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.
Seeking 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.
Facebook’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.
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.
Facebook 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?
Facebook’s “Droidfooding” efforts will soon be shared by its users. The company announced at a whiteboard session Thursday that it has launched a beta testing program for Facebook’s Android users. This way, users can engage with the native Android app before updates are released and give feedback about bugs and other issues.
Android is a much different animal for Facebook than iOS, which only has the iPhone and iPad. There’s a plethora of Android devices where users can access Facebook, which means several different experiences. This could be a way for Facebook to avoid what happened with Home, where people didn’t really understand how to use it. This led to an unfavorable rating in the Google Play store. By launching new features for beta testers, Facebook can not only release features to the public before the updates, but see how these people engage with these features.
Facebook has already announced what updates it has shared with the beta testing group:
What’s new in the beta version of Facebook for Android 3.4:
- Share News Feed stories in a private message
- Swipe left and right to open chat and bookmarks
- Based on feedback, you can now store the app on your phone’s SD card (Android 2.3.7 and lower)
- Stability improvements
New if you’re using Facebook Home:
- Organize your apps with folders—just drag one app onto another to create a folder
Mike Shaver, Facebook’s Director of Engineering, explained why Facebook is participating in a beta program for Android:
It’s not just for the parts that are refined, so getting ourselves into that model and making sure that we’re confident that we can maintain the velocity where we’re operating on Android has been a little bit of work but … everyone’s been pretty excited about it. It is a really interesting opportunity for people to participate in the direction of the software. We’re pretty eager to see what we can get in terms of feedback there.
Wondering how to become an Android beta tester? Here are the steps:
Facebook users have made it clear that they want more control over their privacy. The company’s investors said that repeatedly during Facebook’s first shareholders meeting, and the latest Android mobile app update shows that the site is working on more ways to get privacy controls in the users’ hands.
From the Android app, Facebook users can now change the privacy settings on any of their prior posts.
Previously, users could only control who sees posts they’re about to make from their Android app, but now people can go back to any post they’ve made and tweak the privacy settings.
Facebook today announced that its new version of Offers with larger images and calls to action are now available on Android.
In February, the social network began testing the new layout on desktop with an option to shop immediately or get a reminder before the promotion ends. The interface also lets users decide if and when to share the offer with friends. We started seeing this on iOS in early April, and the company officially announced it a few weeks later. Now, the product is uniform across desktop and mobile, including Android.
Overall, the new design is likely to increase conversions on Offers posts because of the cleaner design and more prominent buttons to “Get offer” or “Shop now.” The “Remind Me” button available for some retailers working with Facebook directly allows companies to prompt users to redeem their offer at a later date through a notification on Facebook.
Facebook has begun to roll out its new mobile page layout to Android, a spokesperson from the company tells us.
Two weeks ago the social network debuted a redesign for business and fan pages on iOS, putting more actionable information about a business, brand or personality near the top of the screen. Now the design in reflected in the mobile web version of Facebook and eventually the Android app.
The redesign, with a top row of buttons and a prominent map and recommendations module, better optimizes pages for the mobile use case, for instance, looking up a store’s location or hours, viewing a restaurant’s photos or checking reviews. Options to Like, call, share or check into a place are easy to access. Instead of having to click to view a map, users can see the map, address and hours immediately. Place ratings are now visible on mobile location pages and a few recommendations can be read without having to click and load a new screen. A photos section allows users to quickly swipe through images, as they can in the mobile News Feed.
Page owners can now easily switch between the admin view and public view, which is a useful new feature. They can also pin one post to appear near the top of the screen, but they have to take this action from desktop. Facebook has eliminated the standalone sections for events, videos and photo albums. However, these will continue to show in the Timeline stream when they are posted, and one can be pinned to the top if desired.
Page owners should also keep in mind how the new design affects their cover photo since it will be darkened and the page name, description and profile photo will appear on top of it.
Facebook today announced an update for its Android homescreen experience Facebook Home to address performance and stability. Facebook also revealed at a press event at its headquarters today that in four weeks since the launch of Home on April 12, Home increased user engagement by more than 25 percent compared to the standard Facebook app.
Facebook measures engagement through two areas — feedback such as commenting and liking, and time spent in the app. Facebook director of mobile engineering Cory Ondrejka adds that Facebook Home, with its Chat Heads feature, has also increased the use of messaging. He says participation, which is how many users are actually using Messenger, saw a 7 percent lift, while the total volume of messages sent was up 10 percent.
Facebook plans to update Home on a monthly basis with the latest update arriving today, and future updates landing on June 9 and July 11.
Ondrejka revealed that Facebook Home has nearly reached the one million downloads mark. He adds that, for the amount of devices Home is compatible for, one million downloads was within Facebook’s expectations for Home in this time frame.
Facebook also addressed issues users have experienced with Home, including the lack of folder and doc support as well as a more intuitive way to initiate a discussion with Chat Heads. In a future update within in the next couple of months, users will be able to slide up as they normally would to bring up their apps — as seen to the right — but instead of a small pane with apps, it will be a full screen of apps set in a translucent background with folder support.
For Chat Heads, users will soon be able to drag their profile picture to the left, which will initiate the messenger list to drop down from the left. As for widgets support, Facebook is looking into it, but didn’t reveal any specific plans to integrate it. (more…)
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