Live Video Streaming is Facebook’s Newest Feature

February 4, 2016 · Written by Nyasha Stowell

ieplexus blog 1 2-03-16Facebook started the year off by adding live streaming videos as part of their application on the iPhone. This application allows users to stream what they are currently doing so that all of their Facebook friends can see it. It is similar to other applications for cell phones such as Meerkat and Pariscope, but with the advantage of actually being built into Facebook. They plan to eventually extend the video streaming portion of the application to Android users as well.

Facebook’s live streaming feature has some benefits over the previous video streaming applications just because it is built into Facebook. This automatically targets the audience for your live stream by limiting it to the privacy settings that you already have through Facebook. Unlike Twitter’s Pariscope app, there is no need for Facebook users to download any application in addition to their Facebook app to stream live videos. The really convenient feature is that these videos can be saved and put on the Facebook timeline when finished so that people can see the video later.

The live streaming feature takes Facebook to a whole new level since users are not only able to interact socially by sharing videos and posts, but by showing live events as well. This will allow people to live stream a baby’s first steps or a proposal happening in the moment. Business owners can even use these live videos to promote their businesses and interact with their network. Those who miss the live broadcast are able to find it later when they log on to Facebook. People can access it like a normal video, watching it more than once if they choose.

During the live stream, the person who streams the video will be able to see how many people are viewing the video and will be able to see comments as they are made. You can stream for just a short burst or a longer period of time through your phone. You can either use the rear facing or front facing camera to record making it easy to show anything that is going on. Friends on Facebook can interact while you film so you can answer questions live during the stream as well.

In case there was any doubt that Facebook’s new video streaming is a hit, it is clear that this has been successful purely because of rising stock prices and viral news about some of the videos that have been streamed live. Facebook has managed to create a video streaming application that competes with those from other sites because of its definite benefits over them. Although it took a while for this feature to become available, Facebook users can now discover this new way of communicating with each other.

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Tags: Social Media,Social Media News Brief,Social Networking,Web 2.0

Is it Possible There Are Too Many Changes Being Made to Twitter?

January 28, 2016 · Written by Nyasha Stowell

ieplexus blog 1 1-28-16Recently Twitter has seen a whole host of changes both inside the company structure and on the website as a result of a massive drop in stock value. Investors started bailing because they were not seeing the level of growth that has been going on in other social media sites. With all of the changes being made to the platform and the people in charge of Twitter, one of the problems that many users are now experiencing is confusion due to way too many changes being made all at once.

In the last few months, there have been several major changes to Twitter as the social media site has been trying to redefine themselves. One main change was the order of the timeline with Twitter’s new Moments which shows tweets tied to specific events and news stories. Another shift was from favorited tweets to “likes” much like Facebook. Rumor has it that the newest change will alter the character limit from the 140 character limit to a much higher number.

All of these changes have come as major shocks to experienced Twitter users who are accustomed to the old way that Twitter was organized. Some users have become less fond of the site since they suddenly find it confusing and difficult to use. The changes that have been made to Twitter thus far seem to be causing Twitter to lose some of what makes it Twitter. There isn’t the same easy to use system as can be seen in other social media sites since Twitter keeps changing multiple parts of the website.

One of the big problems with this is that new users have trouble distinguishing between all of the different features. When they go on Twitter, it takes time to slowly learn how you are supposed to do almost anything. When they do something the wrong way, they receive corrections from other users that may further complicate the whole thing. Without being able to easily just use the site without looking up how to do every little thing, new users stop wanting to be users at all.

With the drop in stock prices it is clear that Twitter needs big changes and it has been getting them. The problem is that these changes are coming so fast and in such a confusing way that old users and new users are being dissuaded from being users at all. The many changes to at the executive level and within the website itself seems to be resulting in a confusing mess that is just too difficult for your average internet user to decipher. If Twitter can’t get its social network on par with others like Facebook, there is no hope for the future of this social media network.

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Tags: Industry News,Search News,Social Bookmarking,Social Media,Social Media News Brief,Social Networking,Web 2.0

Facebook Rolls Out New Sports Hub to Make it Simple for Users to Talk About Sports

January 21, 2016 · Written by Nyasha Stowell

iePlexus blog 1-21-16When it comes to social media, Twitter has always been the place that people go to if they want to watch their friends and the rest of the world react live to a sports game that is in progress. Twitter has made it easy for people to talk about sports and see tweets about the game just because of the way that it organizes tweets and displays them. No other social media outlet has found a way to challenge them. Until now. Facebook just launched Sports Stadium, a place where people will be able to keep track of game stats, current plays, friends’ reactions, and even expert commentary.

