OMG!! Elon Musk deletes Facebook pages for Tesla and SpaceX

During a tweetstorm,Elon Musk deletes Facebook pages after being challenged to do so by a few of his followers. The pages of both SpaceX and Tesla are now inactive. Each had around 2.6 million followers.

Musk was answering a flurry of tweets this morning when he responded to one from Signal’s Brian Acton, co-founder of the Facebook-owned WhatsApp, that contained the hashtag #deletefacebook. “What’s Facebook?” Musk queried. Afterward, a follower told Musk he should delete SpaceX’s Facebook page if Musk was “the man.” Musk claimed he didn’t even know it existed and then said he would, probably in an attempt to preserve his “the man” status.

Elon-Musk-delete-facebook

Things ballooned from there. After someone showed Musk a screengrab of the SpaceX Facebook page, he noted it was the first time he had seen it and that it would “be gone soon.” Then someone prompted him to delete Tesla’s Facebook page, with Musk responding that it “looks lame anyway.” And just for good measure, it seems that the Facebook page for Tesla-owned Solar City has disappeared as well.

Facebook’s ongoing scandal related to data firm Cambridge Analytica has prompted a public backlash against the company, including the rise of the hashtag #DeleteFacebookand an outpouring of takes about how, why, and whether you should or shouldn’t stop using the cultural juggernaut that is Facebook.

Elon Musk proposes city-to-city rocket travel, right here on Earth

Musk evidently sees Facebook differently than many of us, however; he followed up his response to The Verge with a tweet to WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton, as Acton encouraged people to take the plunge and say goodbye to Facebook; Musk responded with “What’s Facebook?”

 

When challenged to delete his own company’s Facebook page in response, Musk kept up the flippancy by insisting he didn’t even know SpaceX had a company Facebook page.

Musk, true to his word, reportedly had the SpaceX Facebook page taken offline barely half an hour later. After followers alerted him to the Facebook page for Tesla, that, too, soon bit the dust.

Despite the anti-Facebook stance Musk is taking, SpaceX and Tesla are still alive on Instagram, which is owned by Facebook. Perhaps Musk will shun that platform, too — if he is the man.

Facebook launches Creator app to build video communities

Facebook promised the Creator app back in June at VidCon and today it launches globallyon iOS with Android planned for the coming months. It’s actually a rebrand and update of the 2014 Facebook Mentions app that was only available to verified public figures and Pages, but now is open to everyone. Weirdly, it still appears as “Mentions” in the App Store for now.

Any individual profile or Page can download Creator for access to the enhanced fan engagement tools. Facebook is also launching a Facebook for Creators website with best practices for growing fan bases, examples of what other stars are doing and access to answers of frequently asked questions.

“It’s a big priority for us to bring people closer together around meaningful content and the people who are meaningful to them,” Facebook’s VP of video product Fidji Simo tells me. “Creators are right at the intersection of everything we think is pretty unique about Facebook.”

And after CEO Mark Zuckerberg declared on this month’s earnings call that “time well spent” via video is Facebook’s new objective, the Creator app could help it make Facebook video a lot less isolating than watching TV.

Inside Facebook’s Creator app

“The idea was there to give them a one-stop-shop for all the functionality to manage their presence on the go,” Simo explains about the Creator app, which breaks down into four parts.

Live Creative Kit

This bundle of tools lets users add intros, outros and custom emoji reactions to their live broadcasts. Creators go on Facebook’s site, upload an intro like a theme song or welcome, and an outro like a call to follow them across social media. Those can then be enabled in the Creator app so they play at the start and end of the broadcast. Simo notes that “[Creators] were saying Live is cool because it’s raw and authentic, but they’d like to be able to introduce every time what their show is about or what the theme is about.”

Graph frames let makers add a pretty border to their videos for a more immersive feel. And custom reactions let creators replace one of the six default “haha,” “‘angry” or “wow” alternatives to the standard “Like” with a graphic of their choice. That could tie in with the theme of their broadcast or personality. For example, Simo says feel-good video star Markian could add an especially toothy smile reaction to entertain his fan club group on Facebook, the #SmileSquad.

