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Facebook have just unveiled something very new: Facebook Gifts. The idea behind Gifts is to let you purchase, and send real-life gifts to friends and family. Facebook have said that members would be able to buy gifts as part of a birthday reminder, or by visiting their friends' Timeline.
RIght now, Facebook Gift options are limited to a few items such as Starbucks gift cards, cupcakes, chocolate and the usual stuffed animals - the social networking site have said that there will be new gifts added every day. When giving a gift, you can post the present straight onto the recipient's Timeline, or through a private message.
The receiver can then "unwrap" the gift with the option to keep it, exchange it for something in another color, size or choose something else entirely - as long as its of equal value. Facebook Gift payments can be done at the time of the purchase itself, or the gift-giver can be billed at a later time. Gift notifications, once received, will have the recipient needing to supply their mailing address - so that the physical item can be delivered.
Facebook felt like it really hit a brick wall a few months ago, where it seemed to stand still (for me at least) on its feature set. Not anymore, we're seeing huge strides in the social networking sites abilities, with the latest news that Dropbox are rolling out a feature with Facebook that will let you share your Dropbox files directly to Facebook Groups.
To share with your Facebook group, click 'Add File' on the group's page. Once you choose to link Facebook to your Dropbox account, you'll be able to search through your Dropbox and select what you'd like to share. Docs, photos, and videos shared from Dropbox will show up on the group's wall and can be viewed on a smartphone or tablet.
This feature is definitely something suited for businesses, where they can share files quickly and painlessly. It saves having to have a web browser tab open with Dropbox, and shifting between Facebook and the cloud storage site. But then there is the biggest question of all: are you comfortable sharing business-type files on Facebook?
Facebook has advertisements right now, down the sides of its website, as well as mobile apps - but now the social networking site will push ads on other handset-optimized websites and smartphone apps.
It has been reported by TechCrunch that Facebook have entered into beta testing of a new ad network that uses user data to display hyper-relevant ads on third-party territory. Normally they would rely on normal tracking cookies to get info on visitors' interests, but this platform scoops up information such as age, gender, likes, location, which apps your friends have used and other data points that get taken when a user logs into a site, or application with their Facebook credentials.
Facebook's new mobile ad solution lets advertisers bid on certain demographics, and uses existing networks like iAds and AdMob to push out appropriate ads based on anonymous ID's linked to Facebook accounts. Right now, Facebook are only pushing these ads to the mobile market, but don't be surprised if you see them hit your monitor in the near future.
Apple are shutting down their music-powered social network, Ping. Apple have announced that they will be no longer accepting new members, and they "thank you for your interest in Ping". This interest just wasn't enough to keep the doors open on Ping.
There's not much else to talk about regarding Ping, as it was nice and short. Ping is shutting down on September 30, and will no longer be available, directly from Apple's site.
Social networking giant, Facebook, have announced plans that might anger some users - they're allowing external marketers to mine new customers from Facebook using personal information. This information would include phone numbers, e-mail addresses, Facebook users' unique UID code, and other details.
This new targeting option is said to be available to advertisers as soon as next week, with the social network saying that advertisers will have to ask their customers' permission before using the data for marketing purposes before they proceed, if that makes you feel any better.
Some users already had access to "custom audiences" earlier today using Facebook's "Power Editor" tool for advertisers. This allowed the selection of which specific type of information they are targeting, and then upload a comma separated value (CSV) spreadsheet with identifying information. None of the data searched is being acquired by Facebook, with the user needing to give permission for the searchable data to the network.
Facebook have just introduced a new look for Facebook Messages today, where it now sports a side-by-side layout that lets you click through your most recent message on the left, and to the right, shows the whole conversation.
The social networking site have also baked in a new feature where you can now search for a sender's name or keyword from the main messages view. Facebook have also, for "easier navigation", added keyboard commands.
A full list of shortcuts is available, where on a PC you just have to type Alt Q, or on a Mac, Control Q.
Facebook are looking to go a bit exotic with their new backup plans, with their upcoming backup looking to tap some low-power deep-storage hardware that'll be housed in a 62,000 square-foot building in Prineville, Oregon.
This is situated near their Beaver State data center, with the new back up referred to "Sub-Zero". Sub-Zero will store a copy of Facebook's data in case the social network's primary servers need to be restored in the case of an emergency. Instead of continuously powering HDDs that are only occasionally used, Sub-Zero can conserve energy by lighting-up drives only when they're actually needed.
Just a single of Facebook's existing server racks chews up around 4.5 kilowatts, whilst the ones that will be found at Sub-Zero will only consume approximately 1.5 kilowatts when they're running, which is quite the power conservation. Facebook's vice president of site operations, Tom Furlong, talked to Wired that there are talks of a similar structure to be built next to the social network's North Carolina-based data center.
Facebook begins actually deleting photos, will not allow photos to sit in content networks for longer than 30 days
Facebook have, for years now, not really been deleting your photos. Yes, they may not be on your profile (or Timeline) but they would be enjoying some cocktails somewhere in the social networking sites content network for months, if not years.
Ars Technica, after some experiments, have reported that this problem should now be over. Instead of the months-long photo storage system migration and now an updated deletion policy, Facebook will now only let photos stay on their content network stream for no more than 30 days.
After this, they're deleted, permanently. This is an improved reaction speed, at 30 days, but still isn't as good as a 'click, delete, gone' method such as other photo-sharing services. I supposed you can't really complain, it's better than them changing your news feed look, again.
Facebook have added another option in your Life Events within your Timeline, with the option to now add "Expecting a Baby". Life Events are quite simple to add on Facebook.
Life Events can include getting married, buying a new house, a new relationship, the loss of a loved one, and so much more. The "Expecting a Baby" was an addition the social networking giant should've done from day one, but at least its here now.
I didn't even realise I could add that much information through my Life Events until I read the Facebook news myself. You really can have your whole life on Facebook if you choose to! I'm in Australia (if that matters) and I can't choose this option as of yet.
If I had a dime for all the tweets sent during the London Olympics, I'd be, well, better off than I am now. Considering that the London Olympics saw over 150 million tweets being sent about the games, it's an achievement in itself.
The most talked about Olympian was Usain Bolt, but it was the UK's own Spice Girls who set themselves an Olympic record, by having 116,000 tweets per minute during the London 2012 closing ceremony. Twitter took to their blog to throw down some stats, where we saw the 150 million tweets going out over the past 16 days.
During actual athletic competition, it was Jamaica's Bolt who was the most popular topic, seeing 80,000 tweets per minute (TPM) during Bolt's gold medal-winning 200m sprint, and 74,000 TPM during his 100m run. The third-highest count during the games saw 57,000 TPM, and this came from Andy Murray. The most popular sport being tweeted about was football, seeing over 5 million tweets. Swimming, track and field, gymnastics and volleyball were all popular, too.