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By Sara Su, Product Manager, News Feed
One of our main goals is to support an informed community on Facebook. This includes helping people have conversations about the news and giving people more ways to see a more complete picture of a story or topic.
This work is important to us, so we’re building new products and exploring ways to improve our existing ones. In 2013, we launched Related Articles to help people discover new articles they may find interesting about the same topic. These articles appear in News Feed after people read an article.
Today, we’re beginning to test Related Articles that might appear before you read an article shared in News Feed. These additional articles, which appear for topics many people are talking about on Facebook, will appear in a unit below the link. That should provide people easier access to additional perspectives and information, including articles by third-party fact-checkers.
For example, during an instance when a lot of people are discussing an article about a new medical advancement, we may also show you a few other articles below it from different publishers about the same medical topic.
This is one of many tests we’re working on to improve the experiences people have on Facebook. We will learn from the test, and apply what we learn to improve the product for everyone.
How Will This Impact My Page?
We don’t anticipate Pages will see significant changes in reach. Pages should continue posting stories that are relevant to their audience.
By Bill Weihl, Director of Sustainability
Protecting the environment is just one important part of keeping our global community safe, which is why on this Earth Day, all of us at Facebook hope that people from around the world who use our family of apps and services will join us in showing their support for our planet.
Building a global community that works for everyone requires that we create spaces where people can show their solidarity for issues and causes that they are passionate about. In fact, in 2016 the global Facebook community came together to celebrate Earth Day, making it the #1 topic on that day. Here are a few interesting ways people have come together on Facebook to show their support for the environment:
- Nearly 1.6 million people plan to participate in Earth Day activities through a Facebook Event
- More than 1 million people are members of Earth Day related Groups
- People used nature related emojis 2x more during Earth Month compared to the previous month
- Top topics co-occurring with Earth Day were Happiness, Love, Climate Change, Earth and Environmentalism
- Top languages used to celebrate Earth Day are “Día de la Tierra” in Spanish, “Tag der Erde” in German, “Giornata della Terra” in Italian, “Jour de la Terre” in French and “Ngày Trái Đất” in Vietnamese.
We are also committed to doing our part. For an entire year of one person’s Facebook use, our carbon footprint is less than the impact of boiling water for one pot of tea (355g CO2e)*, and in 2018 our goal is to have at least 50% clean and renewable energy in our electricity supply mix for our operations.
This Earth Day we hope people will show their support on and offline, and are providing the tools to make it easier:
- Profile frames: People can find a non-profit organization’s frame and add it to their profile by visiting facebook.com/profilepicframes or by tapping on the “Add Frame” button on your profile picture.
- Camera: People can express themselves by creatively enhancing their photos and videos using an Earth Day-themed frame.
- Groups & Events: People can find a local Earth Day Event or discover an environmentally-focused Group that’s relevant to issues close to their heart and get involved.
- Fundraisers: Additionally, in the U.S., people can go to facebook.com/fundraisers to start a fundraiser for a favorite nonprofit on behalf of environmental causes.
For more information about Facebook’s sustainability commitments, please visit sustainability.fb.com.
* Facebook’s annual per-user carbon emissions: 281g CO2
Today concludes F8, our annual two-day event where developers come together to explore the future of technology.
In the opening keynote, Facebook Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer talked about our goal to develop technology that will help everyone build global community. To do that, we’re investing in a number of foundational technologies over the next 10 years, including connectivity, artificial intelligence, and virtual and augmented reality.
Schroepfer and other keynote speakers — Director of Connectivity Programs, Yael Maguire; Director of Applied Machine Learning, Joaquin Quiñonero Candela; Chief Scientist of Oculus Research, Michael Abrash; and Vice President of Engineering and Building 8 Regina Dugan — shared updates and visions for some of our long-term focus areas.
Read more about the topics in today’s F8 keynotes below:
Rather than look for a one-size-fits-all connectivity solution, Facebook is investing in a building-block strategy — designing different technologies for different use cases, which are then used together to create flexible and extensible networks.
Today we highlighted new milestones in our efforts to reach people who are unconnected and increase capacity and performance for everyone else. Our team set three new records in wireless data transfer: 36 gigabits per second over 13 kilometers point-to-point using millimeter-wave (MMW) technology; 80 gigabits per second between those same points using our optical cross-link technology; and 16 gigabits per second from a location on the ground to a circling Cessna aircraft over 7 kilometers away using MMW. Additionally, our Terragraph system being tested with San Jose in the city’s downtown corridor has become the first city-scale mesh millimeter-wave system capable of delivering fiber-like multi-gigabits/s of performance and reliability.
We also announced Tether-tenna, a new kind of “insta-infrastructure” where a small helicopter tethered to a wire containing fiber and power can be deployed immediately to bring back connectivity in case of emergency.
AI is a powerful tool, and Facebook is leveraging it to build amazing visual experiences for people — including an AI-infused camera across Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. With the ability to run cutting edge AI and computer vision algorithms on the device, this camera can now understand your surroundings, recognize people, places and things. It can annotate and enhance images and video. The new Camera Effects Platform gives developers a way to build new tools for creative expression, and we shared a few demos of ideas that have come out of our research.
In a keynote presentation today, Applied Machine Learning Director Joaquin Quiñonero Candela talked about how AI has revolutionized the ability of computers to process and understand images and videos. It’s easy to forget that only five years ago, computers saw images as just a collection of numbers, with no particular meaning to them. Now computers can understand every single individual pixel of an image. These advancements enable new experiences, like adding digital objects and effects to a real world scene.
We believe AI belongs to everyone. That’s why in addition to opening the Camera Effects Platform, we announced that we are open sourcing Caffe2 — a framework to build and run AI algorithms on a phone — and building partnerships with Amazon, Intel, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, and others.
Facebook is investing in VR across mobile and PC hardware, software and content — from Oculus Rift and Gear VR to Facebook Spaces.
Today we introduced the newest designs for the Surround 360 technology that allows people to produce amazing high quality videos for VR. The new x24 and its smaller counterpart, x6, create some of the most immersive and engaging content ever shot for VR. The new camera technology lets you move around within the video scene and experience the content from different viewing angles. This means you can move your head around in the world and see it from different angles — what’s known as six degrees of freedom, or 6DoF — bringing the feeling of immersion and depth to a whole new level.
On day one of F8, Mark Zuckerberg talked about how the camera is the first augmented reality platform. Today Chief Scientist of Oculus Research Michael Abrash shared a vision for the path to full AR — where augmentation enhances your vision and hearing seamlessly while being light, comfortable, power-efficient and socially acceptable enough to accompany you everywhere.
He talked about the rise of virtual computing — which encompasses both virtual and augmented reality — as the next great wave after personal computing. Virtual computing is just starting to form, but it will give us the ability to transcend time and space to connect with one another in new ways.
In order to make virtual computing as much a part of everyday life as the smartphone is today, we’re going to need see-through augmented reality, which will likely be transparent glasses that can show virtual images overlaid on the real world.
The set of technologies needed to reach full AR doesn’t exist yet. This is a decade-long investment and it will require major advances in material science, perception, graphics and many other areas. But once that’s achieved, AR has the potential to enhance almost every aspect of our lives, revolutionizing how we work, play and interact.
Building 8 is the product development and research team at Facebook focused on creating and shipping new, category-defining consumer products that are social first, and that advance Facebook’s mission. Products from Building 8 will be powered by a breakthrough innovation engine modeled after DARPA and shipped at scale.
At F8 we announced two projects focused on silent speech communications.
We are working on a system that will let people type with their brains. Specifically, we have a goal of creating a silent speech system capable of typing 100 words per minute straight from your brain – that’s five times faster than you can type on a smartphone today. This isn’t about decoding your random thoughts. Think of it like this: You take many photos and choose to share only some of them. Similarly, you have many thoughts and choose to share only some of them. This is about decoding those words you’ve already decided to share by sending them to the speech center of your brain. It’s a way to communicate with the speed and flexibility of your voice and the privacy of text. We want to do this with non-invasive, wearable sensors that can be manufactured at scale.
We also have a project directed at allowing people to hear with their skin. We are building the hardware and software necessary to deliver language through the skin.
For more details on today’s topics, see our Developer Blog and Engineering Blog. You can also watch all F8 keynotes on the Facebook for Developers Page. Find additional assets and product images on our F8 press page.
Watch the full day two keynote here.
Today marks the first day of F8 2017, our annual event where developers come together to explore the future of technology. More than 4,000 people attended the event at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California, and millions watched the keynote via Facebook Live.
Mark Zuckerberg opened the conference with a keynote about how the camera is the first mainstream augmented reality platform. People are already using the cameras on their phones to write text on images, add digital objects and modify existing things with face filters and style transfers. That’s why today we announced the Camera Effects Platform, giving developers the power to build AR tools for the camera and bring people together in new ways.
Read more about today’s F8 keynote announcements from day one speakers Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer; VP of Platform & Marketplace Deb Liu; Head of Social VR Rachel Franklin; VP of Product Partnerships Ime Archibong; and VP of Messaging Products David Marcus.
Camera Effects Platform
We’re offering a suite of creative tools to give our community of artists and developers the power to create a full spectrum of effects for the new Facebook camera, from simple photo frames to interactive effects and masks using the latest in augmented reality technologies.
The Camera Effects Platform includes two products: Frames Studio and AR Studio. Frames Studio is an online creative editor, now available globally, that allows you to design frames that can be used either as profile picture frames or in the new Facebook camera. AR Studio, now open for beta applications, can be used to create masks, scripted effects, animated frames and other AR technologies that react to movement, the environment or interactions during Live videos.
See how Live effects work by checking out two we’re starting to roll out in Facebook Live: This or That and GIPHY Live. Both effects are powered by AR Studio and are designed to respond in real time to what’s happening in a Live broadcast.
Facebook Spaces is a new VR app where you hang out with friends in a fun, interactive virtual environment as if you were in the same room. Facebook Spaces is launching in beta for Oculus Rift today.
With Facebook Spaces, you can view Facebook content with friends in VR, including 360 videos and photos that can transport you to new places. You can draw in the air with a virtual marker to create anything you can dream up, from a decorative hat to a handmade tic-tac-toe board. Facebook Spaces lets you easily phone a friend in the real world with Messenger video calling, so you can bring even more people into your VR space. They can answer your call on their phone to instantly open a window into your virtual world. Of course, there’s a selfie stick too. Use it to take photos of your experience and share the memories you create in VR with your friends on Facebook.
Today we announced a new program for developers all over the world to connect, learn, and collaborate with other local developers. Developer Circles is a community-driven program that’s free to join and open to any developer. Each Developer Circle is led by members of the local community who act as leads for the circle, organizing events offline and managing a local online Facebook community. Developer Circles are forums to share knowledge, collaborate, build new ideas and learn about the latest technologies from Facebook and other industry leaders.
Today we launched the Places Graph, providing free access to data on more than 140 million places around the world. These places include everything from public spaces and parks, to restaurants, stores and other local businesses. The data includes place names, addresses, photos, Facebook consumer ratings and more. Apps can use this data to create location-aware experiences that help people learn more about where they are so they can make informed decisions about where to go and what to do.
If you have an app and a Messenger bot, we’ve made it simpler for you to connect with the same person using both. Our new API allows you to map between a Facebook Login ID and a Messenger ID, so you can serve your customers smoothly across both experiences.
Facebook Analytics — formerly known as Facebook Analytics for Apps — is a powerful, free product for accessing rich audience demographics, and measuring customer behavior across channels. Today we announced new capabilities designed to help you understand and optimize your complete customer journey across the channels you use to interact with customers, such as your app and website.
Our new Automated Insights tool uses advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence to bring valuable insights directly to you. With this new feature, you’ll see insights such as changes in purchases for a new version of your app, or variations in engagement across people in different cities.
Since the Messenger Platform debuted a year ago, it has become an essential channel for businesses, developers and consumers. The ecosystem has more than 1.2 billion people, 100,000 developers and 100,000 monthly active bots, and 2 billion messages are sent between people and businesses on Messenger every month.
