facebook Tag

Further Changes to the Facebook Algorithm Change What You See in Your News Feed

social networkingFacebook announced earlier this week that they would be making yet another change to the way their social media site works, this one targeting your news feed. Facebook has decided to shift this algorithm yet again to make it so that you are less likely to see the information that comes from media outlets and more likely to see your friend’s posts. This could mean that you will now be seeing much less hard news and more cat and baby pictures.

The reasoning for the change is that Facebook wants to get back to connecting you to your friends rather than having you read news stories all day. They have found that this makes the user experience on Facebook more positive and prevents frustration that might result when users are not able to access the information that their friends post. Of course, this has media outlets scrambling since they receive much of their readership from the links posted on Facebook. They won’t have to worry too much when it comes to shared articles at least since these will appear with other updates from friends.


This has resulted in some people who get a lot of their news by following different media outlets searching for a solution to make sure that they can see the news that they would like to see in their feed. Luckily, Facebook has provided a way to work around the new algorithm simply by changing a setting in the way you follow a specific page.


While the new update looks like it will be generally positive for users, some people speculate that the real benefit will be to Facebook itself. With the added ability for friends’ posts to show up higher in a news feed, people are more likely to share and interact on Facebook. This will allow Facebook to get to know their users better allowing them to target advertisements and rake in the cash as a result.  Whatever the reason for the change, Facebook users will now be able to enjoy a higher level of interaction with friends on Facebook once again.

Facebook Will Make Several Updates to Their Live Feature

webcam broadcastingAlthough live videos are still fairly new to Facebook, it is clear that they are an important part of where Facebook plans to go from here. Facebook recently announced several updates to their Live video feature that will make it so that people can easily use the feature for a more diverse range of broadcasts. They also hinted at the potential for adding advertisements to some of the longer live broadcasts that users have been doing.


One of the main changes to the Live video feature that Facebook plans on rolling out is the ability to actually schedule specific broadcasts so that different users can tune in at a specific time. This update is the result of many broadcasters having to wait around while trying to collect viewers before being able to stream. Now Facebook will allow them to schedule their broadcast and will even provide waiting lobbies where people can gather while waiting for the live stream.


Another addition to live streaming will be the ability to stream along with other people. This makes it so that you can have a friend come in to stream with you at any point during your broadcast, similar to how talk show hosts might invite guests to their shows. This application would allow for people to set up celebrity interviews or bring expert advice into different broadcasts that they are presenting to their friends.


The final update appears to be one that will put Facebook in direct competition with Snapchat. They will be adding different filters that you can use while you are broadcasting so that you are able to go live while wearing a mask, panda makeup, or a wide variety of other options. Snapchat also has filters like these, but they are mostly used for still pictures. It appears that with this specific change Facebook will be trying to compete with Snapchat by taking these filters to another level.


These changes to live streaming just show that Facebook is really serious about becoming a social media site that is focused much more heavily on the video aspect of social media. They are beginning to branch out when it comes to their video aspects. It will be interesting to see what new video updates develop as Facebook continues to hone this particular part of their site.

Snapchat Makes Changes to Allow It to Compete for Social Media Advertising

snapchatAs Twitter is struggling to find relevancy with today’s users, Snapchat is beginning to dominate the time that people used to spend on other social media sites. Snapchat itself has been growing in popularity since its initial launch to the point where users are averaging 24-30 minutes spent on this particular application each day. With this level of success, it is no wonder that Snapchat is starting to look for ways to profit more from the time users spend on the application.


After a recent update where Snapchat made many small changes to the way the stories are displayed on their app and to icons on the app, they announced that a new update was coming as well. This new update is going to make it so that advertisers will be able to easily create ads and submit these to the app without having to talk directly to a Snapchat representative. With a high level of advertising customization, advertisers will be able create a place where users can swipe to go to their site, buy their product, or do anything else that benefits the advertiser. They will even be able to target their advertisements to a range of demographics. This should help to make it so that advertisers are able to more easily submit and customize their advertisements.


In addition to just making some changes in the submission process, they announced exactly where these ads would be appearing. The ads will work a lot like the ones on YouTube do where users have to see the ads before watching the videos. In this case, the advertisements will appear between the stories that users view as they are scrolling through their feed looking for updates from friends.


Already, Snapchat is starting to see a bit of an adverse reaction to the newly announced advertisements. Many users are worried that the ads will become annoying and intrusive after this initial change to the social media application. For now, Snapchat allows the option of scrolling past these ads, but many users fear that this will change over time. If Snapchat can successfully add a greater number of advertisements into their app, without upsetting their user base, they may have a good chance of taking a lot of the advertising dollars that currently go to Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Adds Video Comments to Change User Interactions

video on cell phoneIn a recent change to their social media platform, Facebook now allows users to post comments in the form of videos downloaded from a phone or a computer. This is a new extension to the ever expanding number of ways for users to interact with each other on posts made through Facebook. With the addition of video comments users will be able to use their videos in ways that they never have been able to use them before.


