Saving Data Usage with Facebook

Are you a Facebook addict? Aside from needing to break the addiction as soon as possible (seriously, it’s not a healthy way to live your life), you should give some serious consideration to your data usage. Facebook like other apps just loves to use data – even when you are not looking at the app.

If you’ve had a few “shock” bills from your carrier, Facebook could be to blame. Between high-resolution images and auto-playing videos, the app can burn through data in no time.

Of course, you can turn off auto-playing videos by going to More (the three horizontal lines in the top right-hand corner of the screen) > Help and Settings > App Settings > Auto-play.

But there’s a better way: use the Data Saver tool.

What Does Data Saver Do?

Data Saver not only prevents videos from playing automatically but importantly, it also reduces the resolution of any images in your feed.

To set it up, head to the More menu in the top right-hand corner or your screen. Scroll down until you find Data Saver. It’s in the Help and Settings section.

On the next screen, make sure you slide the toggle next to Data Saver on into the On position. When you enable the setting, a new option will appear. It allows you to disable the Data Saver feature while you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network.

Other Options to Save Data

To further reduce your data usage, there are a couple of other hidden settings you might find useful.

Go to More > App Settings and turn off the toggles next to Upload photos in HD and Upload videos in HD.

As a last resort, you can install Mobile Protect. Navigate to More > Mobile Data to get started.

Facebook Continues it’s Fight Against Fake News

Facebook on Thursday began offering additional links to news stories as another method to help users discern false news and misinformation.

Image result for facebook fake news

The changes are seen in Facebook’s “related articles” feature, and are meant to better restrict inaccurate news without requiring the social media site to censor material.

The change will affect Facebook pages in the United States, Germany, France, and the Netherlands.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Facebook was criticized for failing to rein in the spread of deliberately false information on the social network. After first resisting potential changes, Zuckerberg acknowledged Facebook’s responsibility to deliver legitimate news stories.

Facebook has partnered with fact-checking website Snopes.com, which labels some stories as false from a Facebook-built database.

Also, Facebook said its machine learning algorithm has improved its efficiency, meaning it will now send more potential false news to fact-checkers.

Facebook’s Extends it”s “Like” with Emojis

Today, you can do more than “like” your friend’s Facebook post.

Thanks to a list of new reactions that have already gone live, you can love someone’s funny post or video. You also can give it a haha, wow, sad or angry reaction.

This is something users of Facebook have been asking for – for quite a long time and it’s good to see Facebook at least trying to give people other options then “like” when commenting on a post.

While avoiding adding a “dislike” button, which Facebook apprently thought would add too much negativity to the site, users now can hold down the like button when using the mobile app, or simply hover over the like button on the desktop, to see the expanded list of reactions in the form of colorful emojis.

facebook likes

Changing Facebook’s Like button is a really big deal for the company.

Facebook has reported that users click on the Like button about 6 billion times a day. Users are accustomed to liking posts about friends having babies, going on great vacations, running a 5K or adopting a new dog.

Likes have become a means of communication in this age of social media.

Users pay attention to the likes they get on a post to gauge their friends’ reactions. Companies pay attention to the likes to gauge customers’ interest in a new campaign or a new product.

While users may have fun trying out new reactions to their friends’ and relatives’ Facebook posts, the Facebook stands to get a much bigger payback from the effort.

Be aware that Facebook is also helping itself to collect more data about its users and allowing advertisers to collect more detailed data about their products and customers.

Facebook’s Like Feature Grows Up

You see a friend’s Facebook post about the death of a pet, the loss of a job or an annoying encounter they had on the road. You want to acknowledge the post but you really do not want to click the Like button. Posts like these are are not “likeable” but you would like to acknowledge them. What do you do? Well Facebook is apparently about to help with this terrible problem.

Facebook reactions

In cases like the ones I mentioned above you may prefer to click on a Sad button or a Love button or a Wow button. In a few weeks, it appears you will have that option.

Facebook recently reported that they will be adding five new reactions to the popular Like button. Although they would not give a specific date for the change, they did say it would be “in the next few weeks.”

Instead, when users hold down the Like button, they will get other options such as angry, sad, wow, haha and love expressions.

The reactions will pop up as yellow animated emojis that are designed to bounce and change expressions to make their meaning clear. The posts will also apparently show the totals of the different post responses.

This is a big change for Facebook. The social network’s Like button has become one of its most popular and well-known functions on the site. People “like” posts about a friend finishing a marathon, reading a great book, sliding in the snow or finding a new job. In fact this function’s popularity is I am sure – the reason it has taken so long to update it with additional features.

With more reaction options, individual users and businesses now will have more information about what their friends and followers think about what they’re doing.

Watch for this new feature if you use Facebook during the next couple of weeks.

Facebook’s iOS Battery Drain Resolved?

If you are an iPhone owner who uses Facebook I recommend applying the latest iOS Facebook app update as soon as possible. This is because you will probably find that the battery life of your device improves after the update. After ongoing complaints about iPhone battery drain, Facebook reported last week that it has released a new version of its app that resolves two key issues leading to the problem.

Apparently, iPhones with the app were prone to experiencing CPU spin, according to Facebook engineering manager Ari Grant. “A CPU spin is like a child in a car asking, ‘Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?’ with the question not resulting in any progress to reaching the destination,” he explained in an update on his Facebook page.

The other culprit behind fast-draining iPhone batteries was Facebook’s approach to managing audio sessions, Grant said. Even when users left the Facebook app after watching a video, the audio session sometimes stayed open as if the app was playing audio silently.

“This is similar to when you close a music app and want to keep listening to the music while you do other things, except in this case it was unintentional and nothing kept playing,” Grant noted. “The app isn’t actually doing anything while awake in the background, but it does use more battery simply by being awake. Our fixes will solve this audio issue and remove background audio completely.”

The description of the updated app on the Apple App Store mentioned that “continued use of GPS running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life,” but Grant noted in his post that the location history feature didn’t have anything to do with the battery draining issue many iPhone users have been experiencing.

So there you go, if you use Facebook on your iPhone make sure you go to the app store and update the app. Your battery will thank you!

Facebook’s Messenger Gets Photo Magic

Facebook is apparently trying to make it easier to send photos starting with this year’s holiday season. Holidays are normally a picture-taking frenzy so this is a good time for a new service like this to be launched.

Facebook is now offering a feature call “Photo Magic” that will automatically address a message so it can be sent quickly to Facebook friends identified in a picture. The option relies on the same image-recognition technology that attaches people’s names to Facebook posts.

With this twist, Facebook is deploying the technology in its Messenger application to make it more convenient to distribute pictures to a few friends and family members.

Facebook will highlight Photo Magic in a Messenger update that will start rolling out this Thursday to users of Apple’s iPhones and smartphones running on Google’s Android software. It will still be up to each individual to decide whether they want to activate Photo Magic. After the feature is turned on, it can still be switched off at any time.

More Messenger Adoption?

Messenger currently has more than 700 million users, about half the size of the audience on Facebook’s social network.

Facebook is counting on Photo Magic to foster more allegiance to its Messenger app as it competes against other competing services such as Snapchat that have become particularly popular among teenagers and young adults.

If Photo Magic is turned on, it will apparently prompt you figure out if any of the people in a picture belong to the smartphone owner’s circle of Facebook friends. If some are found, Photo Magic creates a messaging thread that allows a user to send the picture to all the identified parties with two clicks.

Additional Messenger Features 

As part of the Messenger upgrade, Facebook is also including an option that will allow users to change the colors of their exchanges with different friends, and switch the formal name of a recipient to a nickname, such as “mom” or “dad.” Until now, Messenger’s address book mirrored the names listed on people’s Facebook profiles.

Facebook’s Messenger Gets Better

Facebook really – really wants you to use their Messenger app. And there may be reason to consider using it more often because the capabilities of Facebook Messenger continue to grow.  This past Thursday Facebook announced that it is rolling out a caller ID feature for the app. The new feature is aimed at helping Messenger users know more about who is trying to connect with them.

The caller ID feature adds details about people from their public information on Facebook. In addition to a profile photo, for instance, it is likely to also display information about where someone lives as well as the individual’s occupation.

Facebook has been rolling out many new Messenger features this year, as well as other communication apps. For example, last month iit launched an Android app called “Hello” that shows a user a caller’s Facebook profile information when the phone starts ringing. Shortly after that, it also introduced video calling for Messenger, which enables Android and iOS users to launch video chats with one tap from any previous Messenger conversation.

Messenger also made its debut as a standalone app, Messenger.com in April, moving it beyond its previous home on Facebook’s pages. The company said the standalone version makes it easier for users to focus exclusively on their communication with others and reduce potential distractions from other Facebook features such as the News Feed.

Many were leery of Facebook’s stand alone app, Messenger but with these additional features it may become a standard.

Facebook Wants to Clock In at the Office

It looks like Facebook is going to try and edge it’s way past LinkedIn and into the workplace with a new product called, “Facebook at Work”.

According to Facebook the new offering will be similar to the consumer version of Facebook, but it will allow workers to chat with each other, connect with their professional contacts, and collaborate on projects. Sounds a lot like LinkedIn.

Importantly Facebook At Work users would reportedly be able to segregate their work account from their personal Facebook account.

Apparently Facebook employees have already been using “Facebook At Work” for sometime now and the company has been working quietly to get this model public.

Personally I believe that Facebook could be up to the challenge. Facebook has such an integrated name in business for employee’s “not getting work done” and with services like LinkedIn already firmly in place I can see this going the way of Amazon’s recent attempt at a smartphone. I also suggest this because social integration inside the workplace has been a struggle at best. Even very successful collaborative tools like Microsoft’s SharePoint and Yammer often struggle to find a place in businesses.

I do not believe that there is any evidence to support that business and enterprise decision makers will eagerly and enthusiastically move forward with voluntarily embedding Facebook At Work in their environment.

With all of my opinions aside it will be interesting to see where this new venture my Facebook goes. Stay tuned.

Facebook’s Messenger is Here, Really

If you have not downloaded Facebook’s Messenger yet you better get the move on if you want to chat on your smartphone with your Facebook friends.

That is because During the next few days, Facebook will stop allowing messaging in its main iPhone and Android apps, and force all its users around the world to download its standalone Messenger app. Facebook first started forcing users in a few countries in Europe to use Messenger in April, but after seeing “positive results” in terms of engagement, it is rolling out the plan to the everyone.

Facebook suggests that Messenger is about 20% faster and I have been using it for about a Month of so and must say it works fine.

It should be easy to find if you have not downloaded it yet. If you pay attention you will notice Facebook will prompt you to download Messengere upon first launching it’s app.

Facebook’s New Save Feature

Facebook this week launched a feature that allows users to save content from their News Feed that they might want to read or watch later. There are other services like this in which you can save online content for viewing later, or if you are off line. My favorite of these is Pocket. Here we find Facebook offering a similar service, but there are limitations, and we will get to them shortly.

Facebook’s new feature is called “Save,” and it is designed help users who may be overwhelmed by links to articles, music clips and videos. To many articles in your news feed can be a challenge to browse through and often good stuff gets lost in the flood of meaningless posts.

“Every day, people find all sorts of interesting items on Facebook that they don’t have time to explore right away,” Jessie Baker, a spokesperson for Facebook, told TechNewsWorld. “Now you can save items that you find on Facebook to check out later when you have more time.”

With Save you can now a save an article or post by choosing the Save option in a dropdown menu in the upper right-hand corner of a post.

save

Saved content is stored by category within a user’s Facebook account. Facebook will reportedly remind users from time to time that they have items waiting to be read or viewed.

A user’s saved items will remain private unless they choose to share particular links with their friends.

The restrictions are that, unlike Pocket you can not save the articles or posts for off-line reading. This results in things you need to know about with Save.

  1. You must have an internet connect to access your saved articles and posts.
  2. You must be signed into Facebook to access your saved information.

This is a step in the right direction, however Facebook should allow the information to be saved and accessed offline and outside of their ecosystem.  But beggars shouldn’t be choosers and hopefully the save feature will be updated with these additional features in the future.

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