Tag Archives: Facebook

Facebook Changes Its Mission With Announcement About Groups

For anyone still wondering if Mark Zuckerberg plans to run for president, today should dispel that myth. It appears that his tour of America — which many speculated is an effort to score political points — was designed to give the 33-year-old CEO a chance to learn about human behavior, in the physical and digital worlds, in order for him to build a better product. He wants to turn Facebook into a place where users form popular groups and hang out together, a lot.

Zuckerberg chose a peculiar — and telling — location to announce to the world that, after much research and reflection, he is changing the mission of his company. He wasn’t at his Silicon Valley campus, nestled between ping pong tables and bean bags (standard tech iconography).

Today, the CEO explained, Facebook’s mission will change to focus on the activity levels of users, and to support the most active so that they can keep building the digital spaces that draw in the masses. In official language, the new mission is to “give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.”

The company is releasing new tools that allow people who build Facebook groups to see a bit of the treasure trove of data that the social media platform historically has hoarded — like the times of day that group members are most engaged. Users will be able to schedule a post in advance — an announcement that garnered thunderous applause.

Zuckerberg wants to get 1 billion Facebook users to join “meaningful communities.” For the last six months, his team has been running an experiment to have algorithms reorganize users’ digital lives by suggesting groups that may be of interest — perhaps one for nature lovers or for Christians, groups that three or four friends just joined. He explained “most people don’t seek out communities in the physical world or online. Either your friends invite you or on Facebook we suggest them for you.”

He posits that through these algorithm-driven groups, Facebook is helping TO save us from the social isolation of the physical world: “If we can do this, it will not only turn around the whole decline in community membership we’ve seen for decades, it will start to strengthen our social fabric and bring the world closer together.”




‘Deadpool’ Pirate Arrested; Illegal Copy Of Fox/Marvel Movie Watched By 5M On Facebook

A Fresno, Calif., man shared a full version of “Deadpool” on his Facebook page while the 20th Century Fox film was still in theaters — and more than 5 million people watched the pirated copy, according to U.S. law enforcement officials.

Federal agents on Tuesday arrested Trevon Maurice Franklin, 21, who used the screen name “Tre-Von M. King,” on the criminal charge of copyright infringement. The Department of Justice alleges that he uploaded “Deadpool” approximately eight days after its Feb. 12, 2016, theatrical release.

Franklin faces up to three years in federal prison on the charge. He was busted after a federal grand jury in April returned an indictment alleging he reproduced and distributed a copyrighted work, based on an investigation by the FBI.

“Deadpool,” starring Ryan Reynolds as the titular Marvel antihero, grossed $363 million at the U.S. box office, according to Box Office Mojo. Twentieth Century Fox is producing “Deadpool 2” with Reynolds reprising the role, set to be released June 1, 2018.


It’s not clear how long the pirated copy of “Deadpool” remained on Facebook. Reps for the social giant did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

The case against Franklin is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ryan White and Vicki Chou of the DOJ’s Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes Section.

Separately, this week a group of 30 entertainment companies, including Disney, Netflix, Amazon, CBS, NBCUniversal and Warner Bros., announced a new anti-piracy coalition aimed at fighting copyright infringement online and suing criminals.


Feds Arrest California Man for Posting ‘Deadpool’ Full Movie on Facebook

Facebook’s AI crosses language barrier to assist in Spanish

Any technology that only works in English neglects 75% of the world. That problem is especially severe for Facebook with its global userbase. Yet most languages are being left out by the advances in artificial intelligence centered around natural language processing led by researchers in the U.S. and China.

But today marks a milestone for AI accessibility. Facebook Messenger’s artificial intelligence assistant “M” can now make recommendations in Spanish of Messenger features to use if it detects that that’s the language someone writes in. M Suggests rolled them out in English two months ago.

