Recently, Facebook unveiled its latest mobile app (for iOS) — Rooms. It’s the rumored “anonymous,” app, where users can have their own name or whatever screen name they choose.
But is there any space in Facebook’s Rooms for a branded experience? Could Nike launch a room dedicated to running — and should they? We talked with Lawrence Mak, the Senior Product Marketing Manager for Facebook Marketing Partner Adobe Social, about the marketing implications of Facebook’s newest app.
Adobe studied the social sentiment around the then-unnamed anonymous Facebook app, showing that people were largely neutral, but more people had a negative reaction (25 percent) to the app before launch than positive (8 percent). Measuring sentiment post-launch, an overwhelming amount of reaction has been neutral (92 percent).
As many people figure out the best way to use Rooms, others are wondering if there’s room for companies and brands in this new app.
Facebook also rewrote the code for timeline, groups, pages, search and more, but noticed that News Feed got slower with each release.
Facebook’s Adam Ernst, in a detailed blog post, explained that the problem was in the data model layer:
First, let’s talk about how News Feed was designed to work on iOS. The Facebook APIs we use serve as a JSON representation of the stories in your News Feed. Because we didn’t want UIViews to consume JSON directly — there are no type safety or hints about what fields you can expect to get from the server — we create intermediate data models from JSON and used those to power the user interface. Like most iOS apps, we chose to use the system default framework for managing data models: Core Data. Already built into iOS and very well documented, it allowed us to get the native rewrite out the door without reinventing the wheel.
Facebook’s Creative Labs team announced Thursday the newest app — Rooms, available for iOS.
Through Rooms, users can create spaces for content about whatever they want and invite friends. It’s also a great way to foster discussion about topics.
Facebook’s Josh Miller described Rooms as a throwback to the early web:
Inspired by both the ethos of these early web communities and the capabilities of modern smartphones, today we’re announcing Rooms, the latest app from Facebook Creative Labs. Rooms lets you create places for the things you’re into, and invite others who are into them too.
A room is a feed of photos, videos, and text – not too different from the one you have on Instagram or Facebook – with a topic determined by whoever created the room. Early users have already created rooms for everything from beat boxing videos to parkour to photos of home- cooked meals. There’s even a room called “Kicks From Above” that showcases photographs of cool shoes in cool places.
Facebook has been tinkering with search on mobile, testing variations similar to Graph Search, currently available on desktop.
But it appears that the Trending module has found another home on mobile.
Facebook is testing the Trending topic list on the iOS search page, as discovered by Inside Facebook reader Kristy Stevenson, Manager of Social Content & Community Development at Rockfish Interactive.
When an iPhone user goes to search for a page or a friend, below a list of recent searches is a list of trending topics currently popular on Facebook.
Facebook confirmed to Inside Facebook that it’s a test among certain mobile users, not a feature:
We’re testing improvements to search on mobile.
Instagram on Thursday announced an update to its Hyperlapse app (currently only for iOS).
Now, Hyperlapse users with the updated app can use their phone’s front-facing camera to take time-lapse videos.
An Instagram spokesperson described the update:
Creating a #selfielapse is as simple as tapping an icon on the app’s home screen, which toggles between the front- and rear-facing cameras. As before, a Hyperlapse video can be shared directly to your Instagram or Facebook account, or simply saved to your smartphone’s camera roll to access later.
As Apple rolls out its iOS 8 update, Facebook is following suit, so iPhone and iPad users can have an optimized experience.
Facebook recently announced updates in concert with iOS 8, including easier sharing options, larger assets to accommodate the larger screen and updated location settings.
Facebook for iOS 8 will have an improved experience for people who want to share content from other apps to Facebook. By simply tapping the share icon and selecting Facebook, you can choose to share a link to a website from your browser, photos or videos from your camera roll, and content from other apps. Facebook for iOS 8 will have an updated share screen similar to what you already see in the Facebook app. From there, you can select the audience you want to share with, add a location, say what you’re doing, or tag friends.
Ever wish that embarrassing Facebook post you made would just disappear? Soon, you might be able to do that, as Facebook is trying to bring the Snapchat-like timebomb messaging aspect into the News Feed.
According to The Next Web, Facebook is testing a “disappearing post” feature with select iOS app users that allows them to post something and then choose a time when that post will expire.
Users can pick 1 hour, 3 hours, 6 hours, 12 hours, 24 hours, 2 days or 7 days.
Facebook confirmed this test in a statement:
We’re running a small pilot of a feature on Facebook for iOS that lets people schedule deletion of their posts in advance.
The Next Web notes that even though the post may be deleted from a user’s timeline, it can take up to 90 days to completely disappear from Facebook’s servers.
Facebook is testing a new way for users to discover more videos from their friends.
According to TechCrunch and sister site AllFacebook, Facebook for iOS users are seeing a prompt to watch more videos when the click on a friend’s movie. Facebook confirmed to TechCrunch that it’s something the site is testing:
This is a new feature we are testing on mobile to help people find more videos they might be interested in.
This does not appear on ads, only on videos that users have uploaded directly to Facebook, and not other sites such as YouTube.
Through Slingshot, users can take a photo, add images and text and other creative accoutrements, then “sling” it to a friend, who must do the same to see the image they received.
The app is listed in the iTunes store now, but it shows a launch date of Tuesday.
A Facebook spokesperson told Inside Facebook that it was mistakenly released early:
Earlier today, we accidentally released a version of Slingshot, a new app we’re working on. With Slingshot, you’ll be able to share everyday moments with lots of people at once. It’ll be ready soon and we’re excited for you to try it out.
The iTunes Store entry offers some more interesting details about Slingshot.
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