This week in Facebook news

do you remember facebook political ads if not youre alone

Not a week goes by that Facebook doesn’t issue a handful of releases or create a buzz around itself, and this one was no exception. Here are five of the top Facebook stories you may have missed from the last five days.

Mitt Romney is bleeding Facebook friends

romney facebook page bleeding of friends

With the election over and along with it Mitt Romney’s campaign, and now Mitt Romney’s Facebook page is stuck in social media purgatory. Campaigners will no longer be updating the page, it just simply “exists.” Whatever the motivation may be, followers of the former presidential candidate’s Facebook page are unliking Romney in droves. “Refresh the page – 12.08 million. Refresh again – 15 less,” Caitlin Dewey of The Washington Post wrote when she first realized what was transpiring. We checked it out for ourselves, and indeed, we were witnessing an exodus of former followers fleeing his Facebook page – based on our eyeball calculation, we estimate about 10 followers were unliking the page every second. At this rate, should it be maintained, the “Likes” count will plummet to zero in just two weeks.

Fedex encourages shipping using its Facebook app

five facebook news you need to know from this week ship friends

Just in time for the holiday season, and not long after Facebook Gifts was officially announced, Fedex is making a foray into making shipping social – sort of. Fedex’s newly launched Facebook App is called Ship To Friends, which is undoubtedly inspired by Facebook Gift’s own shipping process. On one hand, when we checked out the app we could see the value in the fact that it simplifies the process of shipping a package on the Web. If you’ve ever tried shipping a package on Fedex’s own website, you’ll know how frustrating it is to navigate as well as figure out the price and size of the package. Ship To Friends takes you through the process, with the prices listed clearly alongside delivery hours and dates. It makes you wonder why Fedex.com’s native shipping feature isn’t as easy to use as its Facebook app.

A couple caveats to note from our testing is that that international shipping isn’t supported and the app doesn’t send a shipping request to friends — meaning you can’t request that your friends enter in their own mailing addresses, which is a feature offered on Facebook Gifts. 

Facebook testing audio notifications

facebook audio notification settings

You might remember the days of the iconic “You’ve got mail” alert. It was annoying yet endearing, and apparently something similar may be heading to Facebook. Facebook confirmed with Venturebeat that alerts, which ping users when they receive new notifications, are being tested selectively. The alerts, if rolled out to all users, can be turned on and off in the account settings page.

Popular Facebook users can now get in on Promoted Posts

Facebook promoted post for over 5000 friends

The upper echelons of Facebook users, who have more than 5,000 friends and/or subscribers, were unable to reap the “benefits” of the Promoted Posts advertising product that Facebook launched last month. Namely journalists, celebrities, politicians, and anyone else who would most likely have thousands of subscribers are the ones this change applies to. For those of us that fit in the 5,000 friends and fewer category are only charged $7 for a post to be promoted. It’s being reported that these users are being charged a premium of $49 to promote a post to friends and subscribers.

Facebook inflates egos, users lose self-control

Facebook can be addicting for some people, and for others it can boost self-esteem. A study by researchers from The University of Pittsburgh and Columbia University examined the effects of social media on human behavior and according to the paper, users are selective on what they share online and tend to portray themselves on social networks in a positive matter. This effectively boosts their self esteem. Interestingly enough, the study mentions that people looking in a mirror tend not to feel good about themselves. With this in mind, the researchers found a correlation between high self esteem and self control. “Enhanced self esteem from using a social network can have a detrimental effect on behavior,” says researchers Keith Wilcox of Columbia Business School, and Andrew T. Stephen of The University of Pittsburgh. “We present evidence suggesting that greater social network use is associated with a higher body-mass index and higher levels of credit card debt for individuals with strong ties to their social network.”

The root of the problem is that “elevated feelings of self-worth can lead to more impulsive or indulgent behavior. Citing Wilcox’s previous research, the study adds that inflated feelings of pride, which is related to self esteem, “results in more indulgent choices in subsequent tasks that are unrelated to the source of pride.”

We’ll go ahead and add this to the mountain of behavioral effects social networks are having on us. 

