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All the Facebook news you may have missed this week

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Between the endless feature releases and that ever-churning rumor mill, there’s a constant flood of Facebook news to keep up on. Here’s anything and everything that may have slipped past you over the last week. 

Facebook tests out cover photos in “Events” pages

facebook tests new events layout

Facebook is paying extra attention to its “Events” pages. AllFacebook reports that the social network is testing out a different layout for events.

The layout is similar to Groups and your Facebook Timeline. Right now the only photo that shows up on an events page is on the left-hand side and just 180 x 185 pixels, but the social network is looking to add a cover photo that stretches across the top of the page.

Facebook is helpful for keeping in touch with high school friends

After years of Facebook studies and new feature announcements, we’ve probably forgotten that Facebook is a social network that was designed to help keep in touch with friends. We couldn’t blame you. After all, Facebook is now chock full of brand messages, games, events, and other bells and whistles. But turns out, Facebook is actually pretty useful as a way to help keep in touch with your high school friends. Go figure. 

South African researcher, Kevin Johnson, measured 572 college student’s social capital of their Facebook friends – how comfortable these students would be with reaching out to their high school friends about job opportunities or events. The answers is, very. At the same time the study finds that friends feel connected through Facebook, even if the reality is that they’re technically drifting apart.

Facebook bug causes misreported Page Insights

Facebook users and brands already have their gripes about their limited reach thanks to the network’s News Feed algorithm. Now, Facebook admits that it stripped too much data from News Feed posts to the point that it was misrepresenting the statistics from Page Insights. Facebook Page administrators would have been seeing a reach that was lower than the number of people posts were actually reaching, but this doesn’t mean that the posts weren’t reaching the people that it was supposed to reach. The only part that was affected was the reporting.

Facebook has patched up the bug and the fix, according to TechCrunch, and the accurate data will be presented beginning Monday. Some brands just might see a boost in their reach, which is good news for the marketers managing these pages.

Facebook Director of Product parts from Facebook

blake ross leaving facebook

Facebook’s Director of Product Blake Ross has had a lengthy career over at Facebook, a company he joined after co-founding Mozilla. He joined Facebook when his company, Parakey, was acquired by the social network in Facebook’s first acquisition. He announced his decision to move onto bigger and better things.

Facebook finally rolls out free calling in U.S., Canada

Facebook Messenger is an ambitious endeavor for the social network, which wants desperately to compete with the recent barrage of messaging apps. It’s clear now what types of features are the foundations of any messaging app, which includes free calling and voice messaging. While voice messaging has been rolled out by Facebook already, it wasn’t until Messenger’s 5.5 version, released just a couple of days ago, that the social network implemented its free calling feature reports AllFacebook. Along with free calling, Facebook has silently updated its like, comment, and share buttons.

Facebook wants to target ads based on your real-life purchases

If you’ve purchased anything in a store or online, Facebook wants to know what brand it was and what ads it can serve to its users. We reported on the Datalogix and Facebook partnership earlier, but AdAge says that Facebook is partnering with additional data firms including Epsilon and Axciom so that any loyalty cards or email addresses that you’ve signed up to, with a retailer like Walgreens for instance, will evidence to the types of ads Facebook will serve you based on your buying habits.

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