Facebook users can now delete third-party apps in bulk

In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook has been making some changes, giving users a little bit more control over their data and how it’s used. Today, TechCrunch reports that the company is making it easier to remove third-party apps.

Previously, users had to delete each one separately, making the removal process rather time-consuming for some. But now, Facebook is rolling out a way to delete multiple apps at once. Though you can’t just grab them all at the same time, you can select as many as you’d like and delete them in bulk.

Last month, Facebook made its data security tools easier to access and launched an Access Your Information tool that lets users see and manage their data. It also began restricting what sorts of data advertisers can use to target users and will start requiring advertisers to declare that they’ve obtained users’ permission before using their email addresses for ad-targeting. Last week, reports surfaced that Facebook has been keeping videos that users recorded but never published on their pages.

A Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch that the company has “more to do” and it will be sharing its ongoing efforts sometime in the future. The bulk removal tool is available now on both mobile and desktop.

Microsoft’s Cortana music recognition feature has been retired

Microsoft’s Cortana music recognition feature has been retired. The company some time ago added the ability to identify songs through Microsoft’s Digital Assistant, Cortana.

But now some users are reporting that Cortana’s song recognition abilities are no longer available and the digital assistant ability to identify songs has been retired. To enjoy the functionality you would need to press the music icon on Cortana’s interface while playing music. The service then identifies the songs from the Groove library and brings you the results.

This functionality no longer works since the Digital Assistant does not have any library to search after the retirement of the Groove Music service. The news was confirmed by one of Microsoft’s Cortana Team Engineer in reply to one of the users stating: “What you are seeing is expected. Due to the shutdown of the Groove Music service Cortana music recognition has also been retired.”

If you are trying to access the service by tapping on the icon, you will now be greeted with a message stating “Song unrecognized”, “this service is retired”, but “music continues”.

Now with the retirement of Groove Music and unavailability of Shazam app from the Windows Store, the Windows 10 users are currently left with no music recognition app to download and use.

Facebook kills Messenger day to merge it with Facebook Stories

Facebook Inc, had earlier launched Stories feature on its Main app for users and a similar feature was added to its Messenger application called “Messenger Day”. Both the features work on similar lines to WhatsApp Status feature but have not been as successful as WhatsApp Status and Instagram Stories.

Due to the low usage of the feature, Facebook is now killing its Messenger Day feature and replace it with Face Stories feature that will be synced between Messenger and Main Facebook app. Users who post photos or videos on their Facebook Stories will appear automatically on both the Facebook and Messenger app.

The Stories will be shared commonly with users on both the applications. Users can however still post on the Messenger app and the post will automatically be synced with the Facebook main application’s Stories feature.

All Stories (Earlier Messenger Day) replies and messages will now be directed via a private message in the Messenger app. The posts will however be view able only till 24 hours time limit and can be viewed both on the Facebook and Messenger application.

The view behind killing the Messenger Day and merging it with Facebook Stories is users would generally post similar photos or videos to both the Facebook and Messenger applications, once viewed by their Friends and Families on Facebook or Messenger will be ignored on the other application meaning if you view the Story in Facebook Stories the same Story will be ignored on Messenger Day.

To remove the less usage of either feature on the apps, the company now plans to merge both the features and will now be called as Stories on both the applications. The company expects the increase of usage of Facebook Stories with this syncing option.

Facebook is also working on bringing new privacy controls to Stories that will now work across its Main app and Messenger. Users will now have the option to make their Stories view able to the public, friends only, friends and connections or selected contacts.

Facebook’s new Crisis Response hub combines all its best emergency tools

Facebook today announced a new Crisis Response hub page to keep all its emergency features in one place.

Facebook has periodically added tools to help with emergencies ever since it introduced Safety Check back in 2014, but it could be a bit of a pain to actually find them when you want to help or let others know you’re safe. Crisis Response solves that by providing a central location for these features. Those include:

  • The aforementioned safety check, which will show up at the top of the hub if you’re in an affected area
  • Links to helpful crisis-related articles, photos, and videos
  • A community help feature that lets you ask for and give crisis advice
  • Fundraisers to donate to people affected by the crisis and nonprofits helping with relief efforts.
  • You can access the Crisis response page from your home page on the desktop or by tapping the menu button on mobile devices – the feature is rolling out in the coming weeks. It’s a small new feature, but one that will hopefully make it a lot easier and faster for people to get the help they need.

    A New Center for Crisis Response on Facebook on Facebook

Facebook brings down the hammer on fake news Pages

Facebook today announced its latest tool in the fight against fake news: ad revenue, or the lack thereof.

As two Facebook product managers explain in today’s update, Pages which repeatedly share news marked as false by its third-party fact-checkers will not be allowed to advertise on Facebook.

The pair hope that this will help stem the tide of false stories, as it will cut off any potential cash reward a Page receives by advertising such stories:

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

When Facebook originally outlined its plan to stem the tide of fake news last year, it mentioned cutting off the cash flow to fake news spammers, but did not say how it would do so. Adam Mosseri, VP of News Feed, said it was easy to spot the true motives of the people who ran such Pages:

We’ve found that a lot of fake news is financially motivated. Spammers make money by masquerading as well-known news organizations, and posting hoaxes that get people to visit to their sites, which are often mostly ads.

The Facebook product managers also said disgraced Pages might be allowed to advertise again if they stop sharing fake news, but didn’t specify how long the Page would have to be on good behavior before that would happen.

Back in May, we heard about Facebook building a new streaming platform to throw originals shows in front of the users of the blue network. Facebook also added a new Video tab in its Android and iOS apps.

Now, building on the plans for their very own streaming service, Facebook has introduced ‘Watch’ which allows people to see episodes of live or recorded shows.

In the form of a dedicated tab, people would be able to use Watch on their desktop, and Facebook’s apps for Android, iOS, and TV.

facebook streaming service 2

The content offered through Watch would range from regular themed shows to live events and sports broadcasts. Facebook says this would allow creators and publishers to build a strong fan following and earn money from their work.

With its people-powered platform, the company would be standing against the decade old video platform, YouTube.

The first lot of shows would include Nas Daily making videos with his fans, Tastemade’s Kitchen Little, one live broadcast per week of Major Basketball League, etc.

You can keep track of your favorite shows through a tab called Watchlist which would display new episodes as soon as they arrive. Furthermore, there would be specialized sections like ” What’s Making People Laugh” featuring videos which more ‘Haha’ reactions, “What Friends Are Watching,” and a “Most Talked About” section for trading stuff.

Facebook is also paying some creators to craft original shows for the Watch tab. But the funding is in the initial phase after which the company would take a 45% cut from content creators on ad revenue, the primary source of their income.

For now, Watch is launching for a limited audience in the US and more regions will follow soon. Facebook will also limit the number of content creators during the initial rollout.

If you have something to add? Drop tell us in the comments.

Following YouTube’s support for 4K live 360 video late last year, it was only a matter of time before Facebook caught up. After all, Zuckerberg’s betting big on VR.

Today, the social media giant announced the launch of 4K resolution for live 360 streams, meaning we can soon enjoy more immersive VR live streams via the Facebook 360 app for Gear VR. This also preps the platform well for when 4K VR headsets finally go mainstream.

As part of this update, Facebook is also bringing its Donate Button and Scheduled Live features over to its live 360 video service, in the hopes of driving 360 video viewership while helping out non-profits.

Also announced today is the expansion of Facebook’s “Live 360 Ready” program, which now covers both devices and software suites from third parties.

In addition to the Insta360 Air, Insta360 Nano and Insta360 Pro that were already certified earlier this year, the “Live 360 Ready” list now also includes Giroptic IO, Nokia Ozo, ION360U, ORAH 4I, Z Cam S1, 360fly 4K Pro and Garmin VIRB 360. You’ll be able to spot these in the shops thanks to the Facebook Live logo on their new packaging. Oddly enough, the better known brands like Samsung and Ricoh are missing here.

As for software, Facebook has certified the following for 360 video publishing: Assimilate SCRATCH VR, Groovy Gecko, LiveScale, Teradek, Voysys, Wowza and Z CAM WonderLive.

By finally bumping the quality of its live 360 videos and also helping creators pick the right tools, Facebook is now headed in the right direction.

That said, we’re still waiting for the next wave of VR headsets packing 4K display resolution, so that we can go deeper into the immersive content. Hopefully this is something that Facebook and others are already working hard on.

In the face of mounting pressure from publishers, Facebook is launching a news subscription service. The new feature will essentially allow news outlets to erect a paywall on top of Instant Articles. That way Facebook keeps readers locked to its site, while media companies earn a bit more cash from their content. The social network will begin testing the service in October, according to its head of news partnerships Campbell Brown.

If you read The New York Times or The Washington Post online, you’ll probably have come into contact with a paywall. However, they come in different shapes and sizes. Facebook is opting for a metered option, which permits you to read ten free articles per month. Once you hit your quota from a paywalled publisher, you’ll be steered to its homepage to purchase a subscription, reports The Street. Facebook told Engadget that if all goes to plan, the update will be expanded in 2018. The company added that publishers will be able to implement a freemium model with full control over their articles. Additionally, existing subscribers will be granted full access to paywalled content. The announcement comes just over a week after a group of 2,000 media outlets turned to Congress for the right to negotiate with Google and Facebook. They claim the web giants hold too much sway over how news content is “displayed, prioritized, and monetized” online. In particular, they’re pushing to receive a bigger cut from the companies’ massive digital ad sales. Speaking at the Digital Publishing Innovation Summit, Brown said the paywall is a product of Facebook’s meetings with print and digital publishers. In an email, Facebook said several publishers and media execs have been briefed on the feature in one-on-one talks and at roundtable meetings in New York and Paris. “We are in early talks with several news publishers about how we might better support subscription business models on Facebook,” said Brown. “As part of the Facebook Journalism Project, we are taking the time to work closely together with our partners and understand their needs.” Prior reports also revealed that the company was in “very advanced” talks with the Wall Street Journal on a subscription model for its articles. The social network has already tried to appease disgruntled publishers by adding more ads to Instant Articles. Now, it seems Facebook will just be another site with a pesky paywall that you’ll probably attempt to bypass. Source: The Street

Following a limited test in Thailand and Australia, Facebook has announced it is expanding Messenger’s home screen ads beta around the globe. That means marketers everywhere will soon be able to purchase ad space, and users worldwide can expect to see them invading Messenger by the end of the year.

Reports that the social network would start introducing ads to Messenger first surfaced early last year. In January, it announced a “small test” in Thailand and Australia that would allow businesses to place advertisements on Messenger’s home screen.

The ads look similar to those found on Facebook’s newsfeed and will sit between your recent conversations – they won’t appear in private messages, thankfully. They’ll be targeted toward specific users, much like the ads found on Instagram and Facebook, and will have the same hide/report drop down menu found on those sites.

Messenger head of product, Stan Chudnovsky, told VentureBeat that exactly how long it will take for all users to start seeing the ads depends on how well they’re received, but they’ll likely be here before 2018. “We’ll start slow,” he said. “When the average user can be sure to see them we truly don’t know because we’re just going to be very data-driven and user feedback-driven on making that decision.”

Back in November, Facebook took a first step toward featuring ads in Messenger by introducing sponsored messages. These allowed companies to send out relevant content such as targeted updates, promotions, subscription information, and reminders, but only to those users who had already initiated a conversation with the firms.

While nobody other than the marketers and Facebook is likely to welcome the ads, the social network is simply running out of space for new advertisements in its main app. With 1.2 billion people using Messenger, it’s no surprise to see the company go down this route.

Facebook is releasing the results from its FbStart Apps of the Year competition. Apps of the Year is an annual competition designed to recognize and showcase the most immersive apps from its global startup program.

“Winners were chosen based on their current and projected growth, the customer experience, the app’s design, and the way the apps leveraged Facebook products to drive engagement. We are honored to award this year’s winners with a combined $160,000 in prizes to help them continue to build and grow their products,” Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, strategic partner manager at Facebook, wrote in a post.

The 2017 winners are:

Global App of the Year: SoloLearn, a free programming and coding education app designed to teach users the basics of software development. SoloLearn won the Global App of the Year award.

Social Good App of the Year: Golden, an application that connects people with volunteer opportunities. Golden won the Social Good App of the Year award.

Asia-Pacific App of the Year: Maya, an iOS/Android app for tracking menstrual cycles, monitor symptoms, and tracking pregnancy.

Europe, Middle East and Africa App of the Year: Mondly, a language education app with a virtual reality experience for learning langauges.

Latin America App of the Year: ReservaTurno, a on-the-go beauty appointment booking app.