Tag Archives: Facebook

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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Facebook is testing a CV feature to take on LinkedIn

It looks like Facebook is considering barging in on LinkedIn’s turf.

Facebook is currently trialling a CV feature, according to screenshots posted on social media — a move that would put it in direct competition with professional social network LinkedIn.

Matt Navarra, director of social media for The Next Web, has shared screenshots of the resume feature sent to him by web developer Jane Manchun Wong, who saw it appear on her Facebook profile.

The feature lets users list their professional experience and education, as well as their contact details, an image, and other information — just like Microsoft-owned LinkedIn does.

Of course, it’s already possible for people to list their job history and education on Facebook. But do you really want prospective employers to see your private Facebook profile? Instead, the new feature appears to combine all the relevant information into a single, professional-looking package — away from personal photos, status updates, and other Facebook posts people might not wish to share with recruiters and the wider world.

It’s not clear how many people currently have access to the resume feature, or what Facebook’s ultimate intentions are here. The social network often tests features on a small number of users before rolling them out more widely (or not), and a spokesperson did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for more information.

But just the fact that Facebook is experimenting with this is further evidence of how the Californian firm is increasingly trying to transcend its roots as a simple social network and move into the professional sector. In 2016, it launches Facebook At Work — now called Workplace — a modified version of Facebook designed for teams in the office to use.

Source:

http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-tests-cv-resume-feature-linkedin-2017-10

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

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/

Microsoft and Facebook’s massive undersea data cable is complete

Microsoft, Facebook, and the telecoms infrastructure company Telxius have announced the completion of the highest capacity subsea cable to ever cross the Atlantic Ocean. The cable is capable of transmitting 160 terabits of data per second, the equivalent of streaming 71 million HD videos at the same time, and 16 million times faster than an average home internet connection, Microsoft claims. The cable will be operational by early 2018.

Called Marea, which is Spanish for “tide,” the 4,000 mile long subsea cable lies 17,000 feet below the ocean surface and extends between Virginia Beach, Virginia and the city of Bilbao in Spain. Marea also stretches a route south of most existing transatlantic cables. Because of this, Microsoft says the cable will provide resiliency for those living in the US and Europe by safeguarding against natural disasters or other major events that might cause disruptions to connections like those seen during Hurricane Sandy. More importantly to Microsoft and Facebook: both companies have large data center operations in Virginia.

“Marea comes at a critical time,” said Brad Smith, president of Microsoft. “Submarine cables in the Atlantic already carry 55 percent more data than trans-Pacific routes and 40 percent more data than between the US and Latin America. There is no question that the demand for data flows across the Atlantic will continue to increase.” For most of the route, the cable — made up of eight pairs of fiber optic cables enclosed by copper — lays on the ocean floor. Some parts are buried to protect from shipping traffic, usually in areas closer to the shore.

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In a blog post, Microsoft said the project was completed nearly three times faster than usual, in under two years. Marea’s cables are an “open” design, which will allow it to evolve as technology does, and as the population of internet users around the world jumps. The Marea cable also provides a path to network hubs in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, where the next billion internet users are anticipated to come from.

Tech companies are increasingly moving into the infrastructure space, funding new cables themselves, rather than joining telecom consortiums which operate undersea cables already. Google has also invested in two cables that run from the US to Japan, South America, and other countries in Asia. With the Marea cable, Facebook and Microsoft’s investment gives them more control over the vast amounts of data they need to move quickly around the world. Both companies will benefit from improvements in cloud services for products like Microsoft’s Office 365, Azure, and Xbox Live, and Facebook’s Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp.

Source:

https://www.theverge.com/2017/9/25/16359966/microsoft-facebook-transatlantic-cable-160-terabits-a-second

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.

Facebook has pulled Instant Articles off Messenger

While Facebook prepares to offer readers a way to subscribe and pay for news directly from inside its app, the social network continues to tinker with how it presents publishers’ content elsewhere. In the latest development, TechCrunch has learned and confirmed that Facebook has removed Instant Articles — Facebook’s self-hosted, faster-loading article format for mobile — from Messenger.

“As we continue to refine and improve Instant Articles — and in order to have the greatest impact on people and publishers — we’re focusing our investment in Instant Articles in the Facebook core app and are no longer offering Instant Articles in Messenger,” a spokesperson said. “We believe that Messenger is an exciting channel for new and interesting news consumption experiences, including the opportunity to build unique messaging experiences in Messenger that many publishers (including TechCrunch) have executed successfully via the Messenger Platform.”

