Facebook Year in Review 2016 Reveals India and Global Trends

Facebook has shared its year-end review for 2016, showcasing the “moments, events, and trends” that bathed in the most limelight this year, both for India and the globe. With its ongoing shift towards video, the social network has also revealed the top Live videos of 2016. Separately, the Facebook-owned Instagram also got its 2016 list.

Facebook Year in Review 2016 Reveals India and Global TrendsAlongside, as it does every year, the company also unveiled a new way users can take a stroll down their Facebook memory lanes, with a personalised ‘Your Year in Review’ video. As before, users will be able to edit the video before sharing it with their family and friends. You can access it by visiting facebook.com/yearinreview2016 when logged into your profile. The link will become accessible for all users in phases over the next month.

Getting back to India and global trends for Facebook’s 2016 Year in Review, the social network says it measured top 10 moments of the year by counting how frequently a topic was mentioned in Facebook posts made between January 1 and November 27, 2016. Mentions were analysed in an “aggregated, anonymised way”, and then ranked. It added that the top 10 Live videos were measured by total cumulative views.

In its press statement, the company reiterated its Q3 2016 India usage statistics, released late last month – 166 million monthly active users, 159 million mobile active users, 85 million daily active users, and 81 million mobile daily active users in India.
Starting with India, Facebook said tech products like hit augmented reality game Pokemon Go and Apple’s iPhone 7 smartphone made it to the top 10 list of most discussed topics on the social network in the country this year. Across the globe however, only Pokemon made it to the top 10 list.

Top 10 most talked about topics from India in 2016 on Facebook:
1. Diwali
2. Cricket
3. Uri attacks and surgical attacks
4. Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Movie)
5. Hardwell (India Tour)
6. Priyanka Chopra
7. Rio Olympics
8. Pokemon Go
9. Pathankot
10. iPhone 7 launch

Top 10 Live Videos on Facebook from India:
1. https://www.facebook.com/ajaz.qamer/videos/1769859169954467/
2. https://www.facebook.com/sonakshisinhaofficial/videos/10154155457904701/
3. https://www.facebook.com/AmitabhBachchan/videos/1440239589343159/
4. https://www.facebook.com/IamSRK/videos/1660059270686996/
5. https://www.facebook.com/aajtak/videos/10154902993692580/
6. https://www.facebook.com/KajolDevgan/videos/1756974501230484/
7. https://www.facebook.com/BollywoodTabloidOfficial/videos/1183974758358529/
8. https://www.facebook.com/aajtak/videos/10154980331897580/
9. https://www.facebook.com/AAPkaArvind/videos/1129804343783728/
10. https://www.facebook.com/AjayDevgn/videos/1067612059943103/
Global Top Moments on Facebook

1. US Presidential Election
2. Brazilian Politics
3. Pokemon Go
4. Black Lives Matter
5. Rodrigo Duterte & Philippine Presidential Election
6. Olympics
7. Brexit
8. Super Bowl
9. David Bowie
10. Muhammad Ali

Top ten global Live videos:

1. Candace Payne, Chewbacca Mom
2. Ted Yoder, Soundscapes
3. Buzzfeed, Countdown to the next presidential election
4. Atlanta Buzz, People are lining up to hug police officers in Dallas
5. NBC News, Election results
6. Under the Hood, Video of a truck completely carved out of wood
7. Viral Thread, Population count from US to CA
8. CNN, Election results on Empire State building
9. Dena Blizzard, Pokemon Go for moms ”Chardonnay Go”
10. Super Deluxe, Election map

Most Instagrammed locations of 2016 from India:
1. Marine Drive, Mumbai
2. Taj Mahal
3. Hauz Khas Village, New Dehli
4. Juhu Beach, Mumbai
5. India Gate, New Dehli
6. Baga Beach, Goa
7. Connaught Place, New Dehli
8. Select CITYWALK, New Delhi
9. Golden Temple, Amritsar, Punjab
10. Nandi Hills, Bangalore

Most Used Hashtags from India:
1. #love
2. #instagood
3. #fun
4. #india
5. #instagram
6. #picoftheday
7. #instapic
8. #instadaily
9. #instalike
10. #photooftheday

Most Instagrammed Days in India:
10/30/16 – Diwali, Festival of Lights
11/14/16 – Children’s Day
10/11/16 – Dussehra, celebration of good over evil

Facebook Lifestage App for Video-Loving Teenagers Now Available on Android

Facebook Lifestage App for Video-Loving Teenagers Now Available on AndroidBack in August, Facebook launched an iOS app named Lifestage, which was aimed specifically at teenagers and allowed them to share video clips with others. Even though the app was made available for anyone to download, in order to view other people’s profiles, users are required to be under 21 years of age. Now, the app is making its way to Android.

Lifestage allows users to upload video clips of their likes, dislikes, and other aspects of their character. These video clips are then joined together to develop visual profiles of users. Interestingly, the app even includes an option to report or block older users.

Users can post the video of their interests and get the option to replace them later whenever they change. It should be noted that in the description of app, the company has clearly stated, “Everything you post in Lifestage is always public and viewable by everyone, inside and outside your school. There is no way to limit the audience of your videos. We can’t confirm that people who claim to go to a certain school actually go to that school. All videos you upload to your profile are fully public content.”

The Lifestage app is available for download from Google Play.

As Facebook has already mentioned on several occasions, it believes that video is going to be a crucial element for social platforms going ahead. This is why the social networking giant has lately been focussing heavily on pushing its live video feature. Lifestage was introduced by the company to tackle the competition from rival platform Snapchat, which has recently gained a sizeable traction among teen users.

Facebook Testing Snapchat-Like Camera Effects and Masks

Facebook Testing Snapchat-Like Camera Effects and MasksIn yet another attempt to take on photo sharing mobile service Snapchat, Facebook is testing photo effects and masks into its main camera app for stills and videos that disappear after 24 hours.

“The new camera”, as Facebook calls it, is first being tested in Ireland before rolling out to everyone.

“The new features include Snapchat-style animated selfie masks, overlaid graphics, and geofilters, Prisma-esque fine art-themed style transfer filters and some innovative new reactive filters that respond to your body’s movements,” technology website Techcrunch.com reported on Friday.

Facebook is also placing the camera icon to the left of the News Feed and a swipe will show photo and video direct messages with friends.

Earlier this month, Facebook rolled out a new feature called Messenger Day that tries to clone Snapchat’s “Stories” feature and lets users post photos and videos that disappear after a day.

Messenger Day appears at top of the conversation list in Facebook Messenger and users can add animated text and graphics to pictures or video snippets before sharing them.

German Prosecutors Probe Facebook Hate Incitement Claim

German Prosecutors Probe Facebook Hate Incitement ClaimGerman prosecutors said Monday they have launched a preliminary investigation after receiving a complaint alleging that top Facebook bosses including founder Mark Zuckerberg are condoning hate speech on the online social network.
“A complaint has been filed by a lawyer that accuses, among others, Mr Zuckerberg” of “the offense of incitement,” the spokesman of the Munich prosecution service, Florian Weinziel, told AFP.
“Following the complaint, an investigation has been launched. What needs to be determined now is whether the Munich prosecution service is the competent office for such claims, and whether there has been criminal conduct,” he said, adding that investigators are also looking into whether German penal law applies in this case.

Lawyer Chan-jo Jun, who had initiated the claim, said he had compiled a list of 438 cases including incitement of hate and violence as well as support for terrorist groups made on Facebook, but which he said the social network has failed to delete even though they have been repeatedly flagged up as offensive speech.

“The management violated German law, by not removing illegal content from Facebook despite being notified, and allowing the content to be publicly available,” Jun said of his complaint, which he said also targets Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg and managing director of the northern Europe region Martin Ott.

Jun last year filed a similar challenge in the northern city of Hamburg but prosecutors there rejected the claim, saying that Facebook managers did not fall under German jurisdiction.
Facebook and Twitter have seen a rise in anti-migrant commentary in Europe’s biggest economy, as public misgivings grow in some corners over the almost 900,000 asylum seekers who arrived last year.

The government has repeatedly pushed the US online networks to take swift action to combat hate speech.

