Category Archives: social media

Facebook is now testing paywalls and subscriptions for Instant Articles

A few months ago we reported that Facebook may begin testing paywalls and subscriptions for Instant Articles beginning in October. Well now it’s October, and surprise – Facebook has started testing subscription support for instant articles!

Here’s how it will work: Facebook will start with two paywalled options for publishers to choose from:

The first option is a metered model where everyone gets to read 10 free stories per month before needing to subscribe. The second is a freemium model where the publishers choose which articles to lock.

When someone who isn’t a subscriber hits one of these paywalls, they will be promoted to subscribe for full access to the publishers’ content.

One really interesting aspect – if you want to purchase a subscription Facebook will direct you to the publisher’s website to complete the transaction, meaning they process the payment directly and can keep 100% of the revenue and transaction data. The subscriptions will then also include access to the publisher’s full site, and existing subscribers can also authenticate within Instant Articles so they can get full access without paying twice.

Redirecting users away from Facebook to complete a transaction is a huge win for publishers. But not everyone is happy with the arrangement. Notably, Recode reportsthat Apple is balking at the subscription signup flow, saying it violates the company’s rules about subscriptions sold inside apps. Right now Apple gets up to 30% of all subscriptions sold inside 3rd-party iOS apps, so Facebook’s current signup method would strip them of this revenue.

For this reason the feature isn’t launching yet on Apple – only Android, which doesn’t have any restrictions on how subscriptions can be sold. There’s no timeline for when a deal could be made with Apple, with Facebook only saying that “this initial test will roll out on Android devices first , and we hope to expand it soon.”

Facebook says many of their partner publishers identified subscriptions as a top priority, and especially requested the ability to maintain control over pricing, offers, and all the revenue generated from each subscription.

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Facebook is now testing paywalls and subscriptions for Instant Articles

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Yellowstone supervolcano may erupt faster than we thought

Yellowstone may be best known for its geysers like Old Faithful, but it’s also famous for the supervolcano that lies just beneath the surface.

Now researchers from Arizona State University believe the supervolocano last erupted after two influxes of fresh magma flowing into the reservoir beneath the volcano — and it all occurred much more quickly than previously thought.

Geologists previously believed it would take centuries for a buildup like that to lead to an eruption.

The latest analysis of minerals in Yellowstone reveal the critical changes in temperature and composition built up in decades as opposed to centuries.

Another study from 2013 also showed the magma reservoir that feeds the supervolcano is about two and a half times bigger than previously thought.

A single eruption from this supervolcano would likely darken the sky across the majority of the United States in addition to spewing hot lava from the eruption site.

The Yellowstone supervolcano has erupted three different times, the last of which was 631,000 years ago.

In that eruption, roughly 1,000 cubic kilometers of rock, dust and volcanic ash exploded into the sky and rained across more than half the United States.

Don’t go prepping for the end now, however.

The supervolcano in Yellowstone is one of the most monitored volcanoes in the world, and scientists haven’t seen any signs of an imminent threat.

The U.S. Geological Survey puts yearly odds of another Yellowstone eruption at 1 in 730,000. If that slim chance does occur, now we know we’ll at least have decades to prepare as opposed to centuries.

Source:

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/storm-shield/storm-shield-featured/yellowstone-supervolcano-may-erupt-faster-than-we-thought

Facebook now lets you order food without leaving Facebook

Today Facebook is announcing that users can now order food for takeout or delivery using both the Facebook mobile app and website. But it’s not at all what you might think; Facebook hasn’t created its own answer to Seamless, which would be massive news for the restaurant industry. This isn’t that.

