Items tagged with Facebook

Regular Facebook users have surely been annoyed over the years at the social network giant’s constant meddling with your News Feed. For those of us that like to have “Most Recent” stories appear first in our feed, Facebook always seems to find a way to override those settings and display what it thinks we want to see. Facebook is once again tweaking that algorithm to make sure that the “most relevant stories at the top.” Facebook has made these changed based on feedback that it has received via its Feed Quality Program, which tasked thousands of regular participants with giving ideas on how to... Read more...
In case it hasn't proven obvious enough up to this point, Facebook cares a lot about its Messenger platform. When the company decided to force migrate people over to its standalone Messenger service two summers ago, it was a hint of what was to come. Over the past couple of years, it's become increasingly clear that Messenger could become as important as Facebook itself. Less than two weeks ago, we learned that Facebook would be employing "Chatbots" on its Messenger service, which would allow companies to automatically respond to certain queries submitted by users, reducing the need for a real... Read more...
When Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the NSA's comprehensive spying efforts a few years ago, some might have thought that the agency (along with others) would cool their jets. After all, they were caught red-handed prying into our lives without our knowledge. As recent months have shown, however, the government, and especially the FBI, has no qualm about prying into our mobile devices if the desire is there. The FBI apparently even found a way into iPhones without Apple's help (which Apple has chosen to ignore). Fortunately for us, many software solution providers are capitalizing on consumer... Read more...
There's quite a bit of poaching that goes on in the highly competitive tech industry, and this time it was Facebook that scored a prize, prying Regina Dugan from Google. Dugan lead the Advanced Technologies and Projects Group at her former employer, and prior to that, she was the director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Now Dugan will head up a new hardware group at Facebook called Building 8. The group will focus on breakthrough technologies and innovative products designed to advance Facebook's mission of "connecting the world." In particular, Dugan and Building 8 fit... Read more...
Let's face it folks, the practice of taking selfies is here to stay. So are selfie sticks, for that matter. Rather than fight it, Facebook and its Oculus division are embracing it, taking a real-world trend and injecting into the virtual world. It sounds a little silly on the surface, but it's a logical extension that could lead to some interesting use case scenarios. Out in San Francisco at Facebook's F8 developer conference, Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer covered his face with a Rift headset. So did an engineer named Michael Booth, who was back at Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park. The two... Read more...
As the owner of Oculus and its Rift headset, social networking giant Facebook has an obvious vested interest in virtual reality. For VR to succeed, there needs to be compelling content that will make people buy the hardware and jump on the bandwagon, and to ensure that content creators have the tools they need, Facebook today introduced a 360-degree camera at its F8 Conference. Appropriately enough, the prototype camera is part of a high quality, 3D video capture system called Surround 360. The camera itself features 14 wide-angle cameras that circle what looks like a UFO attached to a stick. There's... Read more...
Ticketmaster is continually looking for ways to make it easier for people to purchase tickets for music and sporting events, and its latest partnership sees the company hooking up with the dominant social network: Facebook. Starting later this month, users will be able to purchase event tickets directly from Facebook — either through the website or through the mobile app. “By putting the ability to buy tickets directly within Facebook we hope that we’re going to provide a more seamless purchase experience and sell more tickets,” said Ticketmaster Distributed Commerce GM and VP Dan Armstrong. The... Read more...
While much of the autonomous buzz right now revolves around vehicles, the ever-evolving world of technology will see many other sectors become automated in the future -- including simple things like customer service. The problem, of course, is that most businesses can't invest in advanced 'chatbots', either through purchasing a solution from another vendor or developing it themselves. That's where Facebook wants to help. The social media giant already offers a number of tools to businesses, but according to a leak, it will unveil chatbot and Live Chat solutions at its upcoming F8 developer conference.... Read more...
Facebook is home to nearly 1.6 billion monthly active users, so if you're a business that sells products online, why not tap into that resource? That's what Newegg is doing. The online vendor of computer parts and assorted other items reckons that many of its customers are already on Facebook, so for the sake of convenience, it's giving them the ability to chat with customer support using Messenger. This seems like a minor thing on the surface, but it's actually a pretty big deal for both companies. For Newegg, it's an expansion of its customer support and mobile shopping experience. Messenger... Read more...
With all the hoopla surrounding encryption and the U.S. Government’s desire to gain access to any and all data by any means necessary, many tech companies are taking notice. When Apple stood up to the government, it had the backing of some of the biggest names in tech. One of those companies was Facebook, and it’s now carrying on Apple’s penchant for defiance by enabling end-to-end encryption for all of its 1+ billion WhatsApp users worldwide. Open Whisper Systems announced that its Signal Protocol has now been fully integrated into WhatsApp, which means encrypted communications via “chats, group... Read more...
Facebook is rolling out a new feature today that will help people who are blind or otherwise visually impaired know what's contained in a photograph. The feature is called automatic alternative text (or automatic alt text), and it's job is to audibly describe various elements contained in a photo, such as the number of people, objects in the background, and so forth. Photos are an integral part of the online experience, particularly social networks. Each day, people share over 2 billion photos across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp. While the majority of users are able to view them,... Read more...
The Oculus Rift has finally begun shipping to fans that have been eagerly anticipating their pre-orders.  For many, the Rift is the virtual reality device beat despite the best efforts of HTC, Sony, and others.  According to some, however, the Oculus Rift may come with a greater cost than its $599 pricetag and we aren't talking about the beast of a gaming machine you'll need to adequately power it.  Instead, these concerns stem from Facebook's ownership of Oculus.  These concerns have been heard before, of course, back when Facebook acquired the company two years ago, but now... Read more...
Those who've preordered an Oculus Rift or are planning to get one in the near future are in for quite a treat. To help get people kick-started on the awesome VR journey ahead, Oculus includes two free games, Lucky's Tale and EVE Valkyrie. Two games are a great bonus, but for Ross Martin, his Rift came with a perk beyond that: a personal visit from Oculus founder Palmer Luckey. Ross happened to be the very first person to preorder the Rift, so to give his thanks, Luckey decided to pay him a visit. While Ross at first seems a little unenthusiastic, we'd wager that he was merely... Read more...
Middle Tennessee State's upset win over Michigan State combined with Yale's surprise victory over Baylor pretty much decimated everyone's March Madness bracket this year. Then there was Northern Iowa's half-court buzzer beater to topple lower ranked Texas, just in case your bracket was somehow still intact. It's been an exciting tournament and if you just can't get enough hoops action, Facebook has your back with a hidden basketball game in its Messenger application. The hidden gem isn't quite as exciting as college hoops, but it's addicting. It's also simple—there's a basketball on the bottom... Read more...
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