Facebook has announced a greatly revamped News Feed that hopes to beautify all the content that you consume on the social network. The new News Feed separates the different categories of content, making it easier to get to, say, just photo updates, or music updates, or groups, for example. Mark Zuckerberg says the new design is akin to a "personalized newspaper." The thought behind the changes are that people are sharing more and more multimedia--images, videos, links with previews…so why not take advantage of the screen space and optimize it?
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Facebook 5.5 for iOS has just been released, and with it comes free voice calling for North American users over Wi-Fi and cellular networks. The feature came to Facebook's separate messaging app a couple of weeks ago, and is now baked in to the full-fledged Facebook iOS experience for users across the US and Canada. After updating, simply open your chat pane by tapping the icon on the upper-right, select a friend, and then select "Free Call." As you'd expect, the person on the other end also needs to be located in North America, and also needs to have the latest Facebook app installed. It's a nice way to make voice calls without tapping into your voice minutes--just make sure to keep an eye on your data plan when you're away from Wi-Fi, no need to try to save on voice minutes, only to rack up massive data usage fees, you feel me?
Facebook is now compliant with the Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program, and has to show the AdChoice icon in behaviorally targeted Facebook Exchange (FBX) ads. This allows users to know when an ad is marketed to them on their browser behavior. The catch, however, is that the icon is only displayed when a user interacts with it by scrolling of the gray "X" over the ad.
Facebook will change the "Report this Ad" text with "Learn About Facebook Ads," and users can choose to opt out of specific ad networks. As Engadget notes, however, whether this legally complies with the Federal Commission guidelines for "clear and prominent notice" is unsure, as the ads only reveal itself as targeted once a user interacts with it.
AdChoice implementation will start at the end of March.
Facebook has updated its main iOS app to version 5.4, adding in-app video recording and audio messaging. Users can now record their cat videos without leaving the Facebook app and have the ability leave cryptic audio recordings when messaging their besties.
Share your moments with voice messages and video recordings right in the app.
- Send voice messages when you have more to say
- Record and share videos right from the app
- Share and connect with your favorite places using the improved Nearby tab
Read More | Facebook
Hot on the heels of Facebook's event announcing its new Social Graph feature, Facebook Messenger iOS app has been updated to VoIP audio calling functionality for US users. It's interesting since, technically, Facebook uses Skype backend, which is owned by parent company Microsoft. Thus, the collaborative user base is pretty vast. It appears that it is limited only to audio calls, but it is safe to assume that video calling is in the pipeline. VoIP may not use your monthly allotment of cell minutes but it will definitely use your mobile data plan, of course it will not effect your carrier plan if users use a WIFI acces point. The app is a free download available in the App Store.
What’s New in Version 2.1.1
- Back by popular request: Now you can swipe right to archive a conversation again
- Other improvements and bug fixes
*Free calling uses your existing data plan, and will be rolling out over the next few weeks.
Read More | Facebook Messenger
Bill Morrison at Bongo Comics is putting together a huge benefit to aid Metro Entertainment, a Santa Barbara comic book store that’s hit a rough patch.
Bill wrote about it on a recent Facebook post: “I've received donations of art from some of the best artists in the comic book business (I don't like to drop names, but...NEAL ADAMS!!!) and I'm blown away by the generosity of my fellow artists. But I need more heavy hitters to come to the rescue if I'm going to reach the goal!”
Later, Bill ran down the list of those who have already helped out: "So here's a list of artists I've received donations from, or who have already put something in the mail to me! Neal Adams, Geof Darrow, Gilbert Hernandez, Herb Trimpe, Eric Powell, Bruce Timm, Paul Smith, Evan Dorkin, Al Jaffee, Dave Gibbons, Kelley Jones, Dean Yeagle, Humberto Ramos, Jim Woodring, Tone Rodriguez, Tom Richmond, Tim Burgard, Peter Krause, Robert Pope, and John Rozum. More to come, I'm sure!"
Read More | Robot 6
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Facebook wants more of its employees carrying Android devices, employing vaguely propagandistic posters around its Menlo Park campus. The posters outline the growing lead Android has over iOS, projecting that lead to double by 2016. The goal is to get Facebook employees using devices that the majority of their app users use, or "Droidfooding," as the campaign is casually known.
“In the early days we gave employees iPhones primarily”, a Facebook spokesperson said to TechCrunch. This recent shift to a more Android OS orientated workplace is part of an effort to make it as simple as possible to test future Facebook For Android and Facebook Messenger apps.
“We’ve created more awareness that Android devices are available” Facebook says. "There's plenty of people here carrying around both devices, and not just engineers and not just mobile people.”
Read More | TechCrunch
A new update for Windows Phone 8's Facebook app doesn't bring new features, but does make the app a lot faster and more responsive. Similar to the recent Facebook app updates on Android and iOS, this one focuses on the general performance of the app, and eliminates the lag from the older version.
Windows Phone 7 devices, however, aren't capable of running the new update. UK users will assuredly find the Facebook version 4.1 update in the UK Windows Phone Marketplace, but its not quite available in all markets yet.
Read More | Windows Phone
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