Archive for the ‘Social Networking Sites’ Category

Five Facebook Changes and What You Need to Know

Five Facebook Changes and What You Need to Know
Are you wondering what to make of all the new Facebook changes?
This article takes a detailed look at how the News Ticker, Smart Lists, News Feed, Subscribe feature and Timeline will impact marketers and business owners.

It’s been quite a rollercoaster recently with all the new Facebook changes. Some changes have already happened (i.e., News Feed and the new Smart Lists) and other changes will be coming as a result of the Facebook F8 conference.
Let’s dive into these changes in detail and talk about the changes to come in the next few weeks with the new Facebook Timeline.

#1: The News Feed Ticker
Probably the most controversial change is the addition of the News Feed Ticker. Some people hate it; others love it. But the one thing you can’t do is easily hide it. Although there are some workarounds.

The News Feed Ticker shows all the comments, posts, likes, friendships and events of all of your friends, pages and subscriptions.

The Ticker contains posts and “activity stories” (such as friends commenting on other posts, liking pages, RSVPing to events, etc.) but now the “recent stories” area contains only posts (which can include status updates, pictures, links and videos) by friends, pages, subscriptions and stories posted by apps (such as YouTube or Networked Blogs).

The Ticker is very real-time and shows who is doing what on Facebook right now. By clicking on the down arrow in the upper-right corner of a post, you can have more control over what you see from that person or the app that posted the story.
activity stories

Click the down arrow in the upper-right corner to adjust the settings for posts.

The “activity stories” are what appear in the Ticker, so if you don’t want to see every move made by a person, you can unsubscribe to their activity stories. You’ll still get updates when that person posts something in their status bar. You can also decide if you don’t want to see updates from a certain type of application as shown in the picture above.

Something interesting about the Ticker is that previous posts by pages and friends may have a longer life than they did before. When someone comments or replies to a previous post, the story of that comment shows up in the Ticker and you can then click on the story to see the whole post again as shown in the figure below.

Posts have a longer life due to follow-up comments.

One benefit of the Ticker is if you have friends who are also connected to your fan page, and you see that they’ve replied to your fan page post in the Ticker, you can reply as your page right from the Ticker. But only if you have your Posting Preferences set to “Always Comment as your Page.” Find this setting in the Edit Page area of your Facebook page, and then select “Your Settings.”

Reply as your page right from the Ticker.

#2: Smart Lists
Smart Lists were also introduced. Mari Smith taught us how to make a Friends List in the Facebook 101 for Business Guide, but many people still haven’t made one. These lists help us keep track of posts by certain groups of people. And many of us have found that they were sometimes difficult to maintain when we made new friends.

Your New Lists are on the left sidebar of your Home page.

Facebook automatically creates several lists:

Close Friends: Facebook does not actually pick your close friends (thankfully), but they do have a list of suggestions based on whom you interact with the most. When you put people on this list, you’ll see all of their updates.
Acquaintances: Again, this list is not automatically populated, but if you add people to this list, you’ll see fewer of their updates in your News Feed.
Work (based on your employment listing): If you add someone to this list, he/she will get a notification to confirm employment at this location. Facebook will add that employer to their profile. So only add people to this list if you actually work at the same place.
School (both high school and college): These lists are self-populating, meaning that any Facebook friends of yours who list your high school or college in their profile will be put on this list. It is also self-updating for new Facebook friends you make or Facebook friends who later add this information to their profile.
Family: If you have people who previously indicated they were related to you, they’ll be on this list. It’ll be self-updating for people who indicate they are family of yours; otherwise, you’ll have to manually add people to this list.
Your city (set to a 10-mile radius around your city): This is another self-updating list for any Facebook friends who list your city in their profiles. You can set the radius of this list to include more people by clicking on the list on the left sidebar and selecting the “10 miles” hyperlink at the top of the page. You’ll then see a box where you can edit the radius as shown in this picture.

Change the radius of your area to include more people on this list.

If you’ve already created Friends lists, they are all still available. And maybe you’ve already created a list for local friends or family. You can merge these lists together by clicking on your list and clicking Manage List in the upper-right corner.

It's easy to merge your lists.

You can also easily send a post just to this list by clicking on the list, and then updating your status within the list.
update a list

Update your status just to people in your lists from within the list.

You can also send an update to certain lists at any time by clicking on the dropdown menu to the left of the Post button.

Control which list can see your posts.

One frustrating thing about Smart Lists is that you can’t delete them, you can only hide them. Click the pencil next to the list to hide it or add it to your favorites. If you have a list that you want easy access to, click More next to the lists, find that list and click the pencil next to it to add it to your favorites and now it’ll appear on your left sidebar.

Add a list to favorites.

#3: The News Feed
The News Feed has changed. There is no longer the Top News and Most Recent to toggle between, now there are Top Stories and Recent Stories. The Top Stories are things Facebook thinks you might be interested in based on your interaction in the past. The Recent Stories are in chronological order.

Top Stories appear at the top and Recent Stories are below.

If you check Facebook more frequently, you won’t have as many Top Stories because everything will be in the Recent Stories area.
As mentioned earlier, only posts such as status updates, photos, videos, check-ins and posts from applications like Networked Blogs appear in the News Feed. The “Activity Stories” will be posted in the Ticker.
The other change to the News Feed is the larger photo size.

#4: The Subscribe Button

The Subscribe Button allows you to make your personal profile more public. You can allow subscribers to see your public updates. You may not have wanted to friend people and weren’t sure about making a fan page. The Subscribe button is perfect for a more public person who wants to allow more connection with people.

To allow subscribers, go to Edit your Subscriber settings and make sure you’re using the dropdown menu next to the Post button when you update your status to control who can see your posts.

Edit your Subscriber settings.

You can subscribe to others if they have a Subscribe button on their profile.

Subscribe to others.

Now a question you may have is, “Should I create a Facebook page or should I just allow subscribers?” Here are differences as shown on the Facebook+Public Figures page:

Differences between the Subscribe button and a Facebook page.

#5: Timeline

Now to get to the Facebook Timeline and other F8 announcements. The personal profile page is now called the Timeline. Facebook describes it as “All your stories, all your Apps, a new way to express who you are.” It’s also been described as your personal scrapbook.

The new Timeline.

You can update your status from here and your friends can still write something directly on your Timeline.

You now have one large picture at the top that you can change and update but it doesn’t change unless you change it (unlike the photostrip that was updated with your most recent photos). You can choose something recent that you were doing as your photo or have an artistic picture to express yourself.

Make your photo artistic.

One thing that I like about the new Timeline is the ability to go back in time. Click on View Activity or click on a date on the right side to a date in your Facebook history.

Rediscover what you were doing on a certain date.

You have options on your Timeline to hide stories, feature a story or change the privacy settings.

Use the editing features on your Timeline.

Other changes that came out of the F8 conference include Facebook partnerships with apps such as Spotify (music), Netflix, Hulu and the Guardian among many others. These apps will help Facebook differentiate itself from Google+.

So far there are no immediate changes seen for Facebook Pages. Facebook Pages will still continue to have the same look and feel for the time being, but most likely they will be updated to reflect the look of the personal Timelines. As all the changes are to the personal profiles, there are no actions to take for page administrators. Article Resource:

Our Commitment to the Facebook Community by Mark Zuckerberg Founder and CEO at Facebook

Our Commitment to the Facebook Community
by Mark Zuckerberg Founder and CEO at Facebook


I founded Facebook on the idea that people want to share and connect with people in their lives, but to do this everyone needs complete control over who they share with at all times.

This idea has been the core of Facebook since day one. When I built the first version of Facebook, almost nobody I knew wanted a public page on the internet. That seemed scary. But as long as they could make their page private, they felt safe sharing with their friends online. Control was key. With Facebook, for the first time, people had the tools they needed to do this. That’s how Facebook became the world’s biggest community online.  We made it easy for people to feel comfortable sharing things about their real lives.
We’ve added many new tools since then: sharing photos, creating groups, commenting on and liking your friends’ posts and recently even listening to music or watching videos together. With each new tool, we’ve added new privacy controls to ensure that you continue to have complete control over who sees everything you share. Because of these tools and controls, most people share many more things today than they did a few years ago.

Overall, I think we have a good history of providing transparency and control over who can see your information.

That said, I’m the first to admit that we’ve made a bunch of mistakes. In particular, I think that a small number of high profile mistakes, like Beacon four years ago and poor execution as we transitioned our privacy model two years ago, have often overshadowed much of the good work we’ve done.

I also understand that many people are just naturally skeptical of what it means for hundreds of millions of people to share so much personal information online, especially using any one service.  Even if our record on privacy were perfect, I think many people would still rightfully question how their information was protected. It’s important for people to think about this, and not one day goes by when I don’t think about what it means for us to be the stewards of this community and their trust.

Facebook has always been committed to being transparent about the information you have stored with us – and we have led the internet in building tools to give people the ability to see and control what they share.

But we can also always do better. I’m committed to making Facebook the leader in transparency and control around privacy.

As we have grown, we have tried our best to listen closely to the people who use Facebook. We also work with regulators, advocates and experts to inform our privacy practices and policies. Recently, the US Federal Trade Commission established agreements with Google and Twitter that are helping to shape new privacy standards for our industry. Today, the FTC announced a similar agreement with Facebook. These agreements create a framework for how companies should approach privacy in the United States and around the world.

For Facebook, this means we’re making a clear and formal long-term commitment to do the things we’ve always tried to do and planned to keep doing — giving you tools to control who can see your information and then making sure only those people you intend can see it.

In the last 18 months alone, we’ve announced more than 20 new tools and resources designed to give you more control over your Facebook experience. Some of the things these include are:

• An easier way to select your audience when making a new post

• Inline privacy controls on all your existing posts

• The ability to review tags made by others before they appear on your profile

• Friend lists that are easier to create and that maintain themselves automatically

• A new groups product for sharing with smaller sets of people

• A tool to view your profile as someone else would see it

• Tools to ensure your information stays secure like double login approval

• Mobile versions of your privacy controls

• An easy way to download all your Facebook data

• A new apps dashboard to control what your apps can access

• A new app permission dialog that gives you clear control over what an app can do anytime you add one

• Many more privacy education resources


As a matter of fact, privacy is so deeply embedded in all of the development we do that every day tens of thousands of servers worth of computational resources are consumed checking to make sure that on any webpage we serve, that you have access to see each of the sometimes hundreds or even thousands of individual pieces of information that come together to form a Facebook page. This includes everything from every post on a page to every tag in those posts to every mutual friend shown when you hover over a person’s name. We do privacy access checks literally tens of billions of times each day to ensure we’re enforcing that only the people you want see your content. These privacy principles are written very deeply into our code.

Even before the agreement announced by the FTC today, Facebook had already proactively addressed many of the concerns the FTC raised. For example, their complaint to us mentioned our Verified Apps Program, which we canceled almost two years ago in December 2009. The same complaint also mentions cases where advertisers inadvertently received the ID numbers of some users in referrer URLs. We fixed that problem over a year ago in May 2010.

In addition to these product changes, the FTC also recommended improvements to our internal processes. We’ve embraced these ideas, too, by agreeing to improve and formalize the way we do privacy review as part of our ongoing product development process. As part of this, we will establish a biennial independent audit of our privacy practices to ensure we’re living up to the commitments we make.

Even further, effective today I am creating two new corporate officer roles to make sure our commitments will be reflected in what we do internally — in the development of our products and the security of our systems — and externally — in the way we work collaboratively with regulators, government agencies and privacy groups from around the world:
– Erin Egan will become Chief Privacy Officer, Policy. Erin recently joined Facebook after serving as a partner and co-chair of the global privacy and data security practice of Covington & Burling, the respected international law firm. Throughout her career, Erin has been deeply involved in legislative and regulatory efforts to address privacy, data security, spam, spyware and other consumer protection issues. Erin will lead our engagement in the global public discourse and debate about online privacy and ensure that feedback from regulators, legislators, experts and academics from around the world is incorporated into Facebook’s practices and policies.

– Michael Richter will become Chief Privacy Officer, Products. Michael is currently Facebook’s Chief Privacy Counsel on our legal team. In his new role, Michael will join our product organization to expand, improve and formalize our existing program of internal privacy review. He and his team will work to ensure that our principles of user control, privacy by design and transparency are integrated consistently into both Facebook’s product development process and our products themselves.

These two positions will further strengthen the processes that ensure that privacy control is built into our products and policies. I’m proud to have two such strong individuals with so much privacy expertise serving in these roles.

Today’s announcement formalizes our commitment to providing you with control over your privacy and sharing — and it also provides protection to ensure that your information is only shared in the way you intend. As the founder and CEO of Facebook, I look forward to working with the Commission as we implement this agreement. It is my hope that this agreement makes it clear that Facebook is the leader when it comes to offering people control over the information they share online.

Finally, I also want to reaffirm the commitment I made when I first launched Facebook. We will serve you as best we can and work every day to provide you with the best tools for you to share with each other and the world. We will continue to improve the service, build new ways for you to share and offer new ways to protect you and your information better than any other company in the world.

Listen to Music With Your Friends

Listen to Music With Your Friends
by Alexandre Roche

Music is one of the most powerful and fun ways to connect. Whether it’s at a concert with a bunch of people or on a long car ride with your best buddy, we love listening to music with our friends. But what if you could listen to music with your friends when you’re alone, like at work, at home or on the go?

Today, with music services on Facebook, there’s a new way to listen with friends. This feature lets you listen along with any of your friends who are currently listening to music. You can also listen together in a group while one of your friends plays DJ.

You can listen to the same song, at the exact same time—so when your favorite vocal part comes in you can experience it together, just like when you’re jamming out at a performance or dance club.

How It Works
Look for the music note in the chat sidebar to see which of your friends are listening to music. To listen with a friend, hover over their name, and click the Listen With button. The music will play through the service your friend is using.

When a new song plays, you’ll come along for the ride, discovering new music while your friend DJs for you.

You’ll also have the option to chat about what you’re listening to.  As other people start listening along, they’ll join the party in a group chat.
You can control who you’re listening along with through your settings. Learn more here.
Rollout Starts Today
Now, you can experience enjoying music together with your friends no matter where you are. This feature will start rolling out over the next few weeks. We hope you enjoy listening with friends!


15 Tips to Rock Your New Facebook Time Line Business Page

facebook time line

Yes, Facebook did it to us again. This time they have added the new timeline to business pages. With it come both good and bad changes.  As I wrote in this earlier post “ Quit Blaming Facebook and Fix Your Own Marketing Problems” it’s important you don’t waste too much time complaining. Instead use that same negative energy and turn it into a positive. Use it as a lesson for not putting all of your social eggs in one basket!

The best thing you can do is stop complaining and get to work. The new Facebook business page timeline is here to stay at least until they decide to make the next round of changes. Might as well get use to it and make the most of it!

Below are some must know tips as well as loads of Facebook reference urls at the bottom to hopefully save you some time in case you get stuck or have further questions.

Note, there are more changes than what I included in this blog post. For this post I tried to keep it specifically focused on the “need to know” changes.

15 Tips to Rock Your New Facebook Time Line Business Page:

1. Know the dates.
The new Facebook timeline is set to launch on all business pages March 30, 2012.  You can start playing with your new page now and see it in preview mode before actually pushing live. I encourage you to do this as soon as possible. Don’t wait until the last minute and then be stuck with a boring page that shows you were not prepared.+

2. Create a new Facebook timeline cover image.
The cover image provides amazing opportunities for branding and to visually inspire and connect with your fans. The options are endless as long as you stay within the Facebook guidelines outlined in #3 below.
Create several different timeline covers so you can provide a fresh and inspiration experience for your timeline visitors!
Image dimensions: 851 x 315

3. Know the Facebook cover image content guidelines (rules).
Facebook has set pretty strict guidelines for what can and can’t be displayed and communicated on the new timeline cover image.
What you CAN do:
Brand the heck out of your company, book or personal brand. This include brand images, logos, photos and any other visual marks.
Inspire your audience with visually appealing graphics, colors and images.
Use simple language that will help you inspire and connect with your fans.
What you can NOT do: (Per Facebook cover guidelines )
Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”
Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section
References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”
Basically the cover image is provided to inspire and connect with your fans. It is not meant for blatant self promotion or hard sales.
*Obviously make sure you have legal copyrights to all images and content.

4. No default landing tabs.
You can no longer set a tab as a default landing tab. Now before you go off on a wild rant about how terrible this is, remember this is a post designed to help you move forward and do good things with your new Facebook timeline.  Got it? Okay, great! Now here are a few things you CAN do:

  • Maximize use and space of cover image.
  • Use the unique urls of apps to direct people directly to the app from pages outside of Facebook as well as posts, status updates within Facebook.
  • Maximize use of the top apps shown underneath your cover photo.
  • Use the apps for call to actions and to engage your fans.
  • Use this as an excuse to get out of your box and focus on truly inspiring and connecting with your audience.

5. Tabs are now Apps!
Apps are the new tabs. Although you can’t set one as a default landing tab for new visitors to your Facebook page, there are still many ways you can leverage apps.

  •     4 apps are always on display underneath your Facebook cover image.
  •      You can utilize a max of 14 custom apps on your timeline.
  •     Create a custom thumbnail for your app. (see #7 below)
  •     Apps have a unique url that can be used to drive traffic to a specific app (see #6 below).

6. Use a unique url in place of landing tabs.
Although you can no longer set a default landing tab, you can still easily get around this.  Since each app has it’s own unique url you can use the unique url to direct traffic from inside or outside of traffic to a specific app.
I suggest purchasing a unique url that you can use to drive traffic to your Facebook app of choice.  For example, I purchased the domain and use to use it to direct traffic directly to my default landing tab. Now I will use it to drive traffic to an app of my choice.  The best part of using a domain that you own is that no matter how many times Facebook changes the apps, tabs, timelines, pages or other, you can stick to one or two urls that you use on a regular basis.

7. Create custom thumbnails for apps.
It is super easy to create a custom thumbnail image for each and every app. Note custom images can not be set for photos and likes.
a. Create an image that is 111  x  74 pixels.
b. Click on the arrow to the right of your timeline (underneath the cover image). It will show a number which represents the number of apps you are using.
c. Click on the arrow next to the image of the app you want to change.
d. Click on edit settings.
e. Click on change (for the image)
f. Upload the new image.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   8. Fans can now send you a private message.
You can not message your fans. The messsages are user (fan) initiated.  Messages are a good way to encourage one to one communication if you have an interest in doing such with your fans.

9. Milestones
You can set milestones for your business for current, or past dates. This is a great way to highlight key events such as grand opening, ribbon cuttings, launch of new products, new partnerships, business milestones and achievements.  Milestone images are 843 x 403 pixels.
a. Click Milesone in the sharing bar at the top of your page
b. Add a headline, date, location and details
c. Choose to add a photo
d. Click Save

10. Highlighted Posts.
You can set any post to be highlighted which means it will take up both sides of the page. I know, the name “highlight” just doesn’t make sense to me either. I expected to see some type of real highlight. This feature enables you to bring special attention to a particular post within the timeline.

11. Pinned Posts.
You can set a post to be pinned to the top of the page. Pinned posts will stay on top of your timeline for up to 7 days.If possible, try not to wait the full 7 days before you change out the post unless you have a very important message to share. Chances are you have repeat visitors coming to your page throughout the week. Give them something new and fresh to check out.

12. Like button and interest lists.
The like button will now show as “liked” for all fans who have already liked the page.
There are also new interest lists that can be accessed with a simple hover of the like / liked button.  You can create your own list as well as subscribe to lists the page owner has created.
Users can also select if they want to see your posts in their timeline right from your Facebook timeline by hovering over the same like button.
I will do more research on these feature and provide further detail in a subsequent post.

13. Know the required image sizes.
iStock 000016860317XSmall 300×225 15 Must Know Tips to Rock Your New Facebook Timeline Business PageNo need to over complicate this. Note the required image sizes and jot them down on a sticky. Stick it to your computer monitor and you won’t have to look them up or worry about forgetting them.
1. Cover photo: 851 x 315
2. Profile picture: 180 x 180
3. Thumbnail image for apps: 111 x 74
4. Highlighted & milestone images: 843 x 403
5. Images within wall posts display as 404 x 404.

