Facebook Innovating With Good Morning, Updated News Feed

Did you wake up to a good morning message from Facebook today? Facebook Inc is in an innovation mode to enhance user experience. Recently, they updated the News Feed feature that would allow content to load quickly even when the internet connectivity is weak. Today, they gave users a surprise with a personalised good morning message that said, “Good morning Nishtha, we hope you enjoy Facebook today”. 

Facebook morning news updateRecent moves from Facebook suggest they are targeting developing markets. Trying to provide solutions for places with slow internet connectivity is a result of that.

Internet connectivity is slow in emerging markets like Brazil, Mexico and India where most people use 2G connection. This makes it difficult to load videos or pictures that require more data. Facebook is hoping to bring in more users from these countries with this update.

The Facebook app chooses pictures, articles or videos to load depending on the signal strength of users. In case of a weak connectivity, News Feed selects content that is faster and easier to load.

Facebook’s director of engineering Tom Alison said that their employees working in India reported problems of slow connectivity that makes it frustrating to use the app. Thus, the social networking site sent a team to India to look into this matter exclusively and to deliver a faster experience for News Feed in regions with weak connections.

Alison said, “News Feed is a product you tend to want to check regularly throughout the day, and that’s not possible when it’s slow to load.”

The updated News Feed will be able to pull up content in low connection area, even in a subway, by pulling up stories that were loaded during their last Facebook visit but not clicked.

 

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I recently wrote a column about the potential extinction of print newspapers and the recent news offering of Apple, Facebook and Google seems to be making my case stronger. Soon, news consumption will happen more on mobiles than any other platform and all big tech giants seem to be making the most of it.

AppleApple News is already here and the iPhone maker has tied up with major news providers across the world to provide news for smartphone users. Big media channels including Vogue, New York Times and Vanity Fair are also on the Apple News platform.

“Apple News is a brilliant way to read news. You can access news of your interest and can read it whenever you want. I like reading news on my phone in the morning time and no more subscribe to print newspapers,” says Ameesha Seth.

Google is also set to offer a new news app. It has tied with Twitter to develop an app to deliver news content. According to various reports, users will be able to load news on their phone in microseconds with the new Google app.

Facebook also wishes to find its feet in the news space. It has launched Instant Articles and promises to deliver news faster than any other digital outlet. It has also tied up with various media organizations.

With Apple, Google and Facebook already trying to make the most of digital news phenomenon, soon the news will be consumed on digital channels, as it is a faster and easier way to read news.

 “I am addicted to Flipboard. That is my go to news destination,” says Manan Sharma.

News is all about timeliness and with the expansion of digital media, it has found a new home.

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US Official Supports Surveillance on the Eve of European Union Data Ruling

A senior US official said, “US intelligence does not conduct mass, indiscriminate harvesting of foreigners’ private data,” on the eve of an EU court ruling, which is deemed to affect several companies including Facebook and related websites.

Robert Litt, who is the legal adviser to the Director of National Intelligence, firmly invalidated all allegations suggesting that Prism, an US surveillance program, allows US officials to look into personal data and information on vast scale.

Litt went ahead and wrote in the Financial Times, “Prism is focused and reasonable. It does not involve ‘mass’ and ‘unrestricted’ collection of data.”

The existence of Prism was leaked in the year 2013 by Edward Snowden, a former NSA agent. This revelation instigated Max Schrems, an Austrian student, to file a complaint with the Irish Data Protection Commissioner to challenge the transfers of European user’s data to US servers by Facebook.

This case is now being heard in the European Court of Justice, which will be ruled on Tuesday. The ruling will be done on the validity of the total legal framework, called Safe Harbour, which lets more than 4000 firms, from airlines to social media groups to transmit data to the US from the EU.

With the abolishment of Safe Harbour, every kind of transfers would be either restricted or become more expensive and time consuming, under EU laws that forbid data-sharing with nations considered to have lesser privacy standards like the US.

US officials are eagerly waiting for the outcome to decide ways to collect data in the future. The commission is expected to give a news conference on Tuesday at 1500 CET in response to the ruling. … Read the rest

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Facebook Sorry After Third Outage In A Month

Facebook faced a 40-minute outage last night. This is the third outage in a month and Zuckerberg says he’s really, really sorry for this. Anyone who tried to access the site during that time got this message in return: “Sorry, something went wrong. We’re working on it and we’ll get it fixed as soon as we can.”

