The Open Compute Project, a Facebook-started consortium aimed at making data storage more efficient, announced Wednesday that it is now working on a way to speed up innovation with regard to networking hardware. Facebook has partnered with companies such as Big Switch Networks, Broadcom, Cumulus Networks, Intel, Netronome, OpenDaylight, the Open Networking Foundation, and VMware to accomplish this.
As Graph Search starts to roll out to more users (it’s still in limited beta, with no date set for global rollout), people may be worried about how it affects their privacy. Marketo recently published an infographic, showing how users can update their profile information to ensure that nothing is compromised within Graph Search.
It’s probably not surprising that when Facebook users are 21, most of their friends are also in that same age bracket. It’s also not a shocker to say that men talk about sports on Facebook more than women. But how do trends change over time? Do 30-year-olds tend to talk about health more than new high-school graduates? A highly visual set of data from Wolfram Alpha brings Facebook’s social graph to life, showing how people connect and relate to each other on the social network.
Facebook is taking steps to make it easier for users with its new Timeline to add movies, TV shows, and celebrities they like to their profiles, reaching an agreement with Rovi to use data from its Rovi Video database.
When Facebook announced Home, a heavily integrated mobile platform for Android phones, many people were worried that it represented just another invasion of privacy by the social network. While Facebook will become a bigger part of users’ mobile experiences, the company swears that Home does not take any more information than its native application or the desktop version of the site. Facebook’s Michael Richter (chief privacy officer) and Erin Egan (chief privacy officer of policy) attempted to address users’ concerns in a recent blog post.
It’s no secret that Facebook in recent years has become a data company. The more data Facebook has about its users — such as gender, education, likes, and location — the better it can serve targeted ads. But Facebook has to strike a cautious balance with regard to targeting. Whereas many users see ads that are wholly irrelevant, many others feel that Facebook can be too invasive when it comes to advertising.
What makes someone share a story on Facebook? If the original post comes from a celebrity such as George Takei, maybe it was a funny post. If it comes from a close friend, maybe it’s an announcement. If it’s from a high school classmate they haven’t spoken to in years, maybe it’s something thought-provoking. Dean Eckles, a member of the data science team at Facebook, spoke at Tahoe Snowcial in Nevada about how the connection between users influences how they share on the social network.
How does Facebook manage its ever-growing plethora of servers, configurations, administrative access policies, and the other tasks that go along with its volumes of data? Part of that answer now lies in Private Chef from cloud infrastructure automation provider Opscode.
In recent days, Facebook has been cutting off data access to applications that have been using it in ways that either compete with or replicate what the social network does — first with Voxer, then Wonder, and most recently Vine. Facebook Director of Platform Partnerships and Operations Justin Osofsky clarified his company’s stance with regard to sharing data. In essence, apps that allow users to share data back to Facebook are OK, while those that do not violate the site’s platform policy.