Facebook testing commenting threads

facebook comment threading

If you’ve ever cursed Facebook for overlooking the ability to comment on a comment, it looks like you’re in luck. A blogger and social media manager of Kairay Media discovered that comment threading was enabled on a Filipino Facebook page.

This feature, limited to a small test group, enables users to reply to comments. You’ll see a “Reply” button next to “Like” on the original comments. The replies to the comments can also be “Liked.” A third level of commenting isn’t supported. Facebook confirmed that the structure, as of testing, is as follows:

1. Comment

2. Reply to comment

Facebook’s spokesperson also provided us with the same statement, explaining the purpose of the feature:

“We are testing a new way to add comments to a post on Facebook. With this test you will be able to reply to another comment as well as the original post. This is just a small test at this stage.”

Comment threading, while being tested out at a limited scale, is a much awaited feature that many of us will be glad to embrace. For one thing, it should help to contain those heated arguments or side conversations in its own thread without disrupting the general flow.

News

Facebook no longer lets you save your friends’ birthdays to your own calendar

Facebook quietly removed a feature that allowed users to export and sync their friends’ birthdays to an external calendar like iCal or Google Calendar. While you can still export upcoming events -- parties, get-togethers, and the like --…
Social Media

Looking to share some content? Here's how to repost on Instagram

Have you ever seen a cool picture on Instagram that you wanted to share? There's no official means of reposting content on Instagram, but there are a few workarounds. We break down the two most logical choices for getting the job done.
Mobile

Bitmoji lets you create personalized emojis to spice up your online chats

Looking for more interesting ways to use emoji when chatting? Bitmoji are personalized emoji that you design to look just like you -- and then create a whole keyboard of stickers that you can use with them. Here's what you should know.
Social Media

Your Twitter name can change with the times, just like you do — here's how

Despite what you may or may not have heard, Twitter names aren't actually set in stone. Check out our quick-hit guide on how to change your Twitter username and display name in less than five minutes.
News

Reddit is finally back online after an hours-long desktop outage

Reddit is back online for desktop users after an hours-long outage early Thursday morning. Reddit's status page said it was still investigating some residual issues, so users may still have some trouble accessing the site. 
Social Media

Here’s why Twitter went down for an hour earlier on Thursday

Twitter is finally back online after going down for users around the globe late Thursday morning. The hour-long disruption made Twitter the latest major social media network to go offline over the past month
Social Media

Facebook now allows you to opt out of those ads that target your tastes

Tired of seeing Facebook ads that aren’t relevant to you? Now you can not only opt out of ads from that company, but you can also see why the ad was shown to you in the first place.
How-To

Stop Facebook from tracking you and using targeted ads with these tips

Facebook and businesses that use the site track what pages you like, your political affiliation, and even try to guess your race. All of this is done so the site can target you with relevant ads. Here's how to opt out.
Social Media

YouTube offers creators more ways to boost their bank accounts

Whether you're a top YouTube creator or just breaking into the game, the video-streaming site has some new features designed to help you please your fans and increase your bank balance.
News

President Trump attacks Facebook Libra, says it’s not dependable like the dollar

President Trump attacked Facebook's new Libra cryptocurrency on Thursday, claiming it will have "little standing or dependability" and that Facebook would need to seek a banking charter if it wanted to move forward.
Social Media

The FTC will hit Facebook with a $5 billion fine over privacy violations

Facebook has agreed to a $5 billion settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over its numerous “privacy missteps." Once it goes through, this would be the largest FTC fine for a major technology company – and a huge chunk of…
News

Lua uses animated emotions to help you keep your plants happy and healthy

The Lua Smart Planter is currently seeking funding on Indiegogo to make this smiling plant pot a reality. The device helps you take care of your plants by showing their needs through a series of animated faces.
Mobile

Flex your thumbs (and your brain) with these fun texting games

Gaming consoles keep getting more advanced, but you can still have fun with the good old Latin alphabet. Here are our picks for the best texting games, so you can make the most fun out of that limited data plan or basic cell phone.
News

Facebook says it won’t launch Libra until regulators are happy

Facebook says it won’t roll out its Libra cryptocurrency until it’s fully addressed regulatory concerns – though it added that regulation of the currency itself would largely happen in Switzerland, not the U.S.