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


Zuck’s Q&A Session Interrupted By Technical Difficulties


Zuck Clicks Like Button For Bay Area Public Schools - Donates $120 millionA recent Q&A session by Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg went awry, in part due to the heavy interaction of its 1.3 billion users.

The session, held on Tuesday afternoon on Zuckerberg’s personal Facebook page, first encountered difficulties when it was opened up to questions.

An official with the company quipped that it was due to “an overload of likes.”

After being offline for several minutes, the Q&A resumed but some users responded that all they could see was a blank screen.

Another issue that arose was associated with mobile users unable to find responses by the CEO amid the multitude of questions asked on the app.

Zuckerberg did manage to provide answers for more than a dozen questions, some of which were asked by high-profile celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Stephen Hawking.

This Q&A session is yet the latest bit of interaction by Zuckerberg with the public on open forums; in the past he’s responded to queries made in town hall meetings and online.

The questions Zuckerberg answered ranged from the whimsical to more serious and timely issues like his company’s policy on using real names on the social media platform and how their Instant Articles feature will impact the journalism and publishing industries.

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


Carl Icahn Cashes Out Of Netflix Investment $1.6 Billion Richer


Carl Icahn Calls eBay CEO "Incompetent"You don’t get to be a billionaire investor without having the ability to get a terrific return for your investment.

And Carl Icahn’s latest move demonstrates that principle fully.

On Wednesday, Icahn announced via Twitter that he had just sold the last of his Netflix stock.

The investor was the owner of 1.4 million shares since 2012.

Previously, he owned close to 5.5 million shares.

At that point, shares were valued at $58.

The sale is the reason that Icahn now enjoys the benefit of a $700 million profit that occurred in the three-year period and as a result, the shares now are worth $900 million.

Icahn believes that Netflix’s rapid ascent to household name and industry leader across the country is just a matter of the company realizing their goals from early on with success.

The investor did add one observation about Apple’s current situation with a tweet he sent out minutes later: “Believe $ AAPL currently represents same opportunity we stated NFLX offered several years ago.”

Icahn now owns about 53 million shares of Apple that are valued at close to seven billion dollars.

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


Faecbook’s Moments App Uses Facial Recognition


Faecbook's Moments App Uses Facial RecognitionFacebook’s latest application is looking to make those special times with your friends and family that much more tactile and easy to use.

On Monday, the social media company released their new Moments app.

Moments is an application that lets users create and share photos from their smartphones with their friends.

It’s not a standalone app; you’ll definitely need a Facebook account to use it.

It then hosts all of these photos in the cloud free of charge.

Moments also stores only the photos that you share, and not all that’s within your camera roll.

And it also utilizes facial recognition technology to identify all of your friends that may be in these photos.

The emphasis is on connectivity and the freedom to share and get an idea of how the photos are received thanks to a social graph.

Moments is the latest release from the in-house app creation studio known as Facebook Creative Labs that is their eighth since January of last year.

It’s now available for both iOS and Android devices.

Christopher A. Smith


Messenger’s First Game Launches


Facebook To Add More Features To MessengerFacebook’s latest service just got another new feature for the gamer in everyone.

Facebook Messenger has just unveiled its first game for the service, called “Doodle Draw Game”.

Previously, the closest thing to games that Messenger offered since its launch in April were content creators for GIFs and sound effects.

Behind the scenes however, the company was actively exploring the possibilities for full games to be offered within the platform.

The game itself is highly similar to the viral sensation Draw Something that was prevalent back in 2012.

You basically draw something on the screen, add a color or two, then send your work to a friend for them to ascertain what you drew.

You get a chance to get more colors for your palette by playing, and the same goes for earning currency.

The success of Doodle Draw will be dependent not so much on how many will flock to it, but its staying power without having to rely on spam methods like constantly inviting friends.

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