Instant Articles was a pared-down article format launched by the social network in 2015 with the aim of speeding up page load time by ten times compared to the mobile web, thereby cutting down the number of people dropping off when reading on mobile devices. (The “Instant” feel and performance is something that Facebook appears keen to develop: just this week it started to test Instant Videos.)

Originally designed to run in the News Feed, a year ago Facebook expanded Instant Articles to Messenger as part of a wider strategy to enhance content on its popular messaging platform, which today has over 1.2 billion users.

But while Instant Articles does what its name suggests, there have been some teething pains with the format.

Several high profile publications and publishers, including the Guardian, Forbes, Hearst, The New York Times, Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, ESPN, CBS News, NPR, Financial Times, and VICE News either pulled, scaled back, or never participated in Instant Articles in the first place because of the lack of monetization on the platform. There have also been issues with traffic reporting with the format.

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Facebook has pulled Instant Articles off Messenger

Facebook plans to spend up to $1B on original shows in 2018

Facebook could spend as much as $1 billion to fund original content initiatives for its new Watch video platform, according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal. The amount might seem familiar – it’s the same investment Apple is said to have earmarked for original shows and movies through 2018.

Facebook’s spend could vary depending on the success of programming, but it’s also a figure that extends through next year. This would also be a new high-water mark for Facebook spending on video content specific for its platform, exceeding past initiatives like incentives paid to encourage live streaming from media outlets.

Facebook launched Watch to all U.S. users this week – the new tab in the Facebook app houses original shows from Facebook partners, including content from Freethink Media, MLB, Discovery Channel and more. It’s hoping to drive more engagement on the platform with its original video content initiative, and the shows resemble a lot of the videos that naturally receive a lot of interaction on the platform when shared, covering sports, science and other ‘shareable’ topics.

This kind of spending on original content, even if Facebook extends to the top end of its proposed budget, is still behind what dedicated companies like Netflix and Amazon spend on their own shows. But it’s not far off from HBO’s annual content creation spend, and could go a long way if Facebook is spending more of it on less ambitious programming relative to something like Game of Thrones.

Streaming platforms so far have shown that destination programming is key – Facebook’s approach seems to be a blend of the Netflix and YouTube methods for obtaining said programming. Next year definitely sounds like it’ll be interesting for the original content realm – should give us plenty to talk about.

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Facebook plans to spend up to $1B on original shows in 2018

Facebook is testing features to help you make new friends

Facebook wants to show you more of what you have in common with potential new friends and make sure you don’t forget about your old ones either.

The company is rolling out a feature that allows you to get a closer look at your friend’s buddies. It’s not only showcasing connections you’ve yet to make but a lot of current friends as well, which seems a bit odd, but I suppose it helps you orient yourself with friends you haven’t interacted with in a bit.

Once you tap on a button urging you to “get to know [name’s] friends” you’re cast into a carousel of the connections. Previously, the most prominent way Facebook orients you with potential new friends was by showing you your mutual friends. This option digs deeper, showing you events that you both attended, pages you both like, places you’ve both worked or lived.

In February, Facebook began rolling out “Discover People,” a feature designed to help you find new connections largely through groups and events. The friend cards are the same here, but this roll out throws them into a more wide feature release.

Facebook is also looking to get you closer to some of the friends you already have in the app. Motherboard reports that a new feature is bringing some Tinder-like functionality to Messenger, allowing users to connect if they both indicate that they’re interested in hanging out. It’s also a little reminiscent of some of Snapchat’s efforts to get you to interact with friends you haven’t traded messages with in a while. Having this functionality inside Messenger is, again, a bit of an odd choice given that you’d have to switch to the main app to view a person’s profiles.

 

There doesn’t seem to be any clear “dating app” language present instead it’s more focused on friendly encounters, i.e. “Would you like to meet up with [name] this week?” The changes that would need to be taken to transform this feature into a Tinder or Bumble-like applet don’t take any major mental leaps though and dating could be a huge move for the company in the future.

Ultimately, Facebook is better with friends and even if the connection suggestions that Facebook comes up with are already stellar, it’s good to see some of the thinking that’s being done behind the scenes in terms of common interests.

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Facebook is testing features to help you make new friends