For many of Facebook’s estimated 1.3 billion active users, the social media platform has become an extension of their lives. Nearly every event is shared out with friends near and far. But what happens after that life has come to an end? Facebook has cornered the market on death too.
In yet another indication of how social media continues to take over our lives, over the last few years Facebook has become a place where users can process death. We come here to grieve for those we’ve lost, connect with family to celebrate and toast the lives of loved ones and even join the larger online community in remembering those who have passed on.
Now we can all die like celebrities
The recent death of comedian Robin Williams is a prime example of a worldwide conversation with a single point of focus. So many people were posting their thoughts and feelings at the loss of the beloved celebrity that most users’ News Feeds carried nothing else, prompting articles on how to filter your newsfeed to keep from being swamped by it.
Now, while much of the initial buzz has ended, Williams has a memorial page where followers can post photos and tell stories. It allows all those who loved and appreciated his work to gather in an online community, express their sorrow and grieve together.
In the pre-Facebook days, people would have been notified of the deaths of friends and loved ones via word of mouth or newspaper obituary columns – or (gasp!) by a personal phone call. They would have attended a funeral, connected with family and friends, and then moved on. And for those left behind, memorializing their loved one was a solitary activity, likely contained in photo albums.
Facebook has allowed an unprecedented level of interconnectivity and communication, allowing people all over the world to share their sorrow, even when unable to personally attend a funeral. And when the anniversary of that passing or some other significant event regarding that person comes up, sharing it on Facebook (which is now a regular – and somewhat disconcerting habit) allows others to share memories of the departed. And, depending on your social connections, you memory could live on for a very long time.
How Facebook keeps you alive
When a Facebook user dies, unless specific action is taken, their profile will continue on. This can lead to confusion and at-times awkward conversations with the surviving family. In an effort to mitigate this potential pain, Facebook allows for the surviving family to convert the page into a memorial.
Those who are already friends with the individual will be able to post their thoughts and feelings to the deceased on the memorial page, but that profile will no longer be found in google searches nor will that profile be able to be tagged or added.
Only those who were close to the deceased and can offer proof of death can have access to changing the profile into a memorial.
In the case of celebrities like Williams, or when a good friend passes away but you do not have access to the account, there are still ways to memorialize. My Memorials is a Facebook based app that allows a user to create their own memorial page for a loved one or celebrity. The page can be shared, visitors can sign a guestbook and add their own photos and memories to the memorial.
The business of death
Another app has been designed to help give those left behind some measure of closure in the case of death. If I Die is an app that allows a user to create a video or a text message that would be posted to their profile page in the event of death. Once the user has created their message, they entrust one or more of their Friends to activate the message if they should die.
While for some this might seem morbid, a common lament among those who surviving the passing of a loved one is the opportunity to ‘talk one last time’. While it is not a true dialogue, the If I Die message at least gives that sense of having the one final conversation.
Having the ability to connect with one another, even if only on a virtual level, can help with the grieving process. It binds us in a community, despite being spread across the world. Being able to memorialize loved ones, hear how others felt and share in that sense of loss can be healing in its way. If nothing else, it reminds us that we are not alone.
How do you feel about the role Facebook now plays in death?
Article courtesy of Inside Facebook
In the current era of data mining, account hacking and identity theft, cyber-security has never been more important. And an area that many people leave insanely unprotected is social media, Facebook in particular. Crooks have begun using social media in a variety of ways, from pulling our personal information for identity theft, to paying attention to when you go on vacation in order to rob you while you’re away. And employers (even though they’re not supposed t0) ARE checking your profiles, people.
Fortunately, there are several simple steps that can be taken to lock down your Facebook account and slam the digital door in the face of would-be thieves and other prying eyes.
When logged in to your Facebook account, go to the down arrow on the right side of your notifications and requests. Choose Settings. This will take you to the Settings page, which will have several options to choose from on the left side menu.
Step 1: General
General Settings is the page where you can create or edit your name, username, e-mail account, password, networks and language. It is important to know this page in the event you feel your account has been compromised or if you feel the need to change/edit your username to make it more difficult for identity thieves to search for you.
Step 2: Security
There are several crucial settings under the Security Page. Number 1 on the list is Login Notifications. Enabling notifications ensures that you will be alerted by text or e-mail if someone logs in to your account from an unknown computer or device.
Login approvals, code generator and app passwords all create an extra level of security, creating specialized codes which have to be entered to get into Facebook. These do require having your smartphone handy to use them, but you’re probably using Facebook FROM your phone regardless!
