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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.