Some of the new features and advanced tools announced today include:
- A new Discover tab that allows people to find the bot for Messenger they’re looking for in an intuitive and thoughtful way, right from the home screen in Messenger. We’ve also enabled discovery in the physical world with new parametric Messenger codes. This gives people the option to scan Messenger Codes through the Messenger camera and link to their favorite brands and businesses.
- Chat Extensions, which allow multiple people to chat with the same business at the same time. People can now add in a bot directly in a group thread and share the conversation and experience.
- Messenger’s AI assistant, M, now offers the ability to order food through delivery.com. For instance, if you’re chatting with friends about what to grab for dinner, M will suggest placing an order. The whole experience can be completed in Messenger, including group ordering and payment.
- New rich gameplay in Messenger including game bots and much more.
- Smart Replies, which help Pages to respond to the most frequently asked questions that small businesses receive, such as business hours, directions and contact details.
- Hand-over Protocol, a new way for businesses to work with multiple developers for different experiences on Messenger.
For more details on today’s news, see our Developer Blog and Engineering Blog. You can watch all the day one keynotes on the Facebook for Developers Page. Find additional assets and product images on our F8 press page.
Watch the full keynote here.
F8 2017 continues tomorrow, with a focus on our long-term investments in connectivity, artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, and hardware. Keynote speakers include Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer; Connectivity Program Director Yael Maguire; Applied Machine Learning Director Joaquin Quiñonero Candela; Oculus VR Chief Scientist Michael Abrash; and Building 8 Vice President Regina Dugan.
By David Marcus, VP of Messenger
- New Ways to Discover: Businesses and Brands
- New Ways to Connect: Share your Favorite Music, Play Games, Order Food
- New Ways for Developers to Build: Platform 2.0
Last F8, we opened the Messenger Platform to the global community of developers. Since then, we have listened and learned a lot, and we’re thrilled to see it become a thriving channel for brands, developers and consumers to connect with each other and the things they love. We’ve also spent the last 12 months focused on improving and launching products and features that help us all stay in touch in delightful ways – from our new camera, group video chats and even games.
The numbers may be impressive, but they don’t immediately capture the impact we have seen bots for Messenger have on people around the world or the ways in which the community of developers have built for the common good. From translation bots helping refugees, to bots that answer health questions, opportunities to support causes and even experiences that assist students with homework — the creativity, ingenuity and vision of our bot developer community has been awesome.
We think of Messenger as being like the new social living room for the world, where people can hang out, share, chat, play games or buy things, while still being able to reach nearly everyone, wherever they are. We now think we are combining two tools of the past — the telephone directory (the way we used to find people) with the Yellow Pages (the way we used to find businesses).
Here’s all our F8 news:
Making Messenger More Seamless and Fun
- Discovery in the Digital World – Discover tab: We wanted to find a way to make it easy and simple for people to find the businesses they care about in Messenger. We’ve built a Discover tab, and starting to roll out to a few people in the US today, right from the home screen, people can find their recently used bots, popular experiences and a free-form search field. Developers can learn more about how to apply to have their bot included in this curated tab by going here.
- Discovery in the Physical World – Messenger Codes: Our new parametric QR codes will enable people whenever they are out and about at events, like at basketball games and concerts, to be able to find out more from a bot for Messenger, just by simply scanning the code in the Messenger camera.
- Chat Extensions: The experiences being built in Messenger are inherently social. Now with Chat Extensions, we enable multiple people to chat with the same business at the same time. If you are excited to share the newest song you love, you can now add a bot directly in a group thread and share the conversation and experience with your friends. We think that this will enable people to virally share bots. You can currently find favorite brands like Spotify, TheScore, OpenTable, Food Network, NBA, Wall Street Journal and Kayak — with many more on the way.
- More from M: M, our virtual assistant, now makes suggestions in your conversations, offering up ways to make your life simpler. These include fun stickers to say “thank you,” a reminder to meet up with a friend, or an easy way to pay someone back or get paid via peer-to-peer payments. Powered by artificial intelligence, M recognizes when people are doing specific tasks and provides helpful suggestions. We think the next step is to offer people more ways to do more – so today M can now offer the ability to order food through delivery.com. If you’re chatting with friends about what to grab for dinner, M may suggest placing an order. The whole experience can be completed in Messenger, including group ordering and payment. The more you use M, the more it will make relevant suggestions to you. This is available in the US where delivery.com serves.
- Introducing New Rich Gameplay: With over 1.5 billion games played in just the last 90 days, now we are adding some additional product features like game bots and Rich Gameplay (turn-by-turn games) to make your gaming even more fun. And it’s now even easier to challenge your friends to a game in Messenger by tapping the Games tab on the Messenger home screen – which is starting to roll out today to some people in the US.
Helping Developers and Businesses Build and Create
- Smart Replies for Pages: One pain point for many small businesses is managing messages they receive. Small businesses benefit greatly from having messaging turned on so they can interact with and provide service to their customers as quickly as possible. Today, we’re launching the ability for Pages to respond to the most frequently asked questions, such as business hours, directions and contact details. Powered by our AI bot engine, Wit.ai, Smart Replies offers an API that enables businesses to create an AI-powered responder to these types of FAQs.
- Parametric Messenger Codes: Businesses are now able to generate multiple parametric QR codes for one bot, offering their customers more choice. For example, to track where a code was scanned, or to apply a different QR code for each table at a restaurant. This also gives people the potential to scan via the camera instead of the QR scanner feature.
- Hand-over Protocol: We’ve provided a way for businesses to work with multiple developers for different experiences on Messenger. For example, a business might want to have a personal shopping bot and also a customer service bot. Different vendors and developers will be able to manage the conversation for the use case the customer is requesting.
That’s all our news! We hope that Messenger Platform 2.0 will enable our developer community to enhance experiences, leverage the power of AI and build more bots to help businesses connect in more meaningful ways. We know that developers will continue to create amazing and powerful experiences for people all over the world, and we’re excited to see these come to fruition. The team here at Messenger is dedicated to supporting all of this potential; we’d like to thank our community, and as always, please let us know what you think.
By Rachel Franklin, Head of Social VR
Spending time with friends and family creates many of our most meaningful memories, but it’s impossible to always be physically near the people we care about. That’s where the magic of virtual reality comes in. Today, we’re introducing Facebook Spaces — a new VR app where you hang out with friends in a fun, interactive virtual environment as if you were in the same room. Facebook Spaces launches in beta for Oculus Rift and Touch today, and you can download it now from the Oculus Store.