Facebook’s new Sports Stadium will be divided into four tabs so that people will be able to look at the specific information that they are most interested in. The first tab of the Hub shows the information about the game including the score, most recent play, and videos that relate to the game. The second tab shows what friends are posting about the game allowing users to engage in the conversation already in progress. The third tab shows expert commentary from different sports commentators and players. The final tab has statistics from the game.

All together the new Sports Stadium makes it so that Facebook users are able to engage in the game as they might not have previously been able to. The goal of this new Facebook feature is to allow friends to sit and watch a game together even when they are spread across the country. It allows people to connect over a sports game in a similar way that Twitter does. The feature is being launching for iPhone users this week ahead of the NFL playoff games. It will be available on computers as well before the Super Bowl.

The new feature is competitive with Twitter as it allows real time communication about sports. Users don’t have to search for a specific hashtag as they might need to in the Twitter platform since Facebook has the game information already grouped and ready for them to begin looking at it right away. The feature is certain to benefit Facebook as it will draw more advertisers and commentators to the website as more users become interested in the feature.

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Tags: Industry News,Social Bookmarking,Social Media,Social Media News Brief,Social Networking,Web 2.0

Twitter Planning to Extend Character Limit on Tweets

January 6, 2016 · Written by Nyasha Stowell

iePlexus blog 1 1-06-16For a long while, something that remained unique to Twitter and no other social media site was the length of the posts a person could make. Unlike Facebook and other social media sites, Twitter has maintained at 140 character limit for every tweet on its site. While some different applications allowed users to extend the limit, the limit offered within Twitter was still kept at 140 characters overall.

Now there is talk that all of this might be changing. The Chief Executive of Twitter posted a message suggesting that Twitter will be altering its limit to a much larger number of characters. In the message, he states that at the beginning the intention was not to limit Twitter users to a specific number of characters and that this came about to make it possible to fit a Tweet within the length of a SMS message. Since so many changes have been made since the site’s launch, it seems practical for the character limit to be extended.

One of the main reasons that Twitter is considering this change is because users have been finding other ways to extend their character limits. Users can do this by using specific applications on their phones or by screenshotting a larger body of text to post as a picture. This suggests that users want to be able to post longer messages on Twitter. Twitter’s approach to these workarounds seems to be that it is better to join them than to fight them.

Many users are worried about the idea of longer character limits within Twitter. They feel that this will change the social media site and shift the focus from short messages and quick conversations between individuals. Others argue that there is no problem with changing the limit and in fact this would be beneficial in many ways. Screenshot text is not searchable or highlightable which can make it more challenging for it to be used within the Twitter medium. Changing the limit for text would allow more text on Twitter that could be searched and used in conversation. Additionally, Twitter would continue to show only the first 140 characters of a tweet to keep Twitter feeds from being filled with large pieces of text.

Changing the limit on characters is definitely beneficial to Twitter itself since this will allow users to actually post what they want to on their Twitter feed. Twitter won’t have to deal with people sharing links to full stories which cause people to leave their site to learn more. Extending the length of a Tweet beyond 140 characters is likely to allow this social media site to grow and change in new and unprecedented ways.

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Tags: Social Media,Social Media News Brief,Social Networking,Web 2.0

Facebook Changes “Year in Review” Feature to Make it a Bit More Positive

December 23, 2015 · Written by Nyasha Stowell

ieplexus blog 1 12-23-15One of the great features of Facebook has always been the way that you can look back on the past year and reflect on the different things that have happened. Their “Year in Review” feature selects some of the different photos that a user has posted over the last year to compile a review of the entire year individual to each user. This feature allows users to easily put together a review of their year and display it for all of their friends to see.

In the past, Facebook received complaints about the pictures that were selected for the “Year in Review” since many of these pictures brought back unhappy memories for those who looked at them. People who were using the feature to put together a fun review of the year, felt that these pictures really ruined the experience for them. They didn’t want to remember some of the memories that Facebook brought up for them.

One father even wrote about the feature in a blog, speaking out about the “inadvertent algorithmic cruelty.” His main complaint was that there was no way to opt out of making a review and each time he went on his Facebook page, there would be a message that popped up asking him to make one. He had experienced a challenging year after losing his daughter and was frustrated that pictures of her kept popping up each time he went on Facebook as part of the message asking him to create a “Year in Review”.

