All the Facebook news you need to know this week

Facebook users warned of scam

Despite earlier criticisms, Facebook is chugging along according to its latest quarterly report. It has its mobile presence to thank for besting Wall Street’s expectations, although admittedly investors aren’t going to be seeing a particularly high return. But there’s plenty else going on and new features Facebook is testing out that may have been overshadowed by its earnings reports – so here they are. 

Facebook courts journalists and news organizations

facebook best practices for journalists

Twitter is synonymous with breaking news. It’s the de facto social platform that journalists turn to to find the latest developments on any breaking news. When it comes to news, Facebook has fallen behind platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and even Reddit, which are faster than any news organization – although the accuracy is questionable.

To attract purpose to Facebook as a platform for news, the social network outlined best practices for both media companies and journalists. For instance, Facebook wants its platform to be used for storytelling to keep people “informed about news as it happens.” The outline by Facebook Journalism Program Manager Vadim Lavrusik adds, “As news breaks, post a status update or photo to inform your audience.”

Sound familiar? These are best practices that citizen journalists and professionals alike are already using on Twitter.

Science says that Facebook can make you mad

Researchers warn that Facebook can cause psychotic episodes. A study by Doctor Uri Nitzan of Tel Aviv University found that people will turn to social networks to “seek refuge” from their loneliness and find comfort in Internet relationships. The problem is that the comfort was short lived and in many instances, these patients later ended up getting hurt by these digital relationships.

“In each case, a connection was found between the gradual development and exacerbation of psychotic symptoms, including delusions, anxiety, confusion, and intensified use of computer communications,” said Dr. Nitzan. Chatting platforms – especially Facebook – he said were to blame. 

Shockingly, cats and cute animals attract the most “likes” among ads

cat meme example

Yep, a cat, dog, or any cute animal photo used inside of a Facebook ad is an irresistible lure to reel in those Likes from users. SocialCode conducted a study on 3,000 images from 125 different brands to find out what types of ads worked the best. 

If you’re whoring for Likes, animal photos – cats, puppies, or teddy bears – are the most successful to get people to Like your page. There’s a caveat though: The engagement levels with these users are low enough that it might not even be worth using as a strategy unless your primary concern is the number of users following your brand page. As a pointer, the study notes that using product images as Facebook posts fairs far better in the long-run.

Avast acquires Secure.me to protect your Facebook account

secure.me

Facebook might be putting more effort into protecting your account as of late, but third parties are working parallel to keep your account secure. Think of Secure.me like an antivirus software for your Facebook account that points out the photos and links you don’t want to click on or interact with. We’d love to see these products being built in-house by Facebook’s security team, but the social network believes that it has bigger fish to fry. We unfortunately can’t expect to rely on Facebook to keep our accounts safe.

This is where Avast comes in, which has a distribution partnership with Facebook. Fortunately the company’s acquisition announcement might mean improved security for Facebook users, although at the same time considering Avast’s track record, it could mean that users will urged to pay for the product with annoying pop-ups.

Smart Home

Facebook's Alexa-enabled video-calling devices begin shipping

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.
Mobile

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited for a different occasion.
Mobile

These 100 best iPhone apps will turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

The iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the world, and we want to bring out the best in yours. Behold our comprehensive list of the best iPhone apps, from time-saving productivity tools to fun apps you won’t be able to put down.
Social Media

Facebook Messenger will soon let you delete sent messages

A feature coming to Facebook Messenger will let you delete a message for up to 10 minutes after you send it. The company promised the feature months ago and this week said it really is on its way ... "soon."
Social Media

Snapchat’s PR firm is suing an influencer for failing to influence

Snapchat's PR firm is suing a social media influencer for his alleged failure to promote Spectacles on Instagram. Actor Luka Sabbat was paid $45,000 upfront, but the suit claims he fell well short of the terms of the deal.
Computing

Urban legends for the digital age: The best scary stories from the internet

In need of some simple scares this Halloween? We've combed the internet for the best creepypastas, urban legends, and scary stories. From found footage YouTube videos to a deceptively scary wiki, these stories are sure to spook.
Mobile

WhatsApp finally gives in to the lure of cash-generating ads

WhatsApp's co-founders always said their messaging app would never show ads, but once the pair quit the company, it seemed inevitable that its owner, Facebook, would find a way to incorporate them.
Mobile

Shazam hooks up with Instagram Stories for another way to share songs

The latest update for Apple-owned Shazam lets iPhone users share music tracks to Instagram Stories in a few quick taps. To enable the feature, just make sure you have the latest version of Shazam loaded on your handset.
Social Media

Dine and dash(board): Make a Yelp reservation from your car’s control panel

Already in the car, but can't decide where to eat? Yelp Reservations can now be added to some dashboard touchscreens. Yelp Reservations searches for restaurants within 25 miles of the vehicle's location.
Computing

Hackers sold 120 million private Facebook messages, report says

Up to 120 million private Facebook messages were being sold online by hackers this fall. The breach was first discovered in September and the messages were obtained through unnamed rogue browser extensions. 
Web

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. You're in luck -- we've gathered 23 of the best subreddits to help…
Social Media

Facebook opens pop-up stores at Macy’s, but they’re not selling the Portal

Facebook has opened pop-up stores at multiple Macy's, though they're not selling Facebook's new Portal device. Instead, they're showcasing small businesses and brands that are already popular on Facebook and Instagram.
Social Media

Pinterest brings followed content front and center with full-width Pin format

Want to see Pinterest recommendations, or just Pins from followed users? Now Pinners can choose with a Pinterest Following feed update. The secondary feed eliminates recommendation and is (almost) chronological.
Social Media

Vine fans, your favorite video-looping app is coming back as Byte

Vine fans were left disappointed in 2017 when its owner, Twitter, pulled the plug on the video-looping app. But now one of its co-founders has promised that a new version of the app, called Byte, is coming soon.