FacebookFacebook has more than 1 billion monthly active users and a majority of them are online at any given point in time. When the network crashed for the third time in a month, users took to Twitter to express their anguish at the outage. 

FB user Teri Gidwitz wrote, “Uh oh. Looks like a @facebook outage”.

Another user Mark Barret wrote, “I join a social media company and Facebook has an outage. Coincidence?.”

There were some people who jibed at the situation. “So excited to be a part of the Facebook outage of 2015,” tweeted Tim Joseph.

The outage happened because of a Graph API failure, a system that connects the basic Facebook infrastructure. Such regular crashes affected Facebook shares and they plunged by 4% on Monday. Apart from the effect it had on the business of the social media network, it also affected life for many users.

“I was in the middle of a business chat when it suddenly it went down. I got frantic thinking someone has hacked into my account,” says a local businessman.

“There is already a network issue in my area. Luckily yesterday I got access to the internet. I was chatting up with an old school friend after years and the site went down. I refreshed the page for several minutes but nothing happened.”

How social media outages affect our lives is a direct reflection of how dependent we are on the virtual world. For some of us services like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp are an integral part of life. One routinely sees people spending more time social networking than talking to their family members. Is this the kind of addiction we should be looking at?… Read the rest

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Internet.org Is Now FreeBasics But Why?

net neutralityFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is now considering a change in name for the controversial internet.org platform. Now being called Free Basics, it is meant to provide web access to more people by offering it free of cost. Free Basics will also allow these new users to enjoy complimentary services from around 250 partners.

Supported by leading mobile phone manufacturing companies like Nokia and Samsung, this free internet service from Facebook aims to connect around 4.4 billion people who are yet to be introduced to the online world.


Who will benefit? 

Eventually, Free Basics aims to connect areas that don’t have internet connectivity. This will be done using drones and laser technology. But currently, the platform aims to bring low network areas such as 2G networks under the Free Basics bandwagon. 

People living in India and other developing nations are going to benefit from the service. Surveys indicate that people living in remote areas will receive better guidance for pregnancy care, parenting, education and even farming using free internet services. 

Read more about the debate: The Net Neutrality Debate: Larger Than You Thought

What is the catch?

The concept of Free Basics is in direct contrast with the concept of net neutrality that smaller players and the advocates of internet are against. Subscribing to Free Basics implies only players who pay the provider will be accessible to users.

Ever since the internet has penetrated Indian households, it has given opportunity to entrepreneurs to expand and innovate. When they will have to start paying to be seen and heard on the internet, the market will only be available for the giants in every vertical.

For the end user, this means they will not have access to the new players. They would have restricted access to news, information and e-commerce.

 

When the Indian prime minister Narendra Modi met Mark Zuckerberg, this issue has been brought to light once again. … Read the rest

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Facebook Inc To Tie Up With Moat For New 100 Percent In-View Impressions Ad Service

Facebook Inc has announced that it will launch a new “100 percent in-view impressions” based advert service soon. With the new service, advertisers will have to pay once their adverts have been actually scrolled over from the top to the bottom on FB news feed. This service will also enable advertisers to include photos, text, links as well as video-based adverts, Facebook confirmed via a blog post on Thursday.

Facebook Inc To Tie Up With Moat For New 100 Percent InThe collab with moat

Facebook also specified that the service is being worked upon in collaboration with Moat, a company for ad analytics. Moat will help Facebook look into all video ad metrics on its social network. This, in turn, will allow Facebook to provide details on video performance metrics to their advertisers.

Moat to grow bigger

According to Facebook, Moat will also offer metric monitoring for all other ads on their news feed. It will also monitor ads on Instagram at a later stage. A week back, Instagram had allowed advertisers to post ads in a bid to compete with popular platforms such as Snapchat. Facebook had acquired Instagram in 2012 for about $1 billion.Read the rest

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Facebook to Introduce ‘Dislike’ Button?

Facebook Dislike buttonMark Zuckerberg has said that when people share sad moments on Facebook, the “Like” button is not a comfortable choice. So the social networking site is all set to introduce the much requested “dislike” button that would allow users to express their opinions better. On Tuesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that after receiving innumerable requests from users, the company has started to work on a “dislike” button, which will be more than just a thumbs down sign.

Express your empathy

Although users have been seeking a “dislike” button for years, programmers worried it would make Facebook a less friendly place. Zuckerberg said, “Not every moment is a good moment, and if you are sharing something that is sad, whether it’s something in current events, like the refugees crisis that touches you, or if a family member passed away, then it may not feel comfortable to like that post.” In all likelihood, he was referring to the heart-wrenching images of an infant Aylan Kurdi, who was washed away by the Aegean Sea earlier this month.