In a response to the critique of the 2014 “Year in Review”, Facebook decided to change the way that the “Year in Review” for 2015 is put together. This year there are new filters that have been applied to the system to help it chose 10 photos that captured the year in a happier light. These filter out any pictures that your exes or people with memorialized accounts are tagged in to avoid bringing up bad memories. If you still don’t like the way that the “Year in Review” looks, there are easy features that allow you to edit out pictures that you don’t want and to select new photos.

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Tags: Social Media,Social Media News Brief,Social Networking,Web 2.0

Facebook Testing a New Feature to Benefit Businesses

December 16, 2015 · Written by Nyasha Stowell

iePlexus blog 1 12-16-15For a long while, Facebook has allowed its members to review the businesses that appear within the business pages of the site. This allowed people who were interested in a specific business to check the Facebook page for not only the hours of the business but also what others thought about it. This hasn’t been overly helpful to businesses who wish to be discovered by new people since it only allows a person to check out a business that they already know about.

All of that is about to change since Facebook is now testing a feature, known as Professional Services, which will make it possible for Facebook users to actually search for businesses that they might be interested in going to. The feature will allow people to search for certain types of businesses that are within a certain distance of their Facebook location or any location that they search for. This will make it much easier for people to find the businesses in their area and read the reviews to decide between them.

One of the main advantages that Facebook has over many review websites already out there is that users have to use their real names linked with their Facebook profiles in the reviews of the business. For many it is easier to trust people who are posting reviews that appear to all of their friends then it does some random people posting under strange usernames on an online site. Facebook users can read friends reviews and the reviews of other people who actually have their name displayed along with their review on the Facebook website.

Testing of the new feature has companies like Yelp and Angie’s list worried about the future with Facebook as a competitor. With Facebook getting more involved in the rating of different businesses, there is some worry that people will choose Facebook over any of the other review sites they may have frequented. Many people already have a Facebook account so they may be more likely to post reviews and look for business reviews on this site. These website’s need not worry for a while at least since the feature is still only in the testing phase of development.

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Tags: Social Media,Social Media News Brief,Social Networking,Web 2.0

Twitter Stops Cropping Pictures to Allow the Site to Focus More on Images

December 9, 2015 · Written by Nyasha Stowell

ieplexus blog 1 12-09-15The newest change to Twitter is its end to the photo cropping that ensured that all images were limited to a certain size on its timeline. Though Twitter began as a text only social media site, the site has since added the ability to post photos and even videos. Up until recently these were kept from dominating a timeline by being cropped to size, but now Twitter is allowing pictures to be viewed in full without a user having to click on the image to see the whole picture.

This new feature is sure to be a relief to all of the people who have previously been frustrated with the way that photos appeared. It is far simpler for users to scroll down their timeline without having to click on tweets in order to see the pictures in their full versions. Eliminating the cropping allows users to display photos as they are meant to see while allowing followers to easily look at pictures on the page. The new feature also changes the way that multiple pictures are displayed together to allow users to better show a collage of photos to their followers.

There is likely to be some level of frustration with the new photos among those more interested in the text part of the site since these are now overshadowing tweets without media attached to them. The photos take up a great deal of space in the timeline and are much more likely to gain focus from those scrolling through the page. Many people who joined the original version of Twitter might not be too happy about further changes to the focus of the site.

Twitter claims that it decided to make the change to bring the website up to date with the experience of modern media. It accepts that images are an important part of how people interact on social media and wants to add value to the way that photos are displayed within the website. Changes like this one bring Twitter into a better space to compete with other social media organizations such as Facebook and Instagram.

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Tags: Social Media,Social Media News Brief,Social Networking,Web 2.0

Instagram Testing a Feature for Multiple Account Functionality

December 2, 2015 · Written by Nyasha Stowell

ieplexus blog 1 12-02-15Instagram is fairly new to the social media world when compared to Facebook and Twitter, but its growing popularity with both businesses and individuals is causing some problems for those who need more than one account. Anyone possessing more than one Instagram account has to log out of one of the accounts just so that they can login to the other account. This can be a major complication for the posting process, making it so that many users have asked for some solution.

This doesn’t sound like such a big problem if you don’t have multiple accounts, but of course this is a complication for people who have Instagram accounts for work or for their business as well as personal accounts that they use with friends. You don’t want the people who follow your business on Instagram to see all of those selfies or pictures of your cat, you want them to get posts that actually relate to your business and make sense for this particular account and what it is made for. Unfortunately, is easy to forget to log out of your work or business account before switching over to using the personal one.