Be Yourself in VR
It’s easy to create an identity that represents the real you in Facebook Spaces. This helps people recognize you and makes VR feel more like hanging out in person. Just choose one of your Facebook photos and you’ll see an array of options for your VR appearance. Start with one of these options, then customize until it feels just right. You can change your eye color, hairstyle, facial features and more until your look fits your identity. It’s all about being yourself.
Get Together, Have Fun and Share Experiences With People You Care About
Once you’ve decided on your look, jump into the experience and invite your Facebook friends to join you.
You can draw in the air with a virtual marker to create anything you can dream up, from a decorative hat to a handmade tic-tac-toe board.
You’ll also find the rich variety of Facebook content at your fingertips to view with friends in VR, including 360 videos and photos that can transport you to new places. You and your friends can relive personal memories from your own Timelines, or even make new ones as you explore things that interest you from people and Pages you follow.
Bring Anyone In On the Fun
Why should the people in VR have all the fun? Facebook Spaces lets you easily phone a friend in the real world with Messenger video calling, so you can bring even more people into your VR space. They can answer your call on their phone to instantly open a window into your virtual world. Whether you want to show off your latest 3D drawing masterpiece, play an amazing 360 video your friend would love, or just spend time chatting, it’s one of the best ways to be in the moment together, from anywhere.
Of course, there’s a selfie stick too. Use it to take photos of your experience and share the memories you create in VR with your friends on Facebook.
Control Your Experience
We want Facebook Spaces to be a comfortable place for everyone. You have control of your experience, including the ability to pause at any time. Pausing moves you into a quiet space where you can take a break away from other people and activities. You can also choose to mute your friends or remove them from your space. Facebook Spaces is all about connecting with friends and family that you know and trust, and we’re committed to making VR a positive place for all.
Today is only the beginning. We’re launching in beta, and we’ll add new features as we learn from your feedback and continue exploring what makes social VR experiences most meaningful. We also plan to bring the experience to more platforms over time. We’ve only just scratched the surface of social VR technology. In the future, it will continue to transform the way people around the world stay connected with their communities and those closest to them. We can’t wait to get there.
By Partha Sundaram, Product Manager for Consumer Payments
Since 2015, you could send and receive money on Messenger, but until now, these person-to-person payments have just been possible between two people.
Starting today for Android and desktop, you can send or receive money between groups of people on Messenger. It’s free, simple, fast and secure. Whether you’re splitting a restaurant bill or chipping in for a group gift, all you need to do is go to a new or existing Messenger group conversation to get started.
Simply tap on the plus sign in the bottom left hand corner of a group conversation to find more features, and tap the payments icon ($). Then, choose who to send or request money from. You can choose everyone in the group or only a few members. Enter the amount you want to request per person or the total sum to divide evenly, either including yourself in the calculation or not. Finally, you can specify what the money is for — maybe a pizza party, teacher gift or more. Once you’re ready, tap Request.
To make it super simple to keep track of everything, a message will appear in the group conversation showing who has paid. At any time, you can also view the Request Details in full-screen. Coordinating group payments has never been easier.
As always in Messenger, you don’t need to remember a password, your debit card information is safe and secure, and the service is totally free. Messenger group payments is available in the US for now; give it a go, and let us know what you think.
For more information, check out the Help Center.
By Alex Deve, Product Director, Groups
People use Facebook to discover and connect with communities in meaningful ways. One way people are forming and strengthening communities is through Facebook Groups. Whether connecting with other fishermen in your town to share tips, organizing a get together for new parents in your neighborhood or finding others dealing with the same medical condition, people use Facebook Groups to connect in personal, practical and powerful ways.
No matter your interests or personal circumstance, there’s probably a group out there for you. In fact, there are tens of millions of active groups on Facebook, and every one of them exists because of the passion and dedication of the group admins who lead these communities. Mark Zuckerberg wrote about the important role that group admins play in his letter to the Facebook community earlier this year.
To celebrate these community builders, we will host our first-ever Facebook Communities Summit on June 22 and 23 in Chicago. The event is an opportunity for a few hundred group admins to gather, share and connect in real life.
We’d love to host each and every admin on Facebook, but space is limited. Admins are invited to apply here for a spot at Facebook Communities Summit. Stay tuned for more event information in the coming weeks.
Today we’re excited to announce the launch of suggestions from M to everyone in the US. M is your helpful assistant in Messenger, powered by artificial intelligence. M offers suggestions by popping into an open conversation to suggest relevant content and capabilities to enrich the way people communicate and get things done.
When we announced M over a year ago, it was a small AI experiment powered by humans that could fulfill almost any request. We learned a lot and these interactions have enabled us to build a completely automated version of M that suggests helpful actions in your chat, exposing features people may not have known were available right in Messenger. Suggestions from M has been testing with a small percentage of users for the past few months — and it has been a great success — today we’re expanding it to all Messenger users in the US.
Suggestions from M appear when it recognizes intent in a conversation and initially will include the following actions:
- Sending stickers: M shares fun sticker suggestions for your daily life interactions like “Thank you” or “Bye-bye.”
- Paying or requesting money: M recognizes when people are discussing payments and gives them the option of easily sending or requesting money.
- Sharing your location: M can suggest an option to share your location during a conversation.
- Making plans: If people are talking about getting together, M helps coordinating a plan.
- Starting a poll (in group conversations only): Have a hard time making decisions in a group? M lets you set a poll topic and vote in group conversations.
- Getting a Ride: Talking about going somewhere? M suggests “Get A Ride” and shares an option of Lyft or Uber.
M relies on AI machine learning techniques. It suggests relevant actions to help manage conversations or help get things done. We are bringing the power of M’s AI technology to support and enhance the Messenger experience and make it more useful, personal and seamless. To experience M, simply chat with a friend or a group as you normally would. M may make a suggestion in a conversation relevant to one of the core actions listed above, and then the M logo and suggestion will appear — it’s that simple. And M learns: the more you use it, the more it can help. You always have the option to ignore or dismiss a suggestion if it’s not helpful, and if you don’t want M’s assistance you can easily mute it in M settings.
