Online

Facebook’s new Crisis Response hub combines all its best emergency tools

Facebook today announced a new Crisis Response hub page to keep all its emergency features in one place. Facebook has periodically added tools to help with emergencies ever since it introduced Safety Check back in 2014, but it could be a bit of a pain to actually find them when you want to help or let others know you’re safe. Crisis Response solves that by providing a central location for these features. Those include: The aforementioned safety check, which will show up…

Science

Facebook rolls out new shows to the entire U.S.

That was quick. Just a couple weeks after first introducing its new platform for TV shows, Facebook is now bringing the feature to everyone in the U.S. Called Watch, the social network is now working with dozens of publishers on original programming that lives in a dedicated section of Facebook's app and website. Facebook began testing Watch earlier this month, but the feature was only available to a handful of users in the U.S. Whatever the company was hoping to gauge in…

Technology

Facebook wants to fix your crooked 360-photos

Facebook wants you to post more 360-degree photos. Earlier this week, the company announced it would allow people to capture the spherical shots and set them as their cover photo right from the app. Problem is, 360-degree photos are a lot trickier to capture than a regular photo. Because it can difficult to keep the camera straight while you capture the image, the photos often look crooked, which, well, doesn't look great on Facebook. That's why the social network's researchers…

Science

Facebook expands its hate-fighting counterspeech initiative in Europe

Facebook has launched a third counterspeech initiative in Europe, partnering with the not-for-profit Institute for Strategic Dialogue for the launch of the Online Civil Courage Initiative (OCCI), which is aimed at tackling online extremism and hate speech. COO Sheryl Sandberg launched the initiative in London this morning along with Sasha Havlicek, CEO of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, and with the UK founding partners for the initiative who are: Brendan Cox, Jo Cox Foundation — an organization named after a UK MP who…

Technology

Facebook introduces new ad metrics and promises that more are coming

Facebook says it’s introducing a number of new measurements for businesses that buy ads and own Facebook Pages. Last year, the company admitted that it had been misreporting some metrics — individually, none of the mistakes seemed particularly serious, but cumulatively, they created the impression that the company needs to work harder on transparency for advertisers. (It’s also opened up for an audit from the Media Rating Council.) Similarly, none of the new metrics that Facebook is announcing today may…

Online

Facebook creeping is no longer totally anonymous

Facebook's new "Stories" update is here, and it ruins the best part about the entire social network: Mindlessly plumbing your friends' lives without fear of getting caught. When you watch a friend's Story — which exists for 24 hours and is comprised of one or more photos or short videos — that friend will know you're creeping. This is how Stories work on basically every platform that supports them (Snapchat, Instagram), but in the context of Facebook, it's kind of…

Design

Your News Feed is such a mess that Facebook is giving you another one

There's nothing quite like a clean slate — especially one that's pre-populated with a generous helping of algorithmically generated spam. Perhaps realizing that the News Feed has over the years morphed into a cluttered mess, Facebook has started testing an entirely new feed with a subset of its users. After all, why have one feed when you can have two? Double the ad-serving pleasure, double the ad-revenue fun. This new feed, identified by a rocket-ship logo, isn't the same as…

Online

Facebook’s secret iOS features you may never get to use

Facebook developers are always tinkering away behind the scenes on new features. Most of them never see the light of day, but it’s always interesting to see what they’re working on. Today, we got to take a sneak peek. Our sources tell us that, while legitimate, many of these features will never see the light of day — or they’ll release as a completely different animal than what it started as. So take these features with a grain of salt. Also,…

Online

Facebook Messenger now allows you to connect without connecting

Facebook is testing a new feature for its popular ‘Messenger’ platform. The feature, confirmed by BuzzFeed News today, allows you to connect with others from within the app without actually adding them to your friend list on Facebook itself. In essence, the feature allows Messenger users to connect with each other on the app, as if they were already friends, but without actually adding them as friends on Facebook proper. Facebook already allows this, although in a modified format. When non-friends…

Online

Facebook wants to make the News Feed your go-to source for news

Your Facebook feed is about to get a whole lot more news-focused, if these screenshots are anything to go by. It seems as though Facebook is testing a revised News Feed that could be its biggest change since the social media service was first launched. A screenshot from Twitter user @tomcritchlow shows the mobile layout for the changes, highlighting news topics at the bottom of the screen, including World & U.S., Sports, and Food. Presumably, the default section is the News Feed we…

Online

Secret Facebook features

Think you're a Facebook pro? Think again. Sure, Facey-B might have dominated the past decade of your online activity, but there's a good chance you're still not getting the most out the world's biggest social network. Believe it or not, it's no longer just that friendly little blue website you post drunken photos to. Squillions of development hours have been put into this thing, filling it with all manner of features you might not be aware of, including this lot. 1. YOU CAN…

Hardware

Facebook’s 360-degree camera will film cat videos for virtual reality

​We knew that Facebook was serious about virtual reality when it bought VR pioneer Oculus VR, maker of the Oculus Rift VR headset. And now it's made its own 360-degree camera for shooting VR videos. See, in order to make a virtual reality video, you need a camera capable of capturing footage in 360 degrees. That way, the viewer can look around and see the environment from all angles as if they were actually there. With the launch of the Surround…

Mobile

Get ready to be bothered by Facebook bots

As well as chatting to people on Facebook, you'll soon be conversing with 'bots', i.e. computers that use artificial intelligence to sound like humans. The aim is that firms will use bots to help customers on the social network. So, as the BBC notes, you could ask your bank to transfer £100 to your brother, and it would do so without you having to log in to your online banking and give the payee's details. You could also order flowers, buy clothes and…

Online

Facebook announces Facebook Home homescreen for Android

There have been rumors about Facebook phone for a while, and now, Facebook has decided to address those rumors by announcing Facebook Home. Facebook Home is a homescreen replacement, and you can download it if you have the most recent Facebook and Facebook Messenger apps installed on your Android Smartphone. With Facebook Home, your screen is replaced by a Cover Feed, which is a stream of full-screen pictures and stories. In addition, with Facebook Home you can easily see multiple Facebook…

Online

Facebook announces redesigned News Feed

Facebook is constantly introducing new features and changes, and speaking of which, Facebook has unveiled a redesigned News Feed, so let’s see what does it have to offer. Redesigned News Feed comes with bigger images of maps, news articles, photos, and apps information, so it resembles a Pinterest a bit. In addition, now you can filter your News Feed chronologically, or find what music are your friends listening to, or what events are going on. There are some new feeds such as All Friends that allows you to…