Instead, the company is partnering with existing services GrubHub, Delivery.com, DoorDash, ChowNow, Zuppler, EatStreet, Slice, and Olo, and will now link out to those food ordering businesses for restaurants that support them. You head to the new “Order Food” area of Facebook under the Explore section, find the local spot you’re craving, and then hit “start order.” From there, if a restaurant supports more than one of Facebook’s ordering partners, you’ll be able to choose between them. Once you do, Facebook will bring up an in-app browser that takes you through the existing websites for Delivery.com and the others. That’s where all the ordering actually happens, so you’re not actually doing much with the Facebook app beyond finding a restaurant and tapping your preferred delivery option.

Seamless is not currently among Facebook’s partner services, but parent company GrubHub is, so that should get you most of the same delivery restaurants. But there are other omissions such as Caviar, so you’ll still need to open those apps separately to know which restaurants use them and place an order.

 

Facebook is also partnering on food ordering directly with national chains Chipotle, Five Guys, Jack in the Box, Papa John’s, Wingstop, Panera, TGI Friday’s, Denny’s, El Pollo Loco, and Jimmy John’s. But it works the same way as with the other services; you browse to one of these nearby chain locations, pick start order, and then you’ll be sent to their existing delivery system. All Facebook is really doing here is launching an in-app browser so you can get a meal without ever leaving the app.

“We’ve been testing this since last year, and after responding to feedback and adding more partners, we’re rolling out everywhere in the US on iOS, Android and desktop,” Alex Himel, Facebook’s VP of local, said in a press release. “People already go to Facebook to browse restaurants and decide where to eat or where to order food, so we’re making that easier.”

Source:

https://www.theverge.com/2017/10/13/16468610/facebook-food-ordering-new-feature

Facebook can unlock your account with facial recognition

Facebook has its own version of Apple’s Face ID. If you get locked out of your Facebook account, the company is testing a way to regain access by using your face to verify your identity. That could be especially useful if you’re somewhere that you can’t receive two-factor authentication SMS, like on a plane or while traveling abroad, or if you lose access to your email account.

Social media researcher Devesh Logendran (a pseudonym) sent a screenshot of the feature to TNW’s Matt Navarra. We asked Facebook about it and got this confirmation:

“We are testing a new feature for people who want to quickly and easily verify account ownership during the account recovery process. This optional feature is available only on devices you’ve already used to log in. It is another step, alongside two-factor authentication via SMS, that were taking to make sure account owners can confirm their identity.”

If the feature proves reliably helpful to users and isn’t fooled by hackers, Facebook could potentially roll it out to more people.

 

Over the years Facebook has tried a number of novel ways to help you get back into a locked account. In some cases it asks you to identify photos of your friends to prove you’re you. Or it’s tried allowing you to designate several “trusted friends” who receive a code that you can ask them for to unlock your account.

While Facebook has experienced some backlash to facial recognition for photo tag suggestions in the past, this feature would only use the technology to privately help you out. Therefore it shouldn’t engender as big of privacy concerns, though obviously anything related to biometric data can give people pause. But if it means you can get back to your messages and News Feed, or repair damage done by a hacker, many people are likely to be comfortable to use their face to Facebook.

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Facebook can unlock your account with facial recognition

Stephen Paddock: Las Vegas gunman identified by police as 64-year-old white male

The suspected gunman in the mass shooting at a music festival in Las Vegas has been named as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock.

At least 50 people were killed and more than 200 injured at the Route 91 country music event near the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.

It is the deadliest mass shooting in US history, with the death toll surpassing the 49 killed at a nightclub in Orlando in June 2016.

Witnesses described seeing flashes of light high up in the tower of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and a noise “like firecrackers” as a “clip after clip” was unloaded into the crowd of 40,000 people.

The shooter was believed to have been firing down at concert-goers from the 32nd floor.

A Swot team used a controlled explosion to enter the hotel room, where they shot Paddock – of Mesquite, Nevada – dead.

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Announcing the suspect’s name, Las Vegas Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said police had “located numerous firearms”, including rifles, in the hotel room and a search of Paddock’s house was due to take place shortly.

He said Paddock was born on 9 April 1953, adding: “As far as history and background we haven’t completed that part of the investigation.”

Police previously said they did not believe the suspect was connected to militant groups.

Records show Paddock lived in a three-year-old, $396,000 (£297,554) two-bedroom home in the small community of Mesquite, 80 miles north east of Las Vegas near the Arizona state border.

Local media said he had also previously lived in Reno, Nevada, California and Florida.

Sheriff Lombardo said: “We are looking at in excess of 50 individuals dead and over 200 individuals injured … Obviously this is a tragic incident and one that we have never experienced in this valley. My condolences go out to the loved ones.”

One Las Vegas police officer is among the dead, while another is in a critical condition.

The FBI – including federal crime scene investigators – were assisting in the investigation, he said, adding: “It is going to be a long and tedious investigation.”

He said police had found a person of interest, a 62-year-old female companion of the shooter called Marilou Danley.

Image result for Marilou Danley.

US President Donald Trump responded to the massacre in a tweet, saying: “My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!”

Source:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/stephen-paddock-las-vegas-gunman-shooting-police-identify-white-male-latest-update-a7978361.html

Facebook Is Sending a Team to Hurricane-Ravaged Puerto Rico to Get the Island Back Online

Facebook has dispatched a “connectivity team” to supply emergency telecommunications support to Puerto Rico, much of which has been rendered a communications black spot after Hurricane Maria battered the island last week.

“Communication is critical during a disaster,” Facebook founder Zuckerberg wrote in a post Wednesday. “With 90% of cell towers on the island out of service, people can’t get in touch with their loved ones—and it’s harder for rescue workers to coordinate relief efforts.”

 Facebook Inc. Illustrations Ahead Of Earnings Figures

In addition to sending a team to bring Puerto Rico back online, Zuckerberg announced that Facebook is splitting a donation of $1.5 million between the World Food Program and Net Hope, a consortium of nonprofits and tech companies that Facebook previously collaborated with in response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa.

Puerto Rico’s population of 3.4 million American citizens is in the throes of a humanitarian crisis in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which killed 16 people and ravaged the islands electricity grid. Only 11 of the island’s 69 hospitals have power or fuel supply and almost half of the population is without potable water, according to a FEMA briefing issued Tuesday morning.

Source:

http://fortune.com/2017/09/28/facebook-connectivity-team-hurricane-maria/

ZUCKERBERG BRUSHED OFF OBAMA’S PRIVATE WARNINGS ABOUT FACEBOOK

In the days immediately after the 2016 election, Facebook C.E.O. Mark Zuckerberg seemed offended by suggestions that the social network he created might have had any influence on the outcome, beyond serving as a marketplace for the exchange of ideas. “Personally, I think the idea that fake news on Facebook, it’s a very small amount of the content, influenced the election in any way is a pretty crazy idea,” he said, on stage at the Techonomy conference in Half Moon Bay, California. While some were quick to blame Facebook for amplifying misinformation about Hillary Clinton,Zuckerberg suggested that critics were betraying a “profound lack of empathy” by not taking voters who supported Donald Trump seriously.

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Zuckerberg wasn’t wrong to be skeptical of Democrats assigning blame rather than engaging in self-reflection. But in dismissing the possibility that social media might be anything other than a force for good, Zuckerberg was also slow to recognize Facebook’s own vulnerabilities in an age of information warfare. About a week after the Techonomy conference, however, Zuckerberg received a “wake-up call” from President Barack Obama, The Washington Post reports. During a meeting of world leaders in Lima, Peru, nine days after the election, Obama tried to personally appeal to Zuckerberg, warning that unless Facebook did something, its fake-news problem would only be exacerbated in the next presidential election:

For months leading up to the vote, Obama and his top aides quietly agonized over how to respond to Russia’s brazen intervention on behalf of the Donald Trump campaign without making matters worse. Weeks after Trump’s surprise victory, some of Obama’s aides looked back with regret and wished they had done more.

