All the Facebook news you may have missed this week

facebook like and dislike 

There’s enough Facebook news from this week to satisfy you for the next month – and we’ve rounded it all up so into one package.

Upcoming events

facebook upcoming events

Last month it was discovered that a new feature called upcoming concerts was being tested, and now it appears upcoming events could be coming to your Facebook News Feed in the near future. The events module was first noticed by AllFacebook and the fact that it was being tested by Facebook was confirmed by TheNextWeb. The details haven’t been disclosed about how the feature will work, but based on a tool tip describing the feature, as “Suggestions based on what’s happening nearby,” we can confidently say that Facebook will suggest local events based on your location.

Recently released albums

facebook recently released albums module

Music tracks appearing in your News Feed might be making a comeback. Inside Facebook noticed a “Recently Released Albums” module that didn’t appear to be tied to any friend’s activities. It’s the first indication that a module unrelated to your friend’s activities could make a permanent appearance.

“People you may know” goes mobile

facebook people you may know module

The “People you may know” function on Facebook isn’t without it’s issues. It recommends people for you to friend request based on your list of friends, but also your subscribers, which makes it highly unlikely that you’ll recognize many of the recommended users. But the feature may soon be ported to Facebook’s mobile app. We confirmed with Facebook that this feature was in its testing phases. However, the Facebook spokesperson declined to disclose any further information.

Most shared stories from social readers

facebook most shared module

AllFacebook was tipped off about another module that will publish the most shared stories on your News Feed from social reading apps, which in this case was based on a screen grab of The Washington Post’s social reader. We reached out to Facebook to ask about whether this was another module that the social network was testing, and its spokesperson confirmed that this was currently being tested, but once again declined to offer further details.

Facebook switches users to HTTPS

facebook news weekly roundup https

Your Facebook connection might be ever so slightly slower than it used to be, but it’s a sacrifice that some of us are willing to make for a more secure social network. Facebook made the announcement last year that it was going to transition all users from Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) to the more secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS). HTTPS, for those of you not familiar with it, prevents hackers from snooping in on conversations sent over the Internet, or from intercepting your password. That transition finally started taking effect late last week for North American users, and Facebook says that it will roll out HTTPS globally “soon.” But if you’re in the U.S. and you weren’t actively wondering “Gee, why is my connection slightly slower?” then you won’t mind the update since you’ve already likely been switched over. You can simply have the peace of mind that your account is just that much safer from hackers.

Facebook may share data with Instagram, slacken email restrictions

facebook on instagramGoogle has been crawling our emails for a long time now. It takes keywords from your emails to best target ads in banners that are tacked on in a single line of text or in a right hand column on the page. Not only this, the company also recently began surfacing relevant Gmail emails in search results. Now, Facebook will be trying these tactics. Reuters reported on Wednesday that Facebook has plans to enact similar measures in an effort to share information about its users across its other products (acquisitions and affiliates). The report specifically names Instagram as one of the products that Facebook has in mind to create a “unified” profile of its users.

In conjunction with this news, Reuters reports that Facebook might be ridding the “Who can send you Facebook messages” email settings that might prevent an unknown user from contacting you through Facebook’s messaging product.

Facebook abolishes voting rights

facebook votesOn Wednesday, Facebook announced its proposed changes to its governance process, which enabled users to vote on Facebook updates that affected them. Facebook wants to see more than 7,000 comments and 300 million votes for the changes to be blocked. But don’t be too alarmed: In lieu of voting, Facebook is proposing that users can instead (should the proposal pass) comment on all proposed changes. The social network explained that by facilitating a voting-based feedback system the quality of comments were diminished since users were prioritizing quantity over quality. “Therefore, we’re proposing to end the voting component of the process in favor of a system that leads to more meaningful feedback and engagement,” Facebook Vice President of Communications, Elliot Schrage, wrote in a blog post.

Following up on these new changes to the governance process, Facebook is introducing a couple of extra measures to collect feedback from its users. These include enabling users to submit questions directly to Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer of Policy, and regularly hosting live webcasts called “Facebook Live Events” to address “comments and questions about privacy, safety, and security.”

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Movies & TV

Stay inside this summer with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Castle Rock'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we've put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.

Was your Facebook account hacked in the latest breach? Here’s how to find out

Facebook now reports that its latest data breach affected only 30 million users, down from an initial estimate of 50 million accounts. You can also find out if hackers had accessed your account by visiting a dedicated portal.

Spotify vs. Pandora: Which music streaming service is better for you?

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.
Social Media

Snap a photo to follow a new friend on Instagram with its Nametags tool

Skip the typing and search bar -- Instagram now allows you to add friends using the in-app camera. Nametags are scannable graphics that will lead straight to your Instagram profile.

Facebook’s latest data breach could earn Europeans thousands in compensation

Facebook users in Europe distressed about Facebook's revelation that its latest breach left as many as 50 million users exposed could get some compensation. Facebook also faces a class-action suit and a broader GDPR investigation.

Voice commands could be coming to Facebook Messenger

Thanks to digital assistants, voice controls are becoming commonplace. One day, we may even be using them in Facebook Messenger. The company has confirmed that it is currently conducting internal tests for Messenger voice commands.

Find love with the best LGBT dating apps for iOS and Android

If you're looking to meet someone new, look no further than your phone. Whether it's just a date, or you're looking for something a little more serious, here are the best LGBT dating apps available for Android and iOS.
Smart Home

Creepy or convenient? Facebook’s new Portal smart display follows you around the room

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

2018's 10 best dating apps to help you find the perfect companion

Everyone knows online dating can be stressful, time-consuming, and downright awful. Check out our top picks for the best dating apps, so you can streamline the process and find the right date, whatever you're looking for.

Google to shut down Google+ after exposure of 500,000 users’ data

After Facebook revealed that 50 million users may have been exposed as a result of a security vulnerability, Google announced it discovered a bug that left 500,000 Google+ users exposed. It will also shut down Google+.
Social Media

Sick of Facebook privacy scandals? Here's how to protect your personal data

With a number of security scandals in 2018, it has us questioning if we should get rid of Facebook. Here's how to protect your personal data without deleting your account, as well as how to just nuke the thing altogether.
Social Media

These are the best ways to make an animated GIF

Love sharing GIFs with your friends and peers, but wish you could make your own? Here's how to do so in Photoshop, or using a few other methods that don't require you to shell out a premium fee with each calendar year.
Social Media

Instagram says its A.I. can track down bullying in photos

Instagram is turning to artificial intelligence to help it root out bullying on its platform. Following similar efforts to target bullying in comments, the company now has systems capable of detecting bullying in photos, too.