Facebook Wants Developers to Integrate Apps with Messenger

At this week’s F8 developer conference in San Francisco, Facebook announced that it is opening up its Messenger app with a platform for creating apps. This will allow developers to build apps that can integrate with the social network’s instant-messaging service, which presently touts 600 million users. Nearly 50 integrated apps have been created under the program, including those from Bad Robot, ESPN and The Weather Channel. The service also supports 360-degree video with Facebook’s Oculus VR format. Continue reading Facebook Wants Developers to Integrate Apps with Messenger

Zuckerberg Pushes Potential of Internet.org at Telecom Confab

At this week’s Mobile World Congress, Facebook chief exec Mark Zuckerberg explained to a packed crowd why he believes Internet.org will eventually help carriers convince consumers to increase spending on mobile content. The Facebook-backed service, currently available in countries such as Paraguay and Zambia, is designed to offer those in emerging markets free access to the social network and some other online applications. For many new users, this would represent their first time surfing the Internet. Continue reading Zuckerberg Pushes Potential of Internet.org at Telecom Confab

Survey Shows Teens Continuing to Lose Interest in Facebook

A new report from Frank N. Magid Associates indicates that Facebook’s popularity with teenagers is continuing its decline. According to the study, Facebook usage by 13- to 17-year-old Americans engaged in social media dropped from 95 percent in 2012 to 94 percent in 2013, and 88 percent this year. During the same time frame, Twitter and various messaging apps experienced an increase in popularity with teenagers. In addition, only 9 percent of respondents described Facebook as “safe” or “trustworthy.” Continue reading Survey Shows Teens Continuing to Lose Interest in Facebook

Instagram Now Bigger Than Twitter, Looks to Brand Advertising

Instagram — the photo- and video-sharing app owned by Facebook — announced yesterday that it presently has 300 million monthly active users, up 50 percent in nine months (more than 70 percent of its users are now outside the United States). The new numbers suggest that the social service is more popular than Twitter today (Twitter recorded 284 million monthly active users for Q3). Instagram is looking to leverage its meteoric popularity to engage users in new ways, and draw advertisers at the same time. Continue reading Instagram Now Bigger Than Twitter, Looks to Brand Advertising

Facebook Messenger Growing Rapidly with 500 Million Users

Just three months after Facebook cut off the messaging capabilities from its mobile app, the company’s standalone messaging app, Facebook Messenger, now has 500 million monthly active users. That’s a 150 percent increase over last year. Much of the success is thanks to David Marcus, the former CEO of PayPal that took over the Messenger operation. In the future, Marcus and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg plan to integrate payments and possibly advertising into the Messenger app. Continue reading Facebook Messenger Growing Rapidly with 500 Million Users

Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Technology Not Just About Gaming

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg imagined that the Oculus virtual reality technology his company acquired would eventually go beyond gaming — and it looks like that trend is already taking shape. Developers from a wide variety of industries are working on new apps for the Oculus Rift that could be used by stock traders, educators, psychiatrists, astronauts, filmmakers and others. The Oculus Rift is making VR more accessible because of its relatively low cost and growing variety of content. Continue reading Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Technology Not Just About Gaming

Facebook Debuts Hyper-Local Ads, Snapchat Ads Coming Soon

Facebook unveiled its hyper-local advertising feature this week. “Local Awareness” ads are designed to be more targeted and cost effective by allowing businesses to select a specific area for advertising and the age and gender of the desired audience. Meanwhile, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel says, “People are going to see the first ads on Snapchat soon.” The LA-based startup, which makes a mobile app for sharing brief photo messages, attracted investors this year at a $10 billion valuation without any revenue. Continue reading Facebook Debuts Hyper-Local Ads, Snapchat Ads Coming Soon

Facebook May Introduce Payments Through its Messenger App

Facebook is reportedly ready to allow money transactions between friends on Messenger, according to hacked screenshots and video from Cycript. The feature will allow users to send money using a debit card, similar to how one would send a picture. In order to enhance security, an in-app pincode has been added. The reasoning behind former PayPal President David Marcus’ move to head of Messenger is now clear. The app could compete with Venmo, PayPal, and Square Cash. Continue reading Facebook May Introduce Payments Through its Messenger App

Facebook Builds App for Private Sharing with Close Friends

Micro-sharing just got easier for Facebook users. Instead of using complicated privacy controls, Facebook is working on an app codenamed “Moments” that will let Facebook users choose which sets of friends can see their content. The app focuses on audience rather than content, so each group of “co-workers,” “family,” and “high school pals” will have their own tile in the grid design. Facebook may auto populate the groups in the new app based on users’ Facebook activity. Continue reading Facebook Builds App for Private Sharing with Close Friends

Facebook Aims to Connect the World, Starting With WhatsApp

While WhatsApp will continue to be an independent app, its acquisition by Facebook should help it reach up to three billion users, suggests Mark Zuckerberg. WhatsApp had 450 million users around the time that Facebook agreed to buy it for $19 billion, but has now reached 600 million. Facebook currently reaches around 1.3 billion people, which is half of the world’s Internet connected population. The company is focusing on spreading Internet access around the globe. Continue reading Facebook Aims to Connect the World, Starting With WhatsApp

Short-Form Video a Top Priority at Facebook, Says Zuckerberg

According to Facebook, its users have watched an average of more than one billion videos per day on the social network since June, with more than 65 percent of video views occurring on mobile devices. Facebook is planning new YouTube-like features that should appeal to content producers. Starting this week, users will be able to see the number of views a video has received, which could help people discover popular new videos. Facebook is also testing the ability to display related videos once a clip has ended. Continue reading Short-Form Video a Top Priority at Facebook, Says Zuckerberg

Facebook Changes News Feed Results, Apologizes to Users

Earlier this week, Adam D. I. Kramer, the Facebook data scientist in charge of a study about the impact of news feed content, posted a public apology on his Facebook page for the anxiety caused by recent research. The study sparked a public outcry when users discovered that Facebook had manipulated the news feed results of over 500,000 randomly selected users. The company changed the number of positive and negative posts users saw to study how emotions are spread on social media. Continue reading Facebook Changes News Feed Results, Apologizes to Users

Twitter Now More Popular Than Facebook Amongst Teenagers

According to Piper Jaffray’s 26th semi-annual teen market research report, Twitter is now a more important social network than Facebook for many teens. The report suggests that 26 percent of teenagers call Twitter their most significant social media site, while 23 percent claim their most important site to be Facebook, down from a high of 42 percent. However, Twitter is not without competition; the photo-sharing site Instagram, for example, is also doing well amongst teens. Continue reading Twitter Now More Popular Than Facebook Amongst Teenagers

Mobile: Mark Zuckerberg Talks Facebook Home with Wired

Facebook’s newly unveiled Home is the social networking giant’s attempt at making the transition to mobile. Home is not the long-rumored Facebook Phone, but a suite of apps that turns any phone into a Facebook device. Even with the lock screen on, users can see photo streams and friends’ activities, as Home puts people front and center. Updates also appear on the home screen. Home places an emphasis on Facebook as a primary communication tool.  Continue reading Mobile: Mark Zuckerberg Talks Facebook Home with Wired

Facebook Launches Redesign with More Engaging Front Page

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s co-founder and chief exec, unveiled a significant redesign of the social network’s homepage yesterday. During the news conference, Zuckerberg explained that he wants Facebook to be “the best personalized newspaper in the world,” with a more engaging “front page,” especially on mobile devices. The makeover is intended to fend off growing competition and attract advertisers. Continue reading Facebook Launches Redesign with More Engaging Front Page

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