As suggestions from M start to roll out to users in the US, Messenger users across the globe will also start to see a redesigned way to compose messages. This update offers an easier way to access and discover Messenger features like our rich visual messaging tools and the ability to quickly share content like video and images directly from the text composer with a long press. We’re also adding a “More” tab to more easily access Messenger features such as Games, Payments, Share Location and Rides.
M is launching today to all iOS and Android users in the US and will eventually roll out to other countries. But this is just the beginning for M… expect to see more and more AI-powered, delightful and relevant experiences improving Messenger for you, every day. We hope that suggestions from M are just the start of what a proactive, helpful and useful assistant can offer to the 1 billion people who use Messenger each month.
By Adam Mosseri, VP, News Feed
We know people want to see accurate information on Facebook – and so do we. False news and hoaxes are harmful to our community and make the world less informed. All of us have a responsibility to curb the spread of false news.
At Facebook we have been focusing on three key areas:
- disrupting economic incentives because most false news is financially motivated;
- building new products to curb the spread of false news; and
- helping people make more informed decisions when they encounter false news.
As part of our ongoing efforts, we’ve worked in consultation with First Draft, a non-profit dedicated to improving skills and standards in the reporting and sharing of information online, to roll out an educational tool to help people spot false news. We’re featuring this tool at the top of News Feed for a few days to people on Facebook in 14 countries.
When people click on this educational tool at the top of their News Feed, they will see more information and resources in the Facebook Help Center, including tips on how to spot false news, such as checking the URL of the site, investigating the source and looking for other reports on the topic.
News Feed is a place for authentic communication. Improving news literacy is a global priority, and we need to do our part to help people understand how to make decisions about which sources to trust.
False news runs counter to our mission to connect people with the stories they find meaningful. We will continue working on this and we know we have more work to do.
By Adam Mosseri, VP, News Feed
We know people want to see accurate information on Facebook – and so do we.
False news is harmful to our community, it makes the world less informed, and it erodes trust. It’s not a new phenomenon, and all of us — tech companies, media companies, newsrooms, teachers — have a responsibility to do our part in addressing it. At Facebook, we’re working to fight the spread of false news in three key areas:
- disrupting economic incentives because most false news is financially motivated;
- building new products to curb the spread of false news; and
- helping people make more informed decisions when they encounter false news.
Disrupting Economic Incentives
When it comes to fighting false news, one of the most effective approaches is removing the economic incentives for traffickers of misinformation. We’ve found that a lot of fake news is financially motivated. These spammers make money by masquerading as legitimate news publishers and posting hoaxes that get people to visit their sites, which are often mostly ads.
Some of the steps we’re taking include:
- Better identifying false news through our community and third-party fact-checking organizations so that we can limit its spread, which, in turn, makes it uneconomical.
- Making it as difficult as possible for people posting false news to buy ads on our platform through strict enforcement of our policies.
- Applying machine learning to assist our response teams in detecting fraud and enforcing our policies against inauthentic spam accounts.
- Updating our detection of fake accounts on Facebook, which makes spamming at scale much harder.
Building New Products
We’re building, testing and iterating on new products to identify and limit the spread of false news. We cannot become arbiters of truth ourselves — it’s not feasible given our scale, and it’s not our role. Instead, we’re working on better ways to hear from our community and work with third parties to identify false news and prevent it from spreading on our platform.
Some of the work includes:
- Ranking Improvements: We’re always looking to improve News Feed by listening to what the community tells us. We’ve found opportunities like the fact that if reading an article makes people significantly less likely to share it, that may be a sign that a story has misled people in some way. We’re continuing to test this signal and others in News Feed ranking in order to reduce the prevalence of false news content.
- Easier Reporting: We’ve always relied on our community to determine what is valuable and what is not. We’re testing ways to make it easier to report a false news story if you see one on Facebook, which you can do by clicking the upper right hand corner of a post. Stories that are flagged as false by our community then might show up lower in your feed.
- Working with Partners: We believe providing more context can help people decide for themselves what to trust and what to share. We’ve started a program to work with independent third-party fact-checking organizations. We’ll use the reports from our community, along with other signals, to send stories to these organizations. If the fact-checking organizations identify a story as false, it will get flagged as disputed and there will be a link to a corresponding article explaining why. Stories that have been disputed also appear lower in News Feed.
Helping People Make More Informed Decisions
Though we’re committed to doing everything we can to reduce the spread of false news to as close to zero as possible, we also need to make sure we take steps to address the problem when people do encounter hoaxes. To that end, we’re exploring ways to give people more context about stories so they can make more informed decisions about what to read, trust and share and ways to give people access to more perspectives about the topics that they’re reading.
Some of the work we’ve been focused on includes:
- Facebook Journalism Project: We are committed to collaborating with news organizations to develop products together, providing tools and services for journalists, and helping people get better information so they can make smart choices about what they read. We are convening key experts and organizations already doing important work in this area, such as the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, and have been listening and learning to help decide what new research to conduct and projects to fund. Working with the News Literacy Project, we are producing a series of public service announcements (PSAs) to help inform people on Facebook about this important issue.
- News Integrity Initiative: We’ve joined a group of over 25 funders and participants — including tech industry leaders, academic institutions, non-profits and third party organizations — to launch the News Integrity Initiative, a global consortium focused on helping people make informed judgments about the news they read and share online. Founding funders of this $14-million fund include Facebook, the Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund, the Ford Foundation, the Democracy Fund, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Tow Foundation, AppNexus, Mozilla and Betaworks. The initiative’s mission is to advance news literacy, to increase trust in journalism around the world and to better inform the public conversation. The initiative, which is administered by the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, will fund applied research and projects, and convene meetings with industry experts.
We need to work across industries to help solve this problem: technology companies, media companies, educational organizations and our own community can come together to help curb the spread of misinformation and false news. By focusing on the three key areas outlined above, we hope we will make progress toward limiting the spread of false news — and toward building a more informed community on Facebook.
