Facebook app gets auto-play feature for News Feed videos, and there’s not much you can do about it

By Cody Lee on Dec 11, 2013

Facebook updated its iOS client this afternoon, bringing the app to version 6.8. The update is a small one, but it does include one significant—and likely controversial—change: video clips will now play automatically in your News Feed.

Now, Facebook has been testing this feature since September, and I’ve had it for a while. And although the videos aren’t extremely annoying, I was hoping they’d make one change before the public launch: give us a way to turn them off… Read More

 

Facebook Messenger update adds one-touch Timeline access and more

By Cody Lee on Dec 10, 2013

Last month, Facebook released version 3.0 of its popular Messenger app. The update was significant because it featured an all-new UI design for the app, bringing its aesthetics more in line with those introduced by Apple in iOS 7.

Today, the client received another update, bringing it to version 3.1. This time Facebook added a few new convenience features that will allow you to access a person’s Timeline or call them (toll-free) by simply tapping on their picture… Read More

 

This is Facebook’s upcoming Reader feature

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 27, 2013

With so much great content being posted online on a daily basis and so little precious time to spare (talk about information overload), we as a technological society have grown dependent on various apps to scrap news articles and store them in pure text form for later reading. And boy are these services plentiful!

Not only do you get clutter-free content, but also can pull your saved articles from the cloud whenever and wherever a few minutes need killing – all in one app and without having to manage and bookmark the URLs.

I used to be a big believer in Marco Arment’s Instapaper read-later app for the iPhone and iPad ($3.99 on the App Store). However, Marco’s lack of vision, slow pace of development and just his general attitude on Twitter prompted me to make a switch to Pocket (formerly Read It Later) months ago.

Honestly, I never looked back since. Pocket comes free and provides tons of capabilities packaged into such a clean and elegant reading experience that’s consistent and available across my iPhones, iPads and and Macs.

These services also cut down on time-sucks that are social networks because people spend less time actually reading news articles on Facebook and increasingly save the stories to Instapapers and Pockets of this world. Zuck & Co. have taken notice of the trend and have been testing a read-later Facebook feature for months, a new rumor has it… Read More

 

WSJ: Snapchat turned down $3 billion buyout offer from Facebook

By Cody Lee on Nov 13, 2013

It was the summer of 2006. Facebook was just two years old, and strictly a college site, with some 8 or 9 million users. And the company’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, met with board members Jim Breyer and Peter Thiel to discuss Yahoo’s $1 billion buyout offer.

As we all know, Zuckerberg ended up turning down the money, in what has become one of the most infamous moves in the last 10 years of tech. But the wunderkind recently found himself on the other side of the negotiating table, with even more money at stake… Read More

 

Facebook launches redesigned Messenger app

By Cody Lee on Nov 13, 2013

In line with reports from early October, Facebook has launched a redesigned Messenger app for iPhone users this afternoon. The new design matches the aesthetics of iOS 7, and looks very similar to the updated Messenger app launched for Android a few weeks ago.

In addition to the makeover, today’s update also brings about some new features. In the new app, users will be able to see which friends are using Messenger, as well as have the ability to message non-Facebook friends from within the app as long as they have their number… Read More

 

Facebook app update brings post editing to iPad

By Cody Lee on Nov 8, 2013

Last month, Facebook rolled out an update for its iOS app that allowed users to edit posts and comments and preview all of their changes. But up until now, these features have been exclusive to the iPhone.

That changed, however, late last night, when a new version of the Facebook client popped up in the App Store. The update, which brings the app to version 6.7, brings the ability to edit posts to iPad users… Read More

 

And so it begins: first ads begin showing up on Instagram

By Cody Lee on Nov 1, 2013

Instagram officially launched its advertising platform today, putting an end to its 3+ year-long ad-free streak. A ‘sponsored post’ from upscale fashion brand Michael Kors has begun appearing in user timelines.

But it’s not like we didn’t know this was coming. The launch comes just a week after the social network offered up a preview of what ads were going to look like on Instagram, and after months of several warnings… Read More

 

Facebook previews new-look Messenger with phone number integration

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 29, 2013

We were told last month Facebook had been working on a new version of its iPhone client with Graph Search and testing a major rethinking to the standalone instant messaging software, Facebook Messenger (a free download from the App Store).

Today, the social networking behemoth announced a new Messenger experience is now available for limited testing on Android and coming soon to iOS. Representing a major refresh, Messenger has undergone a substantial facelift and now lets folks instant-message each other using only their phone numbers, putting Messenger on a collision course with WhatsApp… Read More

 

Facebook for iOS updated with new editing features, photo comments and more

By Cody Lee on Oct 17, 2013

Facebook for iOS received a significant update this afternoon, bringing the app to version 6.6. The update brings about a number of handy new features, including the ability to edit published posts and comments.

First introduced back in September on the desktop version of the social network, the new editing option allows users to correct spelling and other mistakes in both their posts or comments from their iOS devices… Read More

 

How to quickly post to Twitter or Facebook in iOS 7

By Sébastien Page on Oct 15, 2013

One feature I really miss from iOS 6 is the Share Widget that would let you to add “Tap to Tweet” and “Tap to Post” buttons to Notification Center, allowing you to quickly send a tweet or post to Facebook.

When the first iOS 7 beta versions were released, we all thought the widgets would make their way to the final release, but they didn’t. Today, we’re going to show you a workaround that allows you to quickly send a tweet or post to Facebook in iOS 7… Read More

 

Facebook acquires mobile app-maker Onavo for $120 million

By Cody Lee on Oct 14, 2013

Facebook announced today that it has acquired Onavo, an Israel-based startup. Initial reports claimed the sale price was in upwards of $200 million, but a more recent scoop from The New York Times claims it was closer to $120 million.

