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By Monika Bickert, Director of Global Policy Management
In the days after my husband died, I kept sending him text messages. His cell phone lay uncharged on my nightstand, just a few feet away from me, and I knew no one would ever read the words I wrote, but I kept writing anyway. I needed to feel like I was still connected to him. As I sat in bed texting, I knew that my phone also held recent photos of Phil smiling with our daughters and a video of him laughing with his brother just two days before I took him to the hospital, but I didn’t look at those. It would have hurt too much. Instead, I just kept writing to him, pretending he was on the other side of the messages I was sending and would soon write back.
When we lose someone we love, we often feel a desperate need to connect to them in whatever way we can. In moments like that, our phones, the internet and social media can sometimes be a refuge. We can talk to our loved ones, as I did, or when we’re ready to face the memories, we can lose ourselves in old emails, photos, videos and posts. With an ease that wasn’t possible 20 years ago, we can now hear and see our loved ones after they are gone, and we can share those memories with others who are grieving.
But other times, the online world can make loss even more painful. The reminders of our loved ones are everywhere, and with each reminder a renewed realization of their death. For months after Phil died, I’d cry when I’d receive an Amazon email prompting him to order his regular shipment of secondhand detective novels, or a message from his pharmacy cheerfully reminding him that his chemotherapy was ready for pickup. Even now, I pause whenever I log into Facebook and see a post of mine resurfaced from years ago. I worry it will be one of the many I shared with friends over the course of Phil’s battle with cancer, detailing his progress and hinting at our naïve faith that he would continue to beat the odds.
Depending on the circumstances of a person’s death, those online reminders can be overwhelming. A mother who loses her daughter to domestic violence may feel sick when she looks online and sees photos of her daughter’s wedding day. A university student who receives a birthday reminder for a roommate who died by suicide might feel grief more acutely thinking of all the expressions of love and support his roommate would be receiving if he were around.
Our Approach at Facebook
When people come to Facebook after suffering a loss, we want them to feel comfort, not pain, which is why we stop sending birthday reminders once we know someone has passed away, and why we try to make it easy for surviving family members to reach us.
All too often, however, it’s difficult for us to know what action to take with the account of someone who has died. What should we do with an account of a deceased young woman, for instance, when one of her parents wants to delete the account but the other wants to preserve it as a memorial for friends and family? How do we know what the daughter would have wanted? And what should we do if they want to see the private messages between the daughter and her friends – friends who are still alive and don’t want their messages to become public?
These questions — how to weigh survivors’ competing interests, determine the wishes of the deceased, and protect the privacy of third parties – have been some of the toughest we’ve confronted, and we still don’t have all the answers. Laws may provide clarity, but often they do not. In many countries, the legal framework for transferring assets to surviving family members does not account for digital assets like social media or email accounts. We are, however, doing our part to try and make these situations easier for everyone.
Respect the Wishes of the Deceased
Where the law permits, we try to respect the wishes of those who have passed away. Sometimes, however, we simply don’t know what the person would have wanted. If a bereaved spouse asks us to add her as a friend to her late husband’s profile so she can see his photos and posts, how do we know if that’s what her husband would have wanted? Is there a reason they were not previously Facebook friends? Does it mean something if she had sent him a friend request when he was alive and he had rejected it? What if the wife had simply never been on Facebook until after her husband’s death?
If we don’t know what the deceased person would have wanted, we try to leave the account exactly as that person left it. When we learn that someone has passed away, our standard process is to add “Remembering” above the name on the person’s profile, to make clear that the account is now a memorial site, and to stop any new attempts to log into the account. Once we’ve memorialized an account, anything on the profile remains on Facebook and is visible to the people who could already see it before the profile was memorialized. We don’t remove or change anything. This is our way of respecting the choices someone made while alive.
Memorialization is our default action, but we know that some people might not want their account preserved this way. They might prefer that we delete their profile. Recognizing this, we give people a way to let us know they want their account permanently deleted when they die. We may also delete profiles when the next of kin tells us that the deceased loved one would have preferred that we delete the account rather than memorialize it.
Other people might want a friend or family member to be able to manage their profile as a memorial site after their death. That’s why in 2015, we created the option for people to choose a legacy contact. A legacy contact is a family member or friend who can manage certain features on your account if you pass away, such as changing your profile picture, accepting friend requests or adding a pinned post to the top of your profile. They can also elect to delete your account. You can give your legacy contact permission to download an archive of the photos, posts and profile information you shared on Facebook, but they won’t be able to log in as you or see your private messages. Find out more about legacy contacts and how to add one to your account in our Help Center.
Protect the Privacy of Survivors
Even where the laws are clear and the intent of the deceased person is clear, we sometimes have other interests to consider. For instance, if a father loses a teenaged son to suicide, the father might want to read the private messages of his son to understand what was happening in his son’s life. Had he been struggling in his university classes? Was he having problems with his boyfriend? As natural as it might seem to provide those messages to the father, we also have to consider that the people who exchanged messages with the son likely expected those messages would remain private.
Although cases like this are heartbreaking, we generally can’t turn over private messages on Facebook without affecting other people’s privacy. In a private conversation between two people, we assume that both people intended the messages to remain private. And even where it feels right to turn over private messages to family members, laws may prevent us from doing so. The Electronic Communications Privacy Act and Stored Communications Act, for instance, prevent us from relying upon family consent to disclose the contents of a person’s communications.
We’re Still Learning
Despite our efforts to respect the wishes of those who pass away and those who survive them, we still encounter difficult situations where we end up disappointing people.
And even when we know perfectly and can act consistently with the wishes of the deceased and their loved ones, we know our actions will be of limited comfort. As I’m learning from my own experience, grief doesn’t recede quickly or quietly. Nearly a year after Phil died, I still catch my breath when I look through old photos on my phone. Some of those photos, like the ones I took of Phil in the hospital when I mistakenly thought we’d be going home the next day, move me to tears.
But others, like the one of him standing proudly in our backyard with our daughters on Father’s Day, are starting to make me smile again. Those flashes of happiness, however brief, prove to me that reminders of our loved ones don’t have to be reminders of loss. And that, in turn, gives me hope that social media and the rest of our online world, rather than provoking pain, can ultimately ease our grief.
By Baraa Hamodi, Engineer, Zahir Bokhari, Engineer, and Yun Zhang, Engineer
As part of our ongoing efforts to fight clickbait and improve the integrity of information on Facebook, we are announcing today two updates that will limit the spread of stories in News Feed that feature either fake video play buttons embedded in their imagery or videos of only a static image.
People want to see accurate information on Facebook, and so do we. When people click on an image in their News Feed featuring a play button, they expect a video to start playing. Spammers often use fake play buttons to trick people into clicking links to low quality websites.
Similarly, these deceptive spammers also use static images disguised as videos to trick people into clicking on a low quality experience. To limit this, during the coming weeks we will begin demoting stories that feature fake video play buttons and static images disguised as videos in News Feed.
Authentic communication is one of our core News Feed values, and we know our community values it.
How Will This Impact My Page?
Publishers that rely on these intentionally deceptive practices should expect the distribution of those clickbait stories to markedly decrease. Most Pages won’t see significant changes to their distribution in News Feed. But, as always, publishers should refer to our publishing best practices.
By Mike Nowak, Product Director
People come to Facebook to send well-wishes and celebrate birthdays with friends. In fact, every day more than 45 million people give birthday wishes on Facebook, which is why it’s important to us to ensure you can celebrate the way you want to.
We’re excited to announce two new birthday experiences that we hope will make birthdays even more meaningful while you’re celebrating on Facebook.
Giving Back On Your Birthday
People often dedicate their birthday to support a cause, and we’ve seen people using Facebook to raise money for causes they care about. For those in the US, we’re now making it easier to do this by giving you the opportunity to create a fundraiser for your birthday directly on Facebook.
Two weeks before your birthday, you’ll see a message from Facebook in your News Feed giving you the option to create a fundraiser for your birthday. You can create a fundraiser for any of the 750,000 US nonprofits available for fundraising on Facebook. Your friends will receive a notification inviting them to support your cause in honor of your special day.
Wish Your Best Friends Happy Birthday With a Video
We wanted to make birthdays even more special by giving people the opportunity to share a birthday wish with a close friend on their special day, which is why we’ve introduced shareable birthday videos made especially for you and your close friends.
These videos will be shown to you on the day of a close friend’s birthday, and like our other personalized videos, we created these videos because we wanted to make the birthday experience on Facebook even more fun for the special relationships in your life.
Birthdays have always been a part of Facebook, and we hope to continue providing you with a variety of experiences that make celebrating on the platform fun and meaningful for you and your friends.
by Shali Nguyen, Product Design Manager and Ryan Freitas, Design Director
Every person’s News Feed is different and populated with a unique set of stories — from photos and videos to GIFs and links. And with so many types of stories available, each feed is more complex than ever. In order to make News Feed more conversational and easier to read and navigate, we’ll be making a few updates to its design over the coming weeks.
We’re always working to help people have more lively and expressive conversations on Facebook. More and more, comments have become the way to have conversations about a post with other people. We’ve updated our comment style and made it easier to see which comments are direct replies to another person.
We’re making updates to refresh the look and feel of News Feed, including:
- Increased color contrast so that typography is more legible
- Larger link previews so everything is easier to read
- Updated icons and Like, Comment, and Share buttons that are larger and easier to tap
- Circular profile pictures to show who’s posting or commenting
We wanted to improve how people navigate News Feed to create a more consistent experience. We’re making it easier to:
- See where a link will take you before clicking on it
- See whose post you’re commenting on, reacting to, or reading while you’re in the post
- Return to News Feed once you’ve finished reading via a more prominent back button
Will This Impact My Page?
These design updates should not affect Pages’ reach or referral traffic.
By Deborah Liu, VP, Marketplace
Today, we’re starting to roll out Marketplace to 17 countries across Europe (Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland), giving more people a single destination on Facebook to discover, buy and sell goods in their local communities.
Marketplace has already expanded to six countries (Australia, Canada, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand and the UK). Whether you’re a new parent looking for baby clothes or a collector looking for a rare find, you can feel good about buying and selling on Marketplace because it’s easy to view the public profiles of buyers and sellers, your mutual friends, and how long they’ve been on Facebook.
Throughout our initial rollout we have focused on making it easy for people to connect, browse and discover products. In May, more than 18 million new items posted for sale in Marketplace in the US, and that number continues to grow.
Go to our Help Center for more tips on how to buy and sell in Marketplace.
By Rob Leathern, Product Management Director and Bobbie Chang, Software Engineer
We are always working to combat the spread of misinformation and the financially-motivated bad actors who create misleading experiences for people. Today we’re sharing additional steps we’ve taken to remove even more of them from Facebook, so that what people see after clicking an ad or post matches their expectations.
Some of the worst offenders use a technique known as “cloaking” to circumvent Facebook’s review processes and show content to people that violates Facebook’s Community Standards and Advertising Policies. Here, these bad actors disguise the true destination of an ad or post, or the real content of the destination page, in order to bypass Facebook’s review processes. For example, they will set up web pages so that when a Facebook reviewer clicks a link to check whether it’s consistent with our policies, they are taken to a different web page than when someone using the Facebook app clicks that same link. Cloaked destination pages, which frequently include diet pills, pornography and muscle building scams, create negative and disruptive experiences for people.
Since cloaking exists across many of today’s digital platforms, we will also be collaborating closely with other companies in the industry to find new ways to combat it and punish bad actors. Over the past few months we have been ramping up our enforcement across ads, posts and Pages, and have strengthened our policies to explicitly call out this practice. We will ban advertisers or Pages found to be cloaking from the platform.
How We Identify Cloaking
We are utilizing artificial intelligence and have expanded our human review processes to help us identify, capture, and verify cloaking. We can now better observe differences in the type of content served to people using our apps compared to our own internal systems.
In the past few months these new steps have resulted in us taking down thousands of these offenders and disrupting their economic incentives for misleading people.
How Will This Impact My Page?
We see cloaking as deliberate and deceptive, and will not tolerate it on Facebook. We will remove Pages that engage in cloaking. Otherwise Pages should not see changes to their referral traffic.
By Daniel Danker, Director of Product
Watching video on Facebook has the incredible power to connect people, spark conversation, and foster community. On Facebook, videos are discovered through friends and bring communities together. As more and more people enjoy this experience, we’ve learned that people like the serendipity of discovering videos in News Feed, but they also want a dedicated place they can go to watch videos. That’s why last year we launched the Video tab in the U.S., which offered a predictable place to find videos on Facebook. Now we want to make it even easier to catch up with shows you love.Introducing Watch
We’re introducing Watch, a new platform for shows on Facebook. Watch will be available on mobile, on desktop and laptop, and in our TV apps. Shows are made up of episodes — live or recorded — and follow a theme or storyline. To help you keep up with the shows you follow, Watch has a Watchlist so you never miss out on the latest episodes.
Watch is personalized to help you discover new shows, organized around what your friends and communities are watching. For example, you’ll find sections like “Most Talked About,” which highlights shows that spark conversation, “What’s Making People Laugh,” which includes shows where many people have used the “Haha” reaction, and “What Friends Are Watching,” which helps you connect with friends about shows they too are following.
We’ve learned from Facebook Live that people’s comments and reactions to a video are often as much a part of the experience as the video itself. So when you watch a show, you can see comments and connect with friends and other viewers while watching, or participate in a dedicated Facebook Group for the show.A Platform for Shows
Watch is a platform for all creators and publishers to find an audience, build a community of passionate fans, and earn money for their work. We think a wide variety of Facebook shows can be successful, particularly:
- Shows that engage fans and community. Nas Daily publishes a daily show where he makes videos together with his fans from around the world. The Watchlist makes it easy for fans to catch every day’s new episode.
- Live shows that connect directly with fans. Gabby Bernstein, a New York Times bestselling author, motivational speaker, and life coach, uses a combination of recorded and live episodes to connect with her fans and answer questions in real time.
- Shows that follow a narrative arc or have a consistent theme. Tastemade’s Kitchen Little is a funny show about kids who watch a how-to video of a recipe, then instruct professional chefs on how to make it. Each episode features a new child, a new chef, and a new recipe. Unsurprisingly, the food doesn’t always turn out as expected.
- Live events that bring communities together. Major League Baseball is broadcasting a game a week on Facebook, enabling people to watch live baseball while connecting with friends and fellow fans on the platform.
We think Watch will be home to a wide range of shows, from reality to comedy to live sports. To help inspire creators and seed the ecosystem, we’ve also funded some shows that are examples of community-oriented and episodic video series. For example, Returning the Favor is a series hosted by Mike Rowe where he finds people doing something extraordinary for their community, tells the world about it, and in turn does something extraordinary for them. Candidates are nominated by Mike’s fans on Facebook.
We’re excited to see how creators and publishers use shows to connect with their fans and community. You can learn more about making shows on our Media blog.
We’ll be introducing Watch to a limited group of people in the U.S. and plan to bring the experience to more people soon. Similarly, we’ll be opening up Shows to a limited group of creators and plan to roll out to all soon.
We are continuing in our commitment to provide regular updates on changes to or additions of metrics across Facebook ads and Pages. Today, we are sharing two new metrics updates: removal of unintentional clicks on ads in the Audience Network and new ad impression reporting.Removing unintentional clicks from Audience Network
When browsing across the web or in an app, ads may pop up in places that cause people to accidentally click on them. These interactions are often quick, as the person immediately closes out of the landing page to return to their original destination.
These ad experiences can be profitable in the short term for publishers, but they fail to deliver good experiences for businesses or people. For advertisers, these kinds of unintentional clicks can dilute the value of their campaigns.
To understand if a click is intentional, one of the metrics we look at in our delivery models and quality detection systems is “drop off rates”—the time a user spends on the landing page of an ad. We found that people who click on an Audience Network ad and spend less than 2 seconds on a destination page almost always clicked accidentally. Moving forward, we will no longer count clicks categorized as unintentional in advertiser’s campaigns.
