Ever since Facebook bought them for $1 billion we all knew that this day was inevitable– and now it’s here. Instagram has announced that over the next few months they will be bringing ads to your feed. The ads, which will be both photos and videos, will be placed in your feed and should look just like the photos and videos your friends post. And like with the ads you see on Facebook you will be able to hide or report the ones you don’t like. Instagram will be rolling out the ads over the next “couple of months” but if you’re in the US you may start seeing an occasional ad sooner than that. A reader of The Verge, wheelsee, saw an ad in his feed today and took a video of it and posted it to his Instagram account. If you want a peak at what the new ads in Instagram will look like head on over here.
Now for those worried that the pictures you take will be used without your permission as ads, Instagram wants to reassure you that ”as always, you own your own photos and videos” and that “the introduction of advertising won’t change this.”
More info: Instagram
Earlier this year Facebook “copied” a few popular Twitter features like hashtags, verified accounts for celebrities, and Vine-like video for Instagram. Well, now they’re doing it again. As reported by All Things D, Facebook will begin rolling out a new Trending Topics feature allowing you to see what’s most popular on the world’s largest social network. Unlike in Twitter where Trending Topics are a part of the search tab, in Facebook you’ll see it inside your news feed. Clicking on a topic will obviously show you any things your friends have posted about it, but it will also display public posts from other people regardless of whether you’re friends with them. Yes, this is pretty much the same thing that Twitter’s been doing for years. While this should make it easier to see and sort what your friends have say on the latest major news, if you like keeping some form of privacy on Facebook you may want to be a bit more careful with what posts you set to public from here on out.
Right now this new feature is only being tested on Facebook’s mobile site (facebook.com from your phone, not any actual Facebook app), for a “small percentage of US users.” Like most new Facebook updates we expect this to roll out slowly, so it might be a while before you can use it yourself. If you want to see if you’re part of that small group who currently have the feature, head on over to Facebook from your phone’s browser.
More info: All Things D
As you probably have noticed by now, last week Facebook finally added official support for hashtags (meaning they actually do something now if you click on them), but they’re not done with announcements for June. This Thursday, June 20th, Facebook is holding another mystery event and according to TechCrunch this event will not be about hashtags or Facebook Home, but about adding video to Instagram. According to Matthew Keys (a former deputy social media editor at Reuters), the videos you’ll be able to share on Instagram will be similar to what you can do on Vine. They’ll be super short videos between 5-10 seconds in length which is slightly bigger than Vine’s 6 second max. While not yet as popular as Instagram, Vine (owned by Facebook’s rival Twitter) has gotten pretty big over the past few months and adding video to Instagram would finally give Facebook an answer to it.
It’s unknown if you’ll be to edit the videos with filters in the same way you can use them to edit pictures, but if this is true we’re sure we’ll find out all that and more soon enough.
As was expected, Facebook last week unveiled some of their new plans for Android including a new Facebook phone called the HTC First and more importantly, a major update to their Android app called Facebook Home.
Both the First and Facebook Home will be available later this week– on Friday, April 12th– but here is what you are going to need to know about both before they get here.
The new Facebook Phone, the HTC First
Later today, Facebook will be holding a big event to showcase their “new home on Android.” While there has been a lot of speculation about what exactly Facebook will show off, thanks to some recent rumors it looks like we now have a pretty good idea. Yes, Facebook isn’t just announcing an update to their Facebook Android app, they also are expected to announce the Facebook phone to go along with it.
Before the event gets underway at 10 AM Pacific Time, here are some of the latest rumors on what we expect Facebook to show off.
Late last week Facebook sent out invitations for an event at their headquarters teasing a “new home on Android.” As expected the internet is now filled with rumors about a new Facebook phone. While we still have a few days until the April 4th event, here are some of the latest and most interesting rumors about the Facebook phone and what else they might announce.
Facebook Video Chat– coming soon to the iPhone?
With Facebook Video Chat having been available for Windows and Mac for almost a year now, it seemed like it would only be a matter of time before they brought the feature over to their mobile apps. And according to the site 9to5Mac, that time is finally almost here.