Instagram has finally addressed this problem making it easier for business owners, or anyone with multiple accounts to move between the accounts without logging out. The social media site recently began testing a new feature on their app for Android users. This feature allows Instagram users with multiple accounts to easily switch between accounts, avoiding the hassle of signing in and out on the app. The app allows users easy access to all of their accounts so that they can pick which one they are using with the click of a button.

For many people, the new feature is a long awaited one allowing them to easily go from a work account to their personal account and back without ever having to worry about making the posts in the wrong account. The feature will be getting a lot of love from small business owners, photographers, and social media managers since it will make their lives and multiple accounts so much easier to manage. It is also great for individuals who might want multiple personal Instagram accounts that they can use for different types of pictures that they might be interested in sharing. In a world where social media is prevalent both for personal and business related pursuits, this is one feature that can help a great number of people.

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Tags: Social Bookmarking,Social Media,Social Media News Brief,Social Networking,Web 2.0

New Facebook Relationship Tool Hopes to Make Break-Ups Easier On Everyone

November 24, 2015 · Written by Nyasha Stowell

ieplexus blog 1 11-23-15Facebook is for sharing important moments of your life with the people who mean the most to you. Unfortunately, when you want to get someone out of your life, it can be much more complicated to eliminate them completely because of social media. This is because social media sites, like Facebook, use predictive software to help people when tagging friends in pictures and suggesting posts that might be of interest to someone. After a break up, this predictive software can become very frustrating as it constantly tries to push your ex to the top of your news feed.

Since many Facebook users have complained about the way that they interact with their ex via the social media site, Facebook has decided to try out a new tool that will give users a lot more control of what they see of their ex. When a person changes their relationship status, they will be prompted to select how they want to limit interactions with their ex. The tool will enable Facebook users to limit how these exes show up in their News Feed and will stop the programs from suggesting these individuals to tag in photos.

In addition to altering the way that people can see their exes on Facebook, the tool also allows users to edit what their exes see of their posts. People will be able to avoid having their exes see certain posts that they make without blocking them from seeing all of their posts. They can also edit past posts to remove tags of exes either all at once or by editing each one individually so that they chose how much of the past relationship is still available on Facebook. All of the features are completely private and exes will not be notified of the decisions that the other person makes when using this tool.

For now, the feature is being launched in the US for mobile devices only. Facebook is hoping to gather feedback on how the tool works for individuals so that they can decide if this is a feature to make a more permanent part of the social media site. Facebook’s goal is to respond to some common problems that people had in the past when breaking up with people. Many users didn’t want to unfriend or block their exes on Facebook, but still wanted to have a way to limit what they saw of their ex and what their ex saw of them. The hope is that users will be able to use the tools to make it so that they are able to end relationships easily and have more control over what they see of their ex on Facebook.

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Tags: Social Media,Social Media News Brief,Social Networking,Web 2.0

Facebook’s New Donate Button Makes it Easier for Nonprofits to Raise Funds Via Social Media

November 19, 2015 · Written by Nyasha Stowell

iePlexus blog 1 11-19-15Facebook is striving to help nonprofit organizations by improving their previously adopted “Donate” button. For a while now this button has appeared on the home pages for various nonprofit organizations that are trying to raise money for their cause. Facebook recently decided to try expanding the use of the “Donate” button to allow organizations to add it to posts that would show up on the News Feed of Facebook. This is considered to be the latest way that Facebook is trying to connect its users with philanthropic efforts.

With the new and improved button, charitable organizations will be able to focus more specifically on individual campaigns rather than donations to their organizations in general. If an organization wants to have people donate to something more specific that they are doing, they will be able to make a post about it that will appear on the pages of the people who are friends with the organization on Facebook. People will be able to donate directly through their News Feeds by clicking the donate button and going through a short process to enter credit card information.

While this new tool is just starting to be tested, many people are already becoming concerned about how the tool will be used. Some people worry about the way that this kind of a tool can be used to collect credit card information and how this information might be used in the future. Others are more concerned with the way that less reputable charities might be able to encourage donations without Facebook users really doing research on the charities. The worry is that spontaneous donations via a Facebook News Feed may not really end up going to the charities that deserve them the most.

Right now, the feature is only in its test phase of development with 37 charities trying out the new feature while Facebook perfects it. Already three different charities have launched fundraisers using the new tool to help with their seasonal campaigns. People will be able to donate using the button and also share the fact that they donated with friends to encourage others to give as well. The success of these early campaigns will give Facebook a better idea of how well the tool works.

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Tags: Social Media,Social Media News Brief,Social Networking,Web 2.0

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