Zuckerberg said with the new button, people will be able to express their empathy instead of just clicking a thumbs up or thumbs down button.

Disapproving your friend’s post?

While Zuckerberg is planning to introduce the “dislike” button to support social causes, there are chances that the new button could lead to increased hatred on the social platform. With the new button, now people would be able to disapprove posts from their friends, resulting in taunts, disapproval and brow beating.

It’s good then if Facebook takes their time to devise a button that does not say “dislike”. Tell us what do you think of having a dislike button? Would you like to have that option?… Read the rest

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Is 900 mn Users Enough to Make WhatsApp a Feasible Economic Model?

The popular messaging platform WhatsApp has reached 900 million active users this week. Could this make the messaging app a real business model? Facebook board member and WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum yesterday announced that they have reached 900 million users but did not give any hint on their plans to transform it into a business model.

Is 900 million users enough to make WhatsApp a feasible economic model?WhatsApp reaches 900 million active users

WhatsApp became tremendously popular since its introduction to the market in 2009. Of the 900 million registered users, 100 million registrations were made in just five months.

Though the company has achieved some great feats in the last few months, it has not been able to make a successful presence in the United States. If the company wants to grow as an economic model, it will have to increase base in the US as well.

 Facebook to monetize WhatsApp

Facebook’s US$19 billion deal with WhatsApp is always considered one of the significant acquisitions in Silicon Valley. Mark Zuckerbarg has already mentioned that the platform would be monetized as and when it reaches 1 billion active users.

Though there is no confirmation from the company, it is believed that it will be clubbed with Facebook Messenger to make it feasible. WhatsApp has so far strictly followed, “No Ads, No Games, No Gimmicks” policy and is expected to retain that even after transforming it into an economic model. … Read the rest

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LinkedIn Revamps Messaging And Invitation Feature To Stay Ahead In The Competition

LinkedIn is all set to make a remarkable graphical modification on its site. The business-oriented platform for social-networking, which is often criticized for its limited features has now announced some changes in their messaging service. According to the reports, the inbox will not have a look much similar to instant messaging service rather than email.

 LinkedIn revamps messaging and invitation feature to stay ahead in the competitionImprovisations at a glance

LinkedIn Product Management director, Mark Hull said that they have done everything required from the ground so that users can experience a much streamlined and cleaner appearance of the portal.

 

Read More: Cisco And Apple Etch A Deal To Ensure Higher iDevice Inception Into Business Mainstream

In his blog post, Hull even mentioned about adding “chat-style interface” to allow users in accessing messages at ease. The portal, which was earlier criticized for borrowing features from Twitter and Facebook has now got their desktop interface much similar to the popular messaging app, WhatsApp web.

They have even introduced gif images, stickers and emoji characters for allowing users to carry on their conversations at ease. In an attempt to retain its popularity among the users, the portal has also improved their email and push notifications, as these features are quite useful. The portal has also made some changes in the invitations feature. Now, it will appear within the People you may know tab, making it easier to access. The new features are introduced for desktop as well as mobile users so that there is no hassles in connecting. … Read the rest

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Facebook Records 1 Billion Users Glued To It On Thursday; Plans To Develop Video Copying Protection On Cards Too

Facebook has set a record on Thursday with one billion people using the network within one day’s span. This is a high for the social network and its co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg posted that it is an important milestone. The easier way to state this will be to simply say that one out of seven people around the world used Facebook on Thursday.

The Facebook Success Figures

Zuckerberg’s vision to bring together the entire world via this social network is slowly Facebook Records 1 Billion Users Glued To It On Thursdayachieving fulfilment and he has gone on record saying that these figures are way more essential than the financials or numbers Facebook weighs on a daily basis. According to Facebook’s earnings update revealed in July, the number of active users hiked up to 13 per cent on a monthly basis from the 1.49 billion figure last year, in addition, the total number of active users on the mobile platform currently touched the 1.31 billion mark.

Read More:  Millenium Touch To Super Mario At Facebook Hackathon

What’s New With FB?

With so many laurels, Facebook is also engaged in developing an all new technology that will allow video makers to protect their work from being copied sans permission on the network.

The official line here goes like this– “We want creators to get credit for the videos that they own…To address this, we have been exploring ways to enhance our rights management tools to better empower creators to control how their videos are shared on Facebook.”

 … Read the rest

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