West Chester Technology Blog

Crisis Donations Made Easy @ Facebook

Facebook is giving users a new way to help after a major disaster: an actual donate button.

The company introduced the Crisis Response Center a couple of months ago to provide useful information for victims – as well as help their friends and family check in on them. The donate button is the latest step towards providing relief for victims.

Facebook adds crisis donate button to help disaster victims

Facebook will partner the nonprofit organization GlobalGiving, which works with partner organizations to find the best ways to distribute funds. This way, concerned Facebook users can throw money at a crisis page without having to choose a specific organization.

Asha Sharma, Facebook’s Social Good Product Manager, said the company hopes this tool will connect enthusiastic donors with areas of greatest need:

Following a disaster, people in the affected area often have tremendous needs to help them recover and rebuild, while others who aren’t affected want to help communities in any way they can. Our goal at Facebook is to create tools that make it easier for people to help their community and the communities they care about recover from a crisis.

Facebook also pledges to waive all fees on donations made through the Crisis donate button – a welcome gesture.

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Happy 10th Birthday Like Button!

The Like Button, made famous by Facebook, has officially hit its 10th anniversary — and it’s so abundant that it’s hard to imagine our internet without it.

Image result for like button 10 years

There is a quite a history with our little Like Button.

In case you don’t remember the dark, wild time of 2007, let me give you a quick crash course: Facebook didn’t create the Like button. The button originally debuted October 30, 2007 on a platform called FriendFeed. At the time, it just looked like a blue hyperlink with the word “Like” as anchor text.

FriendFeed, which was acquired by Facebook in 2009 and shut down in 2015, may have been the first to debut the feature, but Facebook engineer Andrew Bosworth later claimed something similar had been in the works at Zuckerberg’s company earlier. Still, it was Facebook which popularized the feature.

I don’t think you can overstate how much the Like button has changed human communication. It’s a marker of social esteem, an expression of solidarity, and often an adequate replacement for trifling niceties — all in one.

Nowadays, it’s pretty much the norm for any form of social media to have a button to deliver shorthand approval — hearts, thumbs ups, Facebook’s own catalog of Reactions. If a site doesn’t have one, they’ll just borrow Facebook’s. It’s the beginning and end of digital discourse in one blue button.

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Removing Apps in Facebook

Your Facebook account isn’t just a social account. It’s an online ID much like a Google Account. There was a time when developers of both apps and services asked users to sign up for an account with them. Not only did this mean a longer on-boarding process it also meant users had more account to keep track of and more passwords to remember. Developers now give users the option to sign up for apps or services with their Facebook account. Unfortunately, none of these services give you an option to disconnect the service from your account. If you want to remove an app or service from your Facebook account, you have to do it via Facebook.

Remove App Or Service From Facebook – Web

Sign into Facebook and click the dropdown arrow at the top right. Select Settings from the menu.

On the Settings page, select Apps from the left column. If you want to revoke specific permissions for an app, click the edit button next to an app. If you want to remove an app or service from your Facebook account, click the close button on it.

Remove App Or Service From Facebook – App

Open the Facebook app and tap the hamburger button, scroll down the screen, and tap Settings. There are several types of settings but for this purpose, you need to tap Account Settings.

Scroll down the Account Settings screen and tap Apps. On the Apps and Websites screen, tap on ‘Logged in with Facebook’.

Here, you can see a complete list of all apps and services that have access to your Facebook account. Tap the service or app that you want to remove. On the app’s own screen, you can edit the information it has access to. To remove it, scroll all the way to the bottom of the screen and tap the ‘Remove App’ button.

When you remove an app or service from your Facebook account, you stop the app from accessing any future information. Apps still have access to your email account and removing it from Facebook won’t undo that. If you want to remove the personal information that’s been collected so far you should look for an option to delete your account with the app or service you removed.

If you think removing an app or service is pointless because it doesn’t wipe all your personal data from the app/service’s database, that’s not true. If you have a malicious app on your hands, you don’t want it accessing any more information than it already has. If it still has access to your account, it might post on your behalf or spam your friends.

