Today Facebook launched a new service that is aimed at making it much easier to find what news stories are trending on the service, and it's called FB NewsWire.
FB Newswire is powered by Storyful, one of the leading social content discovery services. The new service aggregates news content that has been shared publicly on Facebook originating from individuals and organizations from around the world. Facebook says that it has designed FB Newswire for Journalist and individuals in an effort to make the hot topics and trending news better accessible. As a long-time tech journalist, I can attest to how big of a role Facebook plays in story discovery, and will definitely put this new service to use.
"In Storyful, we're excited to have found a partner with a track record of understanding both the potential of the social web as a key resource for media as well as the tools that newsrooms need to utilize it. We're confident that their news expertise and best-in-class editorial team will help make it even easier for journalists to use compelling social content from Facebook in their newsgathering and reporting," Facebook said in a release. "News is finding a bigger audience on Facebook than ever before. Journalists and media organizations have become an integral part of Facebook, which is visible in features like Trending Topics, improvements to Pages, and recent changes to News Feed. Publishers are seeing the results of our commitment, with referral traffic from Facebook to media sites growing more than 4x in 2013, and we're excited to deepen our relationship with media organizations and journalists in the days to come."