By Antigone Davis, Head of Global Safety
Today, we are announcing new tools to help people when intimate images are shared on Facebook without their permission. When this content, often referred to as “revenge porn,” is reported to us, we can now prevent it from being shared on Facebook, Messenger and Instagram. This is part of our ongoing effort to help build a safe community on and off Facebook.
According to a study of US victims of non-consensual intimate images, 93% report significant emotional distress and 82% report significant impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of their life.
We’ve designed our tools to help people in these situations. Here’s how it works:
- If you see an intimate image on Facebook that looks like it was shared without permission, you can report it by using the “Report” link that appears when you tap on the downward arrow or “…” next to a post.
- Specially trained representatives from our Community Operations team review the image and remove it if it violates our Community Standards. In most cases, we will also disable the account for sharing intimate images without permission. We offer an appeals process if someone believes an image was taken down in error.
- We then use photo-matching technologies to help thwart further attempts to share the image on Facebook, Messenger and Instagram. If someone tries to share the image after it’s been reported and removed, we will alert them that it violates our policies and that we have stopped their attempt to share it.
- We also partner with safety organizations to offer resources and support to the victims of this behavior.
These tools, developed in partnership with safety experts, are one example of the potential technology has to help keep people safe. Facebook is in a unique position to prevent harm, one of our five areas of focus as we help build a global community.
We are grateful for all of the advice and assistance we received in developing these tools and resources. We worked with the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative and other companies to create a one-stop destination for victims and others to report this content to the major technology companies. We also launched a guide specific to Facebook. Additionally, the National Network to End Domestic Violence, Center for Social Research, the Revenge Porn Helpline (UK) and the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative provided input and feedback throughout the product-development process.
We convened over 150 safety organizations and experts last year in Kenya, India, Ireland, Washington DC, New York, Spain, Turkey, Sweden and the Netherlands to get feedback on ways we can improve. Their feedback helped drive us to today’s announcement.
We look forward to building on these tools and working with other companies to explore how they could be used across the industry.
To learn more about safety at Facebook, visit: facebook.com/safety.
By Naomi Gleit, VP Social Good
When people mobilize around the causes they care about, it builds a safe and supportive community. Our charitable giving tools have made it easy for people to raise millions of dollars for nonprofits to support those in need directly on Facebook. Today we are expanding those tools to include personal fundraisers, as well as more options for people to continue to fundraise for nonprofits.
Introducing Personal Fundraisers
Personal fundraisers allow people to raise money for themselves, a friend or someone or something not on Facebook, for example a pet. Personal fundraisers will launch in the US for people aged 18 years or older, and in beta over the next few weeks, as we hope to continue to learn and improve the product to make it even more useful. For example, we will begin with six specific categories for critical financial needs and include a 24-hour fundraiser review process. As we learn more, we hope to expand our categories and automate more of the review process.
Personal fundraisers will have a 6.9% + $.30 fee, that will go to payment processing fees, fundraiser vetting, security and fraud protection. Facebook’s goal is to create a platform for good that’s sustainable over the long-term, and not to make a profit from our charitable giving tools.
Your personal fundraiser can raise money to cover costs related to:
- Education: such as tuition, books or classroom supplies
- Medical: such as medical procedures, treatments or injuries
- Pet Medical: such as veterinary procedures, treatments or injuries
- Crisis Relief: such as public crises or natural disasters
- Personal Emergency: such as a house fire, theft or car accident
- Funeral and Loss: such as burial expenses or living costs after losing a loved one
Personal fundraisers allow people to reach friends where they already are to quickly build momentum for their cause. Friends can donate in a few taps with secure payments, without leaving Facebook. Since you can see real profiles on Facebook, donors will see how they are connected to the person who created the fundraiser, the person benefiting and others who are supporting the fundraiser.
Donate Buttons in Facebook Live for Pages
In 2016, we made it possible for people to raise money for more than 750,000 nonprofits through fundraisers, and donate buttons in their live broadcasts and posts. Today, we’re announcing that verified Pages can now add donate buttons to their live broadcasts. This gives public figures, brands, businesses and organizations new ways to fundraise on Facebook for the nonprofits they support. People watching the live broadcast can donate as they watch, or give once the broadcast has ended and is posted on the Page.
We’re constantly inspired by all the good done by people on Facebook and are committed to building tools that help build a supportive and safe global community.
We want to make it fast, fun and easy for people to share creative photos and videos with whomever they choose, for however long they choose— and the more we share with each other, the more open and connected our community can be. Today we’re starting to roll out a new camera with effects and two additional ways to share the photos and videos you take.
Camera Effects: Let Your Camera do the Talking
Starting this week on iOS and Android, you can tap on the camera icon on the top left corner of the Facebook app or swipe right from News Feed to try out the new in-app camera. The Facebook camera is packed with dozens of effects like masks, frames and interactive filters that you can apply to your photos and videos. Reactive effects let you interact with dynamic objects— like falling snow—and style effects apply an artistic filter to your video in real time, letting you turn your everyday selfie into a Picasso-style work of art.
We’re also partnering with brands to create masks for upcoming movies Alien: Covenant, Despicable Me 3, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Power Rangers, Smurfs: The Lost Village and Wonder Woman.
Additionally, we’re including guest art from visual artists like Douglas Coupland and Hattie Stewart. We’ll regularly refresh the creative effects in the camera to give you fun new effects to explore.
Stories: Show Friends What You’re Up To
The Instagram community has shown us that it can be fun to share things that disappear after a day, so in the main Facebook app we’re also introducing Facebook Stories, which lets you share multiple photos and videos as part of a visual collection atop News Feed. Your friends can view photos or videos your story for 24 hours, and stories won’t appear on your Timeline or in News Feed unless you post them there, too.
To add to your story, tap on the “Your Story” icon in the Stories bar at the top of News Feed.Direct: Easily Share With Exactly Who You Want
In addition to sharing to your Story, we know you may want to share your photos and videos with specific friends. We’ve also added Direct, an option that’s designed for sharing individual photos and videos with specific friends for a limited time.
When you send a photo or video via Direct, your friends will be able to view it once and replay it or write a reply. Once the conversation on the photo or video ends, the content is no longer visible in Direct.Over the coming months, we plan to introduce new ways for the Facebook community to create their own frames and effects that can be used on any photo or video created with the new Facebook camera. Our goal is for the camera to be a home to hundreds of dynamic and fun effects that give you new ways to connect with friends, family, and your community.
