All the Facebook news you may have missed this week

Welcome to Facebook

Another week has passed and as per usual, Facebook pushed plenty of updates and made its fair share of headlines — including its new mobile Share button, a Pages-only News Feed, and the expansion of its Gifts service. But as there’s always more Facebook news to be had, so here are five more stories you may have missed over the week.

Facebook Emoticons now available for iOS

Facebook emoticons

Emoticons add some personality to our text-filled conversations, and Facebook continues to experiment here. With the many messaging apps out there already boasting variations of smiley faces, Facebook is finally opening up access to its slate of 52 emoticons to mobile devices. As we reported last month, Facebook enabled emoticons for its desktop app, but not for its mobile apps. But fear not: Facebook is now supporting the feature as part of the iOS update. The emoticons can be found when you press the plus icon. We did notice, however, that many on the list of supported Facebook emoticons for the desktop were not the same as the emoticons offered on its mobile app.

Facebook enables tagging from your iPhone

facebook ios tagging

An additional feature, announced alongside the emoticon and share update for mobile devices, is tagging. This is another tool that exists for desktop but hasn’t been available for your mobile apps, but now you can tag friends in posts and comments directly from your smartphone. Usually when there’s a post that you’d like to bring to your friends’ attention, for instance you might be bringing a news article to their attention, tagging them with the @ symbol notifies them that they’ve been tagged in a post. The update is also only available for iOS at the moment. 

Facebook lock up expires and shares jump

773 million Facebook shares were expected to flood the market as the lockup expired and early investors and employees become able to cash in on their shares. Wall Street presumed that Facebook’s market cap was expected to fall since shares were freed up, but it appears that with unanticipated consumer confidence in the social network, share prices have soared more than 17 percent to $23.42 at the time of this writing. Despite the jump, Facebook shares are still more than 39 percent lower than the original $38/share IPO price.

Facebook’s “conversion measurement” advertising tool

On Friday, Reuters reported that Facebook was launching a new conversion measurement tool that has been long requested by its advertisers. The tool will enable advertisers to track the performance of an ad even a week after a user has viewed the advertisement. “It lets marketers track the impact of a Facebook ad hours or days or even a week beyond when someone might have viewed the ad. That allows marketers to understand the impact of the Facebook ad on the ultimate purchase,” Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst at eMarketer told Reuters. The tool will only show the number of people who have made a purchase, according to Facebook product manager, David Base. Personally identifiable information will be inconsequential since users will just show up as a statistic in a broader analytic that displays how well an ad is performing., a beta tester of the service, claims to have reduced its cost per new customer acquisition by a whopping 39 percent. According to Reuters, Fab was able to identify the groups of users more likely to make a purchase and served the ads to these individuals using Facebook’s conversion tool.

Facebook app alerts for developers

facebook dev alerts

Facebook app developers out there might want to pay attention to this. Facebook announced that it is rolling out developer alerts beginning on November 16 and will notify developers of any new information regarding feature or policy changes to a their apps. The types of alerts that fall under this update are as follows as explained by Facebook software engineer, Min-Young Wu:

  1. Breaking changes. If your app is using functionality that we’re changing or removing, you will be sent an alert at least 90 days before the change goes into effect. As a courtesy, we’ll also send reminders at 60, 30, and 0 days. Once you’ve enabled the respective migration, we will no longer send you alerts.
  2. App status changes. If you have submitted Open Graph actions or created an app detail page for App Center, we will use Developer Alerts to notify you when the status of your submission changes. For example, we will send an alert when your Open Graph actions are approved.
  3. Policy violations and enforcement. If your app doesn’t adhere to our Platform Policies you will be notified through these alerts. For example, if your app does not list a privacy policy, you will receive an alert telling you to add one before your app is forced into sandbox mode.
Smart Home

Facebook Portal and Portal+ video calling devices gain new content and features

Facebook's Portal devices are video smart speakers with Alexa voice assistants built in that allow you to make calls. The 15-inch Portal+ model features a pivoting camera that follows you around the room as you speak.

Some ‘Fortnite’ players aren’t too happy with the new Infinity Blade weapon

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Social Media

Walkie-talkie voice messaging finally comes to Instagram

In its latest grab from messaging apps, Instagram now lets you send walkie-talkie style voice messages. Apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and iMessage have offered the feature for some time.

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

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Social Media

This event topped Facebook’s biggest moments of the year — again

As the year comes to a close, Facebook is looking back on what users discussed most over the last year. For two years in a row, International Women's Day topped the list. So what else is on the list?
Social Media

This band owns Twitter, according to list of top accounts and tweets for 2018

What was the biggest buzz on Twitter in 2018? Twitter's 2018 Year in Review highlights the biggest tweets, accounts, and hashtags. The most-tweeted celebrities, movies, TV shows, athletes, politicians and more in Twitter's 2018 trends.
Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.
Home Theater

It took Tom Cruise to raise awareness of this troublesome TV setting

Tom Cruise, in an unexpected PSA tweet, asks you to turn off motion interpolation on your TV, but stops short of how to do it. Here's more on the topic, along with links to a guide on how to rid your TV of the dreaded "soap opera effect."

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

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Amazon scouted airport locations for its cashier-free Amazon Go stores

Representatives of Amazon Go checkout-free retail stores connected with officials at Los Angeles and San Jose airports in June to discuss the possibility of cashier-free grab-and-go locations in busy terminals.
Social Media

Snapchat facial recognition could soon power a new portrait mode, code suggests

Digging into Snapchat's code suggests a handful of upcoming camera features, including a portrait mode. The feature appears to use facial recognition A.I. to blur the background. The code also suggests an updated camera interface.

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.
Social Media

‘YouTube Rewind 2018’ is about to become its most disliked video ever

YouTube is about to achieve a record it really doesn't want — that of "most-disliked video." Yes, its annual recap of featuring popular YouTubers has gone down really badly this year.
Social Media

GIF almost anywhere with Giphy’s new keyboard and sticker maker

We all love GIFs, but not every app supports them. Fortunately, the new Giphy' keyboard brings GIFs to any iOS app that supports multimedia. The update also comes with a new tool for creating animated stickers.