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facebook-ads.jpgMany of us may have stopped noticing, but if you're accessing Facebook via the web then down the right-hand side of your News Feed there's a column serving up ads about anything from weddings to shoes to bingo, depending on what Facebook thinks your interests are.

Today Techcrunch reports that because none of us are clicking anything on it ever, the right-hand ad column is set to get a lot bigger and more in yer face than ever before.

According to reports, advertisers will see an option later this month to make their ads bigger (but not bigger than the ads in the News Feed itself). Luckily this means there'll be fewer of them, which makes sense if they plan on enlarging them all and presumably charging more for the size.


facebook-messenger-screenshot-1.jpgHave you ever had a conversation with someone who hasn't downloaded the Facebook Messenger app? Facebook is so keen for everyone to have it that it peer pressures you into telling them to get it - not that any of us do. Well now Facebook doesn't give these users a choice anymore, because it's killing the messaging functionality within Android and iOS apps, forcing people to app for the standalone Messenger if they want to chat with their friends.

TNW spoke with a Facebook spokesperson who claims the service is 20% faster when using Messenger and that new features are quickly making it much better than in-app messaging, like creating group chats.

According to reports, stubborn users who are yet to download both apps will be given details and reminders about the change over the next few weeks.

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Facebook has updated its Messenger app for iOS today by adding in a Groups feature. Yep, you can add more than one person to a conversation already, but this will allow you to Group people together and spam them with emojis to your heart's content (check out the screenshot above for how this would look).

There's also a new forwarding feature, which will allow you to send a conversation or photo that you're having with one person to another. This could be really handy when it comes to sharing images, but seems the complete opposite to Snapchat's appealing disposable content and it might just be us, but it comes across as a little sneaky and Mean Girls-esque, like "OMG look at what she said!!!1".

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Last night the tech world was shook to its very core when Facebook announced in an investor press release that it has acquired virtual reality company Oculus VR - known for its Oculus Rift virtual reality headset that (up until now at least) has always been focused on 3D gaming.

Just weeks after snapping up Whatsapp for $16 billion, Zuckerberg has now bought Oculus VR for $2 billion in stocks and cash. In many ways it makes sense that the Facebook team would buy such an innovative company that's already made huge waves in the world of tech, but in many other ways it's left onlookers feeling a bit angry and a lot confused.

So why are so many people upset about this acquisition?

Because it's Facebook

You don't have to look far this morning to see that the acquisition hasn't gone down too well amongst many tech and gaming communities.

Oculus began its life as a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign, demonstrating massive support amongst actual real people who saw this as the first time VR could actually be done right. For many of these supporters it now stings that advertising-riddled, Farmville-obsessed and super snoopy Facebook will be omnipresent throughout everything Oculus does in the future.

Because it's FACEBOOK

Oculus VR has always positioned its device as a gaming platform, and outside of Zynga and all of that boring farmyard rubbish, Facebook has had very little experience when it comes to gaming, which leaves many anxious about the union.

And it's not just regular gaming fans who are hurt by the acquisition, Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson revealed last night that he's pulling out of a deal to bring Minecraft to the Oculus Rift due to Facebook's involvement.

In a passionate blog post on Notch.net he explained:

"I have the greatest respect for the talented engineers and developers at Oculus. It's been a long time since I met a more dedicated and talented group of people. I understand this is purely a business deal, and I'd like to congratulate both Facebook and the Oculus owners. But this is where we part ways."

So what's REALLY in store for this Oculus VR under Facebook's regime?

Oculus will still be focusing on gaming

In a status update on his Facebook page, Mark Zuckerberg attempted to explain the motivations behind the acquisition. Although a lot of his language was flowery and vague, he confirmed that the team will still focus on 3D gaming:

"Immersive gaming will be the first, and Oculus already has big plans here that won't be changing and we hope to accelerate. The Rift is highly anticipated by the gaming community, and there's a lot of interest from developers in building for this platform. We're going to focus on helping Oculus build out their product and develop partnerships to support more games. Oculus will continue operating independently within Facebook to achieve this."

