Archive for the ‘Facebook’ Category

Some people are concerned about Facebook’s Messenger app, and how it is now required that people use it to view their messages. Rather than having the capability to read messages in the Facebook app, the company has now ¬†made a standalone app for sending and receiving messages . Many are concerned over the apps permissions, which allow the app to utilize certain parts of the phone. Many are concerned that permissions like recording audio and taking pictures means that the app is spying on them. However, many are misinformed about how app¬†permissions work.

Now for myself, I have only had the experience on an Android device, but the permissions are set up by Android. When an app wants to have access to certain parts of the phone, it must declare the permissions it needs to run. These are the same permissions you see when you download the app. The problem comes from the wording of the permissions. It’s a default wording set by the makers of the Android system. They seem very general, such as “take pictures” and “record audio.”

Now once someone starts using the app, they will begin to see why these permissions are necessary. The Messenger app can be used to record audio clips, pictures, and videos, and send them to a friend. Rather than having to open a separate app to take a photo, or record audio, you can do it right from within the Facebook app.

Other’s are concerned with Facebook’s permission to read text messages. Facebook uses this as an auto verify service when you are verifying your phone number. Usually, when a service wants to verify your phone number, they’ll send you a text with a verification code for you to type in. Facebook uses this permission to read your that one text message automatically, so you don’t have to type in the verification code. Again, Facebook isn’t able to make the wording say “read text messages from Facebook.” The only way in is to request permission to your whole contacts list, ¬†because that’s the way that Android currently works.

Overall, people need not be concerned. Facebook is not secretly recording your conversations or anything like that. The permissions are just vague, and need to be explained.For future details, you can visit Facebook’s help site here.

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following

Facebook has recently added the Following button to the top of friends’ profiles

So, you may ask what’s this new following button you’ve seen on people’s profiles recently? Well, the feature has always existed, it just hasn’t been this prominent before. This setting used to exist as “Show in News Feed” in the drop down Friends menu at the top of a person’s profile. You could check or uncheck if you wanted to a see a friend’s posts in the News Feed. However, below this was an option to choose the types of updates you’d want to see from that friend. From this list, you could select whether you wanted to see certain things like status updates, life events, photos and videos, and, my most favourite, other activity. Other activity would get rid of annoying stories like “This person just became friends with that person.” With the new update, it means I can’t control what I see in the ticker. Though I rarely use it these days, I go through and clear it up every once in a while. Now with this new following option, changing the type of updates you see from friends is no longer possible.

An Update from a previous post:

Some users are reporting that some of their recent activity is no longer showing up, like comments on other friends’ posts or event activity on Facebook’s new Timeline. It appears Facebook has now removed the option to display such stories at all on Timeline. From now on, stories such as commenting activity and event invites will appear in the News Feed and Ticker based on your friends’ subscriptions to you and your subscription to theirs. There seems to be a glitch with Event Activity that has yet to be fixed for users who have hidden it in the past and are now unable to unhide it.¬†

For example, if you go to a friend’s Timeline, you will not be able to see whose posts they have commented on recently. If you want to find out, you would have to go to Subscribed (at the top) and check “Comments and Likes.” From then on, whenever that friend likes or comments on something, it will appear in the Ticker (above the chat bar on the right side).

It does not look like Facebook will ever restore commenting/event activity to Timeline.

Facebook has once again made a change to the user interface of its website. Now, friend lists can be accessed from the sidebar of the homepage. Before, it was hidden in the depths of drop down menus where everyday users would never find them.

Lists allow users friends to be categorized in order to share and see updates with certain groups of people. For example, one could have a list of their best friends, and another list for people they work with.

Facebook automatically generates some lists based on your and your friends’ profile information. Lists are automatically created for the family you’ve listed, the places you’ve worked, the schools you’ve gone to, and posts from the city your currently in. It also creates a “close friends” list and an “acquaintances” list to help users get started who are new to Facebook’s friend lists.

With this change, Facebook has brought a number of new options for groups.¬† To find these options, open the list by selecting it from the left sidebar on the homepage (if it’s not there, click more). In the top right corner of the page is a “Manage List” drop down menu. From here, users can manage the types of updates they want to see while viewing the list, merge the list with another one, or add and remove friends/pages from the list.

Merging is one of the new features available. It allows two lists to be brought into one. For example, Facebook automatically creates a “family” list. It’s convenient enough to merge the old family list a user may have already created with the new one Facebook made. (One thing I don’t like about it is that after merging, the old list is deleted. It would be ideal if a list could be merged into another but not be deleted afterward).

Facebook has also made a difference between being friends and being subscribed. Users can be friends with someone on Facebook, but not be subscribed (which means the user wouldn’t see their updates in his/her news feed). This is good for users who just need to add someone to keep in contact with them, not to know what is going on in their life.¬† By default, a user is automatically subscribed to “most updates” when they become friends. This can be changed by opening their profile and clicking on the “Subscribed” button to change options.

Facebook has, as I just mentioned, also added a few more options while viewing friends’ profiles. Users can set what types of updates they want to see from a particular friend¬† in their news feed right from their profile. For example, a user can choose to see status updates from a friend, but not the photos they post. To do this, click on the “subscribed” button on any user’s profile.

Their is now also an option to add friends to a list right from their profile. Previously it was hid in the background just as much as lists were. Now, it’s convenient to add friends to lists in order to better manage who users are sharing with.

With the introduction of these new options, Facebook has introduced a “restricted” list. This makes it easy to only share publicly visible information with certain friends. Users can find this list by clicking on “more” next to lists in the left hand sidebar of the homepage. This list can be used for people who users just need to keep in contact with, but don’t want to share their personal lives with.