Zuckerberg acknowledged the problem posed by fake news. But he told Obama that those messages weren’t widespread on Facebook and that there was no easy remedy, according to people briefed on the exchange, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share details of a private conversation.

The account of Zuckerberg’s post-election reckoning also reveals new details about what Facebook executives knew, and when they knew it. The Post reports that Facebook notified the F.B.I. as early as June 2016 when a hacking group working in connection to the GRU, the Russian military intelligence unit, started making fake Facebook profiles to disseminate stolen e-mails and manipulate public opinion—days before Guccifer 2.0, a hacking persona now thought to be a front for Russian intelligence, took credit for hacking the Democratic National Committee. But after looking into the accounts, which were linked to the GRU’s hacking group called APT28 or Fancy Bear, which set up a Facebook profile for Guccifer 2.0 and a Facebook page called DCLeaks, the company came to believe they weren’t linked to a foreign government but were instead financially motivated.

Source:

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/09/zuckerberg-brushed-off-obamas-private-warnings-about-facebook

Mastering Facebook: A Beginner’s Guide to Start Making Money with Facebook

This is not a book of ideas but a blueprint for Facebook success. Facebook is becoming a social media and search engine powerhouse. Seeing the trends in the online platform and knowing how to utilize them will ensure success. This has revolutionized publishing and has dawned to a new digital era. There are a million and one reasons. However, you do not need all of them. Just a few concrete ones to make you see the light as to why Facebook is giving you a golden opportunity to monetize publishing in a smarter creative way.

Google debuts Tez, a mobile payments app for India that uses Audio QR to transfer money

After several weeks of speculation and leaked details, today Google officially unveiled its first big foray into mobile payments in Asia. The Android and search giant has launched Tez, a free mobile wallet in India that will let users link up their phones to their bank accounts to pay for goods securely in physical stores and online, and for person-to-person money transfers with a new twist: Audio QR, which uses ultrasonic sounds to let you exchange money, bypassing any need for NFC.

“Send money home to your family, split a dinner bill with friends, or pay the neighbourhood chaiwala. Make all payments big or small, directly from your bank account with Tez, Google’s new digital payment app for India,” Google notes in its information portal about the new app.

Tez is Google’s play to replace cash transactions and become a more central part of how people pay for things, using their mobile to do so. But it’s also a chance for the company to push out some new technologies — like audio QR (AQR), which lets users transfer money by letting their phones speak to each other with sounds — to see how it can make that process more frictionless, and therefore more attractive to use than cash itself. More on AQR below.

Tez is launching today on iOS and Android in the country and will see Google linking up with several major banks in the country by way of UPI (Unified Payments Interface) — a payment standard and system backed by the government in its push to bring more integrated banking services into a very fragmented market. There will also be phones coming to the market from Lava, Micromax, Nokia and Panasonic with Tez preloaded, the company said.

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Google debuts Tez, a mobile payments app for India that uses Audio QR to transfer money

Spotify launches an iMessage app for texting songs to friends

Spotify has quietly launched its own iMessage application that let you text songs to friends with just a few taps. The new app hasn’t been officially announced, but appears to be similar in functionality to Spotify’s Messenger app, which went live earlier this spring as one of Messenger’s new chat extensions.

As with the Messenger bot, the new iMessage app also lets you quickly search across Spotify’s full catalog for a track you want to share, then tap a button to paste a preview of that song into your chat session. This preview includes an album image, song title, and artist information.

But in the iMessage app’s case, the image is much larger than on Messenger, and there’s no “play” button. Instead, a small Spotify logo at the top left is what indicates that what you’ve sent is a song.

The recipient then taps the image which launches a new window, overlaid on top of the chat session. From here they can play the provided 30-second clip, or tap the “Play on Spotify” button below to hear the full track, if you’re a subscriber. (We also noticed that once it knows you’re a paying Spotify user, the option to stream a clip goes away and you’re just directed to the Spotify app to stream.)

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Spotify launches an iMessage app for texting songs to friends