These features push Facebook Live well beyond the capabilities of Twitter’s Periscope, and could make it more viable than YouTube Live.

Creator app

Unified inbox

Rather than having to constantly jump between Facebook, Instagram and Messenger, Facebook is putting all of a creator’s comments and messages in a single inbox with Creator. That could make it much more streamlined to actually hold a conversation with fans or respond to comments instead of just being an old-school one-way broadcaster.

For Creators trying to moderate their comments reels, combining Instagram and Facebook could reduce the time it takes to scrub abusive trolls. And the more ravenous the community and clean the comments, the more interested brands will be to advertise on Facebook video and sponsor the stars.

Stories and Camera

To keep the focus on Facebook’s augmented reality and daily sharing features, access to Facebook Camera and Stories sharing is available from Creator. Facebook will even let people cross-post to Instagram and even Twitter to reduce the friction of putting their content everywhere. That simplicity could encourage people to build higher-quality content and keep Facebook in the sharing loop.

Analytics

Creators need to know what’s working so they can make more of it. Rather than burying that inside their Facebook Pages, Facebook is surfacing inside the Creator app. Details on fan demographics could help influencers not only zero in on what types of videos they should post, but also what brands might want to sponsor them.

You might disagree with Facebook’s definition of “time well spent.” But even if it’s just modest social interaction around video, that might be a marked improvement from vegging out on the couch binging Netflix or endlessly lurking through the News Feed.

What’s missing: monetization

The Creator app could lure social media stars away from competitors like their long-standing home YouTube with its Studio app for creators, their subscription revenue hub Patreon or Snapchat, which this month announced it’s ready to embrace influencers. By using the personalities of individual creators to forge deeper bonds with viewers, Facebook could rack up extra lucrative video ad impressions.

But one thing sorely missing from Facebook Creator is new ways for influencers to monetize. There’s no subscriptions or tipping, and they can’t even inject revenue-sharing ad breaks into their videos. The only option is to post sponsored, branded content and label it with Facebook’s partnership tagging feature. At least Simo says “it’s not a one size fits all when it comes to monetization. [Creators] all need a lot of different things. We’re open to exploring a lot of different business models but on that front nothing to announce at this time.”

One other thing Facebook could do better here is an integration with Groups. More and more stars are launching Facebook Groups around their content so fans can not only interact with them, but so they can interact with each other. Facebook should make it easier to start, grow and nurture fan clubs from the Creator app.

Facebook Just Announcements Six New Features (They are Awesome)

Facebook has an enormous opportunity in this space. Unlike YouTube, where people go when they want to be entertained, people just constantly visit Facebook to see their friends. By both serendipitously helping these users discover creators and providing the dedicated Watch video tab for following them, Facebook dangles its 2 billion users in front of influencers, recruiting those eager to grow their followings.

And for the user, facilitating two-way connections with creators helps Facebook achieve its mission of making video the focal point of community rather than an escape from it.

Facebook moving non-promoted posts out of news feeds

New system moving non-promoted posts out of news feeds could destroy smaller publishers if implemented, after journalists report drop in organic reach – but users will still see their friends’ posts

Facebook is testing a major change that would shift non-promoted posts out of its news feed, a move that could be catastrophic for publishers relying on the social network for their audience.

A new system being trialled in six countries including Slovakia, Serbia and Sri Lanka sees almost all non-promoted posts shifted over to a secondary feed, leaving the main feed focused entirely on original content from friends, and adverts.

The change has seen users’ engagement with Facebook pages drop precipitously, from 60% to 80% . If replicated more broadly, such a change would destroy many smaller publishers, as well as larger ones with an outsized reliance on social media referrals for visitors.

According to Filip Struhárik, a journalist at Slovakian newspaper Dennik N, the change resulted in a drop in interactions across the country’s media landscape. “Pages are seeing dramatic drops in organic reach,” Struhárik said. “The reach of several Facebook pages fell on Thursday and Friday by two-thirds compared to previous days.”

