Facebook to roll out threaded, ranked comments for pages and public figures

commentsFacebook will further roll out a commenting system that it has been testing, which includes threaded conversations and a ranking algorithm meant to put the most relevant and high quality comments first, a spokesperson tells us.

The new comments for pages and users who have enabled “follow,” have been in testing since November, and starting next week will be available on an opt-in basis for all accounts with more than 10,000 fans or followers.

Key features of the new comments are the option to reply to a specific comment and a ranking system that takes into account positive signals, such as likes and comments; negative signals, such as not getting much engagement; and connections, meaning the ranking is personalized for each user so that, for example, comments from people they might know appear first.

Facebook bugs led page reach and impressions to be misreported

insightsFacebook today revealed that bugs in its page insights product led reach and impressions to be misreported for months. Fixes are being rolled out today and over the weekend, the company says.

Facebook says the bugs only affected reporting, not delivery, so page reach wasn’t actually reduced, it may have just appeared that way from insights data. This was limited to page insights and did not have an impact on ad insights.

The social network says pages will be affected differently depending on their fan based and when and how frequently they post, but overall it expects most pages to see an increase in reach or no change. Pages that ran News Feed ads are likely to see an increase in paid reach. It’s possible some pages could see an increase or decrease in organic reach.

Spredfast raises $18M, Sprinklr secures $15M for social marketing software

Two social marketing platform companies announced new funding today. Spredfast has raised $18 million in a venture capital round led by OpenView Venture Partners, and Sprinklr has raised $15 million in series B funding from Intel Capital and Battery Ventures.

spredfastSpredfast offers social media management software for the enterprise, including tools for publishing, monitoring, engagement and reporting across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and more. It allows teams to create a workflow and permissions model for different projects, maintain a centralized content calendar and share assets in a content library. The company has badges for apps and pages in Facebook’s Preferred Marketing Developer Program.

In the past year, Spredfast has signed on AT&T, Caterpillar, Rackspace and Starbucks, and expanded relationships with AAA, T. Rowe Price, Whole Foods Market and Warner Brothers. The company reports 400 percent revenue growth and a doubling in employee headcount in 2012.

This is the third venture capital round for the Austin-based company. This latest round was led by OpenView Venture Partners, with additional investment from existing investors Austin Ventures and InterWest Partners. Spredfast has now raised a total of $31.6 million since 2010, according to Crunchbase.

sprinklrSprinklr is another PMD with apps and pages badges. Its platform allows marketers and other stakeholders to collaborate across a number of channels. It offers governance tools to help brands manage different divisions of their business, keeping them organized and compliant but also free to manage day-to-day interactions with their audience and customers.

Sprinklr says it works with more than 200 household brands, including  1-800-Flowers, Intel, Dell, Virgin America, Cisco Systems, Samsung, Hearst, Newell Rubbermaid, Sears and Toys “R” Us. The company also reports 400 percent year over year growth.

Battery Ventures was also behind the New York company’s $5 million venture round last year.

Facebook launches Pages Manager app for Android in U.S., U.K.

Facebook today released its Pages Manager application for Android in the U.S. and the U.K., after rolling out to Canada, Australia and New Zealand over the last week, a company spokesperson tells us. The app should now be available in all Google Play Store supported countries.

Pages Manager is a standalone mobile application that gives page owners access to page notifications and insights on the go, and allows them to make posts, respond to comments and reply to direct messages. Although we haven’t had a hands-on trial, Facebook says the Android app allows admins to access all of the same features as the iOS version, which launched in May.

Before this latest release, Android users had to continue to rely on the desktop version of Facebook to manage their pages. With the m.facebook.com and the main Facebook for Android app, page admins can access their pages and write on their Timelines, but there was no ideal way to get notifications or analytics without a third-party service. Direct messages to a page were also exclusive to desktop until now.

Last month, Facebook announced that more than 3 million page owners were using the mobile admin app each month on iOS.

Facebook enables advertisers to create new page posts from ad tool

Facebook is introducing a new feature to its self-serve ad tool to allow advertisers to create new page posts directly from the ads creation process.

When users select “promote page posts” from the ad dashboard, they will be given the option to create a new post. Previously, users could only select an existing post or choose to have its newest posts automatically promoted. Now, admins can post a status or photo update to their page without leaving the ad tool. This makes page post ad creation more efficient, especially when the person who manages ad campaigns is different than the person who typically publishes content to the page. Many third-party ad tools included this functionality, but this is the first time Facebook has offered it on its own platform.


Facebook starts to roll out Pages Manager app for Android

Facebook released an Android version of its standalone page management application on Thursday for users in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, according to a company spokesperson.

Pages Manager gives page owners access to page notifications and insights on the go, and allows them to make posts, respond to comments and reply to direct messages. Although the app may be visible in the Google Play store, it is not available for U.S. or U.K. users yet. Facebook  tells us this is coming soon.

