Facebook To Offer Video Creators A Piece Of The Action


FacebookFacebook is getting prepared to wrangle part of the premium content industry away with the promise of more shared revenue with their corporate partners that provide video content.

In a new agreement, the social media network will offer a share of the revenue it gets from ads shown in conjunction with videos estimated at 55 percent.

That matches the same amount that YouTube shares with its content providers.

It’s part of a test initiative that gives users recommendations on what to watch in between videos from other sites that are viewed on Facebook.

The deal is meant to lure major media outlets that provide consistent video content to upload their content to Facebook before any other platform, in addition to the fact that videos on Facebook are reported to gain 4 billion views daily.

The new offer has already caught the attention of Funny Or Die Inc., the comedy website co-founded by Will Ferrell, which will start uploading full videos to Facebook.

Previously, they had only uploaded short clips of their video skits with a link to their website for the full version.

Fox Sports and the Hearst Corporation have also agreed to start uploading more video through the new program.

Christopher A. Smith


Facebook Gets Thumbs Down At Pride Parade


Video Ads in your Facebook Feed coming this FallMarchers during the Pride Parade held Sunday in San Francisco had a pointed message for Facebook.

Protesters and drag queens marching with the #MyNameIs campaign handed out stickers, buttons and fliers that took the social network to task over their policy that users with accounts have to have “authentic names” and provide proper identification if required in order to not be barred from their accounts.

The LGBTQ community has viewed this policy as highly discriminatory and potentially dangerous to the point of life-threatening for them since it was enacted last September.

They marched with the Harvey Milk group, ahead of marchers representing Facebook.

As they approached the judging platform, the marchers turned their signs around to spell “Shame On FB”.

The group had lobbied to ban Facebook from marching in the annual parade, but a personal phone call from Mark Zuckerberg and a narrow board vote gave the social media company the green light to march.

Since the uproar, Facebook has made slight adjustments to the part of the policy looking for identification, where users can now add bank information along with others as long as they match up.

Christopher A. Smith


More Articles Are Coming To Your Facebook Newsfeed


FacebookFor those of you who may have noticed the presence of the latest “Instant Articles” feature on your Facebook newsfeed, get ready to see it increase.

The social media platform is gearing up for more articles to be published via the feature, and sources close to the inner workings claim that the number will be in the dozens on a daily basis.

The publishing project which allows media outlets to post their articles directly to the Facebook app debuted last month, but so far there have been only a few articles released to it.

Major publications like The Atlantic and The New York Times signed up, thanks to a fairly good deal that gives the publications 100 percent of revenue from advertising within the articles themselves.

Facebook is confident that as the articles rise in number, more users will flock to it in droves due to their increased loading speed, especially on mobile phones.

Christopher A. Smith


Facebook Soon Won’t Need Photos To Recognize You


FacebookThere may soon be no need for clear photographs to have someone be recognized by Facebook.

Recent reports state that the social media network is in the process of developing new technology that will be able to identify someone even if their face isn’t fully presented in the photograph that’s uploaded. In order to bring the process along, Facebook wound up scanning public photos from Flickr – 40,000 plus to be exact.

The pictures mainly had people’s faces in the frame and out of it.

The scanning was powered by an algorithm that assessed different attributes of the individuals that included hair and body type.

The testing results found that the algorithm identified people with an 83% rate of accuracy.

Facebook’s hope is that the algorithm will eventually get out of the testing phase with more success and become a part of the company’s growing application suite.

The company has shifted some of their development focus to photos of late, with their acquisition of Instagram being a prime example. So if this comes to pass, those late night photo mishaps with your buddies could be documented properly for all to share.

Christopher A. Smith


Facebook Introduces New “See First” Feature


FacebookIf you’ve ever had complaints about the precise lack of control of what you can see at the top of your news feed in Facebook, you may enjoy the latest feature from the social media network.

The company is now testing a new feature entitled “See First”.

Available since Friday, the feature allows a user to see the content that they want from friends and other pages atop their news feed.

The new twist is a potential improvement on the way Facebook users can filter the content they see on their feed from friends and do away with posts that they may find annoying from others.

In the past, Facebook has applied certain changes to this part of the platform in response to user complaints about having to unfriend people or other situations that could make things highly awkward.

“See First” looks to possibly be a great step and much needed addition to the news feed preferences that many have wanted from Facebook.

Christopher A. Smith


Facebook Messenger Adds 100 Million Users In Past Three Months


FacebookIt looks like the Facebook Messenger service is a smashing success.

At their annual shareholders meeting, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the service now had a user tally of 700 million.

That number rose over the past three months since March, with 100 million signing up within that period.

It’s a success for Facebook, which has spent a considerable amount of time and effort into making Messenger as a standalone social platform in its own right.

Part of that appeal also lies in the fact that Facebook began to allow third-party companies to create apps for the service back in March.

David Marcus, the chief of the Messenger service also reported that the app has reached one billion downloads on Android devices.