Despite a pledge in December last year by Facebook, Twitter and Google to examine and remove offensive posts in Germany within 24 hours, users have reported that their requests to take down hate speech have often hit a wall.

Senior politicians in Germany have in recent weeks voiced exasperation over the issue.
In an interview last month, Justice Minister Heiko Maas said the online giants had taken action only in a minority of cases, and warned of “consequences” if they failed to meet their obligations.
Out of the cases reported to Twitter in Germany, only one percent was erased, he said, while for Facebook, the proportion was 46 percent.

Volker Kauder, a key member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party, said the social media groups should face penalties in case of recalcitrance on the issue. If the companies fail to remove offensive posts within a week after they have been reported, then they should be penalised, with a suggested fine of EUR 50,000 ($55,000) per post, he said.

Facebook Takes on LinkedIn With New Job Opening Features

Facebook Takes on LinkedIn With New Job Opening FeaturesFacebook Inc said on Monday, it was testing a feature that would let page administrators create job postings and receive applications from candidates, a move that could pressure LinkedIn Corp’s recruiting business. “Based on behaviour we’ve seen on Facebook, where many small businesses post about their job openings on their Page, we’re running a test for Page admins to create job postings and receive applications from candidates,” a company spokesman told Reuters.

LinkedIn makes most of its revenue from job hunters and recruiters who pay a monthly fee to post resumes and connect with people on what’s often known as the social network for business.

Technology news website TechCrunch first reported the news on Monday.

With Facebook’s jobs features, companies could drive more traffic to their Facebook pages while allowing them to pay the social network to get their job openings in front of more candidates, TechCrunch said.

In October, Facebook launched Marketplace to allow people to buy and sell items locally as the social media network tries new ways to keep its users engaged.

2016 Election: Facebook Partners With News Outlets for Live Video Blitz

2016 Election: Facebook Partners With News Outlets for Live Video BlitzFacebook said on Monday it would partner with 50 broadcast stations, print and online publications for a 2016 Election Day live video blitz, as the social media company aims to build on the momentum of its popular Facebook Live video streaming service.

The move comes as Facebook and rival sites like Twitter increasingly embrace live video to draw in users and boost traffic.

Facebook warned last week that revenue growth would slow this quarter because of “ad load,” or the number of ads that Facebook can put in front of customers without alienating them, offsetting strong earnings that handily beat Wall Street estimates.

Each outlet partnering with Facebook will publish a 15-minute live video centered on the presidential election in one of the 50 states. The content will be featured on Facebook’s “Election 2016” site on Tuesday and include the hashtag #50states.

While Facebook is not selling ads on the Election Day livestreams, it could generate more visits to the site, bolstering its reputation as a destination for live news and pushing back against Twitter, where users often “live-tweet” major events.

Asked whether the Facebook Live initiative was a response to the popularity of “live-tweeting” events among social media users, Jason White, manager of US news media partnerships at Facebook, said Facebook Live was something that “works really well on our platform.”

“I think for us we really wanted to give the news media and especially local (outlets) something to raly around on Election day,” said White, regarding the 50 States project.

He said the company is exploring the possibility of including advertising breaks in live video in the future but said that no specific plans had been made yet.

Frank Mungeam, vice president of digital content for broadcast and digital media firm TEGNA, told Reuters that six of his company’s local broadcast stations, one each from Colorado, Washington state, Minnesota, Idaho, Maine and South Carolina, were participating. Mungeam, who said Facebook was not paying his company for the content, added: “Facebook’s platform offers an extended reach.”

Twitter said last week its government-focused handle, @gov, would provide election information to users via direct message, while Snapchat on Sunday featured a photo filter encouraging people to vote.

Facebook launched Facebook Live for selected public figures in 2015 and made it available to all users in April 2016, allowing members to broadcast video live from their smartphones.

Social media sites have been seizing on live video content to attract users. In September, Twitter broadcast its first National Football League game, attracting generally positive feedback. It launched its livestreaming app, Periscope, in March 2015.

Asked about live-streaming video and social media in general, Stefan Sideris, director of global social media operations at Amobee, a digital marketing technology company, said he saw a clear trend toward bigger companies adopting the technology.

“Brands and media companies are interested in connecting and engaging with consumers to bring the conversation together over live video,” Sideris said. “Live will ultimately drive a lot of social activity.”

Facebook Agrees to Suspend Using WhatsApp Users’ Data, UK Privacy Watchdog Says

Facebook Agrees to Suspend Using WhatsApp Users' Data, UK Privacy Watchdog SaysBritain’s privacy watchdog said on Monday that Facebook has agreed to suspend using data from UK users of its WhatsApp messaging app for advertisements or product-improvement purposes after the watchdog said consumers weren’t properly protected.

The watchdog said the social media giant faces action if it uses such data without valid consent.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) had said in August that it would monitor WhatsApp’s new privacy policy, after WhatsApp, acquired by Facebook in 2014, said it would share user data with its parent company to better fight spam and improve users’ experiences of both services.

The two companies have also come under scrutiny from the European Union’s 28 data protection authorities, who last month requested that WhatsApp pause sharing users’ data with its parent company until the appropriate legal protections could be assured.

“We’re pleased that they’ve agreed to pause using data from UK WhatsApp users for advertisements or product improvement purposes,” the head of the ICO, Elizabeth Denham, said in a statement. “If Facebook starts using the data without valid consent, they may face enforcement action from my office.”

The regulator said it had also asked Facebook and WhatsApp to sign an undertaking committing to better explaining to customers how their data would be used and to give them ongoing control over that data. So far, the companies have not agreed.

(Also see: How to Stop WhatsApp From Sharing Your Details With Facebook)

“We think consumers deserve a greater level of information and protection, but so far Facebook hasn’t agreed,” Denham said.

A Facebook spokeswoman said WhatsApp “designed its privacy policy and terms update to give users a clear and simple explanation of how the service works, as well as choice over how their data is used.

“These updates comply with applicable law, and follow the latest guidance from the UK Information Commissioner’s Office. We hope to continue our detailed conversations with the ICO and other data protection officials, and we remain open to working collaboratively to address their questions.”

Denham said she did not think users had been given enough information about what Facebook would do with their data and that WhatsApp had not obtained valid consent.

Several other European privacy watchdogs, such as Spain’s, have said they intend to contact Facebook about WhatsApp’s privacy policy change but have not yet done so.

Facebook suggested it would be inappropriate to agree on a specific solution with one regulator before receiving all the others’ questions.

(Also see: WhatsApp Says Will Comply With Delhi HC Order Against Sharing User Data)

Enforcement action could ultimately lead to fines. Such fines are small compared with the revenues of the companies concerned. However, a new EU-wide data protection law coming into force in 2018 would change that with fines of up to 4 percent of global turnover.

Denham said she would keep pushing the issue along with other privacy watchdogs, notably the Irish authority. It has the most sway over Facebook, since the US company’s European headquarters are in Ireland.

Facebook says the data WhatsApp collects is extremely limited and only a part of that is then shared with Facebook.

Facebook Testing Snapchat-Like Camera Effects and Masks

Facebook Testing Snapchat-Like Camera Effects and MasksIn yet another attempt to take on photo sharing mobile service Snapchat, Facebook is testing photo effects and masks into its main camera app for stills and videos that disappear after 24 hours.

“The new camera”, as Facebook calls it, is first being tested in Ireland before rolling out to everyone.

“The new features include Snapchat-style animated selfie masks, overlaid graphics, and geofilters, Prisma-esque fine art-themed style transfer filters and some innovative new reactive filters that respond to your body’s movements,” technology website Techcrunch.com reported on Friday.

Facebook is also placing the camera icon to the left of the News Feed and a swipe will show photo and video direct messages with friends.

Earlier this month, Facebook rolled out a new feature called Messenger Day that tries to clone Snapchat’s “Stories” feature and lets users post photos and videos that disappear after a day.

Messenger Day appears at top of the conversation list in Facebook Messenger and users can add animated text and graphics to pictures or video snippets before sharing them.

Facebook Hits 1-Billion Monthly Active Mobile Users Milestone, Posts Strong Q3 Results

Facebook Hits 1-Billion Monthly Active Mobile Users Milestone, Posts Strong Q3 ResultsFacebook easily topped estimates for revenue and profit for its third quarter, but faced signs of worry from investors that the company’s growth is slowing down.

