Facebook often comes into play during natural disasters or other crisis situations as a means for users to check on friends and loved ones, or alert them that they are safe. The social network introduced a tool Thursday to simplify the process, Safety Check.
The first-ever Internet.org Summit kicked off in New Delhi, India, Thursday, and highlights included a talk by Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, as well as the introduction of the Internet.org Innovation Challenge, which is aimed at recognizing efforts toward connecting people in India who currently lack Internet access.
Facebook chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer issued the social network’s strongest response to date to the controversy over a 2012 study in which the News Feeds of 689,003 randomly selected Facebook users were manipulated in terms of positive or negative stories to gauge their emotional effects, promising in a Newsroom post that changes would be made to the way Facebook conducts research, including clearer guidelines, review teams, training, and a portal for all of the company’s research.
Facebook announced two tweaks to its News Feed algorithm aimed at ensuring that the content users see is timely: Posts related to trending topics will be ranked higher, and the rate at which users like or comment on posts shortly after they go live will be factored in.
With owners of Apple devices being able to upgrade to iOS 8 starting Wednesday, Facebook is prepared for the new mobile operating system, as well.
Facebook has repeatedly stressed its mission to provide the most relevant ads on News Feed, and the social network Thursday announced two more steps it is taking toward doing so: When users indicate that they don’t want to see specific ads, Facebook will take into account the reasons why those users rejected those ads when decided whether or not to serve them to other users. And more weight will be given to feedback from users who rarely or infrequently reject ads, compared with input from serial ad rejecters.
Facebook announced that it has been averaging more than 1 billion video views per day since June, with 65 percent of them on mobile, and brands and users that post videos will now be able to see how much of those 1 billion-plus views they were responsible for, as public videos from users and pages will now display view counts.
Facebook Thursday announced the rollout of Privacy Checkup, a tool aimed at helping users better control who sees their content, which the social network began testing as early as March and officially introduced in May.
Roughly 6.2 million Facebook users weighed in on the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Monday night, leading to 10.9 million interactions on the social network, Data Analyst Betsy Williams wrote in a Newsroom post.
Facebook’s next steps to improve the content users see in their News Feeds include taking aim at click-baiting headlines in posts from pages and emphasizing links that are shared via the social network’s link format over those shared in photo captions and status updates.