Overnight, from Wednesday to Thursday, a broad cross-section of the 60 largest Facebook pages in Slovakia saw two-thirds to three-quarters of their Facebook reach disappear, according to stats from Facebook-owned analytics service CrowdTangle. For larger sites, with a number of different ways to communicate with their readers, that hasn’t had a huge effect on their bottom line, but it’s a different story for those with a reliance on social media.

non-promoted posts

Smaller sites are reporting a loss of traffic and Facebook engagement, Struhárik told the Guardian. “Its hard to say now how big it will be. Problems have also hit ‘Buzzfeed-like’ sites, which were more dependent on social traffic.”

Struhárik noted that the trial has only been in place since Thursday, rendering it too soon to draw strict conclusions. “But if reach is radically smaller, interactions decreased and your site doesn’t have diversity of traffic sources, it will hurt you.”

In a statement, Facebook said: With all of the possible stories in each person’s feed, we always work to connect people with the posts they find most meaningful. People have told us they want an easier way to see posts from friends and family, so we are testing two separate feeds, one as a dedicated space with posts from friends and family and another as a dedicated space for posts from Pages.”

 Also see :Facebook is testing further UI changes, including a pull-down navigation drawer

Notably, the change does not seem to affect paid promotions: those still appear on the news feed as normal, as do posts from people who have been followed or friended on the site. But the change does affect so called “native” content, such as Facebook videos, if those are posted by a page and not shared through paid promotion.

Littunen said that many “premium” publishers had already cottoned on to the trend, and backed off relying too strongly on social media. But new media companies, who rely on social media to bring in traffic and revenue, would be wounded, perhaps fatally, by the switch. “The biggest hits will be to the likes of Buzzfeed, Huffington Post and Business Insider, who create commoditised content aiming for the biggest reach.”

Elsewhere, publishers who dived towards video content as Facebook began promoting that may also get burned, Littunen says. “The kind of video that is doing best has been quite commoditised low-value stuff that is often lifted from elsewhere and repackaged for Facebook.

“We don’t see that bonanza going on forever, and since the content isn’t what Facebook has been hoping for, it’s expendable. We’re expecting to see another repeat of this playbook, with organic reach being replaced by paid reach.”

Trending :Facebook Just Announcements Six New Features (They are Awesome)

For Struhárik, there is one last catch: he doesn’t expect the test to be a huge success. “Newsfeed without news. Just friends and sponsored content. People will find out how boring their friends are,” he said.

Since you’re here …

we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading the Guardian than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too.

I appreciate there not being a paywall: it is more democratic for the media to be available for all and not a commodity to be purchased by a few. I’m happy to make a contribution so others with less means still have access to information.

Facebook Just Announcements Six New Features (They are Awesome)

1. Facebook Centralizes its Crisis Response

Facebook announced its new feature called Crisis Response today.

The primary goal is to make it easy for people to find more information about recent crises and connect them with tools for support and recovery.

It combines three previously separate tools in Facebook’s arsenal – Safety Check, Community Help and Fundraisers – into one single place.

Community Help, which debuted in February and helps locals find and support disaster victims by providing needed assistance with things like water, supplies and shelter.

In June Fundraisers was added to Safety Check, allowing users to fundraise for victims.

More recently, Safety Check, which allows users to signal to friends and followers that they’re safe following a disaster, received its own dedicated button in the navigation menu.

The newest update puts all three together in Crisis Response, which will also include photos, videos and news stories about specific events.

2. Introducing Facebook Snooze

Bored of the same baby pictures or the one friend who famously overshares on Facebook?

Just hit Snooze.

Facebook is testing a new feature that will allow users to temporarily unfollow a friends post with a “snooze” button.

Previously, the only way to mute a friend’s posts were to unfollow or unfriend them completely. The new Snooze feature is an ideal fit for those who feel the unfriend is too drastic a measure.

To use Snooze, click on the three dots at the top right of the friend or page you want to (temporarily) silence, and choose “Unfollow or Snooze” from the dropdown menu.

3. Facebook Tests Group Video Chat

Facebook recently began testing a new video chat called Bonfire.

Though testing began as early as July, the feature only recently popped up in the Danish App Store.

The app allows up to eight friends in the conversation, and follows in Instagram and Snapchat’s footsteps by including the use of special effects and share pictures to Instagram, Facebook and Messenger.