The folks over at 9to5Mac have gotten a sneak peak at a beta for an upcoming update to Facebook’s Messenger app for iPhone. In addition to the usual bug-fixes and performance improvements expected in a normal update they found this: the ability to make Skype Video Chats right from your iPhone/iPod Touch just like you already can from your computer. Making a video call is pretty simple too– if the person who you’re talking to is at their computer or on iPhone/iTouch you’ll see a blue arrow next to their name. Tap that arrow and you’re calling them.
9to5Mac also says that Facebook has a similar update planned for the Android version of the Messenger app (as well as a version of the Messenger app for the iPad), but that will probably come after the iPhone gets its update this summer.
If you’re like me, I bet you’re thankful that your cell phone has a dedicated Facebook app – and rightly so: dedicated apps offer quick access to your account, and don’t require the use of a web browser.
However, like me, you’re probably also disappointed knowing that these same joys are not shared when you want to access your Facebook account from a PC or Mac. You know the drill: opening a new browser window, accessing the Bookmarks Bar or Favorites window, entering your account info after that, and only then finally logging on to Facebook. It’s not the worst process, but it’s not as easy as your tablet or phone where all it takes is a press of a button (or touch screen).
However, there is a solution. Enter Facebook Desktop…
An example of some of the many Facebook scam statuses
By now you’ve probably heard the news that there will be some major changes to Facebook coming out over the next few days/weeks, including a whole new design for your profile called Timeline (which we’re not gonna get into right now, but basically it allows you to fill in all your memories from literally the time you were born in to your Facebook profile so it’ll be available online for all your friends to see forever. Yes, it’s that creepy. More info here). Now whether or not you like the new Facebook (other updates include the new chat and the new News Feed which you’ve already probably seen if you’ve logged on to Facebook this past week), one of the big things we’ve been asked since the announcement were if the statuses like the ones you see above were true. These status said that unless you re-posted the status you’ll have to start paying a monthly fee to use Facebook. Put simply, this is all a scam and completely untrue.
Ever get one of those annoying mass texts that said that if you forward said text to (insert number of friends here) some company/organization/cat will donate money to a cause or that the next person you see will be your soul mate and you’ll live happy ever after forever? Sorry to say but like these Facebook statuses these are all scams and are completely made up by random people for fun. The only thing that will happen if you post them or forward them is you’ll end up annoying someone else. Facebook is free, and as they write on their homepage (which you can see for yourself if you log out), it always will be. No monthly fees, no subscriptions to get the updates– everything is free (I mean, Facebook needs you to want to continue to use their site. It’s how they make billions selling ads).
So if you see one of your friends falling for this latest scam feel free to calm them down and let them know that everything will be ok and that Facebook will still be free even after this latest update comes out.
Pic from Mashable
If you’re a Facebook addict and need to always have your Wall one click away this phone is definitely for you.
Previously known as the HTC ChaCha when it was announced back in February, the Status is not just a “Facebook phone” but also a pretty solid, cheap smartphone. Here are the full specs: thin design with 2.6 inch touchscreen and full keyboard underneath (at a resolution of 480 x 320 this screen isn’t as nice as HTC’s other Android phones, but it should be more than enough for the goal of Facebooking 24/7), 5 megapixel back camera with auto focus and LED flash and a VGA front-facing camera for video chat (what great timing! Unfortunately we don’t know if this will be able to Facebook video chat out of the box or if it’ll have to wait until Facebook updates their apps later this year), Android 2.3 Gingerbread with HTC Sense (including new widgets for Facebook chatting from the homescreen), and an 800 MHZ processor (again, this is not gonna be EVO 3D, Sensation 4G or ThunderBolt fast, but it should be more than enough for constantly updating your Facebook all day. And this lower processor speed should allow for much better battery life so you can stay connected even longer). And of course there’s that Facebook button on the bottom of the phone which allows you to instantly post on a friend’s wall, check in on Facebook Places, or share pictures, videos or links.
Best part about all this? The price. The Status will cost a very solid $49.99 with new 2 year contract and data plan (which starts at $15 a month for 250 MB or enough for more status updates than you could imagine) when it launches next Monday, July 17th (and for those who can’t wait you can pre-order the Status right now from AT&T).
Personally, I would rather just a more powerful phone like the Infuse 4G or iPhone 4 and just install the Facebook app as opposed to a “Facebook phone,” but AT&T readers we wanna know: are you completely addicted to Facebook that you need a phone like this or would you rather a phone like the Infuse 4G or iPhone 4 and just have the Facebook app installed? Let us know in the comments.