Facebook has also updated lists so that while viewing a list, posting anything via the “publisher” by default will only be shared with that list. This alleviates the challenge of thinking about whose going to see what is posted when whats shared only applies to a certain group of friends.

A lot of these features are already present in Google +. It seems Facebook is updating itself because it saw where it was lacking.

Facebook Subscribers

Posted: September 15, 2011 in Computers and Internet, Facebook
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It appears you can now have “subscribers” on Facebook much like followers on Twitter. Click on the “subscriptions” tab on your profile and click “Allow Subscriptions.” Posts with a privacy setting of public will be visible on your profile, and people can choose to subscribe to you (rather than adding you as a friend). You will be notified when a someone subscribes to you. You can always choose to block someone or turn off subscriptions.

Where is it?: Recent Activity¬†is the last box in the left-hand column on your timeline/profile. If you have no recent activity, you won’t see the box.

To hide activity:¬†Click on the x next to a post in the box, and click on “Hide all [story type]…”

hiding activity

To unhide activity: First, click the pencil icon in the top right corner of the box, then click on hidden activity.

restoring hidden activity

Then a box like the one below should appear, Click the “x” next to the things you want to restore to your Recent Activity.

hidden acitivity menu

That’s it!
Update 7 (December 15, 2013):¬†With the addition of¬†Facebook’s “Following” button¬†on people’s profiles, some of the information below has changed.¬†The below is outdated, but kept for reference

Event Activity Not Showing Up Under Recent Activity on Timeline: Report It

Update 6 (January 4, 2012): Some users are reporting that some of their recent activity is no longer showing up, like comments on other friends’ posts or event activity on Facebook Timeline. It appears Facebook has now removed the option to display such stories at all on Timeline. ¬†Some users (and I’ve tested myself now) cannot unhide their Event activity if they had hidden it in the past.¬†From now on, stories such as commenting and event¬†activity will appear in the News Feed and Ticker based on your friends’ subscriptions to you.

For example, if you go to a friend’s Timeline, you will not be able to see whose posts they have commented on recently. If you want to find out, you would have to go to Subscribed (at the top) and check “Comments and Likes.” From then on, whenever that friend likes or comments on something, it will appear in the Ticker (above the chat bar on the right side). Facebook recently removed the option to choose whose comments/likes you would see in the News Ticker.

It does not look like Facebook will ever restore commenting/event activity to Timeline. There is a glitch with Event activity that has yet to be fixed… Report It

Edit: I have been doing some testing and look at this:

Event Activity

Event stories do not appear under Recent Activity in the old profile…

And after switching to the new profile….

It seems it works now…

Alright, so event activity should appear on the timeline. We clearly have a problem now….

Update 5 (November 6, 2011): If you are using Facebook timeline, you can edit which types of updates you’ve hidden by clicking on the pencil icon to the right of the Recent Activity box as shown below

View Hidden Activity by clicking on the pencil icon and then selecting “Hidden Activity…” from the drop down list.

If you are looking to hide activity, simply click the “x” that appears when you hover over a recent activity story and click “Hide Similar Activity from Timeline.”

To hide recent activity stories of one type, click on the “x” that appears when you hover over a post and select “Hide Similar Activity from Timeline” in the drop down list.

Update 4: Facebook has brought back the Edit Options link at the bottom of my wall. If you have accidentally hid any type of activity on your wall, you can now un-hide it by going to the bottom of your wall, clicking on Edit Options, and clicking the “x” next to the type of story you want to un-hide. Note that the Edit Options link may take a while to propagate¬†to all users once again.

Update 3: Speculation. Some users had reported that some links, such as YouTube videos, they were sharing did not appear on their wall, only on their news feed. These users had also reported that they had clicked on “hide all comment activity.” I believe that there might have been a bug that caused links to disappear when a person hid their comment activity. Facebook has most likely taken the recent activity options off for now while they sort out this bug and hopefully it will be back up soon. Can anyone confirm that they were not able to see their links they had shared after they hid all comment activity? Comment below

Original Post: It looks like Facebook has begun to roll out the “Recent Activity” options to its users. Facebook removed these options and defaulted all recent activity to “on” back in December of 2009. Take a look at what I found earlier this evening:

Facebook "Recent Activity" Settings

An option is now listed that allows you to hide all likes.

“Recent Activity” shows recent comments users have made on posts, and recent pages they have liked, as well as public events users are attending and other things. Back in December 2009, Facebook, somehow, decided that it would be always on, and if a user didn’t want a post to show up, they would have to manually remove it each time.

These settings bring more privacy back to Facebook! If a user comments on a¬†friend’s¬†status, and that status was set to friends of¬†friends, by default, all* the user’s friends would see that they commented on that friend’s status, regardless of friendship, in their news feed. Now, users can set it up so that their comments aren’t shown in their recent activity.

I appreciate Facebook bringing back this option. It was annoying to have to go into my wall and remove posts that I didn’t want to show up in my friends’ news feeds.

To unhide a certain type of “recent activity” story on your wall, scroll to the bottom of the wall, click on Edit Options, and click the “x” next to the type of story you want to unhide.

This post has been formatted from its original version. Updates 1 & 2 have been edited into the story/removed.

*Note: Not all users are guaranteed to see the post, depending on each individual’s news feed settings. ¬†

Facebook Prototypes

Posted: September 22, 2009 in Computers and Internet, Facebook
Ever wanted to know about the new features on Facebook and try them out before anyone else? Well now you can, with Facebook Prototypes. To activate a feature in the making, open your Applications menu and click the “Browse More Applications” link at the bottom of the list. Once that page loads, select “Prototypes” from the left hand sidebar. It’s the last one on the list. Once you click on it, you’ll see a few new prototypes that you can activate. Select one from the list. When the page loads, click on the “Activate Prototype” button¬†underneath the profile picture on that page. You will see that feature working when you browse the site.