Facebook in its newest avatar is building an ecosystem of applications that basically use your Facebook profile to deliver different services. In order to take this services initiative further, Facebook looks set to be launching a news application that would basically send you alerts for your selected subjects. The application is still very much in Alpha stage and is being tested and developed. The application will have character limits very similar to the way things are done on Twitter so that you are not served huge gamuts of data just via broadcast.
For the start, the application will sees elected publishers tie up, which will result in broadcast update being pushed on to the screens of everyone who is subscribed to the particular channel. The publisher can choose the call to action on the same as well as if he is pushing the broadcast only to the subscribers to the genre of subscribers too. The call to action primarily would be taking the user to his website, though the publisher can obviously change this and maybe redirect to a Youtube video of the story.
There is no other action that the user can perform other than either dismissing the broadcast or simply clicking on the call to action button. With no cross talks or comments, it would be interesting to see how well the application functions and what are the features that get added on. It is a possibility that somewhere down the line, the app could bring the likes of pages on board who will also be able to broadcast messages.
Are you the sorts who loves to snap his phone out at every opportunity and recording a video on your device and then sending it to virtually every friend on the planet? If that is the case, then Riffs is an application that you would really like. Just days after announcing Facebook Messenger as a platform, Facebook has launched a new application called Riffs which basically allows you to add clips of videos that you shot to a suggested topic.
All you need to do is download the application and create a video and give it a topic. The video will be shown to your friends who will then attach a clip that they shoot with their phone to the topic and the same would be carried forward in the form of a chain based on the topic. Facebook said about the new app:
Anyone can start by creating a video. All you have to do is give it a topic, like #AprilFools, then your friends can view it and choose to add their own clips on that topic. Once a friend adds a clip to your video, your friend’s friends will also be shown the video in Riff and will be able to add to it. The potential pool of creative collaborators can grow exponentially from there, so a short video can become an inventive project between circles of friends that you can share to Facebook, or anywhere on the internet, at any time.
The application is available in Google Play Store for those on Android to download. Here is the link.
Facebook has been vocal about supporting its app business. if you look around you will see a fair few Facebook owned apps, most notably, the Social Media App, Pages, Paper, Instagram, Messenger etc. However, one thing common about all these applications is that you need to be logged in from your Facebook account as yourself and just about everyone who interacts with you does so by your own identity. But what if you wanted to chat or speak to people hiding your identity yet use your Facebook credentials to log in? Looks like, this is the exact use case that Facebook would be focussing upon next as it is about to bring a new Anonymous Chat Application.
Applications such as Whisper or Secret have gained a lot of popularity in the past with people using them to express their views under the veil of anonymity. This is seems to be the thought behind the new anonymous chat application. New York Times has reported an insider who has more information on this, saying:
The project is being led by Josh Miller, a product manager at Facebook who joined the company when it acquired Branch, his start-up which focused on products that fostered small, online discussion groups. Mr. Miller and the rest of his team have been working on the product in its different forms for the last year, said the people briefed on the plans.
The application, according to the same report is expected to be rolled out within the next few weeks and would be available on iOS first and Android later if the likes of Slingshot are to go by.
Facebook has become an easy way for the elite and famous to get in touch or interact with their fans or supporters. We have seen several influencers and such use their Facebook accounts to either get their message across or clear an alleged controversy. However given the number of features that the regular Facebook app on an iPhone has, it becomes difficult to keep track or interact with your fans.
Facebook has made this simpler by launching Facebook Mentions for iPhone. It is a simple application that basically lets you to interact or start a conversation with your fans in a simpler UI than the regular FB app. The app is available only for those with a verified account so far, and only on iOS. The main aim of Facebook with the apps is to bring influencers closer to the people who have followed them.
There is no news whether there will an Android version of the application or not, or if Facebook has any plans to open the app to influencers with certain number of likes who may not be verified yet. However, from the first looks, the app looks simple and very much drawn out from the same sheet as the Paper app that was launched recently.
Download Facebook Mentions from App Store here
No shame in admitting that Paper is probably the best way to explore and browse Facebook for me personally. It has replaced the Facebook iOS application on my iPhone and I have not gone back to the application. The ease of viewing the content coupled with enormous information available thanks to the several feeds you can subscribe to has actually made browsing facebook productive which maybe a month i would never have dare thought forget say. But with Paper, things are different and I have spent probably more time on facebook than I must have in the past three years.
But, one issue, that I did come across, which I am sure several of those who are using the facebook Paper app is how to refresh the timeline. In the Official app you simply need to pull to refresh to get the latest news in the feed, but if you do the same in paper, it would take you to the settings page of your profile on Paper. So, unless you are on a high speed internet connection where the app auto refreshes, you need to manually refresh the feed. To do this is very simple, just slide the window from left to right, just the way you would have otherwise pulled down. You basically have to pull to right and bang, you will have the latest articles updated within the feed.
Facebook recently launched a new Beta application for Windows Phone 8 which brings a fair number of interesting add ons to the table. Although, the official application is really good at least on Windows Phone devices, there are always users who prefer to use a third party application especially when it comes to Social Networking apps. Down to personal preference or just added features or simpler UI coupled with the fact that there are plenty of choices available means these third party apps are really popular.
However, it looks like Facebook does not like these third party application and is planning to kill them by writing to Microsoft themselves. Although we can understand why Facebook would do something like this but it would generate a bad PR for the company and for the ecosystem for allowing something like this. It restricts the choice of the user and that is something no user would like. There are more than 25 applications on the market store currently that would be affected by this. If you are looking at a new Facebook application, now is the best time to go ahead and download it before it is taken down.
What are your views regarding this move from Facebook? Would it simply ensure a larger number of people download the official app or simply grow a sense of disillusionment among the users? Let us know in the section below.