According to TechCrunch, users don’t necessarily need to download the Bonfire app itself, and can instead join chats through Facebook Messenger.

To join a chat, users will be notified via Messenger, and can change formats showing a split screen with everyone in the chat or to solely the person speaking.

Though it’s clearly still in its early stages and available only in Denmark, users can invite people to join the chat from anywhere in the world.

Facebook new Features

4. Facebook Tests its Canvas Ads on Instagram

The Facebook-owned Instagram is experimenting with its own canvas ad format in its Stories feature.

Though it’s not the first time brands are able to advertise on the platform, it is the first adaptation of the full-screen, interactive format which has proven popular on Facebook.

Instagram writes “marketers are able to use the creative versatility of Canvas to tell compelling brand and product stories. This seamless extension of the full screen experience allows advertisers to capture the attention of customers with just a single ad.”

This format allow brands to incorporate videos, panoramic videos and carousels into their ads.

Additionally, Instagram notes that users can incorporate the Stories into campaigns across all Facebook platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and the Audience Network.

5. Facebook Tests Pre-Loaded Videos

Facebook is testing a new feature that will allow users to watch videos on the go – without taking up all their bandwidth.

The new Instant Video works while connected to wifi by downloading and caching videos directly to users’ phones. There, the video will be stored for future use.

Facebook recently confirmed to TechCrunch that its goal is to “remove data costs as a barrier to watching its videos.”

The video’s will be especially beneficial in areas where data plans are costly, allowing users to watch videos on the go without the bandwidth barrier.

For now, the feature is only available to a few select Android users. It’s unclear when Facebook will announce an official roll out.

6. Facebook Removes Instant Articles From Messenger

Speaking of Instant, it’s time to say goodbye to Instant Articles on Facebook’s Messenger app.

Instant Articles are fast, interactive publications that load 10x faster than regular web articles and allow a reading rate of 20% more on average.

But just 14 months after introducing the articles, Messenger will longer be displaying its version of the Article Link.

“As we continue to refine and improve Instant Articles — and in order to have the greatest impact on people and publishers — we’re focusing our investment in Instant Articles in the Facebook core app and are no longer offering Instant Articles in Messenger,” says a Facebook spokesperson.

The announcement comes after a lack of support from major publishers like the New York Times, Vice and Forbes.

Instant Articles will continue to be available through the main Facebook page.

7. Formal Rules Announced For Content on Facebook

Yesterday, Facebook announced formal rules on the kinds of content that can and cannot be monetized on the platform, including its Branded Content, Instant Articles and video Ad Breaks.

The kinds of content that will not be allowed includes real world tragedies, depictions of death, inflammatory and violent content.

There is certainly a lot going on at Facebook. The Snooze feature, Canvas Ads and pre-loaded videos are certainly topic for marketers to watch.

Source: Facebook media page, inc, techcrunch

Facebook organized pro-Trump rallies : Russia

Facebook should be treated like a crime scene. The social media company likely has troves of data that could provide critical leads for the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

The effort to investigate possible coordination between the Trump team and Russia has so far centered on the growing number of meetings and interactions between the campaign and Kremlin-linked figures.

These meetings already tell us a lot about intent. For instance, with the revelation of the June 9 meeting at Trump Tower between Donald Trump Jr.; Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law; Paul Manafort, the chairman of the Trump campaign at the time, and a handful of Russians with various ties to the Kremlin, we now know that at the very least the Trump campaign at the highest levels were interested in workingwith the Russians during the election.

And likewise, from the Jan. 6 Intelligence Community report, we know that Russians also wanted to help elect Donald Trump and effectively set up a campaign to do so. This meant there were essentially two campaigns to elect Trump president in 2016: the Trump campaign and the Russian campaign.

Read more: Elon Musk predicts AI may trigger World War III

Knowing these two efforts were open, if not eager, to work together, the question then becomes: Did they and to what end ?

In other words, what were they meeting about?

In trying to investigate this question, it is worth thinking through how a campaign could benefit from working with a foreign power.

One, now well-explored, area would be utilizing foreign intelligence capabilities for “opposition research.” As Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) explained at a recent Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, “Imagine being able to do [opposition research] with the power of a nation state, illegally acquiring things like emails and being able to weaponize by leaking.”

This of course is what the hacking and leaking of information from the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta, former chairman of the Clinton campaign, is all about.

Other potential areas involve utilizing foreign cyber capabilities to hack into election machines and cause mischief at the polls. Another more basic area would be to coordinate messaging or lines of attack, with the outside power covertly advancing messages that are too controversial for the campaign.

But the most direct way a foreign power could help a campaign is through giving money. Campaigns always need more money, usually to buy more ads. While the Russians could have laundered money to the campaign – indeed Christopher Steele alleges this in his infamous dossier – they could have also just covertly bought campaign ads themselves using a front group or proxy.

Along with posting memes, the Being Patriotic page also tried to organize four rallies, according to the report. One of those was supposed to be a “patriotic state-wide flash mob” occurring simultaneously in 17 cities across Florida in support of Trump. The Daily Beast says it found evidence that at least two of those rallies materialized — Fort Lauderdale and Coral Springs — and were documented on Facebook by the local campaign chair for Trump.

The Being Patriotic account reportedly had over 200,000 followers at the time it was shut down, and had tried to organize other pro-Trump or anti-Hillary events in New York, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. A related Twitter account also posted at least one comment promoting violence against Black Lives Matters supporters.

The Daily Beast suggests the Being Patriotic account came from the Internet Research Agency, a Russian group that US intelligence has identified as “professional trolls” funded by a “close Putin ally with ties to Russian intelligence.”

While this isn’t the first Facebook account that’s been publicly tied to Russian propagandists, this appears to be the first time we’re seeing Russian efforts to organize Trump supporters for physical demonstrations. That it ultimately worked, to at least some extent, shows that the propaganda campaign had real and tangible effects beyond the spread of memes.

Facebook said earlier this month that it had found evidence of Russians buying political ads during the campaign, spending $100,000 under fake accounts. That’s not a huge amount of money for Facebook, but it’s clear their work led to some results.

The Trump campaign is certainly aware of how effective targeted Facebook posts can be. BuzzFeed reported today that the president’s and vice president’s Facebook pages are paying for ads that are only visible to groups of users — likely their own supporters — that they choose to target. The ads are asking for donations.

Facebook is testing further UI changes, including a pull-down navigation drawer

The devs in Menlo Park have been busy recently rolling out significant changes to the look of the Facebook app for Android, We’ve now received tips about a further change that’s currently being tested which changes the linear, swipe- left hamburger menu to a pull-down grid of options. The new layout even has notification dots, just like Android Oreo.

As you can see below, the hamburger menu usually lives on the right side of the navigation bar, and is accessed by either tapping on it or swiping all the way to the left. It brings up a list of options with a fair amount of white/wasted space. The new layout which seems to be in testing replaces the menu with a grid of items which much less free space, and as well as tapping on it you can now pull-down to bring it up.If that sounds a lot like an app drawer, well that seems to be the intention.

Facebook

If it sounds a lot like a launcher app drawer, well that seems to be the intention. To add even more credence to the comparison, Facebook has also added Android Oreo style notification dots that alert you to something new behind particular options in the grid. The end result is an app drawer, of sorts, that fits much more information into the same space (without being cluttered) and should make navigation within the app that little bit faster.

When the menu is pulled down, the navigation bar moves with it to the bottom of the screen. There’s also one other change of note, the marketplace icon from the navigation bar has been removed. I would have thought it was just added to the grid but I can’t see it in any of the materials we have, and I myself don’t have the new UI. If anyone finds it, do let me know.

The changes are likely part of a server-side test to a limited number of people rather than through a version update, so chances are you won’t have them yet. But if you do, now you know why. You can install Facebook on the off chance by using the link below or grab the latest version from APKMirror.

Facebook starts rolling out Messenger ads globally

Messenger ads

Facebook has started rolling out  Messenger ads globally after testing ads for Australia and Thailand. The social network is now expanding beta test of home screen Messenger ads worldwide. Messenger ads will be targeted to specific users similar to those we see on Instagram and Facebook.

People will see Messenger ads in the home tab of their Messenger mobile app. Facebook says more than 1.2 billion people use Messenger every month and this will allow marketers to expand the reach of their campaigns. Messenger ads will start rolling out slowly, starting with a small percentage of users in the US over the coming weeks.

messenger ads

Michiel Tops, General Manager of Marketing and Communications, Australian department store David Jones said,

Messenger ads have been a powerful addition to our digital advertising campaigns, helping us reach our customers where they are already active and engaged. And thanks to placement optimisation across Facebook, Instagram, Audience Network and now Messenger, we’re able to continue to optimise our advertising spend and further drive business results.

Source

Facebook is testing a new Profile Picture Guard in India

Facebook profile picture guard 

Facebook, for better or for worse, remains one of the primary ways people communicate with each other online. So it should come as no surprise that India, with somewhere around 450 million internet users, is one of Facebook’s primary markets. Today the company announced that a test pilot program has begun in India, focusing on increased control over user profile pictures.

Facebook said in a blog post, “In India, we’ve heard that people want more control over their profile pictures, and we’ve been working over the past year to understand how we can help.” To this end, a new Profile Picture Guard is being rolled out to some people. When this is enabled by the Facebook user, other people cannot save the profile picture, nor take a screenshot of it or tag it (unless you are the friends with the person).

profile pic guard

Of course, none of these methods are 100% effective. It’s pretty simple to take a picture of a phone screen, or use root methods that circumvent the screenshot block. This also seems limited to the mobile app; blocking screenshots from the mobile or desktop site would be impossible.

Still, Facebook points out that this is meant to deter people from saving the profile picture, not serve as a complete solution. According to the company’s preliminary tests, at least 75% of users are less likely to copy a protected profile picture. For now, this test is still limited to India, with no announced date for trials in other countries.

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Facebook launches Messenger Lite in 132 new countries

Facebook Messanger Lite

Facebook Lite debuted in 2015, while a lightweight Messenger app launched in Kenya, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, and Venezuela over a year later. Both apps are aimed at lower-spec devices that can’t handle the normal Facebook and Messenger app and users in developing countries where data connections are at a premium.

messanger lite

Facebook Lite was released early last year, and it’s pretty good – it takes up less space than the regular Facebook app and consumes much less data. As a follow-up, Messenger Lite is now available, meaning phones in countries where data is thin on the ground and people with small amounts of storage can use Messenger as well.

Of course, using Messenger Lite doesn’t stop anyone from messaging friends – it’s completely inter-operable with the regular version of Messenger. A lot of emerging markets use WhatsApp, which takes very little data and is a smaller app than Messenger, but this is a good thing to happen. It gives WhatsApp some competition there, albeit within Facebook as the internet giant operates both, and gives consumers other options if they want to message someone who isn’t on WhatsApp. The Lite app comes in at 10MB and includes all the core Messenger features – text, photo and video messaging are all there, as are stickers. For the icon, the colors of the normal Messenger logo have been reversed – it’s a blue bolt on a white background (same as Facebook Lite).

The obvious play here is to get more people on the Messenger platform, but it’s good to see Facebook trying to get the countries with older technology online. Messenger Lite is rolling out gradually to Kenya, Tunisia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Venezuela starting from today.

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Facebook is testing a floating button for suggested videos

Facebook is testing a floating button

It seems like every week there’s something new popping up in Facebook’s Android app. I’ve lost track and count, but I’m fairly sure we’ve never seen them mess with floating action buttons (FAB) in this way before. Two tipsters have reported seeing a new FAB in Facebook for suggested videos… and really, that’s about it.

fb floating button
fb floating button

Tapping the FAB opens a new page that shows a list of videos suggested for you to watch. Because Facebook needs you to watch more videos, obviously, and a FAB is one of the best ways to attract a user’s attention and/or elicit accidental taps.

This does seem to be a server-side test and we’re not sure if it’s only showing up for those running the beta or for everyone. Either way, I don’t think a lot of you would be heartbroken if it isn’t showing up for you yet.

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Instagram offline mode for Android is official

instagram logo
instagram

We’ve known about Instagram’s plans to add offline capabilities to its app for a couple of months, and yesterday the news was made official at the Facebook Developer Conference (F8). Instagram is testing offline mode in regions with limited bandwidth to make the app more approachable and adapted to the demands of users there. According to the company, 80% of its community is outside of the US and many of these users are on lesser optimized networks, so making sure the app works when there’s slow or no connectivity became a crucial feature to implement.
The way this works is when you’re offline, you can still view the preloaded content and several of the app’s sections (feed, explore, personal profile, previously visited profiles, etc) and you can interact with them. Liking, commenting, saving, following, and unfollowing, all of these can be done while offline then scheduled to apply when you’re back online.

insta

The first time you perform any action offline, you get a nice message explaining that your interactions will be updated when your device gets its connectivity back.

The feature should already be live on the Android app; I tried it on my phone in Lebanon and it worked, but your mileage may vary. Instagram says this is in testing with “people in low-bandwidth regions,” which is exactly my case, so let us know if you see it in your area too.

Facebook introduces new bots and new bot features in Messenger at F8

fb
fb

Facebook has released a whole lot of information from their latest F8 developer confrence, and it looks like their drive to turn Messenger into its own platform for development is continuing full steam ahead. The conference started today and continues into tomorrow, but Facebook has already pushed out a number of press releases based on some of the things talked about there. Notable announcements include a Discovery tab in Messenger for finding more bots, QR code support, “Chat Extensions” that add bots into a group conversation, FAQ for bots, a VR demo, and more ways to use the M personal assistant.

The focus at F8 this year seems to be on bots for Messenger, and Facebook’s marketing team is pushing hard for us to associate Messenger, and the bots, with business. They started it when they rolled bots out at last year’s conference, but they are stepping things up significantly by allowing them to work in group conversations under the new name “Chat Extensions.” Facebook wants these bots to be your point of interaction with supported businesses in Messenger, and now you can summon them up in a conversation, or browse a curated list in the Discovery tab.

Now, Facebook has been pushing these bots for a while, but they actually might end up coming in handy, at least on occasion. Think of them as an extension of the personal assistants already present in apps like Messenger and Allo, but with a different focus. It’s not about the information you ask for, it’s about the source. Instead of asking M or the Google Assistant when the last showing at the local theater is, you can ask the theater.

But now with Chat Extensions that same utility can be applied to sharing content, too. You could do the two step procedure of asking for a recipe for mango-mushroom-marinara and then again asking to share that recipe with your aunt Mildred (who loves mangos), or instead you can just ask the FoodNetwork bot for that recipe in a conversation, and mango Mildred can see it at the same time. Couple that with the predictive features from M for dynamic suggestions and you might find yourself being recommended bots in conversations with friends fairly frequently, and for good reason. At a minimum it can save time. These tools also apply to games, with those bots and the new Rich Gameplay feature, which adds turn-by-turn games.
Businesses also benefit from these features —after all, if you aren’t paying for the product, you are the product. Facebook wants these bots to replace the yellow-pages for us, providing reviews, recommendations, business information, and FAQs all in an on-demand responsive package. Instead of searching and parsing information to answer your own questions, just ask the business. That’s… actually kind of terrifying, so let’s hope there’s at least some degree of fact checking, since people left to their own devices aren’t particularly likely to.
Notable mentions when it comes to bot support include Spotify, which now allows you to share music and listen to short clips in-app; Food Network , for looking up and sharing recipes;

For now it looks to be a pretty simple affair, you and your friends can hang out in a shared space, draw in the air, take selfies, and change the wallpaper. But, as more features and platforms are added the list of activities to do in VR might grow.
In more developer-related news from the conference we have a new Developer Circles program for managing community involvement and interaction; ostensibly this is marketed for all tech, but it is likely focused on increasing developer involvement and engagement with Facebook’s services. We also get the Places Graph (an easy method for developers to look up information for their apps), a new API for persistent identities between Facebook, Messenger, and third party apps, and we have a NEW ANALYTICS TOOL for Facebook pages.

This might seem like a whole lot to process, and it did even take Facebook over an hour just to introduce it all, but it basically boils down to: more bots in more places, developer tools, and a VR demonstration.

Source : Facebook