Facebook rolls out ability to promote friend’s posts

Promote a friend's Post

Facebook is parlaying its Promoted Posts advertising product, which alone drummed up significant backlash from users, and will start rolling out the ability for you to promote your friends’ posts.

Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm alone isn’t enough to figure out what type of content is truly important to you and friends. We’re all publishing too much content to the social network, flooding the News Feed, and there’s just too much for it to make sense of. This is why EdgeRank first entered the picture, and Promoted Posts eventually followed.

When Promoted Posts was first launched, Facebook admitted that many of our posts weren’t necessarily showing up in our friends’ News Feeds. This didn’t sit well with users, who were outraged at the fact that Facebook was asking them to cough up some cash so that their posts were being shown to friends that Facebook might not have shown it to in the first place. But really, it’s a nearly unsolvable problem, so there’s value in paying $7 if you really want the guarantee of people seeing your posts.

Now friends can promote your posts that they might think is worth the extra visibility. If they end up promoting your post, your status update surfaces on the News Feeds of your friends’ friends. But don’t worry about having you privacy violated. “This feature respects the privacy of the original poster – i.e. it will promote to everyone who originally saw it,” a Facebook spokesperson told us. “You can only promote posts to the people that your friend originally shared with. If you have mutual friends, they’ll see that you shared it and promoted it.”

There is a pretty glaring caveat with the way Facebook implemented this new feature: Any of your friends can promote any of your posts without your permission. I’m sure you can find a handful of friends’ posts that could be promoted as a practical joke, which would make them think twice about publishing something they shouldn’t have.

promoted post exampleOf course it is an effective feature if you’re looking to get the word out there about a last minute apartment listing or a charity fundraiser. Otherwise, you risk the news getting buried without the nominal fee. In one test, a post did 24 times better than it would have without paying, which meant that it would have been seen by just four percent of our friends rather than the 96 percent of them that ended up seeing the update.

The ability to cross-promote is being rolled out gradually, and at first will only be available to people with fewer than 5,000 subscribers.

Social Media

Nearly 75 percent of U.S. users don’t realize Facebook tracks their interests

Did you know Facebook tracks your interests, including political and multicultural affiliations? According to a recent Pew study, 74 percent of adult users in the U.S. have no idea Facebook keeps a running list of your interests.
Social Media

How to download Instagram Stories

Curious about how to save someone's Instagram Story to your phone? Lucky for you, it can be done -- but it does take a few extra steps. Here's what you need to know to save Instagram Stories on both iOS and Android.
Social Media

Spice up your Instagram videos by adding your top tunes to the soundtrack

Have you ever taken a beautiful video, only to have it ruined by some jerk in the background yelling curse words? Here's a list of apps you can use to add your own music to Instagram posts as well as your Story.

Want to trick out your PlayStation 4? These themes will get you started

Personalize your gaming experience with some of our favorite themes for the PlayStation 4, including free, paid, static, and dynamic options.
Social Media

A quick swipe will soon let you keep bingeing YouTube on mobile devices

The YouTube mobile app has a new, faster way to browse: Swiping. Once the update rolls out, users can swipe to go to the next (or previous) video in the recommended list, even while viewing in full screen.

Starting your very own vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability. When it comes to putting your life on YouTube, here are the best cameras for the job.
Social Media

Twitter extends its new timeline feature to Android users

Twitter users with an Android device can now quickly switch between an algorithm-generated timeline and one that shows the most recent tweets first. The new feature landed for iPhone users last month.
Social Media

YouTube to crack down on dangerous stunts like the ‘Bird Box’ challenge

YouTube already bans content showing dangerous activities, but new rules published by the site go into greater detail regarding potentially harmful challenges and pranks, including certain blindfold- or laundry detergent-based stunts.

It’s back! Here’s how to switch to Twitter’s reverse chronological feed

Twitter has finally brought back the reverse chronological feed, allowing you to see your feed based on the newest tweets, rather than using Twitter's algorithm that shows what it thinks you want to see. It's easy to switch.
Social Media

Nearly a million Facebook users followed these fake Russian accounts

Facebook purged two separate groups behind more than 500 fake accounts with Russian ties. One group had ties to Russian news agency Sputnik, while the other had behavior similar to the Internet Research Agency's midterm actions.
Social Media

Twitter suffers privacy scare as bug reveals tweets of protected accounts

If you set your Twitter account to private and you have an Android device, you'd better check your settings now. Twitter says it's just fixed a four-year-old bug that flipped the privacy switch to make the account public.

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.
Social Media

Facebook reportedly developing LOL meme app to try to appeal to teens

Facebook is reportedly developing an app named LOL, which will feature memes in the form of funny videos and GIF-like clips. The app is said to be in testing in a very limited private beta, but sources said that the app is "cringey."
Social Media

Facebook just added a petition tool. What could possibly go wrong?

Facebook now has a petition tool called Community Action. Facebook Community Actions allow users to create or support a cause. But is the feature just asking for trouble on a network already plagued by fake news and fake accounts?