There are two parts to Onavo’s business: one of consumer-facing apps that help optimize iOS and Android device performance, as well as minimize their data usage while surfing the web, and one of app analytics for mobile publishers… Read More

 

Facebook removing option to be unsearchable by name

By Cody Lee on Oct 12, 2013

Just a heads up for those that missed the news yesterday: Facebook is going to be removing the ‘Who can look up your Timeline by name’ privacy option that allowed you to make it so your profile could not be found via search.

The social network actually removed the option for those who weren’t using it last December. But for the small percentage still using it, it has announced that they will receive reminders about its removal in the coming weeks… Read More

 

Facebook testing iPhone client with Graph Search, revamps Messenger for iOS 7 style

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 9, 2013

The social networking giant Facebook used to irk fans with its sluggish mobile clients that used to be second-class citizens on smartphones and tablets. Blame it on Zuck & Co. for taking the easy route by wrapping the mobile-optimized HTML code into “native” apps. That changed last year after Facebook hired a few former Apple engineers like Greg Novick and tasked them with rewriting these apps from the ground up to be snappier and more responsive than the web app disguised as a native one.

Although Novick has now reportedly departed Facebook and will return to Apple, the company has been busy developing major new updates to mobile Facebook and Messenger clients on iOS and Android. Both applications are now apparently dogfooded to company employees for testing purposes. Here’s what’s in store for the revamped Facebook and Messenger… Read More

 

Facebook now searches your posts, status updates, photo captions, Notes and check-ins

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 30, 2013

You can kiss good-bye good ol’ days when you could count on limited exposure to your Facebook friends due to theirs not having enough time to meticulously comb through your entire Timeline.

But starting today and onwards, figuring out where you were, what you commented on your ex’s photos, whether you mentioned “drunk” or F-words  in posts and much, much more can become unravelled pretty easily.

That’s the power of Facebook’s updated Graph Search for you. After first experiencing Graph Search in action earlier this year, I went ecstatic. Finally, I could use Facebook’s search field for something more complex than barebone friends search. For example, as an avid photography fan I absolutely love the ability to filter just the photos my mom took in Prague back in 2007, or those of my significant other I snapped up last year.

That was merely warming up – Facebook now includes more of your content in Graph Search than ever before, things like your posts (way overdue), status updates (useful), photo captions (fun), Notes (meh) and check-ins (creepy)… Read More

 

Facebook launching editable status updates today, coming to iOS soon

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 26, 2013

The social networking giant Facebook has updated its web interface and the Android app today with a tremendously useful, long-overdue new feature: the ability to edit a status update after it has been posted. It’s coming real soon to the iOS edition of the mobile Facebook app, the company has confirmed. Editable status updates function just like an edit history feature for comments, meaning your audience will get to browse revisions to each and every status update.

This is God-sent for folks who post statuses in two or more languages on a daily basis, like myself. Deleting and re-posting a status update (and losing all the cherished likes, shares and comments in the process) just because of a typo (especially on mobile) quickly gets old.

This is definitely going to be a nice addition to my social networking arsenal… Read More

 

Instagram updated with iOS 7 style UI, larger and higher resolution photos

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 25, 2013

Joining the growing trend of revamping App Store software for iOS 7 look and feel, Facebook-owned Instagram just rushed out a new version of its iPhone and iPod touch app. It’s bringing with it flattened, minimalistic design focused on edge-to-edge images and videos. On the downside, this Instagram release skimps on headline new frameworks (that’s why it feels rushed out) which Apple created to help developers tap new iOS 7 technologies.

Nonetheless, it’s a nice little update and fans should be happy that Instagram no longer looks out of place and behaves like a good citizen on iOS 7… Read More

 

Faster Facebook Messenger with improved scrolling now available

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 16, 2013

It’s been over a month since we’ve stumbled upon any solid piece of news concerning Facebook’s standalone Messenger iPhone app. Last time we heard, Facebook has added the ability to pick photos from your Instagram albums to send to Messenger friends.

Actually, that was the only major development concerning the software since May 2012. In response to Wednesday’s launch of iOS 7, the social networking giant on Monday pushed an iOS 7-ready version of Messenger with improved scrolling, faster startup times and more… Read More

 

Facebook testing silent, auto-playing videos in mobile News Feed

By Cody Lee on Sep 13, 2013

Facebook announced yesterday afternoon that it has started testing an easier way to watch videos on its website. The new feature will be rolling out as a limited test in the coming weeks through its mobile apps, and continue to roll out over time.

Once the new feature hits you, you’ll notice that when you see a video popup in News Feed it’ll start playing automatically. It’ll be silent at first, and you can choose to turn on the sound, watch it in full screen or scroll past it. It sounds a lot like VineRead More

 

Instagram hits 150 million users as it prepares to introduce advertising

By Cody Lee on Sep 9, 2013

When Facebook first announced that it was purchasing Instagram last year, a lot of folks were afraid it would ruin the popular photo-sharing network. They feared Zuckerberg’s group would come in, add a bunch of ads, and mess up the whole experience.

But here we are, nearly 18 months later, and nothing of the sort has happened yet. Instagram is thriving—in fact, it just announced that it has surpassed 150 million users—and there’s not a single ad in sight. But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t coming… Read More

 

‘Cate’ combines Gmail, Twitter and other services into one unified messaging app

By Cody Lee on Sep 2, 2013

I hate email. Even with innovative apps like Mailbox, I’d rather iMessage or talk with someone on Twitter than email back and forth with them. There’s subject lines, headers, signatures, and loads of other useless text—it’s just all way too complicated.

I would be willing to reconsider my predisposition, though, if an application like this one ever makes it to market. It’s called ‘Cate,’ and in addition to being gorgeous, it promises to make communication easier with direct Gmail messaging and more… Read More