Browsing articles tagged with " facebook"

Facebook testing new feature Highlight to let you pay to promote status updates to more friends

May 11, 2012   //   by admin   //   Media blog  //  No Comments

by David Silverberg

Social media giant Facebook is testing a new tool called Highlight, letting users pay a small fee to make sure their status updates reach more friends, it’s been reported by TechCrunch.

Highlight lets the average user, not Pages or businesses, select an “important post” and make sure friends see the update, the blog explains.

Highlighted posts could appear higher in the news feed, stay visible for longer, and display in front of more friends and subscribers. “However, they’re not colored differently to make them stand out. And to be clear, this is not like Twitter’s Promoted Tweets which is designed for businesses. Facebook Highlight is for the end-user.”

New Zealand is reportedly a testing ground for this new feature, which hasn’t been rolled out officially yet. Facebook wrote to TechCrunch: “We’re constantly testing new features across the site. This particular test is simply to gauge people’s interest in this method of sharing with their friends.”

A New Zealand report states “The trial appears to mark Facebook’s first attempt to make money from postings by regular users and comes as it is gearing up for a public listing which is expected to value the company at about US$90 billion.”

The experiment is playing with different fees for this feature, including a free option. A screenshot of the feature shows a screen asking for $1.80 US to use Highlight.

Judge rules ‘Like’ button not protected under First Amendment

May 8, 2012   //   by admin   //   Media blog  //  No Comments

by Leigh Goessl (Guest contributor/Digital Journalist)

A U.S. judge has recently ruled Facebook’s popular ‘Like’ button is not protected under the First Amendment as a form of expression.

The social integration of Facebook has changed the dynamics of society in many ways. From refining what a “friend” is, to privacy issues, its impact on social skills and almost everything in between, Facebook’s reach has had a profound effect on many key factors in life.

Now there is one more issue to add a new notch to the proverbial belt. This one is related to the social network giant’s popular “Like” button and how it fits into freedom of speech.

An interesting case has been transpiring in Norfolk, Va. Six employees are suing their former employer saying their First Amendment rights were violated. The group of people have been battling it out in court, saying they were fired over clicking Facebook’s “Like” button.

According to The Atlantic, the situation began in 2009 during an election season. The employees were working for the Hampton Sheriff’s office under B.J. Roberts, who was running for reelection at the time against opponent Jim Adams.

Roberts won the election, and he subsequently fired several employees after he allegedly saw his employees had hit the “Like” button on his opponent’s Facebook page.

For the firing, Roberts gave budgeting needs and poor performance as reasons, and also inferred the employees impacted “the harmony and efficiency of the office.”

The employees viewed it differently and took their issue to court, citing their First Amendment rights. On Apr. 24 a verdict was reached and it was found the rights of the former employees were not violated. U.S. District Judge Raymond Jackson ruled that clicking “Like” on a Web page “does not amount to expressive speech,” reported the New York Daily News.

The reason was described as hitting a button is not the same thing as writing or typing out a statement, as a “Like” is not an expression as the other two forms of expression would be considered. Posting statements on Facebook have previously been ruled as protected under First Amendment, such as it was in the cases of Katherine Evans vs. Peter Bayer and NLRB vs. American Medical Response.

Several media reports note the “murky” area in this verdict and the case is likely to go to a higher court in an appeal. At least one of the attorneys said he would appeal.

Marcus Messner, a journalism and mass communications professor at Virginia Commonwealth University who specializes in social media, said, “Going to a candidate’s Facebook page and liking it in my view is a political statement. It’s not a very deep one, but you’re making a statement when you like a person’s Facebook page.”

Facebook, and other social media, have without a doubt impacted how people both communicate and express themselves, and as it evolves, many expressions are short and to the point. The “Like” button many people use in lieu of taking the time to create a post.

“It [the "Like" button] is for sure a thin statement, but it is clearly within what we do all the time as democratic citizens,” Don Herzog, a law professor at the University of Michigan said, reported the Daily News. “This is one of the ways we talk about politics in our society.”

Generally, aside from issues associated with constitutional law, the pace of technology moves progressively fast, and the law is not always as quick to adapt. Facebook’s highly-used “Like” button, however, is the latest in deliberations on exactly how forms of expression fit into the line of the law.

“It’s a somewhat odd decision that a Facebook “Like” is not protected speech,” Jeff Hermes, director of the Digital Media Law Project, Berkman Center for Internet & Society told MSNBC. “The judge was essentially devaluing the ‘Like’ as speech because of how simple it is to do.”

This article originally appeared in Digital Journal [Link]

Photo courtesy Flickr user sofiabudapest

Facebook floats on stock market May 17, will be valued at $100 billion

Apr 19, 2012   //   by admin   //   Media blog  //  No Comments

by JohnThomas Didymus (Guest contributor/Digital Journalist)

Facebook, the world’s largest social network, is expected to go public on May 17. The online giant is expected to be valued at $100 billion. Analysts say that Facebook’s is the most anticipated stock offering from Silicon Valley since Google in 2004.

The May 17 date, according to TechCrunch, is subject to SEC approval of relevant paperwork, including those relating to recently purchasedInstagram.TechCruch reports Facebook is expected to raise $10 billion from its initial public offering of shares, though it may be a smaller sum. But the IPO will also depend on approval by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The Examiner reports that Facebook valuation reflects current levels of trading in the secondary market and also matches a report on how Facebook won over Instagram.

The flotation will make Facebook among the largest public companies in the world with companies like McDonald’s, and Visa.According to a sources, “Investors want as high a price as possible so that the secondary market won’t look like a problem.” 

TechCrunch reports that “with 2.51 billion fully-diluted shares outstanding, the valuation desired would price the company at around $40 a share.”

According to Daily Mail, the world’s largest social network had very humble beginnings. It began as a dorm room project for a Harvard dropout, Mark Zuckerberg, but has since grown and reached the top in less than a decade.

According to Facebook’s preliminary filing, the company’s net income rose 65 percent to $1 billion in 2011, with a revenue of $3.7 billion.

Valued at $100 billion, double the value of Hewlett-Packard, Facebook’s IPO will be bigger than that of any dot-com company expecting to go public, Daily Mail reports.

This article originally appeared on Digital Journal [Link]

New scam targets ‘haters’ of Facebook Timeline

Jan 5, 2012   //   by admin   //   Media blog  //  5 Comments

by Leigh Goessl (Guest contributor/Digital Journalist)

Recently Facebook unveiled its controversial Timeline feature and, perhaps not surprisingly, a new scam has surfaced on the social network that banks on the fact people often do not respond well to change.

Exploiters are targeting Facebook users with the hope of snagging those who have an intense dislike of Timeline, playing on those emotions in order to provoke a user response.

In this case, the exploiters are hoping people hate the network’s new Timeline feature and attempt to lure users into believing they can revert back to the previously designed Facebook. The fraudsters bait with fake instructions on how to “go back to the ‘old’ Facebook,” playing on their emotions if they are adverse to the change.

According to All Facebook, the tricks being used are fake ‘Like’ buttons, invites to friends, asking users to view YouTube videos, and, as characteristic to scams, a download that directs to an extension that contains probable malware.

AllFacebook notes that at the time of report 16 Timeline-related scam pages were live on Facebook. This reporter did a search and counted 10 at the time of publication, the highest of which had 12,436 likes listed, so it seems Facebook has been removing these scams; however many still exist and people are still ‘liking’ the fraudulent pages.

According to Web Pro News, one of the scams has several odd steps designed to trick users and despite asking to click over a dozen ‘likes’ as one step, thousands have fallen for the trick (click the Web Pro link to see the graphic). Other pages reportedly look more legit.

Facebook has no visible warning, nor a mention on the company’s security page to let users know a conversion back is not an option for users whose profiles have been switched to Timeline — once this happens, the feature is here to stay.

Eventually all profiles will convert to Timeline.Anyone wanting to take part in the future of the network will have to ultimately accept the Timeline change; there are no magic steps to get rid of it as Mark Zuckerberg and company have made it clear Timeline is here to stay.

Pages that offers any sort of button, link or download to ditch Timeline is a scam and those behind the ruses could be nabbing personal information and spamming the victim’s friends. Scams routinely surface on the social network that currently boasts over 800 million members, and the ‘Timeline scam’ is the latest of many.

This article was originally published on Digital Journal [Link]

Facebook iPad app sparks drama

Sep 28, 2011   //   by admin   //   Media blog  //  No Comments

by Stephanie Medeiros (Guest Contributor/Digital Journalist)

An official app for Facebook on the iPad has been long awaited, and it seems it was accidentally discovered around two months ago. However, the app might finally be released.

It was recently discovered the former developer of the iPad app for Facebook brought the iPad version to near completion and it has been ready for release since May, but was delayed all through summer by Facebook.

In fact, tech blog TechCrunch found the app embedded in lines of code for the iPhone app.TechCrunch reports on the issue, as the former developer expressed his side of the story on his blog. The developer, Jeff Verkoeyen, eventually left Facebook for Google but claims it was unrelated to the delays with the app.

“It is now nearly 5 months since the app was feature complete and I haven’t seen it released except for when the project was leaked on Techcrunch,” writes Verkoeyen on his blog. “Needless to say this was a frustrating experience for me.”

It has been reported that Verkoeyen worked on the iPad app tirelessly, clocking in even 80-hour work weeks.However, Verkoeyen reached out to TechCrunch and explained he was not complaining about the long work hours or the delays, since he enjoyed his time with Facebook. Instead, he mentions that the iPad app is still being worked on and is not completely ready to be released.

While Google and Facebook seem to have sizable competition between them, most of the delay seems to stem from the competition between Apple and Facebook, according to TechCrunch.Apple’s relatively low-key music centric social network, Ping, was originally going to integrate with Facebook until Apple decided to cut off the project from Facebook.

Also, in another strain on the Apple-Facebook relationship, Apple instead went with Twitter with full integration in iOS 5.Regardless, Verkoeyen confirmed that the app is still being worked on and even Mashable saysit has confirmed that the iPad app will be launched on October 4, which is reported to be the launch conference for the long-awaited iPhone 5.

Despite the competition between Apple and Facebook and an unfavorable past, the two tech giants seem to be taking strides in order to work together on an HTML-5 initiative as well as releasing the iPad app.

When the iPad was first released, Mark Zuckerberg was infamously quoted in November 2010 that the iPad was “not mobile,” but instead a computer, which spurred much buzz that Zuckerberg wouldn’t be releasing any official Facebook app on the popular tablet.

This article originally appeared on Digital Journal [Link]

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia