Facebook news you may have missed this week

facebook news feed

Thursday’s Facebook News Feed announcement may have taken the spotlight off of all other Facebook-related news, but we have you covered. Here are five stories about Facebook that you might have missed this week.

Facebook ‘likes’ could help you survive a hospital stay

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What’s one quick way to judge a hospital by its cover? A study published in The American Journal ofMedical Quality has found an interesting connection between hospital quality and Facebook ‘likes.’ The study investigated customer satisfaction surveys from 40 hospitals in New York City, and found a correlation between online popularity (Facebook likes) with patients’ propensity to recommend these 40 hospitals. The study found an even stronger relationship between Facebook likes and mortality rate, which was used as a (morbid) indication of overall hospital quality. Researchers found a 1 percent point decrease in the 30-day mortality rate for ever 93 new Facebook likes.

Facebook Messenger’s Android app gets free calling in Canada

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Messaging is a challenge for Facebook. Compared to competing apps, Facebook Messenger didn’t really offer users anything they can’t find elsewhere. Then the social network announced that it was rolling out a VoIP calling feature to Messenger to U.S. and Canadian users. The feature was first released to iOS users in Canada back in January. As of this week, Facebook’s VoIP feature is rolling out to Canadian Android users. Note that VoIP calling has long been available in many other messaging apps like LINE, WeChat, Nimbuzz, and others. Of course, none of these apps are Facebook – and that’s kind of a big deal.

Facebook yet again fending off an irate shareholder

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Another week, another Facebook lawsuit. On base is a Facebook shareholder by the name of Gaye Jones. According to Reuters, Jones alleges that, in preparation for its IPO, Facebook’s upper management failed to disclose sub par revenue forecasts of its mobile offerings to protect the financial interests of the underwriters. Problem is, Jones owned Facebook shares before the IPO finalized, which experts say puts a damper on his case. With four other similar lawsuits against Facebook having fizzled when the courts decided to dismiss them, all we have to say to Jones is, good luck.

Marketers complain of decreased post reach, Facebook fires back

Marketers are not happy with Facebook, these days. Last October, Facebook launched Promoted Posts for users, which set off alarm bells for many who believe Facebook was running a scheme to get users to spend money for a wider reach. At the crux of their anger is that Facebook allegedly fixed its algorithm to decrease the number of friends that would see your posts. Facebook, however, has fired back with a study, titled “Quantifying the Invisible Audience in Social Networks,” that indicates, based on a sampling of 222,000 Facebook users, that users will, on average, reach 61 percent of their friends per month through their posts and status updates – more than critics expected. Still, we’ll have to see how things change however once the new News Feed rolls out to all users.

Facebook introduces new Lifestyle Open Graph Actions

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Lifestyle is quickly becoming a popular category for Facebook app developers. Recognizing this, Facebook has introduced new Open Graph actions for lifestyle app developers. “This improves developers’ ability to publish the types of activities that people want to share,” Facebook engineer Dan Giambalvo wrote in the Facebook blog post. According to Facebook, preliminary testing with these Open Graph actions have doubled the average likes per story.

The new Open Graph actions include “run,” “walk,” and “bike” for the Fitness category; “read, “rate,” “quote” and “want to read” for Boooks; and “rate,” “want to watch” for Movies and TV.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Smart Home

Facebook Portal and Portal+ video-calling devices gain new content and features

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.
Gaming

The Epic Games store is already luring indie studios away from Steam

The Epic Games Store is less than a week old, but it's already making waves among indie studios. Multiple studios have announced that their games will be timed exclusives on the Epic Games Store, with one studio forgoing Steam completely.
Business

‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ wins one of the worst box-office weekends of 2018

Wreck-It Ralph sequel Ralph Breaks the Internet stayed on top of the weekend box office for the third week, winning what was one of the worst weekends for ticket sales in the US so far this year.
Social Media

This event topped Facebook’s biggest moments of the year — again

As the year comes to a close, Facebook is looking back on what users discussed most over the last year. For two years in a row, International Women's Day topped the list. So what else is on the list?
Social Media

This band owns Twitter, according to list of top accounts and tweets for 2018

What was the biggest buzz on Twitter in 2018? Twitter's 2018 Year in Review highlights the biggest tweets, accounts, and hashtags. The most-tweeted celebrities, movies, TV shows, athletes, politicians and more in Twitter's 2018 trends.
Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.
Home Theater

It took Tom Cruise to raise awareness of this troublesome TV setting

Tom Cruise, in an unexpected PSA tweet, asks you to turn off motion interpolation on your TV, but stops short of how to do it. Here's more on the topic, along with links to a guide on how to rid your TV of the dreaded "soap opera effect."
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Business

Amazon scouted airport locations for its cashier-free Amazon Go stores

Representatives of Amazon Go checkout-free retail stores connected with officials at Los Angeles and San Jose airports in June to discuss the possibility of cashier-free grab-and-go locations in busy terminals.
Social Media

Snapchat facial recognition could soon power a new portrait mode, code suggests

Digging into Snapchat's code suggests a handful of upcoming camera features, including a portrait mode. The feature appears to use facial recognition A.I. to blur the background. The code also suggests an updated camera interface.
Computing

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.
Social Media

Walkie-talkie voice messaging finally comes to Instagram

In its latest grab from messaging apps, Instagram now lets you send walkie-talkie style voice messages. Apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and iMessage have offered the feature for some time.
Social Media

‘YouTube Rewind 2018’ is about to become its most disliked video ever

YouTube is about to achieve a record it really doesn't want — that of "most-disliked video." Yes, its annual recap of featuring popular YouTubers has gone down really badly this year.