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 to protect your Facebook account

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 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.

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?
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."
Smart Home

Busted: Facebook Portal gets 5-star reviews from company employees

It's fair to say that Facebook's Portal smart display received a tepid response at launch, so it was something of a surprise to see lots of glowing reviews of the device on Amazon. Turns out some were written by Facebook workers.
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.

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.
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.

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

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

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.
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.

2019'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.