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.
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
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
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
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
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
Google 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
On 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.”
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- 9 things to know about Facebook privacy and Cambridge Analytica