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Facebook’s Fake News Battle Continues

In its latest attempt to fix its fake news problem, Facebook will now block Pages that spread fake news from advertising on the site. “If Pages repeatedly share stories marked as false, these repeat offenders will no longer be allowed to advertise on Facebook,” it said in a statement.

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Earlier this year, Facebook began flagging fake news posts and promoting more legitimate content over sketchy articles. It also began deprioritizing content shared by individuals who post over 50 times per day when research showed that in those cases, the shared posts often included misinformation and sensationalism. In a more direct challenge of fake news, the site recently began publishing fact checkers’ takes on articles labeled as potentially fake and making it easier to get to different articles related to any given post.

The company has already banned fake news websites from generating ad revenue on Facebook and blocked ads that link to fake news stories. It says its latest update is to take the fight against fake news a step further. “Today’s update helps to disrupt the economic incentives and curb the spread of false news, which is another step towards building a more informed community on Facebook,” it said.

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Facebook Improves Your Memories

Facebook is making its Timehop-style feature, On This Day, bigger and better. This means that Facebook will show you more memories than ever, filter out bad memories likely to upset or annoy, and show you friendship milestones. All of which will be great for fans of nostalgia.

Image result for facebook memories

On This Day is a nice feature that adds a touch of nostalgia to Facebook. On This Day basically reminds you what you were doing one, two, or even 10 years ago, based on what you posted on Facebook. And now Facebook is expanding its reach, and improving how the feature works.

Memories, Milestones, and Moments

First, Facebook wants to show you even more memories. So, now, it won’t just be individual memories from specific days, but rather whole collections of memories from particular months of seasons. The two examples Facebook cites are “Your January Memories” and “A Look Back At Your Summer”. Both of which offer photos and updates posted within that timeframe.

Secondly, Facebook wants to celebrate your friendship milestones. This involves you getting a pat on the back when you make a notable number of friends or have your posts liked a certain number of times. At the moment these will only be visible to you, but they will become shareable in the future. Which means Facebook is about to get gamified.

Finally, Facebook wants to help you filter out bad memories. On This Day already boasts some controls and preferences to ensure you’re happy with the memories being surfaced. However, Facebook claims it has developed new ways to filter out memories that may spark negative feelings. Which include failed relationships or people who have passed away.

Helping Ramp Your Nostalgia Up to 11

I must admit I enjoy having Facebook remind me of what I was doing on this day years ago. Memories good and bad can come flooding back. And these changes, which add more memories while helping you filter out those likely to upset you, should ramp up the nostalgia effect.

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Introducing Facebook 360 Photos

Since inception, Facebook users have uploaded over 70 million 360 photos. And of these 70 million 360 photos, exactly zero were taken using Facebook’s built-in camera. Starting today, that all changes. Users can now take 360 videos from the Facebook app itself, and upload them instantly for viewing on their Timeline, in albums, or Groups.

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Previously, a 360 photo required users leave Facebook’s mobile app, open a camera app on their phone, shoot the image in panorama mode, and then re-open Facebook to upload the image. It’s not exactly a prison labor camp, but for a company that strives to keep users on the platform, forcing them to leave in order to use a feature didn’t make a ton of sense.

And if you didn’t feel the Facebook god’s were shining down upon you already, we’ll see a handful of highly-anticipated new features. My favorite is the ability to add a 360 photo as your Cover Photo, but you could just as easily get all warm inside about tagging friends, or zoom.

Here’s how to use it
  1. Open the Facebook app and click ‘360 Photo’ from the top of your News Feed (near the update status icon).
  2. Press the blue button and take your panoramic image.
  3. Select your preferred starting point for the photo, and share.

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Facebook Improves Safety Check

Yesterday Facebook announced that it was updating its Safety Check feature, making it easier to find and more useful for people in dire need. It will now have its own dedicated tab with all information consolidated there.

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According to Facebook’s Disaster Response page:

There’s now a single place to go to see where Safety Check has recently been activated, get the information you need and potentially be able to help affected areas.