This new addition to Facebook was created during their 50th hackathon back in February, but had to go through several months of tweaks and tests before being released to all of their users. Initially the change was only available when visiting the site on a computer, but it is now going to be in the newest update for the Facebook app on mobile phones as well. This will allow users on all platforms access to this particular feature.


To use a video as a comment, users only have to click on the same camera icon that they would have previously used just to add photos to comments. They will then be given the option to upload either a picture or a video to add as a part of their comment. Videos are just the latest in a whole group of additions for visual comments in the past. They arrive in the wake of pictures, stickers, links, and emojis which were all previous additions to comments.


Most people see the addition of videos to their comments on Facebook as no surprise because it continues to follow Facebook’s current trend of putting a higher emphasis on video. As the social media site grows and changes, it is clear that video and adding more uses for video is one of its huge goals. Many suggest that this is Facebook’s way of getting in on the success of Snapchat and similar apps. As Facebook continues to transform their site to be more video friendly, updates like this one just make sense.

Changes Made to Facebook Trending Topics After Accusations

facebook home pageFacebook was recently accused of altering the trending topics listed on their site to purposefully remove conservative topics from the trending ones on the side of the main page. After a personal investigation, Facebook didn’t see that there was any wrongdoing, but despite this fact, they have decided to make a couple of changes just so that they can make sure nothing like this ever happens.


During the investigation that Facebook did on their process for choosing trending topics they found that conservative and liberal topics were actually represented almost equally making it so that topics like the Black Lives Matter campaign were just as likely to come up as a story from the conservative side of things. They determined that there was no bias on their website when it came to picking the stories that they would mark as trending.


To make sure that the process stays unbiased, Facebook is making a few changes. They are planning to remove their reliance on a specific list of news outlets to validate different stories and look at their relevance as a whole. They are also going to stop having an importance level given to the topics based on their prevalence in top news outlets. The goal is to make the algorithm much less biased this way.


One of the other big changes they will be making is to crack down a bit on their team of individuals that actually review the different topics that are trending. These teams will have meetings to talk about making unbiased decisions on what shows up and what doesn’t. They will also be watched more closely to ensure that there are not unfair decisions that are being made based on a person’s individual ideology. With these changes they hope to improve their lists of trending topics and continue to provide an unbiased list of high ranking topics.

Facebook Looking to Launch a Feature Supporting 360 Degree Photos

panoramic pictureOne of the strange problems that many have after taking a panoramic photo is that there is no real way for you to share this kind of a photo with your friends. Panoramic photos typically turn into long drawn out lines of picture that are too small to look at easily on social media sites. Facebook is seeking to remedy this problem by providing a space for 360 degree photos.


Facebook recently announced that in the coming weeks Facebook users will be able to start sharing panoramic shots in a way that will actually allow people to interact with them more meaningfully. The plan is to offer something that will allow you to click and scroll around the photo much like Google Street View or if you are on a mobile device you’ll be able to use the phone like a viewfinder turning it to see more.


Many are saying that the reason that Facebook is launching this system is that they have to build content that can be used with new virtual reality software. Already several companies are developing different software that can make it so that a person can view a space as if it were all around them. The new feature would also target those using new devices that are built to specialize in panoramic photos.


The new feature will certainly benefit Facebook because it will help to provide content that will be viewable by their new Oculus device which is an early leader in virtual reality. It will also help them to flesh out their goal of becoming a place where users can come to explore the world around them in new and unique ways.


This new feature will be a wonderful new way for users to connect with one another. Now when a person is at a beach or enjoying vacation in a foreign country, they will be able to snap a panoramic photo and actually share it with their friends in a way that allows them to really experience the place rather than having to squint at a tiny elongated picture. Users will be able to see places that their friends are at in a way that is really meaningful.

Facebook Makes Another Change to the News Feed

Facebook news feedFor a long time, Facebook has been working on perfecting the News Feed that is the heart of their website. They are set on making sure that each user has items on their News Feed that are items they will actually be interested in since this of course makes them less likely to leave the website. Facebook has made many changes to this feed over the years, so it is no surprise that they are working on another one.


One of the goals that Facebook has when it comes to their News Feed is making it so that people are able to see relevant articles and videos that they will be interested in. This means eliminating clickbait and content that attempts to be relevant, but then turns out to be something different. The only way for Facebook to judge how interesting a link is to these people is to take a look at how long they are on the link after they have clicked on it. If a user clicks on something and returns right away, this means the link was not a quality one.


While Facebook in the past has monitored how quickly users click back to Facebook, they have not previously taken into account the length of time they remain on a link beyond a few seconds. They now plan to change the way that their algorithm works to look at the time spent on each link. To ensure that longer articles won’t necessarily benefit unfairly, they will limit this to a specific range of time that a link must pass to be considered interesting.  Facebook hopes that this will help them to identify quality content and put more of this at the top of their News Feed.


At the same time, Facebook is working on another change that will ensure that Users are not just seeing a whole bunch of different posts from a single source. They will be adding a piece to the algorithm to ensure that diverse posts appear back to back rather than having many from the same user appearing one after the other.


