This morning Facebook revealed a new Android-based mobile initiative called Facebook Home. Mark Zuckerberg was on hand to talk about what would happen if your phone was made to be about "people, not apps," and the result is Facebook Home.
While many assumed that Facebook would be releasing its own hardware device (despite our assurance that it wouldn't!), Home is, instead, a suite of Facebook apps that work together to put Facebook front and center across your entire Android device, making it feel like a "Facebook Phone." For example, in the Coverfeed app, it takes over both the Android homescreen and lock screen, and then provides a regular stream of updates from your friends--all without you tapping a Facebook app icon or even swiping to unlock. From the home screen you can even comment and like the updates that flow across your display.
Update: Due to user backlash, Facebook has suspended this feature for now. One reason is that, while it is opt-in to give this information to an app, you have to make that decision before you get to actually see what the app does, during the install process.
This weekend, Facebook updated its developer blog with some new abilities for developers of Facebook apps. The biggest change is the ability from those apps to now access user contact information like home addresses and phone numbers. This data used to be kept confidential from apps, but now they will be able to access it if a user grants that permission. There are some obvious uses for that, such as a shopping app which fetches your address for shipping purposes. Apps will have to explicitly ask for user permission, which will appear as a new entry on the Request for Permission screen, and they will be expected to follow Facebook's rules of conduct. The safest course of action, of course, is to not add your contact information to Facebook in the first place.
Read More | Facebook
While other developers and publishers are diving into the burgeoning Facebook and smartphone App markets, Activision would rather not waste their time.
“We don’t view the App Store as a really big opportunity for dedicated games,” said Kotick at the Reuters’ Global Media Summit.
Bold words from Activision, but then again, Call of Duty: Black Ops did rake in enough money to run a small country - $650 million in its first five days.
“It’s a different question assessing it as a business opportunity,” said Kotick. “Right now we don’t see an opportunity for us to participate in that market.”
One can only wonder how much longer their Call of Duty and World of Warcraft cash cows can be milked before they have to start looking into newer ways to generate revenue amongst a shifting gaming community.
Read More | Finger Gaming
Livestream has had a presence on Facebook for a while now. It's been used to stream the Facebook announcements live on the social network, as well as provide other Livestream content that users could watch directly on Facebook. Now, the social site is introducing the Livestream app, which will allow any user of Facebook to stream video directly from Facebook, at a press of a button, onto their walls. This includes all the Livestream platform features such as making this a regular podcast, with archived videos, or even pay-per-view shows. If you already have a Livestream channel, you can embed it directly on your Facebook page. This will remove some of the steps where viewers would have to move from one site to the next, and show your content directly to your friends. While partners have had access to some of those services for a while now, it's the first time users can do it with a single click, at no cost. This is yet another move by Facebook to bring social components to every facet of the web.
You can join Gear Live on Facebook to get our news directly!
Read More | Facebook
President Barack Obama has had a Twitter account for a while now, which many think was influential in getting him elected. With the election season coming up once more, Obama sent a call yesterday morning inviting people to install a Facebook app on their profiles called "Commit to Vote Challenge". The app itself is also more than just an ad. In typical social fashion, it allows you to "compete with my friends to inspire the most commitments". This is perhaps the first time a head of state has recognized the popularity of the social networks to a point where they create actual apps, in order to push their messages and invite people to participate in the vote.
Regardless of political allegiance, this is an interesting step forward, with this kind of embrace of online social sites. This is only a first step, and I wouldn't be surprised if in the coming years, we could easily see iPhone apps, online forums, and so on.
Read More | Twitter
Wondering why your friends are taking forever to respond to your IMs or wall posts? Chances are they are probably too busy playing Facebook games.
According to a new statistic from AllFaceBook.com, a whopping 53% of Facebook users play games while on Facebook. That’s about 290 million people playing Farmville, Mob Wars, etc. 56 million of these people play FB games daily. To put this in perspective, that’s more people than the entire population of England. This means that you can talk openly about your FB games exploits and more than half the time will be able to spark up a convo based around social network gaming. Interest fact for the guys as well, as 69% of those FB gamers are women. We predict pick up lines to sway drastically into the “So, how many crops do you harvest, girl?” category.
Check out the stats after the jump.
Read More | All Facebook
To the artist, distractions are all too familiar. Often times rearing their ugly head under clever guises to fool you. The Victorian poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson, Lady of Shallot, symbolized the quandary that writers and others of a creative nature face - to watch the world or to live within it. It used to be that the most prevalent form of distraction to the creator came in the form of booze, drugs, and other destructive vices. However, in the digital age distractions invade our personal space with the dexterity of pop up ads. Charming and inviting as they may be, submitting to these distractions sends productivity packing back to the assembly lines.
As I sit here writing this in between drags of a cigarette, I can’t help but think about all the distractions that come to light when working day in and day out on a computer. The main culprit (besides philosophy and smoking) is none other than Facebook (dun dun dunnn!). I’m sure there are more than a few of you out there that have fell prey to the time consuming nature of the social networking phenomena. To remedy my ailment I even went so far as to deactivate my Facebook. But it was short lived.
It seems that the social networking site Facebook is a lot more social than previously thought. That is, thanks to Ron Bowes of Skull Security, who created a 2.8GB torrent file containing the personal information of about 1/5th the total number of users on Facebook (500 million for those who haven’t heard.)
Ron accomplished this by crawling Facebook’s open access directory with a program that stored and filed each users data. The victims come in the form of FB users who have not changed their privacy settings to avoid search engine detection. The torrent contains the profile information of each stalked users most intimate details, such as addresses, phone numbers, and the URL to each of their profiles. Also, searching a logged user’s Facebook profile will allow you to search their friends list and find people despite their unique privacy settings.
Ron is under legal authority in how he obtained the information, so nothing illegal has been committed. But you may want to think twice about what you are sharing with others in your social network, before your entire life becomes public domain for some creep browsing torrents.
Read More | Thinq
The grips of social networking can prove dominating over every waking moment. Especially if you happen to make a living from behind the lucid glow of a computer monitor. Each moment of “let me check Facebook to see what’s new” can cost valuable minutes of time that add up to decreased productivity. Up until now Facebook has only given its users looking for a way out the option to deactivate their account, leaving each and every digital footprint left intact if they ever choose to sign in again. The temptation to “check Facebook really quick” still lingers.
However, the social networking giant has now implemented a new delete account option that allows users to completely free themselves of the addicting clutches of Facebooking at last! The thing is, it’s only available to a few select users as a test group. No word on whether or not this ‘nuclear option’ will become available to all users at some point. Our guess - not a chance.
Meantime, you can add a dash of Gear Live to your Facebook.
Mark Zuckerberg announced on the official Facebook blog that the social network has reached 500 million users world wide. An incredible feat indeed, but If you think that 500 million is a lot now, then imagine just how many more will sign up after The Social Network hits theaters. Also announced was the new application “Facebook Stories”. This app allows the 500 million Facebook users to share stories of how Facebook has helped them to do something significant. “Stories” is meant to tell of the miraculous feats that can be accomplished through the open, ever changing social network that is Facebook. For instance “Ben, the 17 year old high school student”, used Facebook to get his network involved in a movement to save an old town theater in Kentucky. Now if only we can get the other 499,999,999 to stop posting meaningless drivel, and start taking advantage of using it as a source of grassroots empowerment. Perhaps Facebook Stories will spark this, but methinks it will become overrun with stories such as “Jake the 22 year old college student used Facebook to organize a fart.”
You can follow us on Facebook.
Read More | Facebook Blog