While industry experts do look at the numbers with a slight touch of skepticism, the news does give weight to how many have flocked to Messenger.

It bolsters Facebook’s position very nicely, as does their other social media platforms like the recently acquired messaging service WhatsApp and the photo-sharing platform Instagram.

Christopher A. Smith


Facebook Giving Retailers Free Beacons To Enhance Their Place Tips Service


Facebook Giving Retailers Free Beacons To Enhance Their Place Tips ServiceBusinesses and retailers who were looking forward to the latest service offered up by Facebook to assist them will be getting a little gift.

Facebook began testing out the Place Tips service in January of this year, and on Monday announced that they would be making the service available to all businesses within the United States.

They were being beta-tested with a small group of New York City-based businesses.

As an added incentive, it created an online application for businesses that signed up to obtain a free beacon for every one of their physical stores.

Beacons are tiny devices that are able to emit a signal to someone’s smartphone when they come within a certain proximity to the source.

These beacons can provide deals and information to potential customers if they wish to make a purchase.

They help because while retailers can’t really advertise through the service, the beacons boost their visibility greatly.

Facebook also has these beacons manufactured which would figure into their decision to give them to businesses since all parties benefit from customer traffic increases as a result.

Christopher A. Smith


“Facebook Lite” Launched


"Facebook Lite" LaunchedFacebook has decided to extend its worldwide reach in a more pragmatic way, and with a slimmed-down look to it.

In an effort to reach more people in the developing world, Facebook has created a version that is devoid of many of the features that millions have come to associate with the social media platform. Dubbed “Facebook Lite”, it is designed to function on phones at the lower end of the mobile spectrum.

Standing in at a diminutive 1 MB, the app gets pretty crafty at giving a user the Facebook experience – one facet involves downloading photos at lower quality rates to make sure the app still retains its speed and won’t strain the lesser data connectivity of the phone.

It’s all part of the company’s push to get better Internet access for areas within South America, Africa and Southeast Asia.

They discreetly launched the app in January in Nigeria, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Nepal to great success and now plan to issue a wider release soon.

The app is free of charge, and currently only available on Android devices although some close to the Facebook wouldn’t rule out an iOS version down the line.

Christopher A. Smith


SCOTUS: Violent, Threatening Posts On Facebook Not Enough To Convict


Court Rules: Bulk Collection Of Phone Records Is IllegalA decision handed down on Monday by the Supreme Court of The United States is set to add further fuel and confusion to the debate over what exactly constitutes a viable threat via the Internet.

The SCOTUS decision in the case of Anthony D. Elonis overturned his conviction in Pennsylvania based on Facebook comments he posted that threatened his ex-wife, threatened to blow up a school and threatened his former co-workers.

The conviction was made on the state level on the basis that these people had a reasonable right to feel as if their lives were at risk.

The court’s decision to overturn the judgement by a 7-2 vote was on the basis that they felt that there wasn’t enough to go on.

In the opinion offered by Chief Justice John Roberts, he stated: “Our holding makes clear that negligence is not sufficient to support a conviction.”

Elonis claimed that the posts weren’t meant to be anything but artistic expression inspired by rap lyrics from the artist Eminem, and that he had a right to free speech as protected by the First Amendment.

Elonis did receive a four year sentence in federal prison, but was released last year.

The decision is the first heard by the SCOTUS in reference to free speech and social media.

This decision was not made without some spirited dissent from Justice Samuel Alito, who noted that there were no further details as to the grounds for the votes of dismissal.

In the dissenting opinion, he wrote, “The court refuses to explain what type of intent was necessary. Was it enough if he knew that his words conveyed such a threat? Would recklessness suffice? The court declines to say. Attorneys and judges are left to guess.”

The case now goes back to the state level, but if they uphold the original sentence Elonis will be expected to go back to prison.

Christopher A. Smith


This Chrome Extension Lets You Track Facebook Messenger Users


Facebook To Add More Features To MessengerA new extension for Google Chrome has raised some concerns from observers over a particular feature that threatens the privacy of others.

The app, entitled Marauders Map, is the brainchild of Aran Khanna.

Khanna is a student in computer science and mathematics at Harvard University, and he named this app after the Marauders Map found in the J.K. Rowling penned Harry Potter book series that showed the location and identity of people along with their movements.

The app itself has been found to pinpoint this data for all who use Facebook Messenger to a startling degree, even allowing for someone’s positioning in a room within a building.

The data is obtained through global positioning system, or GPS functions within Facebook if they’re not turned off manually in the location settings for both iOS and Android versions.

Khanna’s research, which he posted in an article on Medium, even states that Messenger users can obtain information on a Messenger user’s whereabouts over the past week and in certain cases, years.

To add to the alarm of this flaw, the information can be obtained by those who aren’t even friends with the user in particular. Facebook is currently working on a way to correct this glaring glitch.

Christopher A. Smith