News to Share: Google Launches Person-Finding Tools Following the Nepal Earthquake

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The 7.9 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal yesterday left more than 1,000 people dead and more still missing. Google’s Crisis Response division announced it’s using the company’s person-finding tool, which connects emergency responders with friends and loved ones of missing persons, to aid in the aftermath of the disaster. It’s currently tracking about 1,400 people in the country and counting. Visitors can type the name of whom they’re looking for into a search box, or text “search [name]” to +91-9773300000 in India or +1-650-800-3978 in the United States.

Google Person Finder gathers information from responders and individuals, who can upload information for a missing person or someone who has been found, helping people locate each other. The search giant has deployed the tool before in times of disaster.

The Google Person Finder tool helps relatives find missing people Click Here

Facebook is also offering a person-finding tool, but in reverse: If you are in the affected area, you can mark.

Here’s how you can tell your friends you’re safe via Facebook

Nepal Earthquake, Earthquake Nepal, #NepalEarthquake, Facebook Safety Check, Safety Check Facebook, World News

Screenshot of the Facebook Home page of a user in the affected area.

Facebook’s recently launched feature now enables you to inform your loved ones of your ‘safety status’ in the Nepal Earthquake.

‘Safety Check’, a feature launched by Facebook in October 2014, tracks people in the affected areas by looking at your profile info and updates, and the city where you are using the internet. If you’re in the affected areas, it’ll ask you to update your safety status.

It then generates a News Feed in your name to inform your Facebook friends whether you’re safe or in need of help.

Apart from the auto tracking Facebook’s Safety Check also allows you to manually update your location if you’re in the affected areas.

The idea of this tool emerged after social media played a crucial role in keeping people connected during the devastating 2011 Japan Tsunami.

Safety Check is available globally on Android, iOS, and desktops so log on to your closest platform and let your friends know you’re safe!

With Safety Check you can check upon your friends and also mark the ones you’re sure about as safe.

10 Upcoming Apps From Facebook That Are in No Way Ripoffs of Snapchat

10 Upcoming Apps From Facebook That Are in No Way Ripoffs of Snapchat
  1. Chatsnap, an ephemeral photo messaging app that is not a ripoff of Snapchat
  2. Chapsnat, an app for transitory photos and videos that is certainly not ripping off Snapchat
  3. Appsnatch, a social media network centered on self-destructing photographs that is in no way an inferior ripoff of Snapchat
  4. Snatchap, a visual messaging service that is definitely not a hasty attempt to capitalize on the runaway success of Snapchat
  5. Patchsnap, a communication app focusing on temporary imagery that definitely does not just replicate the core features of Snapchat
  6. Clapchat, an app that lets you upload photographs or video files that will eventually disappear in a way that is dissimilar from the way those identical functions occur on Snapchat
  7. Patsnatch, a one-on-one or group communication system in which the messages are erased after the recipient views them and whose almost precise replication of Snapchat’s features should not be construed as a ripoff of said app
  8. Snapchat. (This one was a mistake.)
  9. Papstatch, a “chat” app for “snaps” that is not just a clone of an ascendant Snapchat app that Facebook clearly views as a rival and potential existential threat, despite what you might think, and despite Facebook’s recent history of doing just this, three times in the past three years, so that it feels like Facebook is just going to keep on ripping off Snapchat until either it becomes successful doing so or Snapchat fades away and dies.
  10. Snackpatch. Let’s be honest, it’s basically just Snapchat.

Facebook’s new video app makes it clear that Facebook is still trying to clone Snapchat’s continued success.

Riff is the newest standalone app from Facebook’s Creative Labs division, the social media company’s experimental apps department that has a track record of cranking out flops ranging from Snapchat clone Slingshot to other apps that have failed to take off, such as Paper, Rooms, and Groups.

With Riff, Facebook has created a Snapchat and Vine hybrid that allows users to record videos up to 20 seconds in length. These 20-second videos are then shared and expanded upon collaboratively by your friends — with the hope of eventually creating a viral video that everyone took part in.

Facebook's new video app wants to clone the success of Snapchat and Vine(iTunes)

Each video starts with just one person who selects a unifying topic such as #BalancingAct or #AprilFools that can built upon. Facebook hopes your friends will then see the video snippet and choose to join in the fun and turn it into a string of clips that can evolve into something else entirely. According to The Verge, you’ll also be able to choose from trending topics — just like in Vine.

Your browser does not support the video tag. Facebook

To encourage people to contribute their own video to a friend’s Riff, Facebook has removed the ability to comment directly on Riff videos from within the app, though Riffs can be posted to Facebook where comments can take place.

Riff most closely resembles Snapchat’s Our Story feature, which allows users to upload 10-second videos revolving around a central topic such as “Snowmageddon,” the Oscars, or other social events like music festivals. There’s no guarantee that your submission will be included in Snapchat’s various Our Stories — Snapchat sifts through which videos to add — and Riff is hoping to differentiate itself by allowing spontaneous collaboration and anyone to start the ball rolling with their own Riff.

“I love those Snapchat public stories, but for me those are a little more editorial in terms of like ‘I’m not at that event, and it feels like I’m there now,'” said Josh Miller, Facebook Creative Labs’ product manager, in an interview with The Verge. “We don’t know what a Riff is going to be good for, and our hunch is that we’re going to learn from the best ones in the community.”

You can download Riff starting today for both iOS and Android.

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Check this:
SnapChat Marketing Guide
Snapchat 21 Success Secrets
Facebook All-in-One For Dummies
Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising

The changes coming to Facebook

Facebook announced a series of features and updates at its annual F8 Developer Conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, and while the news is mostly targeted for developers and app designers right now, it could eventually mean big things for Facebook users.IF

Developers can now add a Messenger button to third-party apps so

Facebook Messenger

Image: Facebook

In the future, for example, a developer could be able to add a Messenger button within a movie ticketing service app, so after a customer makes a purchase, they could share those details and movie times with a friend on Facebook.

For a glimpse at how the first batch of apps will look, click here.

Many of the early partners working with Facebook Messenger are focused on photos and entertainment. Some apps were developed specifically for the platform, while others are building Messenger in as an added feature.

Facebook Messenger Business

messenger business

Facebook unveils Messenger for Business at its F8 conference in San Francisco on March 25, 2015.

Image: Screengrab, Facebook

A noteworthy feature of the growing platform is Messenger Business, which will allow users to communicate with merchants by sending them a direct message or making a reservation and checking shipping information.

People will be able to have personal conversations with companies — specifically, customer service representatives — and be able to make requests, asks questions and get quick responses in an ongoing thread, the company said.

Spherical Videos

Facebook spherical videos

Facebook spent some stage time talking about the future of video on the site. To start, the social network will soon support “spherical videos” — immersive, 360-degree videos that work right in Newsfeed. The videos will run natively in Newsfeed and will be shot with 24 high-resolution cameras.

These videos will also work with virtual reality headsets, like the Samsung Gear VR and, of course, the Facebook-owned Oculus Rift. Conference attendees will be able to experience spherical videos in its “Teleportation Stations.”

Embeddable videos, refreshed comments

Facebook is rolling out a new social plugin that lets publishers embed native Facebook videos across the web. This means a video uploaded (and hosted) on Facebook can now be embedded on other websites.

Although you’d think Facebook’s video player would already have the ability to embed videos on other sites, the move is now a part of a larger effort to catch up with YouTube.

Facebook also pushed out another social plugin update to its Comments feature. Users will be able to log into their accounts and comment on a webpage, but now the message will be duplicated on the official Facebook-shared story, too.

Analytics for apps

The company introduced a new Analytics for Apps tool that provides a dashboard of data so developers and marketers can better understand their audience.

The Internet of Things

Facebook introduced a software developer kit (SDK) to support the growing influx of web-connected devices for the home, like smart garage door openers and refrigerators. The company will be opening its mobile app building suite, Parse, to web-connected devices to support the Internet of Things.

The Internet of Things refers to products — and, well, things — that are connected to the web. This includes everything from smart thermostats and garage doors to toothbrushes, tennis racquets and even your bed. They collect data about your usage patterns and habits, and typically connect to an app that offers feedback to improve your lifestyle (or your racquet swing, for example).

It’s unclear as of now how exactly Facebook will incorporate Internet of Things technology into its platform, but perhaps dimming the lights at night or opening your garage door could one day all be possible from directly within the social network.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.“`

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Social Media Tips You’ll Wish You’d Known Sooner

For Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Foursquare

1. Turn your profile pic into an emoji you can use in chat.

Type your username sandwiched between double brackets (like this: [[zuck]]) and enter it into chat to send your personalized emoji.

2. Share something with all of your friends except one person.

Share something with all of your friends except one person.

Select “custom” in the “who to share this with” tab, then enter the name of the person you don’t want to see the post. Simple as that!

3. Clean up your News Feed in just a couple minutes.

Clean up your News Feed in just a couple minutes.

Click here while logged in to Facebook and you will be taken to a page full of friends you haven’t interacted with in a while. Click all of the ones you want to see less in your News Feed.

4. Hide your online status on chat from people you don’t feel like talking to.

Hide your online status on chat from people you don't feel like talking to.

Facebook / Via hongkiat.com

Facebook has integrated its “lists” feature with chat, so you can make lists of people to whom you do and don’t want to appear online. Learn how here.

5. Search “randos at [the name of your workplace]” to access a list of co-workers you’re not friends with.

Search "randos at [the name of your workplace]" to access a list of co-workers you're not friends with.

6. Back up and download all of your photos plus other people’s photos you’re tagged in.

Back up and download all of your photos plus other people's photos you're tagged in.

Download the Pick&Zip app here.

7. Find out what the best time is for you to post.

Find out what the best time is for you to post.

Statigram analyzes your Instragram history to determine the exact time of day when your photos are most likely to receive the most attention. It also compiles other interesting data like your average number of likes and comments per photo.

8. Take photos without posting them.

Take photos without posting them.

Flickr: coutinhobr / Via Creative Commons

If you put your camera on airplane mode any Instagrams you take will be saved to your photo roll but not posted. Some people use this to double filter their photos. Learn more here.

9. Bust your friends for lying when they tag a photo #nofilter.

Bust your friends for lying when they tag a photo #nofilter.

All you have to do is put the link of a suspicious Instagram photo into Filter Fakers to find out if they used an Instagram filter.

10. Pin something from Facebook.

Pin something from Facebook.

11. Make as many secret boards as you like.

Make as many secret boards as you like.

Traditionally Pinterest only allowed three secret boards per user, but that was quietly changed last month to allow users unlimited secret boards.

12. Highlight text on something before hitting “Pin It” and the highlighted text will automatically appear in the description box.

Highlight text on something before hitting "Pin It" and the highlighted text will automatically appear in the description box.

This will save a lot of time when you’re pinning many things in a row.

13. Make professional, printable resumes.

Make professional, printable resumes.

With LinkedIn’s Resume Builder.

14. View someone’s profile anonymously.

View someone's profile anonymously.

Go to “Account & Settings” on the top right, then “Privacy & Settings.” Under “Privacy Controls” is this option: “Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile.” If you click it, the above pop-up window will appear. Select the “You will be totally anonymous option” and no one will see when you view their profile! This will limit your ability to see who visits your profile, but you can always change it back to normal when you’re done being anonymous.

15. If you have the LinkedIn app you can search anonymously AND still see who looks at your profile.

If you have the LinkedIn app you can search anonymously AND still see who looks at your profile.

Just add the “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” shortcut on the mobile app.

16. Learn who doesn’t follow you back.

Learn who doesn't follow you back.

Sign up for Friend or Follow here, which can also tell you about your followers on Instagram and Tumblr.

17. Find out who does — or doesn’t — follow one another.

Find out who does — or doesn't — follow one another.

Not sure if a couple is still dating (or if friends had a falling out)? Plug their handles into Doesfollow to see the status of their relationship. Prepare yourself for moments like: “Whoa! She unfollowed him! They’re totally splitsville!”

18. Download an archive of every tweet you’ve ever made.

Download an archive of every tweet you've ever made.

Just go to Settings and scroll down to where it says “request your archive.”

19. Create lists for people whose tweets you don’t want to miss.

Create lists for people whose tweets you don't want to miss.

The more people you follow, the easier it is to miss tweets from your favorite tweeps, but that’s not a problem if you create a list for them. Lists are also great for keeping tabs on people you don’t want to give the satisfaction of a follow (i.e., enemies and exes).

20. Search “secret menu” to see restaurants nearby with hidden menu items.

Search “secret menu” to see restaurants nearby with hidden menu items.

21. You can also search “Wi-Fi password” to gain access to free Wi-Fi around you.

You can also search "Wi-Fi password" to gain access to free Wi-Fi around you.

Nostalgia Overload With Facebook’s Newest Feature

Facebook is reportedly testing a standalone app for phone calls

Facebook-call

Facebook may be trying to take over your phone app.

The social network is testing a voice-calling app that can screen your calls and show you information about who is calling, according to an image obtained by Android Police.

The app, called “Phone,” will display information about those who call you —presumably based on their Facebook profiles — and automatically block calls that come from numbers that have been previously identified as spam, according to the description in the screenshot. Facebook is known to test new features with small groups of users first, but the leaked image suggests the testing for this app may be limited to internal tests at the moment as it has an “FB-Only” note.

A Facebook spokesperson told Mashable “we are always testing things,” but declined to comment specifically on the Phone app.

nexus2cee_screenshot_2015-03-20-14-28-432_thumb1

This isn’t the first time Facebook has experimented with voice calling. The company introduced voice calls to Messenger a few years ago and has been testing the feature on the Android version of WhatsApp, both of which rely on either a Wi-Fi or a data connection.

It’s not clear whether the Phone app would be an expansion of these existing voice-calling features or a standalone service, but the description suggests it would work for all voice calls, not just those made over a Wi-Fi or data connection.

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Facebook to face U.S. class action over children’s online purchases

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, delivers a keynote address at the company's annual conference in San Francisco, California July 23, 2008. REUTERS/Kimberly White

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, delivers a keynote address at the company’s annual conference in San Francisco, California July 23, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Kimberly White

(Reuters) – A federal judge said Facebook Inc must face a nationwide class-action lawsuit seeking to force the social media company to provide refunds when children spend their parents’ money on its website without permission.

U.S. District Judge Beth Labson Freeman in San Jose, California on Tuesday said a class of plaintiffs estimated in the hundreds of thousands may press their claim that Facebook should change how it handles online transactions by minors.

The judge also said the plaintiffs could not pursue refunds as a group under U.S. Supreme Court precedent, because any refunds would vary from case to case, but could still seek individual refunds. She set an Oct. 19 trial date.

Facebook said it believes the lawsuit lacks merit, and said it will defend itself vigorously.

The April 2012 lawsuit said Facebook let children use their parents’ credit and debit cards to buy the virtual currency Facebook Credits, and violated California law by refusing refunds under its “all sales are final” policy when the parents complained.

In opposing class certification, Facebook said the plaintiffs’ claims were too disparate, and an injunction would not address them.

But Freeman said state law protects parents and their children when those children “occasionally use their lack of judgment” and buy things they should not.

“Though some minors undoubtedly may wish to continue making purchases through credit or debit cards they do not have permission to use, such a desire cannot prevent the named plaintiffs from bringing suit to demand that Facebook’s policies comply with the law,” she wrote.

Facebook Credits were discontinued in 2013 and replaced with Facebook Payments.

The lawsuit was brought by two children and their parents.

One child said his mother let him spend $20 on her credit card toward the game “Ninja Saga,” but was later charged several hundred dollars for purchases he thought he made with “virtual, in-game currency.” The other said he took a debit card from his parents without permission and spent $1,059.

People who sign up for Facebook must be at least 13 years old, according to the Menlo Park, California-based company.

“We’re very pleased with the decision,” J.R. Parker, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said in a phone interview. “The difference between Facebook and other businesses is that the company is on actual notice of a user’s age, but treats children the same as adult users when it comes to taking their money.”

The case is I.B. et al v. Facebook Inc, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 12-01894.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Tom Brown)

Facebook is changing how it counts Likes

Fb-likes

Facebook is changing the way it counts Likes, the company announced on Thursday.

Don’t panic, though; the changes only apply to celebrity and business pages. Facebook will no longer factor in Likes from users who have voluntarily deactivated their accounts or users who have passed away, according to a blog post. Facebook said the changes will offer businesses a clearer, more accurate idea of their Facebook audience, since neither of those groups are Facebook users.

“Over the coming weeks, Page admins should expect to see a small dip in their number of Page likes as a result of this update,” the blog post reads. “It’s important to remember, though, that these removed likes represent people who were already inactive on Facebook.”

Facebook also notes that if a user reactivates an account and Liked a particular Page, that action will be tallied back into the total like count.

The changes may prove beneficial for businesses with Facebook Pages. Many already pay attention to how many Likes they get as an indicator of popularity with users and a glimpse into the kind of Facebook audience they have.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Image: AP Photo/Paul Sakuma/Associated Press

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