Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook still believe in Home

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Although many consumers have branded Facebook Home (the social network’s Android platform) a flop, the program still has a very important fan — CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg told a packed crowd at TechCrunch Disrupt Wednesday that Facebook is still fully supportive of Home, and teased that Instagram and other social content will be coming to the cover feed soon.

Facebook made a big push with Home in April, but many users who downloaded Home were frustrated and unsure of what exactly it was. Many people complained through Google Play reviews that Home was taking over their phone, quickly deleting it.

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Facebook’s consumer and mobile marketing chief leaves for Twitter

KateJhaveri-327x285Kate Jhaveri, formerly Facebook’s head of consumer and mobile marketing, started her new job Tuesday at Twitter, where she is now the senior director of consumer marketing, according to AllThingsD.

Jhaveri spent three years at Facebook, where she led marketing for the company’s preferred marketing developers program, as well as platform and credits. Prior to Facebook, Jhaveri spent seven years doing marketing for Microsoft, and a year with Apple.

Jhaveri was the main person behind the marketing push for Facebook Home, the social network’s Android platform.

Facebook confirmed Jhaveri’s departure to AllThingsD:

Kate was a valuable member of Facebook’s team and we wish her the best of luck in the future.

Image courtesy of AllThingsD.

Android update: Facebook adds animation to certain stickers

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Facebook released an update to its Android app Thursday, giving life to some of the stickers — a popular feature. Now Android users can see Pusheen (above) jiggle in a message. The update is currently available in the Google Play store.

With Android version 4.0.2 and higher, Pusheen, Beast (named after Mark Zuckerberg’s dog) and Anooki are animated. Facebook also fixed bugs on likes, comments and page recommendations.

Facebook also updated Home, which allows for users to control the music they’re listening to right from the lock screen (screenshot below the jump).

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Facebook updates Android SDK, adds Share Dialog and easier Open Graph integration

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Facebook is working hard to improve experiences on Android devices, as the company recently released an update to its Android Software Development Kit (SDK). This update will bring the native Share Dialog to Android, as well as the Object Application Programming Interface.

Here’s what’s in the latest update, courtesy of Facebook:

  • Share Dialog for Android offers a lightweight and consistent way to enable sharing, without needing to login to Facebook first. With one line of code, developers can enable people to skip three extra steps and immediately share to Facebook.
  • Object API that makes it easier to integrate Open Graph into Android apps. Developers can now directly create Open Graph objects, and no longer need to host webpages with Open Graph tags.
  • Beta launch of the ability to publish and measure app events for Android apps. Developers can now measure the aggregate number of times a predefined action was taken within an app, to help developers understand the engagement and ROI coming from mobile adds on Facebook.
  • Redesigned Login UI that looks better, and converts at a higher rate.

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Facebook mobile update: table reservations, movie and TV showtimes, hashtags on iOS

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Planning a dinner and a movie date night? Facebook can help.

The company announced Monday two upgrades to its mobile pages product: the ability to book a table on a restaurant’s Facebook page, and view showtimes on movie and TV show pages. While the table reservation feature is available for Android and iOS users, only those on Apple devices will be able to check showtimes for TV shows and movies from their phone.

Facebook partnered with popular reservation platform OpenTable to strengthen its mobile pages product, a Facebook spokesperson noted:

OpenTable is working with Facebook to allow individuals to book a table via a restaurant’s Page on mobile. From discovery to booking (whether it’s with Nearby or going directly to a restaurant’s Page), everything is within the native Facebook app – no need to visit a mobile site or open OpenTable’s app. This feature is available on Pages of restaurants that support OpenTable in the U.S.(~20K restaurants). This integration will open up OpenTable to more people on Facebook, as you don’t need to be an OpenTable member to book a table on mobile Pages.

Another major mobile update: hashtags are now live on the iOS native app.

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Instagram 4.1: more video capabilities, import video from phone library

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In the first major update for Instagram since the company added video capabilities, Instagram is bringing video to more devices and allowing users to upload videos from their phone and post them.

Just like how users can take photos taken with their phone and import them to Instagram, while cropping and adding filters, they can now do the same thing with video. The newest upgrade for Instagram will allow users to import video already on the phone, cut out the 15-second snippet they want posted, and add specialized filters.

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Facebook hires mobile-minded CMO: Gary Briggs

Gary_pictureSeeking a formal figurehead for marketing the company, Facebook hired its first Chief Marketing Officer: Gary Briggs, formerly the chief marketer for Motorola Mobility before Google acquired the company in 2010 — according to AdAge.

Facebook is playing to its strengths, adding a mobile-minded executive to head Facebook’s marketing team. According to AdAge, Briggs was Google’s Vice President of Consumer Marketing before heading up the company’s Motorola division. With Motorola, Briggs was an advisor to CEO Dennis Woodside and CMO Bill Morgan. He was one of the lead minds behind the marketing efforts for Chrome, Google+ and other prominent Google products. Before joining Google, he was the CEO of gift card startup Plastic Jungle and the Vice President of Consumer Marketing at eBay, among other roles.

It will be interesting to see if Briggs will pump up the marketing behind Facebook Home, which was not very popular in its infancy, but the company is rapidly improving its Android platform.

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Facebook’s cover feed coming as an option to Home-supported Android devices

FacebookFacebook’s latest update for Android devices will borrow from a notable feature within Facebook Home. Starting today, Android users with Home-supported devices will be able to have cover feed as their default lock screen, if they so choose.

Facebook regularly borrows parts of standalone apps such as Messenger and Camera (for iOS) and incorporates them into the native app.

Through this latest update, which will roll out gradually starting today, Android users with a Home-supported device can choose to have their lock screen be cover feed, which allows them to flip through and see updates and photos from their friends.

A Facebook spokesperson commented on the app’s newest update:

Cover feed has been a popular element of the Home experience and making it available from the Facebook Android app makes it accessible for more people.

In addition to viewing photos and posts from friends from cover feed, you will be able to quickly unlock the screen and access the camera and messages from it. Chat heads and the Home launcher are not accessible from Facebook for Android although they are still available when downloading Home. Chat heads can be enabled via Messenger.

This way, Android users can still have (or try) cover feed without going full in and downloading Facebook Home.

Facebook also added Home support for three additional devices: HTC One, Nexus 4 and Samsung Galaxy S4.

Here’s the full list of Home-friendly Android devices: Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung Galaxy Note II, HTC One X, HTC One X+, HTC First, HTC One, Nexus 4, Samsung Galaxy S4.

The update will be available in the Google Play store over the next couple of days.

Image courtesy of Facebook.

Coming soon to Android: Photo saving direct from Facebook?

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Facebook updated its Android application for members of its beta testing group Monday, giving a sneak peek at features that could be made for all Android users in the future. One of the more notable features of this update is the ability to save photos directly from the Facebook mobile photo viewer.

Additionally, it has updated Facebook Home (for members of the test group) to make the status bar denoting notifications and battery life a permanent fixture atop the lock screen.

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Facebook updates Home, adds folders

unnamedFacebook on Monday announced an update to Home, its platform for Android. Now Home users can categorize their apps into folders.

A Facebook spokesperson commented on the update in an email to Inside Facebook:

An improved launcher is the most requested item Facebook has received since the launch of Home, and the team continues to make updates to Home in order to provide consumers with the best experience.  For example, last month, Facebook added a dock to the Home launcher and the team is currently working on widget support that will put Home’s launcher on par with stock Android launchers. We will be sure to send you updates as new features are added to Home.

The update is now available from the Google Play store.

Readers: What else would you like to see from Facebook Home?

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