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Facebook Announces New ‘Facebook Home’

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As of today, Facebook launched a new crop of Facebook-centric apps for the Android home screen called “Facebook Home.” Much to the excitement, as the comments and crowdsourcing have suggested, no one.

Not to say that if you are interested in an Android platform that incorporates Facebook into the basic operations of the phone, making Facebook usage as simple and accessible as using a standard messaging service or dialing a phone number, that this phone is not for you.  Other tech sites have suggested, you may be in a very slim category of interested people.

As Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, puts it, Facebook Home is a family of apps designed to connect your home screen “with people, not apps.” Facebook Feed Mobile

When you turn on your Android phone that has downloaded Facebook Home, you are immediately shown pre-downloaded content from friends and family on Facebook, “pushed” like a text to your phone while your phone is sleeping. A simple double-click of the screen allows one to “like” a picture or story, and there is a section to comment on the content as well.

The main draw of the new Facebook Home feature seems to be the chat/messaging features, called “chat heads.” Basically, if you download Facebook Home, new chats and messages will be “pushed” to your phone and notifications will popup in the form of your friend’s profile picture. If you do not feel like talking to them, simply swipe their face away to “trash” it, or click on their face to open up a chat box and converse with them.

Facebook Zuckerbergs Phone Summed up, this bundled family of apps called Facebook Home, which strikes me as not quite an operating system, and not really an app either, is designed to bring Facebook content to you. Downloading Facebook Home will, essentially, permanently tether yourself to Facebook and keep you “connected” in real-time. For instance, Home is working, and will send notifications, even while you are using non-Facebook related apps. So keep in mind, that if downloaded, you are welcoming Facebook 24/7 into your life.

If that is for you, awesome. But to myself, and many others I have spoken to, we will keep our old apps and visit Facebook on our own time.

For those interested in using it, the app will be available on Google Play, April 12th. Also, if you have the most recent Facebook App on your Android, a link to download on the app will appear shortly as well. (Source:Examiner)

Facebook Introduces Changes to the News Feed

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March 7th has finally arrived, the Facebook press conference is over, and the new changes to the social media site have just been announced. Here is a quick recap of some of the new changes, and what the casual Facebook user should expect:

Richer content:

Your News Feed on Facebook will be a lot more visually oriented. Meaning, bigger photos and better quality. Your profile picture and cover photo will be bigger, and your photos and albums will allow you to post your descriptions within the picture. Pushing the visual content to the front, and eliminating “clutter,” as they put it.

All of the presenters at the conference seemed to tip their hat to Instagram and Pinterest, and acknowledged that visual content is the way social media is headed. The result, as the presenters said, will “get Facebook out of the way” and present the content and media you love in the forefront.

Topics:

CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated that he wanted to make Facebook more like an “interactive newspaper.” Meaning, not only are storytelling photos coming to the forefront, but your content will also be presented in a more topic-oriented format. Allowing you the choice of viewing posts from friends, or selecting topics (music, sports, health etc.) and reading about what’s happening in those areas.

In addition to topic selections, your News Feed will also show you trending articles based on the pages, people, and issues you “like.” For instance, if you “like” Justin Timberlake, then your feed will post trending articles about him.

Also, for those of you who have complained about Facebook’s news selecting algorithm, EdgeRank, Facebook will be adding an “all friends” option to the News Feed. Meaning, if you select this option, you will be able to see ALL of your friend’s posts in chronological order. Just like the old times.

Mobile Consistency:

In the last portion of the conference, Facebook’s Tech Lead, Chris Struhar, announced that the look and feel of Facebook will now be more consistent across all devices. Meaning, the site will look and operate the same way whether you are browsing on a phone, computer, or tablet. Allowing the user to easily transition from one platform to the next and not have to “relearn” how to use Facebook.

The new changes will be rolling out on the web as soon as today, March 7th, for certain users, with the tablet and phone changes to be announced in the near future.

What are your opinions on all the new News Feed changes announced at the Facebook press conference? Leave a comment below and let me know if you think this will enhance your Facebook using experience or not.

(Examiner: Steven Neville)

Americans Spending More Time On Facebook Mobile

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May 16, 2012

53 percent of American cell phone owners have a Smartphone, and since 88 percent of US adults are now cell phone owners, that means nearly half (46%) of all American adults own a Smartphone. One key feature of smartphones is the ability to download applications. Facebook’s popular mobile app is the most active among Smartphone owners 18-24 and 25-34, who both hover at around an 80 percent active reach. Therefore, with stats like this, it should come as no surprise that Facebook’s mobile app has now passed its website in popularity. According to a recent report from Comscore, time spent on Facebook’s mobile site and apps per month (441 minutes) has finally surpassed usage of its classic website (391 minutes) — for Americans who use both Facebook interfaces. However, this presents a big problem for Facebook.

With Facebook’s impending IPO (set for Friday), it seems the forces of the universe are working against Facebook this week. First GM publicly pulls its $10 million Facebook ad campaigns, citing that Facebook ads don’t work. Then, Facebook had to warn potential investors in its IPO that the more people who access it from mobile instead of the web, the worse its business is doing. Thus, accessing Facebook through your Smartphone is bad for business, because Facebook only shows a few ads per day in the mobile newsfeed – as opposed to displaying four to seven ads per page on its website (maybe that’s why people prefer Facebook mobile?). Consequentially, Facebook makes a lot less money when you visit from your phone.

Now there’s 78 million Americans age eighteen and older who use Facebook mobile, and they spend 7.3 hours per month there on average, compared to the total 160 million Americans who use Facebook and spend an average of 6.5 hours on its website per month. That’s a big shift from when the web was king.

Therefore, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that, in order to make money (and support their sky-high valuation), Facebook needs to start making – and selling – more mobile ads. However, Mark Zuckerberg didn’t want annoying banners that took up most of your Facebook screen. so Facebook’s solution was mobile Sponsored Stories. These sponsored stories first started showing up in March and, while seeing them occasionally isn’t bad, showing too many could make people angry and less likely to visit.

Now Facebook must walk the tightrope. Inject too many ads in the mobile news feed and people will stop visiting, inject too few and it will lose money. No pressure, there’s just a half a billion mobile users watching. (TechCrunch)

 

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