14. It’s what happens after the “like” that matters most.
Don’t get too hung up on all these changes. If you are focusing on only “likes” then you have much bigger problems than the Facebook default tab going away.
As I always say, it is what happens after the like that matters most. Check out this post I wrote in December, 2010 which still stands true today for tips to engage your audience after the like!  “What Happens After the Facebook Like? 20 Tips to Engage Your Audience After the Like!

15.  Don’t freak out.
The worst thing you can do is go into “freak out” mode. If you are completely freaked out over these changes then you really need to do the “double think” on your online marketing strategy. Remember, you do not own Facebook. Facebook can make any changes they see fit, whenever they decide to do so. It is a free platform and although you may have put too much weight into the platform for the success of your business, use the anxiety you feel today as a positive to move at least a few eggs out of the Facebook basket. Putting all your eggs in one basket is never a good thing, particularly when it is a basket you do not own!

Additional Facebook Resources: 

Below I have compiled numerous Facebook pages to help you get acquainted with the most recent changes as well as the standard guidelines for Facebook features such as advertising and promotions.

Start setup of a new Facebook Business Page:

Facebook Basics:

The Facebook Blog:

Facebook Marketing Solutions Timeline Page:

Build Your Brand with Facebook Pages:

Facebook Ads & Business Solutions:

Facebook Advertising Guidelines:

Facebook Promotions Guidelines:

Facebook Cover Guidelines:

Facebook Pages Guidelines:

Amended Facebook Pages Guidelines for State & Local Government in the United States:

Facebook Platform Policy: (apps on pages must adhere to these)

How to make a Facebook milestone:’s-a-milestone?-How-do-I-make-a-milestone-for-my-Facebook-Page?

Facebook Community Standards:

Facebook Data Use Policy:

Facebook Statement of Rights & Responsibilities:

Facebook Apps, Games & Credits:

Facebook App Basics:

Facebook App Guidelines:

Facebook Personal Timeline:

Facebook Safety Timeline Page:

Facebook Family Safety Center:

Your Turn!

So what are your thoughts on the new Facebook timeline? Are you ready for the changes? Have you already implemented and launched the new Facebook timeline cover on your page? What are your favorite features of the new pages? What tips do you have you can share with others who may feel stuck or need inspiration?

By Social Media Today

Facebook gives permalinks to individual comments, hides potential spam


Facebook now assigns permanent links to all comments on the site and hides spam comments rather than just marking them with a darker background. The company announced the improvements in a post on its Facebook + Journalists page.

With the addition of permalinks, users can share a direct link to any comment. When users visit the link, the comment will appear at the top of the page and will briefly appear highlighted in yellow. Previously there was no way to do this, and it could be difficult to find a particular comment among a thread of dozens or sometimes hundreds of others. Permalinks can be accessed by clicking the timestamp of a comment.

Facebook added permalinks to comments in its plug-in for third-party sites last year, but didn’t do this for the main site. Whether this was an issue of scale or lack of demand is unclear. However, with the increase in Facebook activity among public figures, more public conversations are happening on the site and being able to link to comments directly is important. On Twitter, for example, every tweet has a unique URL, making it easy to refer back to specific parts of a thread.

Other features might not be necessary when users interact with their , but as they engage with pages and popular people who allow subscribers, the deficiencies of comments on become more apparent. For example, Facebook doesn’t thread comments or sort them by relevancy on the site as it does with its plug-in. On, all comments are presented in a single thread. There is no way to clearly and directly respond to a comment from another user. Admins can @ tag people who have commented on a post, but users can only tag the names of their friends. (In Facebook groups, users can tag anyone in the group even without being connected as friends.) Comments are presented in order of when they were posted. However, the Facebook comments plugin used by websites including this one shows relevant comments from friends, friends of friends and the most liked or active discussion threads above others.

Comments on do have spam detection. Potential spam comments are not visible to other users, but they used to show to admins with a darker grey background. This would catch moderators’ eyes so they could delete the comment, block the user or unmark the item as spam. Now potential spam will be hidden behind an ellipsis. Page owners can click the ellipsis to see the comments and take action on them.
from : Inside Facebook, by: Brittany Darwell

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