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Facebook Is Down, Mobile Apps Still Working For Some — Second Big Tech Outage Of The Day (Update: It’s Back)

TechCrunch - Facebook-tagged - Mon, 10/12/2012 - 11:15pm

According to our own tests, as well as reports on Twitter, Facebook is down for a vast number of users. It’s the second big outage of the day after Google’s.

While mobile apps are still working for some — some of our writers can load everything with their phones — it’s not the case for everyone. It appears to be a DNS issue. If the address is cached on your phone, you can still access Facebook. Users who can use the mobile apps can apparently load the , as well.

Facebook experienced some downtime on November 30, making this the second time in two weeks that the site has had reliability issues.

We reached out to Facebook and will update as we learn more.

Update: It’s back after approximately 15 minutes of outage. Even though a 15-minute outage seems minor, it becomes a very important issue when it affects big services, such as Facebook and Google.

When seeing how people react to those outages on Twitter, they forget instantly that the service was down and get back to what they used to do. Outages don’t hurt a company’s reputation if it happens every now and then — unlike during Twitter’s early days.

Yet, Gmail and Facebook are two important communications tools in most people’s workflow. Facebook is a procrastination service, but a way to chat with friends, families and sometimes important work contacts. When an outage occurs, users realize that they rely so much on uptime and service reliability.

There is nothing users can do to make the service come back. It gives a glimpse of what it would be like to live without Facebook or Gmail, giving you a chance to measure the power of those companies. Love them or hate them, many need Facebook and email as much as they need a car.

Update #2: A Facebook spokesperson provided the following statement:

Earlier today we made a change to our DNS infrastructure and that change resulted in some people being temporarily unable to reach the site. We detected and resolved the issue quickly, and we are now back to 100 percent. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Not working both Facebook and Gmail are. Crumble your planet will now do. Hrrrrm.

Yoda (@yoda)
Categories: Facebook

Facebook returns to full service, blames DNS update for downtime

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Mon, 10/12/2012 - 11:13pm

Update: Facebook is back up. The company provided TNW with the following note on what went wrong from a technical perspective:

Earlier today we made a change to our DNS infrastructure and that change resulted in some people being temporarily unable to reach the site. We detected and resolved the issue quickly, and we are now back to 100 percent. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Facebook has been encountering some DNS issues this afternoon that are making it unavailable to many users globally. The social network’s Domain Name System servers are not directing folks to its site, causing it to appear as if the network is down completely.

As of this writing, Facebook’s been down for some 30 minutes at the very least, and  are pretty upset.

Luckily for them, it appears that visiting various Facebook subdomains, including  and , allows users to access Facebook, proving this is a DNS issue.

As usual, hordes of Twitter users their concerns:

This is Facebook’s first major outage since October 11, when the social network went down in several countries worldwide. At the time, there were rumors that the site had been hacked, but Facebook denied this, and instead blamed DNS test for its European outage, which lasted more than an hour.

Earlier today, a number of Google services went down as well, including Gmail. This, of course, led to similar results: angry tweets and inconvenienced users.

We’ve reached out to Facebook and we’ll update this post when we hear more.

Photo credit: PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL / Getty Images

Categories: Facebook

Inside Facebook - Mon, 10/12/2012 - 11:04pm

Facebook has a new on the site that gives users a list of pages they might be interested in. It also brings back the list of a user’s page invites, which was left out of the , and introduces a search feature.

The recommended pages section is accessed via the “Like Pages” link in the left-hand column of Facebook. Previously, this link took users to a where they could look at different categories of pages. Now the link goes to a narrower version of this page with suggested pages appearing in a single column with a Like button to the right. Instead of showing general categories of pages, there’s a way for users to search for a particular page. For the most part, Pages are suggested based on recent check-ins, pages users have visited, Open Graph activity and friend connections.

The main “Like more pages” section is still accessible at and via a link when users  or when a friend . Facebook has once again added a list of pages that users have been invited to. This feature was first added to the pages browser , but it didn’t make it into the redesign . It’s been reinstated there and also appears in the new recommended pages section, as seen below.

Getting users to Like more pages will help Facebook show users more relevant ads. Even though it’s advertisers who choose their target audience and users who define who they are on the site, the social network often gets the blame when users see ads they don’t relate to.

Categories: Facebook

Facebook Will Nix Voting, Integrate Instagram Data Despite Vote Ending With 88% Of 668K Votes Opposed

TechCrunch - Facebook-tagged - Mon, 10/12/2012 - 8:01pm

The polls have on , with 588,803 votes (88 percent) opposed to the changes, and 79,697 of the total 668,500 in support. But since fewer than 30 percent of users voted, Facebook will implement the changes — eliminating the voting structure and integrating Instagram data. Facebook will seek feedback on future changes via other channels, and is free to use Facebook data to target eventual Instagram ads.

The vote that ended today at noon Pacific time was the biggest in Facebook’s history, surpassing a vote in April 2009 that saw 665,000 people cast their ballots. Still, only 0.0668 percent of the site’s user base voted. Since the 300 million-vote threshold for a binding vote wasn’t met, the strong opposition to the changes will only be taken under advisement and Facebook may implement the changes.

Now an independent auditing firm will analyze the results of the vote to ensure they’re legitimate. Facebook is likely to make an announcement tomorrow about the vote’s results and when the new versions of its Statement Of Rights And Responsibilities and Data Use Policy will go into effect.

Instead of putting changes up for comment and then a vote if 7,000 comments are received, Facebook will now attempt to pull in more qualitative feedback on how users feel about proposed site governance and policy changes. Users will be able to submit questions to the site’s Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan and chime in on webcasts with Facebook’s policy team. Though this might be seen as a slight to users, the old voting system was badly broken. There was likely a better compromise available than simply eliminating the vote, but that time has passed.

Beyond the end of Facebook’s experiment with democracy, the most interesting outcome of the vote is that Facebook will be able to intermingle data with its affiliates, including Instagram. That means any Instagram user that also has a Facebook account could have their personal Facebook data used to target them with ads on Instagram. Of course, Instagram doesn’t show any ads yet, but many suspect it will start in the near future.

Instagram’s minimalist sign-up flow and bare-bones profile means it doesn’t collect a ton of data about who its users are. That could have posed a problem for targeting them with ads. But with this policy change OK’d, it’s legal to use gender, hometown, interests, work history, and other Facebook data to make these potential ads as relevant as possible. Facebook might finally start directly earning back the $775 million it paid for the photo-sharing app.

Categories: Facebook

Inside Facebook - Mon, 10/12/2012 - 7:55pm

Instagram made a change this weekend that prevents previews of photos posted from the app from appearing on Twitter. Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom confirmed that this was intentional so that more users visit Instagram on the web and mobile.

“This is an evolution of just where we are and where we want links from our content to go,” Systrom said.

There is still an easy option for users to share their recent Instagram shots on Twitter, but they appear only as a link rather than as a full photo. It makes sense for Instagram to capture traffic from Twitter and bring users into its platform where they can comment, like or take other actions within its ecosystem — even if the experience is less ideal for users.

But there’s something else at play here. Twitter is rumored to be working on its own photo filtering feature. The New York Times reported this in early November and this weekend AllThingsD reported that the feature could roll out before the end of the year. [Update 12/10/12 3:25 p.m. - Twitter launched filters .] Instagram’s moves to stop showing its photos within Twitter could be a means of brand protection. It might not want users to confuse Twitter’s stylized photos with its own hallmark of vintage-looking square photos.

It’s unclear whether Instagram will continue to let its images appear natively within other services or if the company’s issue is with Twitter specifically because of impending competition.

Instagram photos appear full-size on Facebook, naturally because the photo sharing app is owned by the social network, but also because by , all Instagram activity is grouped on users’ Timelines and in the feed with links to view on Instagram and download the app. Facebook has a Camera app that includes filters, but it does not require photos to be square or include borders like Instagram does.

On Tumblr, Instagram photos appear with Instagram icons and link to a page with more info about the photo service, as well as a link to view the photo on Instagram.

Instagram photos can also be pushed to Flickr, where they are tagged with terms “instagram app” and whichever photo filter was used, but there aren’t links back to Instagram, which means sharing to Flickr could be cut off in the future. Instagram photos on Foursquare appear with a small “via Instagram” link when viewed full-size, but otherwise aren’t distinguished. However, Foursquare currently powers Instagram’s location tagging feature, so the company is benefiting from the location-based service.

