Facebook to page owners: Quit spamming News Feed with sales pitches

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Facebook recently made another change to its News Feed post-sorting algorithm, this time devaluing overly promotional posts.

Citing a user survey, Facebook will show fewer posts that solely push a product or app install, posts only promoting contests and posts that re-use the same content. The users in the survey said they wanted to see more posts from friends and pages they care about, and less promotional content.

Facebook announced this in a Newsroom blog post:

Beginning in January 2015, people will see less of this type of content in their News Feeds. As we’ve said before, News Feed is already a competitive place – as more people and Pages are posting content, competition to appear in News Feed has increased. All of this means that Pages that post promotional creative should expect their organic distribution to fall significantly over time.

This change will not increase the number of ads people see in their News Feeds. The idea is to increase the relevance and quality of the overall stories – including Page posts – people see in their News Feeds. This change is about giving people the best Facebook experience possible and being responsive to what they have told us.

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Facebook’s Altoona, Iowa data center is now live

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Facebook’s fourth data center is now live. The Altoona, Iowa center opened today, with the next-generation architecture Facebook calls data fabric.

Brice Towns, site manager of the Altoona data center wrote about the opening in a blog post:

This is the fastest we’ve ever completed a first building at one of our sites, and we owe a lot of that to the people of Iowa. More than 950,000 hours have already been logged in the construction of the facility, and we have an average of 450 people — 80 percent of them from Central Iowa — here every day, constructing a second data center building on the site. As you may have heard, we like to move fast at Facebook — and we are grateful to everyone who’s helped us get to this point. We’re proud to call you our neighbors and our friends, and to be a part of the community here in Altoona.

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How to find your long lost rave buddy using Facebook ads

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When your best friend comes to town and you dress up as a squid and an octopus for Halloween, you know that’s going to be special. And when you and your saltwater buddy have their tentacles held by Dan, who you met that night, and you improvise a friendship rap together, you know lifelong bonds have been formed.

This is the situation my best friend and I found ourselves in while attending Howl 2014, an annual Halloween rave at Branx/Rotture in Portland, Oregon.

Here’s how I found Dan with less than $3 in Facebook ads.

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Infographic: Facebook’s buying spree

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Facebook has been buying up companies with regularity this year, such as WhatsApp, LiveRail and Oculus.

But why? And what do these acquisitions mean for the future of Facebook?

An infographic below by WhoIsHostingThis breaks down Facebook’s buying spree, showing how they’ve integrated the teams and technology behind the companies the company has acquired.

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Facebook testing page tagging feature in Power Editor ad creation flow

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Facebook is apparently testing a new feature to the Power Editor ad creation flow, allowing advertisers to tag pages in ad copy.

This was found by Alex Houg, an Inside Facebook contributor and CEO of Portage Co. Companies and pages have been able to tag pages in regular posts, but now this ability is built into Power Editor.

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Facebook introduces Privacy Basics, gives users more control over ads

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Ever wondered why you’re seeing an ad, or why people who aren’t your friends are commenting on or liking your posts? Facebook privacy can be confusing to many, which is why the company announced Thursday a feature called Privacy Basics, where users can have all of their privacy concerns answered in a highly visual and intuitive way.

Privacy Basics is broken up into three main categories: what others see about you, how others interact with you and what you see.

Erin Egan, Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer, described Privacy Basics:

Privacy Basics offers interactive guides to answer the most commonly asked questions about how you can control your information on Facebook. For example, you can learn about untagging, unfriending, and blocking, and how to choose an audience for your posts. This information is available in 36 languages.

Privacy Basics is the latest step we’ve taken to help you make sure you’re sharing with exactly who you want, including our privacy checkupreminder for people posting publicly and simplified audience selectors.

In an update the site’s terms and policies, Facebook is also giving users more control over the kinds of ads they see both on desktop and mobile.

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Facebook Marketing Partner SocialCode hires Jenna Bilotta as Head of Product Design

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SocialCode, a Facebook Marketing Partner, announced Thursday the hire of former Google product designer Jenna Bilotta as Head of Product Design.

Most recently, Bilotta was the Founder and Chief Product Officer of Avocado Software, with whom SocialCode also entered a licensing agreement.

Prior to starting Avocado in January 2012, Bilotta was the Senior User Experience Designer for YouTube for roughly a year, and held the same position with Google for nearly four years.

Laura O’Shaughnessy, SocialCode’s Co-Founder and CEO, welcomed Bilotta:

We’re delighted to welcome Jenna and our new hires from Avocado’s engineering team to establish SocialCode’s first mobile development group. This expansion gives SocialCode an advantage in developing better mobile advertising experiences for consumers, along with more beautiful and useful ads tools for our Fortune 500 brand partners.

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Facebook platform news: Kenshoo, Marin win UK awards, SHIFT launches new platform

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Facebook Marketing Partner Kenshoo (pictured above) is making international headlines, earning the award for Innovation-Software in the UK Search Awards 2014. Kenshoo was honored for its Intent-Driven Audiences product. Marin Software, another Facebook Marketing Partner, took home the award for best PPC Management Software.

In other Facebook news, Facebook Marketing Partner SHIFT announced its new advertising technology platform.

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Facebook invites you to ‘Say Thanks’

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Facebook on Wednesday launched a new way to say thank you to a friend. Say Thanks is a nifty experience where Facebook users can create a video for a friend, utilizing photos and moments shared on the social network.

It’s rolling out worldwide today on desktop and mobile in English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish. If it doesn’t work for you right now, try again later.

Facebook’s Cameron Ewing, Design Manager and Nick Kwiatek, Engineering Manager, wrote about Say Thanks in a blog post:

Millions of people use Facebook every day to connect with the people and things that matter to them most. Your friends are at the core of your Facebook experience, and we are always looking for new ways to help you celebrate those friendships.

Today we’re excited to announce Say Thanks, an experience that lets you create personalized video cards for your friends on Facebook.

Share a Say Thanks video with a close friend, your significant other, a relative, a coworker, an old friend – or anyone else in your life who you’d like to celebrate. There is no limit to how many personalized videos you can create and share.

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Through AutoLiFT, automotive brands may start looking to Facebook for extra ad horsepower

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Courting automotive brands has been a major focus for Facebook. When General Motors pulled its $10 million ad campaign from Facebook in 2012, many industry leaders took it as a sign that there’s not enough ROI from Facebook advertising. However, a lot has changed in 2 years.

Facebook’s pitch got a significant boost in November 2013 when the company hired Google’s Michelle Morris to lead automotive marketing.

Now, as Facebook has built a robust advertising platform, Menlo Park and Detroit are working together quite well. Facebook Marketing Partner BLiNQ Media, a G/O Digital company, recently announced AutoLiFT, an ad targeting solution for auto brands.

Morris, in a press release, discussed AutoLiFT:

It’s great to see our developer community begin to specialize their platforms to meet the needs of specific industries. Automotive marketers are heavy users of programmatic technologies, and BLiNQ has built an intelligent and dynamic, cross-device platform for tier 2 and tier 3 marketing programs on Facebook.

So how well are car makers working with Facebook and what can AutoLiFT do for the industry?

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