All posts tagged “Facebook’s”

Facebook’s new ads want us to believe it’s the only thing connecting us to the world

Facebook has long been touting its power to connect old friends and long-lost acquaintances, but its new ad campaign takes that one step further. The company’s recently released ad series reminds us that Facebook is worldwide, and as such, it can connect people around the world.

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Facebook’s walls get a stunning illustrative facelift

Read more about Facebook’s walls get a stunning illustrative facelift at

vimeo: 97333662 We’ve seen some incredibly cool office murals over the years. Specialising in doodling office mural art works, illustrator Geo Law was recently commissioned by Facebook to complete a few installations in their offices.

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Facebook’s new Rooms app brings bite-sized forums to your iPhone

“We’re not trying to build the next Snapchat — we’re trying to build the next WordPress.”

These aren’t the words you expect to hear from the guy building Facebook’s next big app. Facebook has spent the last two years cloning Snapchat, trying to buy Snapchat, and eventually creating a pseudo-Snapchat. None of these plans have worked, so now it’s building… a blogging platform?

Not exactly. Today, Facebook is launching Rooms, an iPhone app that lets you create tiny message boards for posting text, photos, and videos. In each room you can create your own username and identity, and post or comment with friends or strangers about anything from minimalist furniture to Kendama or Destiny. Like on conventional message boards, you can set…

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Is the outrage over Facebook’s psych study just fear of big data?

Facebook deliberately showed more or fewer negative or positive posts to nearly 700,000 users over the course of a week in January of 2012 in order to study emotional transference online. When people found out, they were upset. Microsoft researcher and social media scholar danah boyd explains that this outrage is more than the feeling that Facebook did something unethical or sociopathic; it’s a reaction to the power of big data that is accruing all around us.

boyd unpacks this idea and offers some suggestions. “More than anything, I want to see users have the ability to meaningfully influence what’s being done with their data and I’d love to see a way for their voices to be represented in these processes,” she writes. “I’m glad this…

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Facebook’s Paper app is looking less and less like Facebook

With Paper, Facebook set out to prove that it could “think small,” rebuilding itself from the ground up for mobile devices. This meant removing lots of clutter, and in some cases, leaving out certain features that some Facebook users might have considered essential. Today, Facebook is launching Paper 1.1, an update meant to add back a few of Facebook’s most important features, while continuing to think about how Paper can be different.

Paper 1.1’s most noticeable addition is the inclusion of Birthdays and Events, two of Facebook’s oldest features. But instead of bundling the two into your News Feed as Facebook’s main app does, Paper adds them to the Notifications screen. “We thought Notifications would be a good place to put this…

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Facebook’s working on facial verification that’s ‘nearing human-level performance’

Identifying faces is a relatively simple task if you’re a human, but it’s been a long road for computers to do the same thing. Now Facebook says it’s developed a technology for verifying whether two people in side-by-side photos are the same that comes pretty close to replicating human abilities. That project is called DeepFace, and according to Facebook it’s 97.25 percent accurate, which is just shy the 97.5 percent humans have scored in the same standardized test. In order to pull off that feat, the technology maps out 3D facial features, then makes a flat model that’s filtered by color to characterize specific facial elements. Facebook also says it’s tapped into a pool of 4.4 million labeled faces from 4,030 different people on its…

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Design and Facebook’s Newest $16 Billion Toy, WhatsApp

WhatsApp-design work life 2

Last week Facebook bought popular messaging company WhatsApp for $ 16 billion (Yes with a b), giving the social media company yet another crown jewel in mobile application domination after Instagram and Facebook itself.

It was shocking that WhatsApp would cost this much given that Google was able to pick up Nest for a mere $ 3.2 billion and Facebook only needed to shell out $ 1 billion for Instagram just two years ago, despite there being seemingly thousands of competitors to choose from.

