Tag Archives: Facebook

Facebook gets like Snapchat now somehow…

Facebook’s quest to mimic Snapchat is undeniable at this point. In just the last few months, Instagram, Whatsapp and Messenger have all integrated some form of Stories — a disappearing slideshow format that Snapchat is famous for — while Facebook Live dabbled in Snapchat-esque selfie filters. Now, after months of experiments and tests, it’s time for the main Facebook app to get in on the action too. Today, the company is officially rolling out three new Snapchat-inspired features to its core app: a brand new in-app camera that’s chockful of filters, effects and masks; Facebook’s very own Stories; and Direct, which lets you share photos and videos with specific people for a set period of time.

As soon as you launch the updated Facebook app, you’ll see the new Stories navigation bar prominently featured at the top. On the far left is a shortcut for Direct sharing, the second bubble is for Your Story (you can tap it to add to it), while the rest are Stories of your closest friends. Each Story interface is almost identical to that of Instagram’s version — you can move back and forth through the slideshow by tapping left or right, and if it’s your own Story, you’ll be able to see the number of views as well as the names of the people who saw it. Additionally, you’ll be able to leave direct replies on other people’s Stories, which then appear on top of the content. The replies only live as long as the content, however, so once the photo is gone, the comment’s gone too.

 

“We’ve been very text-centric in the past,” says Connor Hayes, a Facebook product manager. “But what we’ve been seeing is that the way people create content is changing, from text to photos and videos. […] We’re trying to upgrade the app to be more centered around the way people are behaving and creating the content in social apps. And that starts with the camera.”

Which explains why the new camera is much easier to access. Before, the fastest way to launch the camera in the Facebook app was to tap “Photos” and then select the camera icon. Now, that camera icon is located to the left of the search field, and is visible the moment you launch the app. Alternately, you can swipe right from the home screen, and that’ll bring up the camera function as well.

The camera interface is completely different from before too. On the left side of the screen are little navigation dots, which correspond to different filters that the app has pre-selected for you. Simply swipe up or down to scroll through them, and you’ll see the filter take effect on the main screen. These pre-selected filters are chosen based on an algorithm that susses out whether you’ll like them, and also on your location. So if you’re in London, you probably won’t see a San Francisco themed filter, for example.

But if none of those filters strike your fancy, no worries, because you can tap an option that will reveal as many as 70 other options (that number will change depending on your region). You can choose anything from selfie masks to Prisma-esque style effects to simple frames. In a brief demo, I saw filters that showed animated pizza slices flying out of my mouth, round glasses superimposed on my face and a “I Miss You” message scrawled in front of me. Other options include a mirroring effect, one that shows a lazy sloth on top of your head, a mustache, a pride rainbow, a glitter beard and even an effect that makes you look like a minion from Despicable Me.

Indeed, Facebook not only partnered with different film studios for licensed content, it also commissioned two artists — Hattie Stewart from the UK and Doug Coupland from Canada — to come up with special artistic filter effects. One of Coupland’s filters, for example, shows concentric colors radiating from your head. Open your mouth, and the circles now form in your mouth and on your forehead.

Kristen Spilman, the director for Art and Animation in charge of the camera effects, says that she hopes these filters help people express themselves. “Our new camera puts visual content at the heart of the Facebook experience,” she says. “While we want our effects to be fun to use, it’s more important that they’re thoughtful and relevant in enhancing relationships.”

 

After you’ve chosen your filter, you can write text on top of it or doodle on it with your choice of brush. Then, you can save it to your camera roll and do nothing with your creation, or you can choose to share it. You can post it to Newsfeed if you want your photo to live on forever, or you can post it to Your Story if you just want it up for the next 24 hours, or you can share it directly with your friends via the new Direct feature. If you do send your photo or video directly, note that your friends will only be able to view it once and replay it once. Once it’s over, it’s gone.

“Stories has become the format for people to create photos and videos and share them with one another immersively across social apps,” says Hayes. “This is something that Snapchat’s really pioneered. Our take is that Stories has become a format for people to share and consume photos and videos across all social apps.” When asked why someone would use Facebook Stories over Instagram Stories or vice versa, Hayes says that different people use the apps differently. “It depends on how they use each app, and who their network is on each app,” he says, pointing out that oftentimes the two have different audiences.

