You can now pre-order Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset for $599, ships in March

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 6, 2016

Facebook on Wednesday confirmed that Oculus, a virtual-reality company it bought in March of 2014 for $2 billion, will be launching its hotly anticipated Rift virtual-reality headset at the end of March 2016.

Priced at $599, the device is now available for pre-order and will initially ship to 20 countries starting March 28, including Australia, Canada, Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom, Oculus said.

The Rift comes bundled with two games—Lucky’s Tale and EVE: Valkyrie—with more than a hundred games coming later this year, including Rockband VR by Harmonix, Edge of Nowhere by Insomniac, The Climb by Crytek and Minecraft by Microsoft-owned Mojang. Read More

 

How to make a profile video in Facebook’s iOS app

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 21, 2015

Facebook recently began allowing users to set a short video as their profile picture on the service. Users can now take or upload a video of up to seven seconds to use as their profile video. These profile videos appear at the top of your profile, just like static profile pictures, but you can currently add a profile video only from the iPhone.

If you feel your Facebook profile is too static, here’s how to spice it up with a profile video in Facebook’s iOS app. Read More

 

Facebook is rolling out Live Photos support

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 21, 2015

When Apple introduced Live Photos at its September 2015 iPhone 6s event it also announced an SDK allowing third-parties to implement support for them, while specifically saying that Live Photos would be coming to Facebook before year-end.

Following Tumblr’s iOS app which was first to implement support for Live Photos, Facebook today started rolling out the ability to upload and view Live Photos from within their iOS app, TechCrunch reports. Read More

 

Flash’s demise continues as Facebook adopts HTML5 video player

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 21, 2015

Following Google’s decision to stop using Adobe’s outdated Flash technology for video delivery on YouTube in favor of an HTML5-based video player, Facebook last week announced a similar move of its own.

“We recently switched to HTML5 from a Flash-based video player for all Facebook web video surfaces, including videos in News Feed, on Pages and in the Facebook embedded video player,” reads a post by Daniel Baulig on the company’s Code blog. Read More

 

Facebook Messenger gains Photo Magic feature, per-chat customization and more

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 17, 2015

Less than twenty-four hours after rolling out Uber integration within Messenger, Facebook today announced a brand new update that enables per-chat customization and other enhancements for the popular messaging platform.

And as promised, the application now provides the Photo Magic feature to users in more countries following its recent soft-launch on Android in Australia.

Billed as an easier way to privately share photos with friends, Photo Magic taps into Facebook’s advanced face recognition algorithm to automatically recognize people in your photos, offering to share them via Messenger. Read More

 

You can now request a ride with Uber through Facebook Messenger

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 16, 2015

Uber, the popular ride-sharing service, is now available through Facebook Messenger. Yup, you read that right—you can now call an Uber and request a ride within Facebook’s mobile Messenger application.

As announced on Wednesday, the new Transportation feature permits users of the Facebook Messenger app in the United States to request a ride from Uber, without ever needing to download the Uber app or leave a conversation. Read More

 

Facebook Messenger gains 3D Touch shortcuts, message requests and snowflake animations

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 16, 2015

Facebook has released an update to its Messenger software in the App Store, bumping the app to version 52.0 and bringing out 3D Touch shortcuts on the Home screen for owners of the iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus.

Just press Messenger’s icon lightly with 3D Touch and up pops a menu with the New Message option, along with handy shortcuts for starting a chat with your top three most-frequently messaged contacts. Read More

 

Facebook killing photo sync in mobile apps, you’ll have to use Moments instead

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 14, 2015

According to TechCrunch on Monday, Facebook is in the process of removing photo syncing capability in its mobile applications and is asking users to download a dedicated Moments app to retain that functionality.

Photo sync, an opt-in feature in the mobile Facebook app, uploaded photos from the user’s Camera roll to a private photo album on Facebook, where they could later be edited, shared or deleted.

Moments, a private-photo sharing app, debuted this summer for iOS and Android and then rolled out to everyone nearly four months ago. Read More

 

Facebook pulls Slingshot, Riff and Rooms apps from App Store

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 7, 2015

Happy app removal day! After Dropbox announced plans to wind down its ill-fated Mailbox and Carousel apps, Facebook just pulled a Dropbox by confirming it, too, is shutting down a few apps of its own that have failed to gain much traction with users: Slingshot, Riff and Rooms.

In addition, the company will be closing down the Creative Labs shop, an initiative formed in January 2014 with the noble goal of giving its teams creative freedom to conceive and build apps outside the core Facebook experience. Read More

 

Facebook brings photo collages to iPhone app, starts testing Periscope-like video broadcasts

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 3, 2015

Facebook today announced that its main iPhone client in the App Store has been updated with two new features: Live Video and Collages.