But unlike Instagram, WhatsApp has paid very little attention to interface design or branding. Fast Co. Design asked, “Why Facebook Paid $ 16 billion for An Ugly, Primitive App.” And BuzzFeed wondered aloud, “It’s a primitive-looking app — maybe even ugly — and it contains no ads. It associates with your phone number and circumvents texting charges; it only takes a few friends to join before its crude, simple appeal is obvious.”

Is the question, why buy an ugly app, or why an ugly app has over 450 million users? Others might wonder still that if it can get 450 million users looking like this, how can having the best looking app matter? I’m sure Jonathan Ive is rolling his eyes from deep inside Apple headquarters at the thought of success coming despite magical design.

WhatsApp-design work life 3

To be fair, the app isn’t technically ugly, it just simply lacks design. It’s a virtual blank canvas—one that is so dead simple to use, that it seems anyone can, within seconds. And use it, they do. 70% of WhatsApp users are using it like crazy, sending 500 million pictures back and forth every day, and on average over 1,200 messages a month.

On the other hand there certainly is no shortage of concept designs out there aiming to improve upon the app’s general look. But it all has that certain “Googleness” to its sparse utility. There isn’t any fluff and there aren’t any superfluous features. Its mission is singularly, simply, hyper-focused. Clearly, Facebook didn’t buy the app for its design.

On WhatsApp’s blog they devoted their whole existence to, “building a cool product used globally by everybody. Nothing else mattered to us.”  In fact, on the founder’s desk you find a note that reads simply, “No Ads! No Games! No Gimmicks!”

whatsapp-design work life 1

The most interesting thing to come out of this purchase is Facebook’s conclusion, or at least hedging bet, that users are equally as interested in private small groups of communication as we are in broadcasting every sandwich, coffee, and experience to the world. As Jenna Wortham of the New York Times sees it,

“…the popularity of private-messaging applications like WhatsApp, which has more than 450 million users, suggests that despite all the technological advances in recent decades, people still crave to communicate in small groups and often just with one other person at a time.”

The lesson here is that giving users what they want by creating an effortlessly simple user experience is just as important—if not more—as looking good.

Design Work Life

Facebook’s prototype cold storage system uses 10,000 Blu-ray discs to hold a petabyte of data

Only a fraction of Facebook’s hundreds of billions of photos are viewed regularly, while the rest languish pages deep in our profiles. These older images are rarely seen, but they still take up vital space on the company’s servers. Facebook has been searching for a new, more efficient way to store such pictures. Early last year, the company called for a new type of low-power flash memory that would allow infrequently-accessed data to be held in cold storage. Now Facebook has turned to another technology to store its information: Blu-ray discs.

The company has built a prototype system that uses 10,000 Blu-ray discs to store a petabyte of data. Speaking at this year’s Open Compute Summit, Facebook’s vice president of engineering, Jay…

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Twitter to avoid Facebook’s IPO woes by listing on the New York Stock Exchange, says report

Twitter has chosen to list on the New York Stock Exchange as it moves ever closer to becoming a public company, The Street is reporting based on its own sources. Twitter reportedly intends to sell between 50 and 55 million shares at a price between $ 28 to $ 30 each, bringing in around $ 1.5 billion for the company. Such an offer would value Twitter around $ 15 or $ 16 billion — far short of Facebook’s $ 100 billion valuation.

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You’re not gonna Like it: Facebook’s new search struggles with the real world

facebook graph search lead

One week ago, I received a Facebook message from my friend David. “SUPER random question, but do you know a girl from Michigan whose name is Lauren and lives in Boston?” he asked. “Apparently she is your friend and Jenna’s friend on Facebook.” I hadn’t spoken to David in years, so I was a little confused. “I was using Tinder (a new dating app) for the first time today,” he wrote, “and Lauren was the one person I decided to look up since we had 30 mutual friends and shared 30 interests. I guess we’ll never know.” I was at work, and not in the mood to pore through the 20 Laurens in my friends list to help David find the right girl. Then I remembered I had been given access to Facebook’s new search product, Graph…

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