The changes to the algorithm should benefit users overall. It should not affect businesses that are using Facebook responsibly and providing quality content in their links. As long as a business or other user makes posts at a variety of different times they will still have a good chance of having other users see everything that they post as long as what they post is relevant to these users.

Facebook’s New Chatbots Seek to Connect Customers and Businesses

social chatThis week, Facebook announced the launch of their new Chatbots among many other features that they are expecting to bring out in the future. The idea of these Chatbots is that they would be convenient ways for people to access information on Facebook in the way that Siri helps people using Apple devices. This would also allow the spread of customer service from different companies without having to use real employees.


The Chatbot feature is new to Facebook although many other websites have been using these for a variety of different functions. Facebook’s plan is to actually use these bots to communicate with Facebook users and make things easier. Facebook users can ask bots about the weather and for information on different things. For example, the Chatbot for CNN’s Facebook page would be able to pull up specific articles that users might be interested in seeing.


While the idea is good, these Chatbots still have a long way to go. Users have complained about these buggy bots citing problems with making them understand anything that they are asking. In many cases, people have been having a lot of difficulty communicating their needs in words that the bots can actually understand. The answers that bots give seem to be fairly unnatural as well.


The eventual goal would be that these bots would be unidentifiable as bots so that companies could use them for general customer service needs. Already, people can use these bots to make purchases and complete orders. This can save companies money in the long run since they won’t have to waste a real customer service agent’s time with simple questions. The bots could easily answer simple customer service questions once they learn a little more about human language.


Before anything more happens with these bots, they’re going to need a bit more development. Hopefully as the bots learn and start to echo normal conversation better, they will be able to interact on a much different level. Facebook will be working on their Chatbots in the future to make these bots into a convenient way of getting the service you need.

Twitter to Bring Live NFL Games to Social Media

iePlexus blog 1 4-07-16With all of the recent problems that we have been hearing about Twitter’s social media platform, it came as a huge surprise that the NFL chose them over Facebook, Amazon, Verizon, and Yahoo to host Thursday night football games live. This new deal suggests a huge advantage for Twitter’s live streaming future just when it was looking like Facebook might dominate this specific area of social media. It leaves many people wondering what is next for Twitter.


One of the main things that people initially wondered was how Twitter outbid their competitors to secure this deal. The truth is that they didn’t. While Twitter was not the highest bidder, the NFL claims it decided to go with this platform because of its experience with live video.  There are certainly different features such as Twitter’s moments and Periscope that could make the experience more interesting. Facebook would be the only other site to have somewhat similar features and they backed out of the bidding after seeing the advertising agreement that came with the contract.


Twitter is hoping that this deal will be a big boost for them because of the popularity of the NFL. Streaming these games on Twitter will be a big benefit for those people who have dropped their cable plans and rely completely on streaming for all of their TV content.  With the new deal in place Twitter would be able to establish a new identity and attract new users.


While many are looking at the new deal as a great thing, others are pointing out possible flaws in the plan. Since Twitter has always been a great place for live interaction on a secondary screen during live events, streaming and tweeting on the same device seems like a problem. If Twitter is expecting users to look at the live stream, then how will they interact live on their own Twitter pages? This is a question that Twitter has yet to answer.


Others are wondering about the deal itself and whether the games will even be worth what Twitter paid for them. The only thing that the NFL is giving to Twitter is Thursday night games, which notoriously feature the worst matchups out of any of the NFL games. Those fans who want to watch these games are unlikely to be the kind of people who are dropping their cable subscriptions. Some wonder about the value of this type of deal at all and whether the NFL just made this partnership in order to wield a greater influence over Twitter.

Instagram Faces Backlash From Users After Announcing New Changes

instagram appInstagram is doing what it can to catch up to others and better compete within the world of social media. There have been some pretty substantial changes with social media sites as a whole over the first quarter of the year so far. Instagram is the next site announcing substantial changes to its website which focuses on distributing small bits of visual content including short videos and pictures.


The main change that is going to be hitting Instagram users after a few weeks or months of testing is a complete overhaul of the way that posts display within the Instagram App. Instead of the chronological order that Instagram has been using since it started, they are now going to change to a smarter listing allowing users to see posts that they may have a greater amount of interest in. This would be similar to the Top News setting that Facebook uses.


Instagram users have been worrying about the change since they heard about it, concerned that Instagram will use their new algorithm to alienate specific accounts and make some posts less visible to users. Many of those worrying about these changes are companies and celebrities that have used Instagram as free advertising. Instagram has been receiving a great deal of backlash from some of these users who seem worried about what this will do to the way their posts are seen. Many of these users have taken to Instagram asking other users to turn on their notifications if they wish to see their posts.


Although some users are concerned that they will lose their ability to advertise for free as they did when Facebook altered its algorithm and asked that people who wanted more visibility paid to sponsor their posts, there is no proof that this will be happening again on Instagram. They claim that the algorithm is only intended to show people the content that they want to see including content that they see from businesses they like. Brands and big name users are still concerned that the new changes may mean they’ll eventually be effected after experiencing the same problems in the past.