You probably have not heard of viral sensation James Ellis, “Actor/Fitness Model and follower of JESUS CHRIST,” as he describes himself on his Facebook page, which has over 1.3 million likes and counting. But you may have come across one of his videos in your news feed recently. For reasons that are still a mystery, these sketchy videos have been showing up everywhere—even in the feeds of people who have no idea who Ellis is.
Test participants who had used Facebook for 20 minutes reported being in a worse mood than those in two other test groups (one browsed the Internet, one served as a control and did nothing); the Facebook participants also felt their time had been used in a less meaningful way.
Ah, clickbait. The currency of the Internet! We just found out that Yongzhi Huang, one of the developers here at Fast Company, has built a neat little web tool that lets you create convincing fake news stories with which to troll your friends.
Using it is easy. Simply pick a news logo (Yahoo, Breaking News, etc.), write your fake headline, then put a link to the website of your choosing at the end. Even Reddit seems to like it!
“The study, while instructive about how we use Facebook, presents murky new territory, and it could speak to our growing discomfort that large corporations like Google and Facebook have unprecedented troves of our personal data at their disposal.”
What Facebook’s second-largest market reveals about its international ambitions
“This is how Facebook sees itself: As the most promising entry point to the Internet for the as-yet-unwired population. And the more that Facebook can blur the line so that Indians come to believe that Facebook is the Internet, rather than something you get when you go onto the Internet, the better it’ll be for Facebook.”
In a new book called A Social Strategy: How We Profit from Social Media, Harvard Business School Professor Mikolaj Jan Piskorski analyzed many datasets from many companies, Facebook included. The big insight he takes from looking at Facebook’s data is that, the more friends a user has, the less active he or she is. As people amass friends, the type of content they post becomes more generic, less personal (which explains Facebook’s sudden embrace of news media). The problem isn’t that parents, siblings, and teachers are on Facebook. It’s not even that everyone is on Facebook. It’s that Facebook makes it too easy to suddenly be someone’s “friend.” In high school, you know who your friends are: They’re right there. Or as Piskorski told me, “Of course teenagers hate Facebook and find it useless. In high school, you see your friends everyday!”
CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s audacious bid to rewire the app economy—and make his social network more relevant than ever.
Although Zuck has outlined his three-, five-, and 10-year goals for employees, he has never crisply explained publicly how all of these recent moves fit together, and that has gotten tech watchers buzzing about whether he and the company have lost their way. But after dozens of interviews with current and former employees, rivals, advertisers, developers, and users, it becomes clear that Zuckerberg has launched Facebook on an aggressive and potentially brilliant strategy—one that has very little to do with the company you think you know based on your desktop use of its social network. [Facebook granted Fast Company access to several company executives, but not to Zuckerberg or COO Sheryl Sandberg.] To make Facebook more relevant than ever, the company has targeted the very core of the app economy to fulfill its vision for the next half-decade. As the six lessons that follow illuminate, the great social network of the early 21st century is laying the groundwork for a platform that could make Facebook a part of just about every social interaction that takes place around the world.
At Facebook’s developer conference F8, the social network revealed several smaller ideas that build toward one really big one.
Yesterday, when Mark Zuckerberg took to the stage of F8—Facebook’s big development conference—he didn’t announce a big product consumers might care about, like Facebook Paper, or a new, multi-billion-dollar acquisition, like the texting app WhatsApp.
Instead, he announced a series of small tweaks and developer tools that could change the way users play with apps, share content, and hop from screen to screen. It was a revealing look into a deeper strategy: