Today, in the US, we’re rolling out a preview of Messenger Kids, a new app that makes it easier for kids to safely video chat and message with family and friends when they can’t be together in person. After talking to thousands of parents, associations like National PTA, and parenting experts in the US, we found that there’s a need for a messaging app that lets kids connect with people they love but also has the level of control parents want.
To give kids and parents a fun, safer solution, we built Messenger Kids, a standalone app that lives on kids’ tablets or smartphones but can be controlled from a parent’s Facebook account. Whether it’s using video chat to talk to grandparents, staying in touch with cousins who live far away, or sending mom a decorated photo while she’s working late to say hi, Messenger Kids opens up a new world of online communication to families. This preview is available on the App Store for iPad, iPod touch and iPhone.
To know more about FB Messenger for Kids, you can visit https://messengerkids.com/.
It’ll be interesting what Facebook will announce or unveil at the event!
Chris Welch, writing for The Verge;
Facebook Messenger Lite, the excellent, cruft-free of Facebook’s chat app that focuses on the essentials, is expanding to the US, UK, Canada, and Ireland. The Android-only app was originally launched so that users could access Messenger in areas with sluggish mobile connectivity.
From the Messenger Lite apps’s description page;
Installs quickly. It’s less than 10MB to install, saving storage space on your phone.
Saves data. It loads fast, runs efficiently and uses less mobile data.
Works everywhere. Reach people when you’re in an area with a slow or unstable internet connection.
Runs on most phones. You can use it on Android phones version 2.3 (Gingerbread) or higher.
Looks like Facebook is following Twitter’s playbook when it comes to service emerging markets.
You can download the Messenger Lite app here.
Shannon Liao, writing for The Verge;
Facebook is conducting a test right now to bring the rainbow to you. Currently, only a select few users can see the test, and it appears to only work on mobile. Colorful status updates first came to Facebook’s Android app last December, and Facebook recently adopted the feature on WhatsApp.
Not sure how to react to this news, except that Facebook is starting to look like the old Friendster or MySpace.
Josh Constine, writing for TechCrunch;
Taking inspiration from line drawings, Reddit and Messenger, Facebook is overhauling the design of the News Feed to make it more legible, clickable and commentable. Specifically, Facebook now makes it much clearer where threads start and end in comments. Meanwhile, Instagram today got a little redesign itself with comment reels now being threaded so you can have sub-conversations in public.
Most people won’t even notice these small changes on Instagram and Facebook.
Steven Millward, writing for Tech in Asia;
In a surprise move, Facebook has made and released an app just for China – where Mark Zuckerberg’s social network has been blocked since 2009.
Facebook’s China app, launched stealthily into the local app store under a company pseudonym, is a photo-sharing service called Colorful Balloons. The New York Times first spotted and reported on the app after verifying that it was indeed made by Facebook.
The Colorful Balloons app is actually a walled-off, China-only version of Facebook Moments, the spin-off app dedicated to photos that was first introduced mid-2015.
David Ingram, writing for Reuters;
Facebook Inc (FB.O) said on Tuesday that 2 billion people are regularly using its flagship service, marching past another milestone in its growth from a college curiosity in the United States to the world’s largest social media network.
Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg disclosed the number to his followers in a Facebook post. “It’s an honor to be on this journey with you,” he wrote. (bit.ly/2sefWFL)
Incredible achievement by Facebook, specially if take in consideration how fast they reach that second billionth user.
Nick Statt, writing for The Verge:
When asked about his life’s work, Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has traditionally fallen back on a somewhat nebulous answer: making “the world more open and connected.” It was an almost quaint euphemism for the company’s more capitalistic goals of vacuuming up the attention of billions of humans and selling boatloads of advertising. Yet even for Zuckerberg, who does earnestly believe in Facebook’s power to continue transforming the world and improving our lives, that mission statement no longer cuts it.
On my newsfeeds, all I get are news links (mostly fake news) and not updates from my friends. Facebook needs to rethink how they will serve the almost 2 billion users on the service. I mostly used the service for Messenger and to in managing Facebook pages.
Here’s a screenshot of Facebook’s About Page;
Samsung Electronics announced today that the new Facebook video app for TV is available on Samsung Smart TVs, including its 2017 QLED TV lineup and the app will be available on all of its 2015, 2016, 2017 Smart TV models. Further solidifying its role as the global leader in TV, Samsung is the only TV manufacturer that will support the app at its launch.
To use the Facebook Video app on your Samsung TV, just go to Samsung Smart Hub and download the app then login to your Facebook account.
Beginning today, businesses in the US and Canada will be able to post job openings, and their future employees will be able to easily find those posts on their Page or in the new jobs bookmark. This new experience will help businesses find qualified people where they’re already spending their time—on Facebook and on mobile.
With more than 1 billion users, this feature can easily threaten LinkedIn and other job portal. Another sign that Facbeook wants to be your one-stop-shop portal.
New features of Facebook Videos;
- Auto play with audio – Not good
- Picture in Picture – Good
- Expanding vertical or portrait video – Good
- Facebook Video TV app – Good for users, bad for Youtube!
Geektime, contributing to E27;
Facebook, the ever-growing social media giant, has doubled its number of users for its bare-bones product Facebook Lite in less than a year and serves 200 million monthly active users.
The app supports 55 languages and is popular in over 150 countries but mainly in Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico, and the Philippines. Today it’s being launched in four additional countries: Israel, Italy, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates.
Here’s a description of Facebook Lite;
This version of Facebook uses less data and works in all network conditions.
- Installs fast – the app is smaller, so it’s quick to download and uses less storage space.
- Works on old Android phones – you can use it on older Android phones not supported by the regular Facebook app.
- Uses less data – be more efficient with your mobile data. Save money by using less data.
- Loads quickly – it is our fastest app. Upload photos faster and see updates from friends.
- Works on all networks – it is designed for 2G networks and areas with slow or unstable internet connections.
Android 2.3 or higher
Here are some noteworthy stats;
Full Year 2016 Operational Highlights
- Daily active users (DAUs) – DAUs were 1.23 billion on average for December 2016, an increase of 18% year-over-year.
- Mobile DAUs – Mobile DAUs were 1.15 billion on average for December 2016, an increase of 23% year-over-year.
- Monthly active users (MAUs) – MAUs were 1.86 billion as of December 31, 2016, an increase of 17% year-over-year.
- Mobile MAUs – Mobile MAUs were 1.74 billion as of December 31, 2016, an increase of 21% year-over-year.
Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2016 Other Financial Highlights
- Mobile advertising revenue – Mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 84% of advertising revenue for the fourth quarter of 2016, up from approximately 80% of advertising revenue in the fourth quarter of 2015.
- Capital expenditures – Capital expenditures for the full year 2016 were $4.49 billion.
- Cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities – Cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities were $29.45 billion at the end of the fourth quarter of 2016.
Bottom line, Facebook still has room to grow not that much though, and imagine if Facebook is not blocked by the Chinese Government.
Eddie Zhang – Facebook Product Manager;
This week we are launching a very small test in Australia and Thailand that gives businesses the opportunity to place ads on the Messenger home screen. This means that a business is able to place an ad in an area of Messenger below your recent conversations, similar to how we surface birthday notifications or where we let you know if a friend is currently active on Messenger. No one will see an ad in a conversation without clicking on an ad experience on the Messenger home screen or starting a conversation with a brand – these test ads won’t originate in your conversations. The test group of people in Thailand and Australia will start to see these ads in the coming weeks.
Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement on his facebook account;
Hugo Barra’s tweet regading his employment at Facebook;
After social media giant Facebook said that it is taking misinformation seriously, Sen. Francis Pangilinan said he wants the officers of the social media platform to attend the Senate hearings once scheduled to explain to the public how they are weeding out fake news from their website.
Here are some links to start;
Carl Lamiel, reporting for Yugatech;
Be cautious with what you download online: A phishing app disguised as ‘Free Facebook’ app makes the rounds off several well-known local groups, phishing your information and account in the process.
The fact that the app is called ‘Free Facebook’ users should be wary. It’s also best that you download only from Google Play Store.
For additional security you may also want to disable the “Unknown Sources: Allow installation of apps from unknown sources.“, you can do this by going to SETTINGS then SECURITY.
Amar Toor, writing for The Verge;
Facebook will begin rolling out its fake news filter in Germany, The Financial Times reports, where lawmakers have expressed growing concern over the spread of fabricated news stories and Russian interference ahead of national elections later this year. The social network will begin fact-checking and flagging fake news for users in Germany over the coming weeks, according to the FT. The tools were first launched in the US last month, as part of a partnership with independent fact-checking organizations.
I sure hope that they release the same tools in the Philippines soon!
In order to complete this, Mark Zuckerberg needs to visit 4 State for the first 10 months and 5 State on the last 2 months of 2017. For a person as busy as Mark with the responsibility of running a $300 billion company that is used by more than 1.7 billion users, this challenge will be a very tall order.