We hope that with the new Facebook camera, Stories and Direct, it will be easier than ever to see the world through each other’s eyes, and we can’t wait to see the photos and videos you create. In the meantime, here’s one of my own in my tropical island disguise, hiding from work with my cat Ebi.
By Selena Wang, Product Manager, Messenger
Today we’re excited to announce a new way to share your location in Messenger. Our new Live Location feature makes it simple and seamless for you to choose to share where you are with your friends and family. This is rolling out globally and is available on both iOS and Android.
We’ve been testing this for a little while, and people tell us that Live Location is helpful when trying to coordinate with friends, telling people how close you are when you’re on your way to an appointment, or even sharing where you are with your roommate when you’re on your way home at night. You can share your Live Location with a group of friends in Messenger or just with one person — it’s up to you!
How It Works
- To share your Live Location in a message on iOS, tap the Location icon or tap the More icon and then select Location.
- With today’s update, you’ll see a map of your current location and the option to tap a blue bar to share your Live Location.
- If you choose to share your Live Location, the person or people you share it with will be able to see where you are on a map for the next 60 minutes.
- You’ll be able to see an estimate of how long it would take to get to others’ locations by car. (The ETA is seen by the person with whom the location is shared.)
- You can stop sharing your Live Location at any time; just tap Stop Sharing.
- A small clock in the lower right hand corner of the map will also let you know how much longer you’re sharing your location for.
- For Android, tap the Location icon or tap the More icon and then select Location.
- You’ll see a map of your current location and the option to tap a blue bar to share your Live Location for 60 minutes. Just like on iOS, you’ll have the option to stop sharing your Live Location by tapping Stop Sharing, and you’ll see how much longer you’re sharing your Live Location for via a small count down clock in the lower right hand corner of the map.
It’s still possible to share a static point on a map, too. For example, if you want to tell a friend which coffee shop to meet you at, tap the the location pin or the More icon, and then instead of choosing Share Live Location, tap the red pin in the upper right hand corner. From there, you can search for a place to share, or you can drag and drop the pin on the map. Then, tap Send.
Sharing your location in a Messenger conversation — either continuously for an hour with Live Location or as a static point — is completely optional. You are always in control. For additional information and instructions on sending or sharing a location in Messenger, please visit the Help Center.
By Drew Moxon, Product Manager, Messenger
Messenger is a great way to communicate with just one person or with a group of people. Today, we’re introducing two new features that improve group conversations to make them more fun and useful.
Message Reactions are the ability to react to an individual message with a specific emotion, quickly showing acknowledgement or expressing how you feel in a lightweight way. For example, if someone messages a photo of their cute pet, you could respond with the love reaction. Or, if someone is trying to coordinate dinner plans, you could easily respond with a yes or no reaction to indicate your preferences.
To add a reaction, press and hold any message, and then tap to make your selection from the love, smile, wow, sad, angry, yes and no emojis.
You’ll be able to see how people have reacted to a message in the lower corner of the message. There, you’ll see the reactions people selected alongside a number indicating how many people reacted to the message. Tapping on the emojis will show you which members of your conversation reacted which way.
When someone reacts to a message you sent, you’ll see a small animation when you’re looking at the conversation.
And, if you don’t have Messenger open, you’ll receive a notification that lets you know who reacted to your message and how.
Messenger Reactions use Messenger emojis. Messenger Reactions work in one on one conversations as well as group conversations and can be used to comment on any message — text, stickers, videos, GIFs and even other emoji.
Mentions is a way to directly notify someone when they’ve been mentioned in a conversation. To mention someone, type the “@” symbol or start typing the first few letters of the name or nickname of the person you want to notify and select them from the list.
When the message is sent, it will appear with highlighted text for the others in the group to see.
When a person is mentioned, instead of simply seeing that someone responded in the conversation, he or she will receive a new kind of notification that lets them know they were called out specifically. That way, it’s easy to jump right back in to the conversation to answer someone’s question or to provide a response.
Everyone in the conversation can see the call out in the conversation, and everyone gets a notification just like before, but only the specified person in the group conversation gets a notification that they have been mentioned. You can choose to turn off these notifications at any time.
Reactions and Mentions will also be available for Work Chat in Workplace, our global communications platform for organizations to collaborate better. Both features will begin rolling out today and will be available globally in the coming days.
We’re excited to announce that, as of today, people around the world can broadcast live video to Facebook from their desktop or laptop computers. While it’s been possible for people to go live to Facebook from mobile devices since last year, desktop or laptop computers provide a stable camera setup that can be beneficial to many types of Facebook Live broadcasts — from Q&As to vlogs to tutorials to any broadcast from someone who isn’t on the move.
To get started on your live broadcast from a computer, click “Live Video” from the top of your News Feed or Timeline, then follow the prompts to add a description and choose your audience.
Go Live with Streaming Software
We’ve also added a new feature that makes it easy to use streaming software or external hardware when going live from a computer. This capability previously was possible only through a Page, but we’ve heard feedback from our community that it would be useful for profiles, too.
With this update, people can seamlessly share their screens, insert graphics, switch cameras, or use professional equipment in Facebook Live videos. They also have the option to broadcast to Facebook Groups they belong to, Facebook Events they’re part of, or Facebook Pages they manage.
If you’re a gamer, this new feature makes it easier than ever to stream your PC gameplay to friends and followers and engage with them while you play. If you’re giving your friends or followers a tutorial or how-to guide, you can incorporate on-screen graphics, titles, and overlays. Or if you’re an artist, you can go live and switch seamlessly between cameras as you narrate the process.
We want to make Facebook Live as enjoyable and interactive as possible, and we hope these updates will make it easier for people to connect, hang out, and share with friends and public audiences.
Choose from More than 5,000 Frames, Effects and Stickers to Make Today Your Day
By Stan Chudnovsky, Head of Product for Messenger
At the end of last year, we launched Messenger’s new fast, powerful built-in camera to help make your conversations better than ever. Billions of photos and videos have been sent capturing all those heartfelt, funny and serious messages that make the Messenger community so powerful. We love seeing how much fun people are having with Messenger’s new visual tools, especially our most popular art and effects like floating hearts and recently, Mardi Gras frames.
At the same time, we also began testing a way for you to share these photos and videos — as they happen — by adding to your Messenger Day, where many of your friends can view and reply to them. You’re always in control of who can see your day — share it with everyone, or choose specific friends and family members on Messenger. Since everything you add disappears after 24 hours, feel free to add as often as you want. Millions of people around the world have already used Messenger Day to show what they’re doing, how they’re feeling and to invite friends to join them for activities — or just to chat.
Today we are starting to roll out Messenger Day globally on Android and iOS.
Here’s how Messenger Day works:
- First make sure you’ve updated your Messenger app so you have the latest version.
- Open Messenger, and tap on the camera highlighted with a sun to celebrate this launch. Doing so drops you right into the full-screen camera. Or, tap the “Add to your day” button at the top of your inbox to get started.
- Snap a quick selfie or take a photo or video of what’s around you.
- To add art and effects, tap the smiley face icon in the top right and then tap to add to your photo or video. You can also add text over your images by tapping the “Aa” icon, and you can overlay a drawing by tapping the squiggly line in the top right corner.
- Once you have your photo or video the way you want it, tap the arrow in the bottom right corner. You can then add directly to your day, save it to your phone’s camera roll, and/or you can choose to send it to a specific person or group of people. The photo or video that you add to your day will be viewable for 24 hours.
You can also add to your day from a conversation you’re having with a friend or group of people. After you send a photo or video, you’ll see the option to “add to your day.” Simply tap that text, and you’ll be asked to confirm you’d like to add it to your day.
While you’re messaging with someone, you’ll see if they have anything new from their day, too.
Of course it’s up to you if you want to share your day with everyone you talk to in Messenger or just your closest friends and family. You can customize how you share by tapping the “more” icon and then choosing “Everyone Except” or “Custom.” If you share something to your day that you decide you want to take down, just tap the image at the top of your inbox, then tap the three dots at the bottom right hand corner of your image, and then select “Delete.”
We also shared Messenger Day with a few creative users. Check out the frames they designed here:
For more information on Messenger Day, be sure to check out the Help Center.
Ever since 360 photos and videos came to Facebook, people around the world have embraced these new formats. 360 can take you into the action with your favorite sports teams, bring you behind the scenes at awards shows, transport you to beautiful places around the world, and put you at the center of breaking news moments like never before.
Today, we’re making 360 photos and videos even more immersive and easier to discover with the launch of the Facebook 360 app for Samsung Gear VR, powered by Oculus. The app is an exciting new way to explore Facebook 360 photos and videos.
To download the Facebook 360 app for Gear VR, open the Oculus app on your Gear VR-compatible Samsung device and search for Facebook 360, or visit the Oculus site to get started.
With more than 25 million 360 photos and more than 1 million 360 videos posted on Facebook to date, there’s plenty of great content to discover in Facebook 360 for Gear VR. The app is a one-stop shop for catching up on what you may have missed from your friends and others you follow, diving into the 360 photos and videos you’ve saved, and finding something new to enjoy.
At launch, the app will feature four feeds:
- Explore: Discover some of the most interesting and popular 360 content on Facebook from media companies, organizations and individual creators.
- Following: Experience 360 content that your friends have posted on Facebook as well as 360 content from Pages and people you follow.
- Saved: Find all the 360 content you’ve saved from News Feed ready for you to enjoy at a more convenient time.
- Timeline: Relive your memories in a new way through your own 360 photo and video uploads.
In the Facebook 360 app, you can react to 360 photos and videos and post them to Facebook, with more social features coming soon.
We look forward to seeing how people use the app to connect with the people and things they care about, and we’ll continue to improve the experience and hope to bring it to more platforms over time.
The fragmentation of digital media has made it difficult for marketers to get a complete view of audiences across devices. In fact, 82% of marketers say they are constantly searching for new tools to help optimize their cross-device advertising strategies. (Embrace Cross-Device Solutions In The Age Of The Customer by Forrester & Facebook, May 2016)
Over the past few years, Atlas has brought people-based measurement to some of the largest marketers in the world and has run measurement campaigns with more than 300 of the world’s top advertisers. During this time, we’ve thought about ways to bring the insights from Atlas to more marketers, regardless of their size.Developing new advanced measurement tools
Businesses of all sizes are searching for tools that offer clearer insight into how many people they’ve reached and which publishers deserve credit for the brand or sales outcomes generated from their ads. In September, we began integrating the Atlas team into our broader measurement organization to build the tools to make this possible.
To continue this effort, we’re beginning a test of new advanced measurement tools focused on reach and attribution. These tools, previously offered by Atlas, will soon be available through Facebook Business Manager—bringing people-based measurement to more marketers through Facebook’s easy-to-use interfaces. Advanced measurement will make it easier to compare the effectiveness of Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network alongside other publishers.Prioritizing accessibility for all marketers
We hope to make sophisticated measurement—which has historically been expensive and reliant on intense collaboration with digital platforms—more accessible to a wider range of advertisers.
“Consistent and accurate measurement across browsers, devices and platforms is critical to evaluating marketing performance and increasing our client’s ROI,” says Slavi Samardzija, global CEO of Annalect, Omnicom Media Group’s data technology platform. “As an early and ongoing advocate for a ‘cross everything standard’, and the first media agency holding company to test Atlas measurement across clients and geographies, we see the launch of advanced measurement as a significant step toward achieving that goal industrywide.”
Over the coming year, we look forward to making advanced measurement tools available to more Facebook advertisers around the world. Our advanced measurement solution will become the central destination for people-based, cross-publisher measurement. We’ll also look to integrate additional measurement tools for performance and brand marketers beneath the advanced measurement umbrella. And, we’ll start transitioning clients who use our Atlas measurement solutions to our advanced measurement products.
Our goal is to help all businesses understand how their marketing drives value both on and off Facebook. To that end, we’re keeping accessibility and comparability top of mind as we build out advanced measurement solutions. To learn more about the tools, please reach out to your Facebook representative.