The feature scans the words and intent of your messages, then pops up optional suggestions from Messenger’s many features. Say “Te debo $20” and M suggests the payments feature. Write “Besos!” and it will surface lovey-dovey stickers you can send. Ask “¿Dónde estás?” and M pulls up the location sharing feature.


M Suggestions are now available to all Facebook users with their language set to Spanish in the US, and the feature is rolling out in Mexico.


Last year Facebook added a multilingual sharing button so Pages can post in one language and have it appear to people in their native tongues. And now well over 800 million users see translated News Feed posts each month after Facebook dropped Bing to focus on strengthening the AI behind its own translation technology.

Hopefully the next step for Messenger will be real-time translation for conversation partners across languages, that way we can connect, cooperate, and commiserate with people from different cultures. We fear what we don’t understand. But if Facebook’s translation tech can show us just how similar we are to people from other countries, it could promote tolerance between all humans.


Facebook’s AI crosses language barrier to assist in Spanish

‘Facebook is only half in’: Creators doubt Facebook’s commitment to original programming

Publishers are happy to take Facebook’s funding for original video programming, but several existing and potential content partners expressed doubts that the company is committed to short-form shows for the long run.

Facebook is paying for both long- and short-form shows as part of its initiative. With long-form shows, which Facebook would entirely own, Facebook is willing to shell out as much as $250,000 per episode — equaling low-end cable TV budgets. These will be only a handful of shows, however, as most of Facebook’s deals so far concern short-form programming that runs anywhere between four and 10 minutes per episode. These are called “spotlight” shows by Facebook, which has signed up BuzzFeed, Attn, Mashable, Group Nine Media and others as partners.

For short-form shows, Facebook is willing to pay $10,000 to $40,000 per episode. Here, the media partner would retain the rights to the show, which they can distribute on their own site after seven days on Facebook or other platforms 14 days after premiering on Facebook.

Unlike Snap, which is also seeking exclusive shows, media partners describe a relationship where Facebook is more “hands off” with the short-form shows it’s buying. After a pitch process, Facebook selects which ideas it likes and orders full seasons outright, instead of piloting them. (Sources that are working with Facebook on the long-form shows describe a different situation where Facebook is more involved.)

“They’re trying to move as quickly as they can to launch this, so it’s more focused on getting big partners on board versus actually programming,” said one publisher that’s sold a short-form series to Facebook. “In that way, it feels like the first round of YouTube grants.”

It’s an approach that has rubbed some digital publishing partners the wrong way.

“Doesn’t this just scream that Facebook is only half in on this?” said one top Facebook video publisher. “If they came in with stricter guidelines — ‘We’re ponying up cash so [these shows] can only be on Facebook’ — we’d see them as tough negotiators, but at least we’d feel that they were serious about being a video destination versus trying to lure media partners in with yet another product.”

Much of the trepidation comes from publishers that have been paid by Facebook in the past to create content — specifically, for Facebook Live — and now fear a bit of déjà vu.



A Haiti reboot? Country welcomes Google, Facebook, Silicon Valley to tech summit

Social entrepreneurs, influencers and startup innovators kicked off a two-day technology summit in Haiti on Tuesday, hoping to help transform the poverty-stricken nation into a hub of innovation.

The brainchild of Christine Souffrant Ntim, a Dubai-based Haitian-American entrepreneur, the Haiti Tech Summit is expected to bring in about 100 speakers representing Google, Facebook, Uber and Airbnb, and covering topics including launching a startup, the importance of smart cities and branding.

Addressing the 450-plus participants at the sold-out event Tuesday were former Haitian Prime Minister Michèle Pierre-Louis, who spoke about the importance of technology in education, and Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, who welcomed attendees to the Royal Decameron Indigo Beach Resort & Spa on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince.

Silicon Valley venture capitalist Ben Horowitz gave the opening talk, citing advice from Haitian Revolutionary leader Toussaint L’Ouverture: To change a country, you have to start by changing the culture.

“Culture is deep in our DNA,” Horowitz said. “Changing culture is how we change Haiti.”


Ntim, who is the founder of a mobile network connecting global travelers to street vendors in developing countries, said the goal behind the summit is to “transform the narrative around Haiti’s brand as a nation.”

During the next 13 years, Ntim said, she wants to “catapult Haiti forward through innovation, tech and entrepreneurship.”

“We know Haiti can actually transform itself, be a new global case study for what happens when you actually get the right influences in the room to transform a nation,” she told the gathering.

That poses particular challenges in Haiti.

Despite Haitians’ embrace of the widely popular messaging app WhatsAPP, for example, a recent Hootsuite study of social media and digital trends around the world shows the country of 11 million people lagging behind many of its Caribbean counterparts. For example, Haiti’s internet penetration rate is only 15 percent compared to Cuba, which has a 32 percent internet penetration rate. Until recently, Cuba, which has a population size similar to Haiti, severely limited access to the internet for its population. In recent years, it has been adding public Wi-Fi hotspots around the island.

Over the years, efforts to introduce technology into Haiti’s pen-and-paper culture have failed. An effort to encourage mobile phone-based money transfers, which is popular in Kenya, failed to catch on. Haitian lawmakers have blocked efforts to adopt an electronic signature law despite robust lobbying by U.S. and other foreign officials seeking to boost Haiti’s ease-of-doing-business ranking.

But rather than see such skepticism and resistance as obstacles, Mildred Louis, a technology consultant who formerly worked for Haiti telecom giant Digicel and serves as communications director for the summit, sees opportunities.

“Sometimes what it takes is the disrupters in the market to force a movement,” Louis said. “In a market like Haiti, we need to force a movement. A lot of people didn’t think this summit was real, and today we have business leaders, members of the wealthy families asking, ‘how can we be involved?’

“There is a pool of potential here to build an incubation system, alliances, foster coding and a tech industry,” she said.

Facebook to fund training of 3,000 Michigan workers for digital jobs

Facebook will fund the training of 3,000 Michigan workers for jobs in digital marketing over the next two years, the social media giant’s COO Sheryl Sandberg announced Thursday during a visit to Detroit.

Grand Circus, a computer coding training firm that’s part of Dan Gilbert’s family of companies, will offer the 10-week training courses in Detroit and Grand Rapids in partnership with Facebook.

Sandberg told Crain’s that the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company’s funding of the training is designed to help fill a growing shortage of computer coding jobs and develop talent for a future possible expansion into Michigan.

“Auto is a very important industry for us,” Sandberg said in a interview with Crain’s. “This is a growing part of our business and we’re hoping we can expand here because our business will demand it.”

The training courses at Grand Circus’ offices in the David Broderick Tower next to Grand Circus Park will begin in July, said Damien Rocchi, co-founder and CEO of Grand Circus.

“Facebook’s intention is to do this nationally, but this has been launched here (first),” Rocchi told Crain’s. “I think it’s an endorsement for the tech community that we’ve built here and the sort of traction we’ve been getting in Detroit over the last five or six years.”

Grand Circus is about to graduate its 50th class of coders this summer and said it has 650 graduates working in 120 companies across the state.

Ellen Zimmer, 55, went through Grand Circus’ 10-week training last fall for front-end website development and landed a job at Quicken Loans Inc. in February as a software project manager — after spending 10 years out of the workforce.

“It enabled me to form a network so I knew who was hiring, what kind of skills they were looking,” said Zimmer, who had a previous career in early internet marketing at at the former Ameritech Corp. “It brought me up to current.”

During an announcement speech, Sandberg highlighted Zimmer’s story as “an example” of how training experienced workers in new skills can help get in-demand tech jobs.

“The world changed an awful lot in those 10 years you were out of the workplace,” Sandberg said to Zimmer. “But it didn’t matter because what Ellen needed — she had the core skills — she needed an opportunity to learn and she got that here.”

Sandberg said Facebook will work closely with Grand Circus on training Michigan workers in the areas where Facebook and other companies need help.

“When we can find a great local partner like this that we can partner with to help provide the training people need and we can bring them what we know, it’s just a great opportunity for us to develop people who will go to do great work with Facebook and other local companies,” she said.

Facebook is adding emphasis on getting Grand Circus to train women and racial minorities for jobs in digital and social media marketing, Sandberg said.

“We want to develop diverse talent,” she said. “And we want to make sure that we can get the talent that we need. And some of these people go on to work for other companies — that’s great.”

Facebook operates a small sales office in Birmingham and Sandberg did not rule out a future expansion of the technical end of website’s business in Michigan. “We always start with sales offices,” she said.

Sheryl Sandberg_Facebook_i

Gov. Rick Snyder praised Facebook’s job training initiative.

“This commitment Facebook is making to Michigan shows their confidence in the state and its residents,” Snyder said Thursday in a statement. “Convergence between the tech and manufacturing sectors is becoming more prominent throughout Michigan and the world, making this type of partnership between employers and education to grow the professional trades more important than ever before.”

Sandberg visited Grand Circus’ offices Thursday morning and had a private meeting with Gilbert before announcing the job training initiative with Rocchi before a crowd of Grand Circus graduates, many of whom land jobs down Woodward Avenue at Gilbert’s Quicken Loans.

In her one-day visit to Detroit, Sandberg went from Grand Circus to General Motors Co.’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant to get a tour with GM CEO Mary Barra.

Before the tour, Sandberg and Barra talked about the convergence of automobiles and computer technology in a Facebook Live video recorded at the assembly plant Barra once ran as general manager.

“I think the fact that you’re giving them that core skill of coding, which is going to be necessary in every industry, is just so important,” Barra said of Facebook’s job training initiative.



Facebook inserts itself into politics with new tools that help elected officials reach constituents

Facebook this year has launched a number of features that make it easier for people to reach their government representatives on its social network, including “Town Hall,” and related integrations with News Feed, as well as ways to share reps’ contact info in your own posts. Today, the company is expanding on these initiatives with those designed for elected officials themselves. The new tools will help officials connect with their constituents, as well as better understand which issues their constituents care about most.

Specifically, the social network is rolling out three new features: constituent badges, constituent insights, and district targeting.


Constituent badges are a new, opt-in feature that allow Facebook users to identify themselves as a person living in the district the elected official represents. Facebook determines whether or not someone is a constituent based on the address information provided either in Town Hall, or as part of the process used to turn on the badges.

While anyone could enter a fake address and pretend to be a constituent, Facebook has put controls in place to limit those bad actors. For starters, Facebook users can only be a verified constituent based on one address at a time – and, if a person changes their address, their badge is removed from prior posts. Facebook also limits the number of times an address can be changed, we understand.

The idea with the badges is to make it easier for elected officials to determine which Facebook comments, questions and concerns are being shared by those they actually represent. Whether or not they’ll treat these sentiments with the same degree of importance as they would a phone call, email, or letter remains to be seen.

Facebook users will be prompted to turn on constituent badges when they like or comment on posts by their reps through a unit that appears on the page. Alternately, users can go to the Town Hall section on Facebook to turn on the badge themselves.

Once enabled, badges will appear anytime a person comments on content shared by their own representatives.


A second feature called Constituent Insights is designed to help elected officials learn which local news stories and content is popular in their district, so they can share their thoughts on those matters.

This will be available to the reps through a new Page Insights feature, available to Page admins, which includes a horizontally scrollable section where locally trending news stories appear. Here, the elected officials can click a link to post that story to their Facebook Page, along with their thoughts on the issue.

Additionally, constituents will be able to browse through these same stories on a new Community tab on the official’s Facebook Page.

The third new feature – District Targeting – is arguably the most notable.


This effectively gives elected officials the means of gathering feedback from their constituents through Facebook directly, using either posts or polls that are targeted only towards those who actually live in their particular district.

That means the official can post to Facebook to ask for feedback from constituents about an issue, and these posts will only be viewable by those who live in their district.

Of course, this also means that the elected official would be taking an active – even proactive – role in engaging with their community and constituent base, rather than waiting for constituents to reach out to their office with their thoughts, as is often the case today.

Overall, the combination of Town Hall with these new features aimed at government officials represent a growing effort at Facebook to become more involved in the political process and the dialog surrounding policy issues.



Facebook is bringing gaming videos to the living room

Facebook is determined to become a destination for gaming videos, and that includes when you’re lounging on the couch. It’s adding a dedicated gaming tab to its TV app that will highlight videos from the games, developers, eSports teams and personalities you like on Facebook. If you want to catch a tournament highlight or a new game trailer, you won’t have to pull out your phone or leave the living room.

Image result for Facebook is bringing gaming videos to the living room


The social network tells us the gaming section will be available June 10th on Amazon’s Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV and Samsung Smart TVs. This probably won’t be your first choice for gaming videos, but consider this: some platforms (most notably Apple TV) don’t have great choices for gaming-centric videos. Unless you’re content to search YouTube, this may be your best bet for gaming videos if you don’t have access to the likes of Twitch or Mixer.



Top Media Publishers Drive 86% Growth in Video Views on Facebook

In the fast-paced world of online video, it is critical that stakeholders – whether that’s creators, media publishers, brands, marketing teams, or advertisers – have access to the most relevant data so they can build those insights into their production, and distribution strategies. But how do you determine the right strategies for your brand, and what data do you need at your fingertips to make those mission-critical decisions?

As part of our quarterly deep-dive into the insights that matter in online video, Tubular’s new ‘State of Online Video Report Q1 2017’, highlights the data on total social video performance across all the video distribution platforms that Tubular tracks. You’ll be able to utilise our observations on brands or media & entertainment, specific industries of interest, or our Q2 2017 predictions to inform your own video strategy.

The report covers the growth, sizing and benchmarking insights that matter based on total social video performance in Q1-2017 across the main video platforms. In addition, we also turned the spotlight on some different publishers, and different industry verticals and platforms to see what kind of content was really resonating with online video viewers.

In terms of video consumption on Facebook, we took a look at the top 2000 creators uploading content to that site, and found that media publishers were generating an incredible number of views and engagements. The top 2000 media companies active on Facebook saw a 86% increase in social video views in Q1 2017, compared to Q1 2016. The research also highlighted the fact that these publishers saw a 73% increase in likes, shares, and comments year-on-year, and that video uploads from the top 2000 media companies had increased by 109% over the same time period.

Source: Top Media Publishers Drive 86% Growth in Video Views on Facebook http://tubularinsights.com/top-media-publishers-facebook-video/#ixzz4iayDlIaL
©TubularInsights.com, All Rights Reserved

Facebook Live now lets you add a friend to live stream together

Facebook is now opening up the ability for users to invite a friend for a collaborative broadcast. Think of it like a Hangouts on Air via YouTube Live (what a mouthful!) — you can ask a Facebook friend to join and share the live stream screen even when you’re not in the same place. Facebook first offered this feature to public figures, but now it’ll be available for all users and Pages going live through the iOS app.


Both portrait and landscape modes are supported — in the former, the host will have the bulk of the screen real estate and their friend will show up in picture-in-picture; in landscape, the two user screens are split down the middle. Facebook did not say when the feature will arrive on Android devices.

Today’s update also comes with the ability for live-streaming users to start a direct message with one of their viewers so they can have a private chat during the broadcast. Facebook says these are some of the more “fun” and “social” recent additions to the feature. I’ll say, given that it had one of the most gruesome months in April after consecutive weeks of live-streamed murders. After those separate incidents, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pledged to add 3,000 moderators to review videos and flagged reports.




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