Collages, automatically created from the photos and videos taken together, are presented as a moving carousel within the app and on the web.

More important than that, implementing live video broadcasting on Facebook has been prioritized in the wake of the Periscope phenomenon. Starting today, a small percentage of people in the United States can begin testing the live video feature on their iPhones. Read More

 

Apple TV apps can now implement Facebook Login and sharing features

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 29, 2015

If you own Apple’s fourth-generation Apple TV, you have probably noticed that apps and games for the set-top box currently lack common social features such as Facebook Login and sharing.

But that’s about to change soon as Facebook earlier this week announced immediate availability of the first beta of its Facebook SDK for tvOS, which gives developers the means to build immersive social experiences on tvOS. Read More

 

Facebook releases a version of Messenger that’s meant for the office

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 20, 2015

Facebook today launched a dedicated version of its mobile messaging software, Facebook Messenger, that’s meant to be used at work.

As reported on by TechCrunch, the applications is called Work Chat and available now for Android smartphones over at Google’s Play Store, while a version for iPhones is being worked on and scheduled to release soon.

The app is basically an expansion of Facebook at Work, the company’s business platform which has been in private testing for months now. Read More

 

Facebook to let you hide posts from your ex, without blocking or unfriending them

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 19, 2015

Most of us have been there before. You break up with your girlfriend or boyfriend, and maybe choose to unfriend or even block them on the service, but traces of your relationship are still all over the place on your Timeline, for everyone to see. So, what do you do? Do you block them outright, which will remove all their posts and also hurt their feelings?

There’s got to be a better way to handle this first-world problem, don’t you agree? Facebook though about that, too, and it seems they’ve come up with an interesting solution. Read More

 

Instagram clamping down on apps that read feeds, offer auto-following, liking or commenting

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 18, 2015

As part of Instagram’s most recent platform update, third-party applications will be no longer allowed to present a user’s Instagram feed, a significant change in policy that’ll affect numerous mobile applications which pull Instagram feeds.

Going forward, they’ll be shutting down services and apps that offer auto-following, liking or commenting.

Photo-editing apps that show only individual Instagram photos won’t be affected by this change. All apps must comply by June 1, 2016. The new policies and reviews will go into effect for new apps starting December 3, 2015. Read More

 

Facebook deep links will begin to soon surface in Google search results

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 16, 2015

As reported by The Wall Street Journal this morning, your Google search results will soon start to serve deep links based on content from Facebook’s mobile app which, when clicked, will take you straight to the relevant part of the Facebook app.

A spokeswoman for Google parent Alphabet has confirmed the feature will begin to roll out soon.

Last month, the Internet giant announced integration between its search engine and iOS 9 apps via so-called App Indexing feature and today’s announcement delivers on that promise. Read More

 

Facebook releases Notify for iPhone for news, sports, weather and other alerts

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 11, 2015

Facebook on Wednesday announced it’s releasing a brand new mobile application, Notify for iPhone. Conceived as a mobile notifications app for news, sports, weather and more, Notify was designed to deliver push notifications “that matter from sources you love, right on your lock screen, all in one place.”

Notifications are grouped into “stations” which cover varied categories, from sports and celebrities to news, movies, music, shopping and more. Notify is an English-only iPhone app available for free in the App Store. Read More

 

Facebook’s facial recognition coming to Messenger

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 9, 2015

Facebook’s facial recognition technology, used on the site to offer suggestions for photo tags, is coming to the company’s Messenger mobile software, Re/code reported Monday.

With facial recognition, Messenger will run an analysis of the photos in your iPhone’s Camera roll that you haven’t uploaded yet. When it recognizes a face of a Facebook friend on a photo, you’ll get a notification to send them the image through Messenger, a cool feature if you snap a bunch of photos at parties that you routinely forget to send later to the attendees. Read More

 

Facebook for iPhone gains new Share sheet design

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 9, 2015

About ten days ago, at its biggest event called FbStart San Francisco, the social networking giant unveiled an update on its Share sheet available in iOS and through third-party apps for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

The all-new design is way more functional than before. Like before, Facebook’s Share sheet lets you share images, article links, status updates and other content in apps that support iOS’s multi-purpose Share sheet.

Unlike before, however, you now have a clearer preview of the content you’re sharing on Facebook and can control who can see your post. There are also new ways to tag friends or add feelings to a post, much like in Facebook’s mobile app. Read More

 

Facebook launches Music Stories with Spotify and Apple Music integration

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 5, 2015

Facebook is announcing today a brand new feature called Music Stories, basically a new post format for Facebook that should make it easier to discover and share music from Spotify and Apple Music.

Now every time you share songs or albums shared from Spotify or Apple Music using Facebook’s iPhone application, these links will automatically get turned into the new post format which lets others listen to 30-second previews while on Facebook. Read More