Trusted contacts create a list of friends who can help you get into your account if it becomes locked due to intrusion. Taking a look at your Trusted Browsers and Where You’ve Logged In are both important in not leaving an accidental back door open for crooks to come in. Make a habit of checking this weekly and sign out of any logins – and apps (more on that in a sec) – that you don’t recognize.
And this is also where you can deactivate your account if you need to get off Facebook immediately. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that.
Step 3: Privacy
This is the page most casual users will spend the most time locking down and with good reason. Strictly restricting who can see, tag, post and contact you is extremely valuable. Parents, in particular, want to pay attention to this page when setting up a Facebook account for a youngster. The rule of thumb with most of these settings will be to keep them at “Friends” – though it’s important to know that this default changes based on your last status. If, for example, your last update was “public” then your next post will default to public as well. And you DEFINITELY want to review all items you’re tagged in before they hit your wall, so turn that option on.
Beyond that, if you realize you have public posts and want to start over, the “limit the audience for posts shared with friends of friends or public” and will make EVERYTHING on your timeline “friends only.” You can’t change back once you do it though, so proceed with caution. Your wall will suddenly appear empty to restricted users and followers.
“Who Can Look Me Up” is an open-ended category that allows individuals to look you up using e-mail addresses or phone numbers. Set these restrictions to “Friends” or “No” to cut down on strangers sending finding you.
Step 4: Apps
Most people use apps of one kind or another on Facebook, whether it’s Words with Friends to one of the thousands of “personality tests.” On this page, you can go through a list of apps are connected to your Facebook account. And, as mentioned, visit this list regularly and weed out the apps you either don’t recognize or are no longer using.
The real issue can come from the “Apps Others Use” section. Apps your friends use can use your information “to make it a more social experience” for the person using the app. Go into this setting and uncheck all the boxes that have information you do not want to share.
Step 5: Ads
Currently Facebook does not allow third party apps or ad networks the right to use your name or picture in ads. However, it is something that could come up in the future, where something you’ve posted could be used in a third party ad. On the ads page, edit the “Third Party Sites” to “No one.”
Additionally, Facebook looks at things your friends share and like and use it to populate your newsfeed and right side navigation with ads that they think would also appeal to you. Edit “Ads and Friends” to “No one.”
Step 6: YOU
And the biggest privacy intrusion – that you invite – is posting crazy opinions on public pages. You really shouldn’t do that as you never know who might see it, get annoyed by it – and screenshot it for your employer (that you foolishly listed publicly on your page). The info you freely offer in your “About” is probably another post entirely – just know to review it, carefully review the privacy levels on each category – and consider what you’re sharing and how it could be used against you.
Also, check each photo album for privacy. Using the “view profile as” option is always a great idea to see what the public can see.
The keys to staying on Facebook – or any platform – are preparation and vigilance. Understanding how to lock down accounts is part of the equation, but common sense is the larger – and entirely undervalued – missing piece.
Top image courtesy of Shutterstock.
Article courtesy of Inside Facebook
It looks like Twitter may add another feature to its Timeline on the desktop to generate revenue: Promoted Accounts, with the option for people to follow them directly with a button embedded in the Tweet. Read More
Article courtesy of TechCrunch
Facebook on Monday introduced a new design for Facebook pages, making things such as key performance indicators more easily visible for managers, and location info easier to find for fans.
However, this move also signals that Facebook is moving away from tabs — which have been a popular tool for many Facebook marketers to draw attention to contests as well as get users to visit other entities such as an Instagram feed or website. Page admins can still draw users to the company website, a contest, or anything else, but it’s becoming clear that this will have to be done through News Feed posts and not direct visits to a page’s timeline.
When many page admins and marketers saw the new design, they wondered, “Where did the tabs go?”
Tabs will still be supported, but they will be tucked into the “More” module and without images. Here’s a preview:
The redesign makes the page timeline look a little more like a person’s timeline:
While some marketers will see this is a ploy by Facebook to get pages to invest more in advertising, this move could be evidence that users aren’t that likely to visit a page’s timeline and would rather engage with a brand by seeing content in their News Feed. Does this mean more advertising to get into more users’ News Feeds? Well, that’s up to the individual pages. Facebook may be free for users, but much like any other platform, it’s going to cost either time or money (or both) if you’re looking to grow your business or generate sales through Facebook.