This doesn't meant to say the Oculus Rift won't be used in many other more annoying, Facebook-y ways, but it does mean this isn't the end of the team's big gaming plans - well, not quite yet at least.

There'll be more research and development money for the Oculus VR team

The good news for Oculus VR, is the acquisition pumps a great deal of money into everything the team has been working on. This was clearly a big factor at play in the negotiations because when Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey took to Reddit to defend the decision, he wrote:

"In the end, I kept coming back to a question we always ask ourselves every day at Oculus: what's best for the future of virtual reality? Partnering with Mark and the Facebook team is a unique and powerful opportunity. The partnership accelerates our vision, allows us to execute on some of our most creative ideas and take risks that were otherwise impossible. Most importantly, it means a better Oculus Rift with fewer compromises even faster than we anticipated."

So, if the acquisition means the Rift will be better than ever and strapped to our faces even quicker than we imagined then it certainly makes sense that Luckey and his team would have jumped at the deal.

You can't deny that Facebook isn't good at growing businesses

As much as many of us just love to bitch and moan about Facebook, the truth is the social network has a lot of users and we've seen how Instagram grew to have 200 million active users after Facebook bought it compared with the lowly 30 million it started off with. Granted Oculus Rift is nothing like Instagram, but Facebook does have a track record of growing business and making things work.

VR could be used for a bunch of social experiences

In the same blog post the Minecraft creator stated he'd be pulling out of discussions with Oculus VR, he also hinted at the possibilities of combining VR with social:

"Don't get me wrong, VR is not bad for social. In fact, I think social could become one of the biggest applications of VR. Being able to sit in a virtual living room and see your friend's avatar? Business meetings? Virtual cinemas where you feel like you're actually watching the movie with your friend who is seven time zones away?"

Similarly, in his Facebook update Zuckerberg explained some of the interesting new ways the Oculus Rift could bring people closer together:

"Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face -- just by putting on goggles in your home."

These ideas seem pretty vague and distant right now, but just imagine being able to step inside all of those cringeworthy baby photos, passionately embrace that creep from school who still keeps trying to add you as a friend and become a real life farmer inside the hell that is Farmville, it's just too exciting to even comprehend, right?

So if Facebook plans on throwing money into furthering Oculus' research and development, respects its gaming background and will work on new ideas alongside all of that, then surely it can only be good news that the two companies will team up? Of course things will happen that many of us will turn our noses up at - like non-gaming purposes or annoying ads - but that doesn't mean the death of VR gaming, if anything it means it could be legitimised by such a huge platform.

gun-image-instagram.jpgAlthough it may seem all fun and games and dollar bills, working at Facebook must be tough when it comes to deciding the difference between freedom of speech and just being plain wrong, offensive or even illegal.

Over the years numerous groups have asked that content be taken off the site, but only a few times has Zuckerberg and the team acted.

Well this week a press release on the Facebook Newsroom reveals that the social network (as well as Instagram) will begin clamping down on items that are being sold on the platforms.

People selling things on Facebook and Instagram will be monitored closely, asked to clarify things, change the wording of their ads and (if they don't comply) even be told to take content down.

Although the press release speaks of the sale of "items", all of the examples explicitly mention firearms, the sale of which on both Facebook and Instagram has been an extremely contentious issue and has brought about criticism as well as justification from both sides.

messenger-windows copy.jpgFacebook Messenger, the social network's popular app that allows users to send messages to their friends for free, is now available on the Windows Phone platform.

There's nothing particularly new or exciting about the Windows version of Facebook Messenger and it has many of the same features as Android and iOS Messenger that we're all already used to (except it's missing voice messaging at the moment), like stickers, location sharing, photo sharing and group conversations.

The app is available for Windows Phone now here.

facebook-look-back-big.jpgFacebook seems to be taking cues from the mediocre 2004 movie The Final Cut, in which Robin Williams plays a guy who splices together the memory implants of recently deceased people in order to create idyllic little video montages for their loved ones.

According to a statement released by the social network on Friday, the Facebook team will soon be able to create the same Look Back videos it allowed active users to access last month, but for the loved ones of those who have passed away instead.

The decision was allegedly made after a user's father requested to see a Look Back video of his son's life, who had recently died. Facebook made his wish come true in this case, but it acknowledges it has a few issues to sort before this is rolled out as a feature across the whole platform.

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Last night even those who usually ignore the ins and outs of the tech world were sharing news that Facebook will acquire WhatsApp for a whopping $16 billion.

But why such an astronomical figure for what's essentially just a messaging app?

WhatsApp has 450 million monthly users - and 70% are active on any given day

Let's put that figure into context.

450 million people is the entire population of the United States, The United Kingdom, Ireland and France combined.

Every. Single. Person.

Imagine all of those crazy little WhatsApp-ing fingers typing away (4.5 billion little WhatsApp-ing fingers, to be exact).

The thing that makes WhatsApp special is that it's not like many apps that are downloaded by the masses only to be ignored a matter of weeks down the line, as nearly three quarters of the 450 million are actively texting, sending photos and leaving silly audio messages on any given day.

The official line from Facebook about why the acquisition has taken place now is, unsurprisingly, focused on a "shared mission" of connectivity, growth and engagement:

"The acquisition supports Facebook and WhatsApp's shared mission to bring more connectivity and utility to the world by delivering core internet services efficiently and affordably. The combination will help accelerate growth and user engagement across both companies."

And if WhatsApp's figures teach us one thing, it's that its got all three of those nailed.

Both Google and Yahoo wanted a piece of the WhatsApp pie

Facebook has made no secret of acquiring (or at least trying to acquire) some of the world's fastest-growing services in the past, like Instagram and Snapchat.

Of course there are many reasons behind these big deals, but an obvious one is that Zuckerberg wants to stay on top of the game and not watch his user base flock to a shiny new offering.

However, an equally scary thought for the social network would be watching its competitors gobble up this popular new talent instead.

If Facebook hadn't been the one to acquire WhatsApp, it's highly likely other big players would have swooped in to claim it instead.

According to rumours, Google was interested in acquiring WhatsApp in April of last year, so a similar offer may have been put on the table if Facebook hadn't made this bold (and not to mention insanely expensive) move.

Facebook just wants to be cool, trendy and down with the kids again

Last year CNN reported that Facebook's Chief Financial Officer revealed the social network was losing a lot of its younger users.

Although some argued the stats weren't quite so clear cut, 2013 was definitely the year that teens instead flocked to selfie-sharing, mobile messaging apps, like SnapChat, Instagram and WhatsApp.

Facebook may be set to further develop its own set of apps (remember Facebook Camera?) or integrate more of WhatsApp's appeal into its current offering, but either way getting its hands on one of the most popular mobile services amongst younger audiences will only help in its bid to appeal to the kiddies again.

WhatsApp could help Facebook tap into emerging markets with ease

For some time now the Facebook team has spoken about growing its user base in emerging markets. This is because in the developed world it's pretty much reached saturation - know anyone other than your great gran who doesn't have a profile?!

Although WhatsApp has a large number of users across the same markets in the likes of the US, Spain and the UK, it's also hugely popular in the developing world. This reach could help support Facebook's efforts to not only increase its user base, but also advance the internet.org campaign the social network plays a part in alongside Qualcomm and Nokia to provide those in developing nations with affordable internet access.


The 9 most annoying things about Facebook

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As of yesterday Facebook is ten years old - who'd have thought that a decade later it'd be the backbone that powers our social lives, and something that we couldn't live without... even if we do love the hate it? Talking of hate - there's a lot to be annoyed about. Facebook themselves keep making frustrating changes and as for the people... well, don't get me started.

Here's 9 of the most annoying things about Facebook.

1) Passive Aggressive Statuses

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We've all seen them. You might even have posted one yourself - in which case you should feel nothing but shame.

"I really hate how SOME PEOPLE never text me back"
"Well, now I know who my friends are"
"I can't take it any more"

No context, just a few characters of oblique bitterness. Inevitably followed up with someone commenting "u ok hun?". It's infuriating - not just because I'm a terrible gossip and want to know what is going on, but because it is hard to sympathise when details are so lacking. The way empathy works is by judging the situation someone is in based on their circumstances surrounding it, and then imagining how you would feel if it were you. It needs facts to work!

2) Not being able to keep track of what's going on (most recent, most important?)

Want to find out what your friends have been up to? Good luck! Rather than simply show updates in a list, Facebook in its infinite wisdom think that they know best - and instead use an algorithm to pick what they think are the most relevant things for you to say. Unfortunately this also means that you'll never get the full picture - only the news that Facebook deems to show you. Let's hope you don't miss anything important.

3) Finding old stuff.. who said what?

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Similarly... good luck finding that post someone made the other day with that link that story you meant to read... The trouble is not only can you post to your timeline, you can post to other people's walls, or they can post to yours... or you can comment on someone's status. Meaning that there's no central archive of your interactions with any individual. So if you want to find something more than a couple of hours old you may as well give up.

4) Constantly changing privacy settings

What's that? How did your mum "like" that embarrassing photo? Didn't you set it up so that she was excluded? Oh look, Facebook have changed all of the privacy settings again. You'd think that modifying the settings would be straightforward but no... this is Facebook, remember? Perhaps just try not to post anything too personal.

5) People who interact with brands

If you're a company on Facebook, then you face an uphill struggle as you know that everyone is really there for their friends. And you'd think that your friends would know better than to help Big Corporation X or Megacorp Y advertise at you but no... there they are, responding to a request from Barclaycard asking people to like their status if they like cake. I mean... really?

Worse still is when brands try to be funny. It sort-of kills the joke when you know that a line of middle managers in suits have signed off on posting that photo of a cat. Please don't share it - you're only encouraging them.

6) Weird interactions with people you used to go to school with intruding on new friends

You know how it is. You're posting your very right-on opinions about how childrens toys shouldn't be gendered - lest patriarchal norms are instilled on the next generation - whilst talking to your trendy, savvy big city friends... only to suddenly get a comment from someone from school, who you haven't spoken to in ten years explaining why her daughter loves wearing pink. It's not so much that you dislike the person - you'd love to catch up if you ever went and visited the place you grew up... but... y'know... it's made it a bit awkward, hasn't it?

7) People who post stuff that you knew about from Twitter weeks ago

Which London Underground Line Are You? What Members Of A 90s Pop Group Would You Be? You know, because you took the latest "which arbitrary object in a set" quiz weeks ago when UsVsTh3m tweeted it... But Facebook friends have only just found it. Look at those idiots - marvelling at their shared traits with the Northern Line... yet you already knew you were the District Line back whilst they were busy sharing photos of Doge.

8) How an event invitation isn't a guarantee of attendance

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Somewhere down the line, RSVPs became meaningless. Back in the day, before Facebook when everyone used paper, posting back an RSVP was a sacred bond to say that you'll go through hell or high water to make it to the party on time. Now though, we're bombarded with so many event invitations that we're too trigger happy clicking "Yes". "Yes" has become "Maybe". "Maybe" has become "No", and "No" is tantamount to publicly announcing that your friendship with the organiser is over.

9) Those awful inspirational reposts

Want to sound deep but don't know enough philosophy to do so? It doesn't matter - paper over the cracks with some one-size-fits-all platitudes, and post them onto your Facebook feed to earn Likes and approval from your friends.

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So what do you find annoying on Facebook? Let us know in the comments.

Facebook launches iOS app update

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Downloaded iOS 7 to your iPhone yet? If so then check out Facebook which has just launched an iOS app update.

The revamped app, called Facebook 6.5, includes a new menu at the bottom of the app which Facebook says makes it easier to navigate. You can switch from News Feed to your friend requests, Messages or Notifications by tapping along the bottom of the screen.

The More tab" on the bottom right also offer access to options like Timeline, groups, events and more.

mangal2.jpgSo you have started your restaurant, the decor is finished, the menus printed and the chef is sharpening his kitchen knives. What you need next is a genius social media strategy that will have punters queueing round the corner to get in. So maybe you should start by cribbing from this Facebook site and this Twitter feed.

There are thousands of restaurants online that post boring old pics of their food, along with updates of changes to the menu etc. With the Twitter feed from the superb Stoke Newington/Dalston kebaberie Mangal 2 and the Worthing Wimpy you get a completely difefrent approach which in both instances is utterly addictive.

The Mangal 2 Twitter account is just superb - a total breath of fresh air. Branded Twitter accounts are supposed to be inclusive, friendly and informative, this one is edgy, rude and often hilarious. Their deadly rivalry with Mangal 1 restaurant is just one of many reasons the Twitter feed has become a cult with nearly 9000 followers.

So here is their take on the game and album of the week

And what they think of kids

And it doesn't get more welcoming than this

And a warm welcome for North London's most celebrated new Turkish/German arrival

I know from personal experience that the food is as good as the Twitter account too.

As for Worthing Wimpy this is genius example of a Facebook page run by a team who posts in a wonderfully clever and imaginative way. A million miles away from Mangal2 no matter what you think of Wimpy (a UK version of Burger King but with a side of more traditional British fare) you'll want to hang out with the cool, welcoming and fun people who put it together. Guess the beer/burger contests, gratuitous use of Bangles videos, gentle mickey taking of the staff - it is really rather sweet.

It won 'Wimpy of the year' this year and if the food and service is anywhere near as good as the Facebook pages the guys certainly earned it.

Here's a quick post - btw spelling isn't their strongest point, but that only makes them even more loveable.

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Does Facebook make you sad? Surveys say it might

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sad.jpgThere's an interesting article in the New Yorker today which suggests that Facebook, that loveable social network, might actually be making you unhappy. It isn't the first time that social networks have been accused of adding to human misery but this article, which references a new study from the University of Michigan psychologist Ethan Kross, says it makes us feel sad and lonely.

Here's what Kross and his team discovered.

In the course of two weeks Kross and his colleagues sent text messages to eighty-two Ann Arbor residents five times per day. The researchers wanted to know a few things: how their subjects felt overall, how worried and lonely they were, how much they had used Facebook, and how often they had had direct interaction with others since the previous text message. Kross found that the more people used Facebook in the time between the two texts, the less happy they felt--and the more their overall satisfaction declined from the beginning of the study until its end. The data, he argues, shows that Facebook was making them unhappy.

The article also mentions older surveys which concur in some way with Kross' conclusions and points to a 2010 analysis of forty studies which suggests that the Internet use had a small, significant detrimental effect on overall well-being.
Finally it mentions that old classic jealousy. Apparently Facebook users feel their life is nowhere near as exciting as all their friends who are posting pictures of their adventures.
I don't know about you, but I think that Facebook is fairly neutral and that, if anything it tends to amplify feelings that we already have. If you are a depressed person you are possibly going to find things that will make you feel sad. If you are happy, other people's good news might make you feel even more elated.

And to be fair the article doesn't mention surveys which have highlighted Facebook's uplifting nature.

On a personal level all I can say is that Facebook has enabled me to develop friendships with people across the globe that enrich my life. Without it I would have never met them. Also I have a much deeper understanding of the lives of many of my friends as, though their updates I know a great deal more about their lives than I did in pre-social networking days.

Finally the thousands of groups for people who faces challenges in their lives have to be a good and uplifting thing. There is nothing more positive than finding someone else who has been through the same difficult experiences as you have and then sharing with them and maybe learning how they handled things.

So what do you think? Does Facebook make you sad?

There has been the odd whisper recently about how Facebook is starting to lose traffic, especially that it is failing to appeal to youngsters who have had their heads turned by other platforms.

So to counter this Facebook has today released its latest UK-specific user data and is making available for the first time into daily and monthly, and total and mobile user numbers.

I guess they are as much about telling advertisers what a great platform Facebook is than anything else

And here they are

Monthly Active Users Total: 33 million
Daily Active Users Total: 24 million
Monthly Active Users, Mobile: 26 million
Daily Active Users, Mobile: 20 million

To put that in some kind of perspective that means that over half of the UK population is active on Facebook - some achievement. It also underlines how many people are accessing the service via mobile. It does make me wonder if the next big social network will be one that is built primarily for mobile.

It'll be fascinating to see of the network can maintain this loyalty over the coming years.

Here's a quick look at why I think there might be a new social network or two soon.

If you have ever wondered how popular US sport, and especially American Football is in relation to football as the rest of the world, take a look at this infographic. It shows how many followers the top football and Gridiron teams have in social media. And there really is no contest.

Even the most popular US team, the New York Yankees, has only half the followers of the third most popular British team Arsenal. And if you add all of the followers of all the Gridiron teams together they still work out less than the staggering 60 million followers that Barcelona has. It is worth noting too that Man United are rated as having 35 million followers. This is set to change significantly this year as the club has only been on Twitter for a matter of weeks.

The infographic, published on Forbes shows the teams listed in order of franchise value on the right along with the combined number of Facebook fans and Twitter followers. The size of the bubbles represents their social following.

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CorinaSasresearchdigital-web.jpgYou know what it is like. You change your status from in a relationship to 'it's complicated' but deep down you know it is all over. But there on your page is all the evidence of the three years you spent together before things went awry.

Well even academics think that social networking sites should enable couples who split up to erase the evidence of their relationship more easily.

Dr Corina Sas from Lancaster University and Professor Steve Whittaker of the University of California at Santa Cruz conducted interviews with 24 young people about how they handled the evidence of their broken relationship in the online world, and concluded that removing the traces of a past relationship is rather tricky. Their thoughts are included in a research document Design for forgetting; disposing of digital possessions after a breakup

The pair said...

"The greatest problems involved content on Facebook where couples could easily be reminded of their ex unless they deliberately unfriended them. Even then, there could be content about your ex on your friends' pages which you can't delete."

So they suggest that the social networking site should offer a feature which makes it easier to delete a couple's joint content following a break up. Doing it manually can to be too time consuming and in some instances way too painful.

Dr Sas said: "It can be very time consuming when digital content is spread across different devices like laptops or tablets and this would make the task much simpler. It could also enable people to deal with the break up more effectively.

"The best approach is not to act on impulse but instead try to wait. Then you can select which memories you want to keep and which you are confident you will not regret deleting."

There's more here.

In case you haven't heard the news Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, has launched a video recording app that is set to take on the Twitter owned Vine. Yes Vine remember that? The six second video app? In case you've forgotten here is a classic Vine to jog your memory.

However it looks like Instagram has monitored Vine very carefully and learned some key lessons, and its offering is way superior.

In terms of ease of use there isn't a huge amount to chose between them, but in other key areas Instagram massively scores over its rival.

1 You get longer to shoot - With Vine you have to cram the video into six seconds, Instagram gives you fifteen. I have always thought that six was too short, 15 feels about right.

2 Instagram is better in low light conditions - Vine frankly is very poor when the lights are low. At least with Instagram it adjusts focus and exposure to optimise the picture no matter where you are shooting it.

3 Instagram has those famous filters - Yep you get 13 of the filters that you know and love which you can use to add a little retro quality to your video.

4 It also has a post shooting image stabilisation option to reduce the camera shake on your vid.

5 Instagram is available for Android users from day one - With Vine it felt like a bit of an afterthought

It isn't just us who prefers the newbie

"Vine is like fast food, while Instagram video is more like eating in a nicer restaurant," said Ovum analyst Jan Dawson.

However I am sure it won't be long before Vine has more advanced features to rival Instagram. But by then will it be too late?

facebook hashtags.jpgIt always struck me as a bit odd that while hashtags have become such common currency on Twitter and, by dint of the fact of people dual posting, on Facebook too, but on the latter network they weren't clickable.

Well Facebook has finally moved to remedy that and as from today in the US, no details yet about the UK but it certainly isn't live at the moment, hashtags will be clickable. So if you are posting about an event or a topic whether it be #championsleague or #Towie you will be able to see a feed of what other people and pages are saying about the event.

Facebook has also made hashtags searchable too and have activated those that come in from other sources such as Instagram.

There's more detail here.

Social media buttons. Everyone loves them and we all use them. They can express how you feel without you having to exert any energy at all in 1, thinking 2, actually writing something sensible.

But there really ought to be more of them. Here are five that should be launched asap, but almost certainly won't be as the social media powers that be are scared we might not use them in a dignified manner.

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1 Facebook - So What - Ideal for when you see the eighteenth Buzzfeed post of the day in your stream or when a friend overdoses on the cutesy dogs pics.

2 Twitter - Like - When you want to tell someone that you like their tweet, but don't want to retweet it, and no that isn't what the favourite button on Twitter is for.

3 LinkedIn - Non-recommendation button
- When you worked with the person they were a complete arse - and you guess that they probably still are.

4 Facebook - Dislike button - for when something not good happens to your friends they get ill or lose their job etc

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5 Facebook - WTF - Very different from the So What button this is for expressing complete surprise at a situation. AKA the Golly Gosh button.

6 Facebook - WAATP - Nothing to do with the excellent football site, this is actually for expressing surprise about semi-naked pics of your friend on their recent holiday.

7 LinkedIn - Kerching - For when those too good to be true business offers start cluttering up your news feed

Any others?

WTF pic credit


Facebook Home coming to iPhone - or is it?

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There's a good bit of gossip over at Bloomberg. The news site has a scoop on the future of Facebook Home - apparently it is coming to Apple's iPhone.

The user interface, which has been optimised to work with Android devices and debuted on the HTC First could hit the iPhone later in the year.

Talks between Apple and Facebook are ongoing, but the news site had this to say

After debuting the software, called Home, for Google Inc. (GOOG)'s Android operating system earlier this month, the operator of the world's biggest social-networking service is speaking to Apple and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) about expanding to other platforms, Adam Mosseri, director of product at Menlo Park, California-based Facebook, said in an interview on Bloomberg West yesterday. The talks are ongoing and nothing has been finalized.

The sticking point is likely to be that Apple has a much tighter control over the applications that it passes for the iPhone than Google seems to have for Android phones.

So it could be that it won't be the full version of Home that arrives on the iPhone but a cut down version instead.

Cnet has lots of reasons why it thinks it might not happen, but if Home is a success I think this is one app that Apple will work hard to get an agreeement with Facebook on. The last thing Apple needs at the moment are high profile popular apps that are only available on Android.

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If you fancy the HTC First - the handset announced yesterday that runs Facebook Home, the social network's home screen on steroids - you will have to wait a while.

The device goes on sale in the United States on 12 April, but won't land in the UK until the early summer where it will be an EE exclusive.

In addition to Facebook Home the First runs Android Jelly Bean OS, sports a dual-core Qualcomm 1.4GHz processor, includes 16GB of storage and packs a 5 mega pixel camera.

Pippa Dunn, chief marketing officer, EE, said: 'We're proud to have been chosen by Facebook and HTC to be their UK launch partner for the HTC First. In combining our unique superfast network with the latest integrated Facebook experience, customers will constantly be at the centre of conversations with their friends.'

Peter Chou, CEO of HTC said: 'Along with our partners and fellow innovators--EE in the UK--we anticipate excitement from customers when the HTC First becomes available, putting a user's friends and family at the centre of their mobile experience.'

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