“Over the coming months, we plan to introduce new ways for the Facebook community to create their own frames and effects that can be used on any photo or video created with the new Facebook camera,” said Facebook in a statement. “Our goal is for the camera to be a home to hundreds of dynamic and fun effects that give you new ways to connect with friends, family, and your community.”

Facebook’s new camera, Stories and Direct sharing will be rolling out to all users on both Android and iOS throughout this week.

Source: Facebook

WhatsApp will start sharing your data with Facebook!

Well, your encrypted messages will stay private though for now.

Today WhatsApp has announced a major change, that was suspected  since quite some time already, by adding terms that allow it to share user data with its parent company Facebook.

Back in January already a code showed up suggesting a closer sharing of data between the two companies, and now it has arrived whether you do like it or not. Privacy advocates rightfully will be concerned about the sharing of data between two of the worlds’ most popular social services, and the two largest messengers.

WhatsApp, on the other hand, says it needs to share data to test out upcoming features in the next couple of months, like “ways for you to communicate with businesses that matter to you” and “hearing from your bank about a potentially fraudulent transaction, or getting notified by an airline about a delayed flight.”

It’s worth noting the details included in the agreement: your phone number, profile name and photo, online status and status message and last seen status. It doesn’t include the content of your messages.

Well, If this all makes you worried or uncomfortable somehow, try not to worry, it’s just the biggest social company in the world working out better ways to target its ads. On the brighter side  there is a way to opt out, but this is certainly not a very easy way.

Facebook for BlackBerry 10 gets an update…

Today an Update for Facebook for BlackBerry 10 popped up in the BlackBerry Appworld which brings the version to 10.4.30.2.

facebook1

Here are the changes I can see on the Passport:

  • Improved news feed. Get more stories and content in your news feed.
  • Active frame support. Facebook when minimized, will display the 5 most recent notifications as well as the updated notifications count.
  •  Poke back. Now you can poke a user back directly from notifications (does anybody really still use this??)
  • Rename user albums. Power to rename albums to your liking

As there is no change log there might be more that I have not seen yet…

 

Etisalat offers now the Social Package for all smartphones…

sidebanner-unlimited-social-data-packEtisalat send out messages today offering the new Social Package for all smartphones.

The charges are 2AED per day or 49 AED per month, you get billed only on days where you use the service.

It obviously depends on your smartphone if all apps are available. While the BlackBerry Messenger is available for BlackBerry, Android and iOS devices it is not yet available for Windows Phone.

Interesting is as well the fact that they write only about BlackBerry 10 devices, so legacy devices seem to still require the BlackBerry social package….

etisalatoffer

In general not a bad offer. But I am wondering if this really works.

The Facebook Government Requests Report…

An interesting report has been published by Facebook showing which countries have requested Data or blocked content.

In case of the UAE this is not really a high number. 2 Total requests for data, 2 User Account requests and 12 content restrictions. Compared to Germany who has 1687 cases of Data requests, 1950 User Account requests and 84pieces of content blocked.

facebookuaeThe US is here quite far upfront with 12598 total data requests, 18715 user requests but no content block. Interesting as well is to see that there is additional National Security requests in the US not only Law Enforcement.

Looking on Russia i was really wondering, 1 total request for Data only and 1 user account request together with 4 content blocks….

If you want to check out the very interesting report you can find it here (LINK).

 

 

need an appointment in the Philippine Consulate in Dubai? Use Facebook…

If you require like me an appointment in the Philippine Consulate in Dubai you might get a smile on your face. The only option rather than driving there to get one is to message them on Facebook.

Yes , Facebook. read below…

embassyph

I kind of like this approach, but i believe they should offer at least email as well for people who are not on Facebook… The German Embassy should consider also using Facebook rather then the idiots in the application center…

Facebook updated on BlackBerry OS10

IMG_00000018today morning had a little surprise in form of a Facebook upgrade for the BlackBerry 10 phones. I got in on my Z10 and the Q5.

The update brings you Facebook Chat finally on the device.

Additional Facebook 10.2.1 provides aneasier way of setting your Profile and Cover Photos. Set your Facebook profile photo or cover photo right from the Camera app, or from within a Facebook photo album.

Also for Page Administrators posting and seeing statistics is now possible.