Facebook offers companies and marketers several ways to get a message out to their fans. While it’s important to have all pertinent (and fresh) information on the page’s timeline, most fans likely won’t click to view the page after they like it. If they do come back, it will be a rare instance. The most efficient and predictable way to get a brand’s message in front of a fan (or potential fan) through Facebook is through the News Feed — whether that means organic or paid. The redesign de-emphasizes tabs by placing them into the “More” box, prompting page admins to find other ways to let fans know what’s out there.
It’s not a malicious move to get more ad revenue; it’s Facebook trying to get pages to post better content and calls to action in the News Feed, where fans eyeballs are most likely to be.
However, Facebook PMD Woobox doesn’t think this is a death knell for tabs. In a recent blog post, the company gave their take on how marketers can still use Facebook tabs in light of this redesign:
Page Admins are concerned that their page tabs will no longer be relevant, and won’t be visible to their fans. However, when you look at a side-by-side comparison, you will notice that the new tab links are much closer in proximity to the News Feed – the old timeline had a whole lot of real estate between page tabs and page posts, which is where engagement occurs. The new layout places the tab links directly above the News Feed and the simple, non-cluttered layout grabs your attention!
Readers: What do you think this will mean for tabs on Facebook pages?
Article courtesy of Inside Facebook
This will not roll out immediately, though some page admins might have this new design today. Facebook noted that this will roll out throughout the course of the week.
The right-side column of the timeline will show all the page’s posts. All posts will appear consistently, in one line, as it does on a person’s timeline and on News Feed. The left-side column will hold information about the page or business, including a map, hours of operation, phone number, website URL, photos and videos. Key indicators, such as ads running, likes, post reach and unread notifications will be in a bar off to the right of the posts.
What does this mean for marketers?
Facebook says that these changes will help make it easier for page admins to find information they need. There will also be a Pages to Watch feature in the Page Insights tool for admins, allowing marketers to keep tabs on pages similar to their own (or competitors) and track those pages’ performances.
Here’s a look at how Pages to Watch will look within the Page Insights feature.
Facebook explained the new layout in a blog post:
No matter where you are on your Page, you can now view information about the ads you’re running and new likes on your Page, as well unread notifications and messages. You can click on any section in the This Week section for more detail.
We’ve also added new navigation options to the top of the Page, making it easier to access your activity, insights and settings. The Build Audience menu at the top of the Page offers direct access to your Ads Manager account.
Page admins: What do you think of the new design?
Article courtesy of Inside Facebook
Facebook plans to reveal new ways for developers to grow and monetize their apps. Today it announced it will hold its F8 developer conference on April 30th in San Francisco. It will have been almost three years since Facebook’s last F8 when it unveiled Timeline and the Open Graph platform in 2011. The audience at SF’s Design Concourse will include “More than 1,500 mobile and web… Read More
Article courtesy of TechCrunch
As more and more people talk about current events on Facebook, brands are looking for some way to join the conversation. So to offer companies a solution into the data behind trending topics on the social network, Facebook announced Friday the launch of Public Content Solutions.
Public Content Solutions (PCS) offers support and resources to partners using Facebook’s Public Feed API and Keyword Insights API. Partners who take part in PCS will receive a badge to display, as well as support from the PCS team and access to Facebook’s Media Partnerships team. Initial partners in the PCS program include Arktan, telescope, never.no, Timeline Labs, Tagboard, Vizrt, Reality Check and SnappyTV.
Facebook Partner Engineer Manager Bob Morgan introduced PCS in a blog post:
Whenever something important happens in the world – from the Sochi Olympics to the crisis in the Ukraine to the results of the Oscars – people immediately take to Facebook to discuss it. With more than a billion people using Facebook and engaging in real-time conversations during these moments, it’s important for us to work closely with media companies to help them tell these stories.
In the past year, we’ve launched a series of products and resources – like our Keyword Insights API and Public Feed API – to help partners leverage the massive amounts of data and content associated with these events. As a result, we’re seeing tremendous innovation coming from amazing partners in this space, such as data analysis and visualizations, intelligent curation of popular photos, videos and posts, fan voting and polling tools, broadcast and venue integrations and much more.
Readers: What do you think about PCS?
Article courtesy of Inside Facebook
Haven’t filled out all of your timeline information? Your Facebook friends can ask you to do so. Some users are seeing prompts on mobile and desktop to ask their friends for information that isn’t present on timeline, such as phone number or address.
When a user visits the “About” section of the desktop or mobile timeline, they’ll see a prompt that will allow them to ask their friend (this only works for users with whom people are connected) for information.
Users can then send a note, explaining to their friend why they’re asking for this information: