All this week’s Facebook news that’s fit to print

facebook under a magnifying glass

Can’t keep up with the nonstop Facebook news and feature updates? Well we did for you. Here’s this week’s roundup of news you may have missed, including a slew of new Facebook features that may or may not see the light of day in the near future.

Events get invited to the Timeline redesign

facebook timeline update events issue

With so much seamless sharing going on in Facebook, there are bound to be privacy holes that share too much. Europe v. Facebook, a non-profit organization that keeps tabs on Facebook and any of its privacy issues discovered that the Facebook Timeline enabled friends of friends to see a full list of events that users had been invited to. The issue is that updates to the Timeline, which were rolled out starting March 13 to limited users as a test, bypassed the friend-to-friend privacy setting. The consequences were that friends-of-friends were getting a revealing look into the user’s extracurricular activities. Facebook has recognized the problem after Europe v. Facebook reached out to the social network. The issue has since been fixed.

Facebook will roll out reply buttons

huffington post facebook reply feature

Comments are threaded in a way that in long discussions like on brand pages, you can’t tell who’s addressing whom without requiring them to tagging the person you’re trying to reply to. Finally, this is about to change, says TechCrunch. Profiles or brand pages with more than 10,000 followers will get the reply feature, which indents replies in the threaded style that forums have been using since the advent of the Internet. At the same time, Facebook is testing and may also release an algorithm that bumps the best comment threads to the top of the post.

Facebook loosens up cover photo restrictions

TPolamalu promotional cover photo for library cards

Facebook’s policy on cover photos (which very few users has had to worry about anyway) is getting far more lax that it used to be as of March 6, reports Inside Facebook. This includes Facebook removing the ban on calls to action, a user’s contact information, and other self-promotional content you’d probably often find on a banner ad. The only rule that’s going to be enforced is that cover photos with more than 20 percent of it covered in text remain against Facebook’s policy. If Facebook catches you one of its reps will take it down. But with more than 1.1 billion users, odds are you could get away with it for awhile.

Facebook testing mobile notifications to remind you it exists

facebook annoying push notification

Facebook has confirmed with Mashable that it’s testing among limited users a new mobile push notification that asks users to update their status if they haven’t done so in a while. As if we didn’t already have a significant problem with push notifications being wildly abused. 

Facebook is an ego-booster, in a good way

A study by Cornell suggests that taking a look at your Facebook profile after a rough day might do you some good. Facebook works as a “self-affirming” ego-booster. Every time you check out your profile and browse through the friends that have liked and commented on your profile, you’ll be able to weather criticisms knowing that you’re still “loved by a network of friends and family” on Facebook. “”The extraordinary amount of time people spend on Facebook may be a reflection of its ability to satisfy ego needs that are fundamental to the human condition,” lead researcher Jeff Hancock told the Daily News.

Browsing social networks, the study found, doesn’t only apply to Facebook. Hancock suggests that it even applies to online dating. “Perhaps online daters who are anxious about being single or recently divorced may find comfort in the process of composing or reviewing their online profiles, as it allows them to reflect on their core values and identity.”

If it doesn’t go viral in three hours, it never will

Optimal facebook viral engagement graph

The window or timeframe in which a Facebook post would go viral is three hours after posting, says Facebook analytics company Optimal. Specifically 75 percent of the Facebook engagement (likes, comments, shares) happens in that three hour timeframe, while 50 percent of the engagement takes place within an hour. 

Computing

Nvidia’s flagship RTX 2080 Ti graphics cards are failing. Or are they?

Nvidia's RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition may be the main cause for the worst problems associated with the new-generation high-end cards. All evidence suggests that partner cards aren't experiencing any common issues.
Mobile

The new iPad Pro is now available in stores -- here's where to get it

Apple has introduced its new lineup of iPad Pro models. If you're wondering how to get your hands on one, we have you covered. Here's everything you need to know about pricing and availability for the new iPad Pro models.
Home Theater

Rain or shine, take your tunes outside with Focal’s new speaker line

French speaker manufacturer Focal is bringing its high-fidelity pedigree to your backyard with two new models. The 100 OD6 and 100 OD8 speakers will allow you to listen to your favorite tunes in high quality, rain or shine.
Mobile

Barnes & Noble’s $130 Nook 10.1 tablet is this year’s anti-iPad

Bookstore Barnes & Noble is still in the tablet business, despite being quiet about it for a while, and has announced the $130 Nook Tablet 10.1. Unlike the new iPad Pro, it's about reading books over super specs.
Social Media

LinkedIn gets serious about video with Vimeo integration

LinkedIn is gaining new video options thanks to integration with Vimeo. The new agreement allows for native uploads with further reaching, along with bringing tools like video analytics.
Social Media

Twitter tests home screen button that offers more control of your timeline

Twitter recently relaunched its reverse-chronological timeline, but accessing it means diving into settings. Now the company is testing a button on the main screen that lets you switch between the two different styles of timeline.
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.