This week’s release comes nearly eight months after the app debuted on iOS. Facebook first launched Pages Manager for iOS devices in May. Facebook continued to add features to the app throughout the year, but Android users had to continue to rely on the desktop version of Facebook to manage their pages. With the m.facebook.com and the main Facebook for Android app, page admins can access their pages and write on their Timelines, but there was no ideal way to get notifications or analytics without a third-party service. Direct messages to a page were also exclusive to desktop until now.

We haven’t gotten a hands-on with the Android app yet, but based on screenshots in Google Play, it seems mostly similar to the iOS version. However, the Timeline page is more similar to how it appears in the main app with photos and activity log accessible below the cover photo. The iOS Pages Manager doesn’t use this view and doesn’t seem to include activity log, though it came to the main app in September.

Last month, Facebook announced that more than 3 million page owners were using the mobile admin app each month on iOS.

Thanks to Aidis Dalikas for the tip.

Instagram releases new filter, gives Android ability to post directly to Facebook pages

Instagram released new versions of its iOS and Android apps on Thursday, including a new filter, bug fixes and new translations. Instagram for Android now allows users to post their photos directly to a Facebook page rather than their personal profile.

Previously, only Instagram for iOS offered the option of posting to fan pages. Android users had to share an image to Instagram, then manually post it to their Facebook page. Now businesses and public figures can use any device to automatically publish their photos to a Facebook page. Users can switch between different pages or their personal profile at any point by visiting their profile options, tapping “share settings,” “Facebook” and “Share Photos to.”

 For iOS, Instagram made the following updates:

  • Support for Facebook integration in iOS 6, allowing people to easily sign up for an account or quickly connect an existing Instagram account with Facebook.
  • The ability to select photographs from an album other than the Camera Roll.
  • Photos taken utilizing the front-facing camera will no longer be mirrored.
  • Fixed the inaccurate display of the privacy toggle switch present in version 3.4.
  • Fixed a bug that affected photo sharing for certain locales present in version 3.4.
  • Various bug fixes and improvements surrounding camera performance.

Both iOS and Android gained a new filter called Mayfair. The company says it is ideal for ”evenly and well-lit scenes in conjunction with the Lux feature.”

Facebook works with brands on page post strategy during ‘Publishing Garage’ process

For years brands have spent most of their time and money collecting fans and developing one-time campaigns that live in a Facebook tab or connect with the social network in some other nominal way. Gradually companies have begun to realize that News Feed is the most critical channel for Facebook marketing and are putting more thought — and ad dollars — into sharing quality content via page posts.

To help top brands and agencies better understand the value of publishing on Facebook and address how a business can best tell their story in the feed, the social network began an internal program called Publishing Garage.

Fusible first wrote about Publishing Garage after Facebook registered a number of domains including the words, but the blog and some other news outlets reported that Publishing Garage could be a new feature or platform about to launch. Turns out it’s not a product, but a process, and it’s been around for a few months, a Facebook spokesperson says.

Facebook to remove attribution when pages post via third-party apps

Facebook today let developers know that it will be removing attribution from page posts that are made through third-party applications like HootSuite.

Previously, these page posts would appear in the feed and on pages’ Timelines with a “via [app name]” link. Facebook told developers in its PMD group that starting today this type of attribution will be eliminated for page posts. User posts will still include the “via” links.

There have been ongoing doubts among marketers whether posting to Facebook via third-party apps has an effect on News Feed distribution and engagement. Studies have found conflicting results. Facebook says it does not penalize pages that make posts from third-party publishing tools, but it’s unclear whether the subtle note about where a post is coming from has an effect on how users respond to it.

Either way, some page owners have chosen not to use these tools as a result. With Facebook now eliminating the language completely, developers may see more adoption of their page publishing solutions. Others, however, might have liked getting the attribution since it included links to their app and might have contributed to brand recognition.

Thanks to Wisemetrics for the tip.

Facebook encourages page owners to make holiday posts

Facebook has begun prompting some page owners to make holiday-themed posts on their pages.

The page publisher, which typically says “Write something…” or “What’s on your mind?”, includes suggestions such as, “Share holiday news with your audience,” “Tell people what you’re busy with during the holidays” and “Wish people happy holidays.”

Facebook has used similar tactics to encourage users to post about Halloween and Thanksgiving, but we had not seen these type of prompts on fan pages before. Many of the business page prompts focus on sharing “news” and talking to an “audience,” but a few are more personal, like “Are you doing anything special for the holidays?” We’ve seen more than a dozen variations total.

Of the 13 million local businesses with pages on the site, about 8 million are active monthly. Prompts like these could help less active page owners come up with ideas for what to post about. Facebook is also using the holidays as a hook for new advertisers. After Thanksgiving, page owners were shown a large banner that suggested they advertise their holiday discounts and promotions. Some banners included a call to action to “Create Holiday Ad.”

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