Safety Check isn’t perfect — sometimes it prompts people far outside the crisis area to check in.. When it originally debuted, it was for natural disasters, but has since expanded to include multiple different kinds of crises, including terror attacks.

It’s a sad state of affairs that the Facebook Safety Check needs to be more prominent because, in an age of consistent and frequent global crises, more people need it more than ever. But at least Facebook is trying to help..

Facebook will be rolling out the feature over the next few weeks.

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Disabling Facebook’s Comments Tab

When you comment on a Facebook post, whether that of a friend or someone in a group, you’re automatically subscribed to receive notifications for every single new comment. If you aren’t a fan of this, you won’t like what Facebook added to this feature.

From Facebook:

To ensure that you don’t miss a single comment on certain posts, you’ll now see a popup tab with new comments on posts that Facebook thinks you care about. The tab mimics a chat window, but instead is a series of threaded comments on the original post.

It’s unclear how Facebook determines which posts matter to you, but you can disable this feature if you want. And even if you have yet to see this popup appear, you can preemptively stop Facebook from deciding for you what matters most.

To disable this feature, click the gear icon in the bottom-right corner beneath your chat sidebar and click Turn Off Post Tabs.

This option should appear whether you have chat turned on or off, but if you’ve hidden the Facebook sidebar, you’ll have to click the gear icon twice – once to turn on the sidebar, and again to pull up the menu.

If you change your mind and find that you really do need these notifications after all, you can easily turn them back on in the same menu.

If you really don’t want to engage at all, you can also disable notifications for posts you’ve commented on, but unfortunately you have to do that each time you comment. After you comment on a post, scroll to the top of the post, click the little arrow in the right hand corner and click Turn off notifications for this post from the menu.

You can always keep track of what you’ve commented on in your activity log instead. To view your activity log, just follow this URL:

http://facebook.com/me/allactivity

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Facebook’s Updates It’s Look

Facebook’s mobile apps are getting a new look, though blink and you might miss some of the changes.

The most obvious update is coming to comments, which now look a lot more like a conversation in your average messaging app rather than than a series of posts. This falls in line with Facebook’s recent desktop tests, which display comment threads a bit more like group chats.

The idea is to make comments a bit more readable, and make it easier to see who’s replying directly to another person.

Facebook might also be trying to subtly make conversations with strangers a bit more friendly. The text bubble’s resemblance to a messaging app could make it feel more like you’re actually having a personal conversation with participants, rather than replying to a random internet thread.

Less obvious are the changes to the News Feed. Facebook is using a brighter shade of blue and has increased color contrast overall to make text more readable. The link previews are slightly larger – they now take up the entire width of your screen – and the Like, Comment, and Share buttons are now larger.

Throughout the new design, Facebook has also replaced it’s silhouette style icons with more iOS-like wireframes – for better or for worse. I like them, but your mileage may vary.

There are also other small tweaks like a more prominent back button and the ability to see where a link will take you before clicking on it.  The whole shebang looks a fair bit more like Instagram now.

Oh, and Facebook pulled a Twitter, switching perfectly fine square profile photos for circular ones.

Facebook will be rolling out the new design “over the coming weeks,” so you may not see it just yet. The new look certainly isn’t the most dramatic overhaul Facebook’s ever seen, but seems to mostly be for the better.

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Viewing Your Activity on Facebook

You know that feeling when you’ve liked a link on Facebook but can’t find that link again? Luckily, it’s really easy to find every link, post, and even comment that you’ve liked.

There are quite a few ways you can find anything on your Facebook timeline, but to find everything you’ve ever liked on Facebook, the easiest way to do this is to head over to your profile and click View Activity Log. In addition to seeing your likes, you can see pretty much everything you’ve done on Facebook: what you’ve posted, commented on, saved, and more.

If you want to drill down just to your likes, there’s a menu on the left that allows you to view just one type of interaction. In this case, you’ll want to click Likes. A small submenu will appear that allows you to drill down even further to either posts and comments or pages and interests.

Using the calendar to the right of the screen allows you to view all the content on Facebook you’ve liked from the day you joined the social network.

You can also use the activity log to unlike content without having to go back to someone’s profile or page.

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