The company continued its impressive growth streak, reporting $7 billion (roughly Rs. 46,699 crores) in revenue in a quarter for the first time, which topped the expectations of most analysts who predicted the social media giant would generate $6.92 billion. Even more surprising, the company’s profits were much better expected with earnings $1.07 per share versus an expected 97 cents.

But even these pleasant surprises didn’t seem to cheer investors. After closing at $127.17, Facebook shares tumbled more than 2.7 percent immediately after the report in after-hours trading. The stock soon made a modest recovery and was just about even with the market close by the company’s earnings call with investors around 5pm.

Some of the sell-off may have been because Facebook’s revenue grew 56 percent year-over-year – a slightly slower pace than what the company had reported in the past. Last quarter, the social network reported it had grown 59 percent from the same time the previous year.

Still, Facebook is strong on the fundamentals of its business. The company continues to build its user base, particularly on mobile devices. The company said that this quarter, for the first time in its history, it had more than one billion monthly active mobile users.

Facebook now gets 84 percent of its advertising revenue from mobile devices, a critical metric in an increasingly wireless age. Overall, Facebook said it now has about 1.8 billion monthly active users.

Of course, the social network is just a part of what Facebook does. The tech firm made it clear that it has its eye on a much broader and longer timeline. “We had another good quarter,” said Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg in a statement. “We’re making progress putting video first across our apps and executing our 10 year technology roadmap.”

The company is sinking lot of investment into video, both through ad technology and its recent push to get users and businesses to live-stream events through its network.

That hasn’t been a completely smooth road. The company recently admitted that it had miscounted video traffic in a way that could have inflated views by as much as 60 to 80 percent, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal last month. Facebook has since corrected its error. But the problem stunned the advertising world.

Long-term investments from Facebook range from its virtual reality Oculus Rift headset, to its continued build-out of WhatsApp and other messaging programs, to its fleet of drones that provide Internet access to rural areas around the world.

Some analysts warned that it will take time for Facebook’s many projects to pay off.

“We are nervous on the short-term outlook for Facebook as market estimates are assuming that revenues materialize from the new ecosystem services long before we see them as being mature enough to generate revenue,” said Richard Windsor, an analyst at Edison Investment Research in a note to investors. “We remain short-term cautious on Facebook despite the fact that it has a lot of long term potential. There will be a better time to get in.”

© 2016 The Washington Post

Gameroom Is Facebook’s Steam-Like Gaming Client for Windows

Gameroom Is Facebook's Steam-Like Gaming Client for Windows

One-time casual games behemoth and all-round social network monopoly Facebook has announced Gameroom. It is a Windows PC desktop client that lets you play games, much like Steam, GOG Galaxy, Origin, Windows Store, and Uplay, among others.

Gameroom let users play Web games, mobile ports, and native Gameroom games in a dedicated PC app without the distractions that come with being on Facebook proper such as its News Feed.

(Also see: Steam vs Origin vs Uplay vs GOG vs Windows Store – A Definitive Guide )

Right now though, there appear very few benefits to using Gameroom over other existing options for users barring cross-platform support – allowing you to play a game such as Game of Dice on your mobile and then carrying it over to your desktop via Gameroom. It’s not a particularly new concept either.

Nonetheless, Facebook’s re-entry into the gaming space comes at an interesting time. The PC has grown from strength to strength on the back of massive hits such as Minecraft, Dota 2, League of Legends, The Witcher 3, GTA V, and Fallout 4 to name a few. Facebook could find its niche in the casual space or at least it attempts to do so with a line up of games including Bubble Witch Saga 2, Cooking Mama, and Criminal Case to name a few. No surprise considering the maximum file size for a game is no more than 200MB with special exceptions going all the way upto 500MB.

(Also see: Top 5 Alternatives to Valve’s Steam)

Around half a decade ago it built an empire on casual games such as FarmVille from the likes of Zynga. This is the company’s first big attempt to woo an already lapsed audience back. How committed Facebook is to gaming this time around will be a point of interest.