For now, when users share Instagram links on Twitter, there is no preview of the content. Although the company doesn’t want its full images to be shown on Twitter, Instagram might want to consider using to give users more details about the photo, the photographer and the app. Many websites use Twitter Cards to give users a summary that makes them more likely to click through. As seen to the right, these also include logos and links to follow the publisher on Twitter. As long as Twitter Cards don’t show Instagram photos full size, there is still a reason for users to visit Instagram directly.

However, if users and brands find that Twitter doesn’t help generate views and activity on their Instagram photos, they’ll be more likely to look for workarounds, including uploading Instagram images to Twitter directly or using the native photo editing feature Twitter builds. This could have a negative impact on Instagram.

Categories: Facebook

Facebook absolves its democratic structure as voting falls far short of key threshold

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Mon, 10/12/2012 - 7:48pm

Facebook is shutting down its  in less than 20 minutes that allowed users to vote on proposed policy and site governance changes it was recommending. Currently there are over 665,000 votes cast, but they fall far short from the 30% threshold needed in order to make the changes binding. Because the vote failed to garner the required number of active voters to participate, the opinion given will be merely taken as “advisory”.

At stake are updates to the network’s and the . Perhaps the most important part of this change is, if passed, user data could be provided to Facebook’s partners, specifically Instagram, in order to create a cohesive network similar to Google. Consumer groups have already come out opposed to this change and this update could ultimately wind up with a court deciding.

Per Facebook’s policy, all active users are encouraged to vote and had from December 3 until today at noon to cast their ballot. If more than 30% of active users participate, then the results will be binding. However, since it appears that it won’t even get that far, the company will take the feedback under advisement and can proceed with their plans to make changes to the policy, or maybe even update it to assuage any fears users may have.

Currently, there are over 586,000 votes in favor of keeping the existing policy in place with over 79,000 voting for the new updates. As Buzzfeed notes, the number of users that voted in this instance what it was the last time Facebook ran through this exercise.


Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Mon, 10/12/2012 - 7:40pm

Facebook loves to recommend friends and applications, but now the site has come up with a new way to . With the feature within Facebook — as first noticed by sister site — users can connect to pages based on their check-in histories, as well as catch up on pages recommended by their friends.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Mon, 10/12/2012 - 6:50pm

You don’t need to be an expert Web designer or engineer to create an engaging . A new program from Norway — — allows those who manage Facebook pages to create apps via a quick and easy process.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Categories: Facebook

Inside Facebook - Mon, 10/12/2012 - 5:43pm

Facebook today the Preferred Marketing Developer Center to serve as a more robust directory of companies, tools and apps for social marketing and advertising.

PMD Center attempts to solve pain points for both developers and marketers. With so many companies offering tools and services for Facebook advertising, analytics, competitive analysis, monitoring, promotions, publishing and more, it is difficult for brands and agencies to sift through and find what’s right for them. A lot of time is spent seeking information and listening to pitches. For PMDs, it can be tough to get the right contacts and leads.

PMD Center introduces expanded company profile pages including case studies, white papers and other links. There’s also an integrated contact form for marketers to reach out to individual PMDs or submit an RFP to multiple vendors. The  did not have these capabilities and was less intuitive to navigate.

The PMD program, launched , certifies developers with badges in up to four areas: ads, apps, pages and insights. There’s also a , which gives 12 companies access to alpha and beta products, as well as more support from Facebook’s business, product and engineering teams. PMD Center allows marketers to search or browse companies by these categories, as well as more specific services or specialties.

Companies that are not officially qualified as PMDs but build on the Facebook Ads API or sell inventory through the Facebook Exchange are now included in the new directory, giving these companies more opportunities to reach potential clients.

Another significant change is that developers can update their own pages through a self-serve dashboard. This means PMDs can keep their profiles up to date and upload new white papers and case studies as they want, rather than having to request that Facebook make changes to its directory.

As we wrote about , PMD Center is one of a number of efforts Facebook is looking to make to help developers and marketers in the coming year. Facebook recently hired a sales liaison to help the internal sales team understand the capabilities of each PMD so representatives can connect brands and agencies with the right vendors. The company also hired a PMD marketing communications manager and has other open positions for a PMD business development manager and a few partner managers.

PMD Center follows in the footsteps of , the improved apps and games directory launched in June. These centers feature more visuals and rotating content to draw users in and help them discover things of interest, even if they’re just browsing. For users who do know what they want, Facebook offers more options for searching and filtering results.

