Facebook starts using your page likes to promote posts that you haven’t shared

Facebook Login Close-up

Noticed by Ed Bott at ZDNet this week, Facebook has started using page likes to promote popular posts from that page within the News Feed. Simply put, Facebook is automatically inserting a post in the News Feed created by a brand page that you like and all of your friends will see the post as if you shared the content. While the formatting doesn’t specifically point out that a Facebook user promoted the content with a like or a share, it does point out that the Facebook user is endorsing the brand page that created the post.

Arguably, the design of this type of post has been formatted to appear as if the user is endorsing any message that a brand or organization promotes. The amount of potentially embarrassing situations that could result from this type of post may lead to confused or angry friends and family members that likely don’t understand the new formatting.

Facebook-Drugstore-endorsementAs pointed out by the example within the ZDNet article, this led to a user viewing a post of a couple friends endorsing Drugstore.com. Beneath the endorsement, the post created by Drugstore.com stated “Save 55% off the Date Night Gift Pack from K-Y: Including $10 off 2 movie tickets, Yours & Mine Lubes, and K-Y Touch Warming Oil,” along with a picture of the risque product.

The user told ZDNet “A colleague of mine and a friend of mine had both “liked” drugstore.com somewhere along the way. To say that my colleague and my friend were mortified would be an understatement!”

As the political election season ramps up, this new formatting will likely lead to more confusion over the endorsement of conservative or liberal ideals and policy. For instance, if a fiscally conservative, but socially liberal user that likes the GOP on Facebook may become upset if their name appears above an admonishment of Planned Parenthood.

Oreo-gay-prideTaking this a step further, a page like that may appear completely harmless could end up being a problem for some Facebook users. For example, a socially conservative user against gay marriage that also likes Oreo cookies may have gotten extremely upset if their name appeared over Kraft Food’s recent decision to show support for gay pride by posting a picture of a rainbow-colored Oreo cookie on Facebook. People that are also friends with co-workers on Facebook could also run into trouble in the workplace due to confusion over this new formatting. 

Most importantly, this new format within the News feed is not a promoted post, a sponsored story or anything related to companies paying for Facebook advertising. This is simply how Facebook wants people to discover new pages to like.

According to an official statement released by the social network, a Facebook spokesperson stated “To help people find new Pages, events, and other interesting information, people may now see posts from a Page a friend likes. These posts will include the social context from your friends who like the Page and will respect all existing settings.”

While a Facebook user can easily opt out of having their name used within Sponsored Stories, there doesn’t appear to be a privacy setting related to this new format since it’s not classified as an advertisement. At the moment, the only way to completely eliminate the possibility of your name appearing within this formatting is to watch the News Feed for potential problems and reduce your total number of page likes. 

Home Theater

Apple is arming up to redefine TV just like it did the phone

Curious about what Apple's answer to Netflix will be? Us too. So we combed through some patents, and looked at the landscape, to come up with a bold prediction: Apple's streaming service will be way bigger than anyone thinks.
Computing

Confused about RSS? Don't be. Here's what it is and how to use it

What is an RSS feed, anyway? This traditional method of following online news is still plenty useful. Let's take a look at what RSS means, and what advantages it has in today's busy world.
Gaming

You're never too broke to enjoy the best free-to-play games

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially popular League of Legends.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this winter with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Legion'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Social Media

Periscope tool adds guests to feeds so streamers can become talk show hosts

Periscope users can now invite viewers to chime into the conversation with more than just the comment tool. By enabling the option to add guests, livestreamers can add guests to the conversation, in audio format only.
Photography

Crouching, climbing, and creeping, the perfect Instagram shot knows no bounds

Just how far will you go for the perfect Instagram? A recent survey shows just how willing Instagram users -- and Instagram husbands -- are to climb, lie down, embarrass themselves or let their food go cold for the perfect shot.
Social Media

Facebook’s long-promised ‘unsend’ feature arrives. Here’s how to use it

Send a message to the wrong person? Messenger now gives you 10 minutes to take it back. After an update beginning to roll out today, users can now retract messages if they act within the first 10 minutes after sending the message.
Social Media

YouTube boss admits even her own kids gave the ‘Rewind’ video a thumbs down

YouTube's 2018 Rewind video went down like a lead balloon at the end of last year, becoming the most disliked video in its history. And now YouTube's CEO has admitted that even her own kids thought it was pretty darn awful.
Social Media

Snapchat finally recovers from its redesign — so here comes an Android update

Snapchat's drop in users after launching a controversial redesign has finally stagnated. During the fourth quarter and 2018 earnings report, Snapchat shared that the company is rolling out an Android update designed to increase performance.
Social Media

Skype’s new ‘blur background’ feature could help keep you from blushing

Skype's latest feature for desktop lets you blur your background during video calls. The idea is that it keeps you as the focus instead of distracting others with whatever embarrassing things you might have on show behind you.
Social Media

Twitter users are declining but more people are seeing ads every day

Twitter's end-of-the-year report for 2018 is a mix of good and bad news. The good news is that more users are seeing adds daily, the metric the company will focus on moving forward. But the bad news is that monthly active users are…
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. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.
Computing

YouTube beats Apple, Netflix as the most trusted brand by millennials

The popular video sharing website YouTube climbed up in an annual Mblm study, moving up from third place in 2018 and coming ahead of both Apple and Netflix in final 2019 rankings. 
Social Media

LinkedIn finally gets around to launching its own live video tool

Live video is coming to LinkedIn for businesses and individuals on the site. The livestreaming feature is launching in beta in the U.S. before rolling out to the entire community.