A difference with PMD Center and App Center, however, is that Facebook contracted out the development of PMD Center. UK social media agency Gamaroff Digital built the new directory, so it got a call out in Facebook’s  and appears as a “PMD highlight” on the homepage. This might not sit well with other PMDs.

Categories: Facebook

Facebook builds a Preferred Marketing Developer Center app to better connect ad companies and vendors

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Mon, 10/12/2012 - 5:40pm

Today Facebook the release of a marketplace app for its Preferred Marketing Developer effort.

Facebook’s Preferred Marketing Developer program was constructed to discover and highlight the best of development talent on the social network, helping companies build and implement campaigns across its platform. According to Facebook, the program now has some 260 members from a total of 35 countries.

The draw for Facebook is simple: if it can connect companies with large advertising budgets to best-in-class service providers, the chances of their campaigns going well increases; better results leads to higher future spend, it would seem.

Facebook, a public company, must continue steady revenue growth.

The redesigned marketplace – previously, it was a mere directory – for the Preferred Marketing Developer program, called the ‘Center,’ will make it simpler for companies to view service providers that have received the status to be a part of the system. According to Facebook, prospective customers will now be able to view “[c]ompany profile pages with advanced details, such as case studies, white papers, local office details.”

Fittingly, Facebook had a provider that is part of the system - Gamaroff Digital - build the application. Here’s a shot of it in action:

Facebook’s need to attract large accounts from blue chip firms is made plain in this effort, as the marketplace of curated providers removes uncertainty and risk for traditional companies looking to dip their foot into the realm of social advertising.

Finally, by building out the PMD system, Facebook is betting that its platform in fact can provide top-tier, measurable results. We’ll see in its coming earnings release if it is working.

Top Image Credit: 

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Mon, 10/12/2012 - 5:28pm

You know you’ve seen it on your friend’s Facebook profile or Twitter feed: , proclaiming that they are now the mayor of the local burger joint. On Monday, Foursquare’s use of , which has allowed the program to grow by  leaps and bounds. Foursquare Product Manager Noah Weiss noted that sign-ups rose by 50 percent after Facebook login was added to the application.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Mon, 10/12/2012 - 4:53pm

The developer behind and , Italy-based , is leaving alone for the time being and taking aim at .

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Mon, 10/12/2012 - 3:55pm

Facebook is continuing to grow, shooting , but where are these people coming from? A new report from social statistics firm Socialbakers shows that many of them are coming from the Middle East and North Africa region, which accounts for an average of 21 new registrations per minute.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Mon, 10/12/2012 - 3:30pm

Facebook asked users to vote on on future changes to the policy that governs what the company does with users’ data. To keep the old process of voting in place, 30 percent of Facebook’s 1 billion-strong user base had to vote for that, but it appears that  officially voiced their opinions. However, those who have voted clearly want to keep the status quo.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Mon, 10/12/2012 - 2:35pm

Want to spend a half-day at ? It’ll cost you, but it’s for a good cause.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Mon, 10/12/2012 - 1:28pm

Walmart was the most-talked-about brand on Facebook , and it appears that the major retailer has carried that momentum through the holiday season. According to an infographic from Compass Labs, Walmart is again one of the most popular Facebook brands, with the and Xbox 360 among the biggest tech gifts.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Mon, 10/12/2012 - 1:12pm

Facebook introduced a one-stop shop for its , the PMD Center, which allows marketers to sort through the social network’s more than 260 PMDs from more than 35 countries to find the best fits for their needs.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Mon, 10/12/2012 - 12:33pm

There are two schools of thought when it comes to for Facebook . Some prefer to stick with one cover image in order to maintain a consistent brand message, while others believe variety is the spice of life, and change their cover images constantly. PageCovery offers a scheduling tool that may prove useful for the latter.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Mon, 10/12/2012 - 11:38am

Facebook and seven other companies filed an amicus brief with the U.S. State Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Friday, contending that should not be awarded simply for combining abstract ideas with phrases such as “on a computer” or “over the Internet.”

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Mon, 10/12/2012 - 10:38am

Facebook Chief Operating Officer  sold off 946,588 more at prices ranging from $27.39 to $27.90 apiece, netting her more than $26.2 million, according to reports.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Categories: Facebook
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