We’re also clarifying our policies around ad placements that better service people and businesses. You can learn more about those changes here.
Moving forward, we will begin experimenting with more ways to reduce the number of unintentional clicks by looking further into additional bounce rate metrics, and trying to prevent users from accidentally clicking in the first place.
Above is an example of an ad placement that may lead to an unintentional clickBetter view of total campaign impressions
Advertisers tell us they want more simple insights into how their ads are delivered. To give businesses a better view of the total impressions ads receive, we are providing two new metrics to help offer more clarity on the number of ads shown to people.
Gross impressions capture all impressions, billable and non-billable. Impressions aren’t billed if they were delivered after an advertiser’s budget was spent, are served to the same person within a short time, or are due to detectable fraud. Gross impressions gives marketers the opportunity to quantify non-billable impressions.
Auto-refresh impressions provide a granular look at impressions generated from right-hand side placements. Ads placed on the right-hand side of the desktop News Feed are automatically refreshed with a new set of ads after a period of time. Auto-refresh impressions will show you how many impressions on your right-hand side ad are a result of a browser refresh.
These updates offer more transparency into ad delivery and help ensure that you pay for valuable impressions. As always, keep checking back for further metrics updates in the coming months.
More About Our People, Programs and Progress in 2017
By Maxine Williams, Global Director of Diversity
With a global community of over 2 billion people on Facebook, the case for a more diverse and inclusive company is clear. Diversity helps us build better products, make better decisions and better serve our community.
We aren’t where we’d like to be, but we’re encouraged that over the past year, representation for people from underrepresented groups at Facebook has increased. This year, the number of women globally has risen from 33% to 35% and the number of women in tech has increased from 17% to 19%. Women now make up 27% of all new graduate hires in engineering and 21% of all new technical hires at Facebook. In the US, we have increased the representation of Hispanics from 4% to 5%, and Black people from 2% to 3%.
We are proud of the contributions of all of our people. Product Design Director Dantley Davis’ team is focused on building AR capabilities for the Facebook Camera. Delfina Eberly, VP of Infrastructure, Site Operations, runs our cutting-edge data center infrastructure. Community Operations Director James Mitchell’s team helps keep people safe on Instagram. We are already seeing a tangible impact from a more diverse Facebook – and we want to continue to find, grow, and keep the best talent.
We’re committed to building a more diverse, inclusive Facebook – and will remain committed. Much like our approach to launching new products on our platform, we are willing to experiment and listen to feedback. We want to highlight three programs in particular:
- Diverse Slate Approach: The more people you interview who don’t look or think like you, the more likely you are to hire someone from a diverse background. To hard wire this behavior at Facebook, we introduced our Diverse Slate Approach (DSA) in 2015 and have since rolled it out globally. DSA sets the expectation that hiring managers will consider candidates from underrepresented backgrounds when interviewing for an open position.
- Managing Unconscious Bias: Our publicly available Managing Unconscious Bias class encourages our people to challenge and correct bias as soon as they see it – in others, and in themselves. We’ve also doubled down by adding two new internal programs: Managing Inclusion, which trains managers to understand the issues that affect marginalized communities, and Be The Ally, which gives everyone the common language, tools and space to practice supporting others.
- Facebook University: We want to increase access and opportunity for students with an interest in software engineering, business and analytics. Facebook University gives underrepresented students extra training and mentorship earlier in their college education. We started FBU in 2013 with 30 students, and over 500 students have since graduated from the program, with many returning to Facebook for internships and full-time jobs.
You can see our latest employment data, read more about the impact of our people, and review some of our short, medium and long-term efforts in detail here.
By Jiayi Wen, Engineer, and Shengbo Guo, Engineer
We’re always listening to our community to understand how we can improve their experience of News Feed. We’ve heard from people that it’s frustrating to click on a link that leads to a slow-loading webpage. In fact, even more broadly on the internet, we’ve found that when people have to wait for a site to load for too long, they abandon what they were clicking on all together. As many as 40 percent of website visitors abandon a site after three seconds of delay.
During the coming months we’re making an update to News Feed to show people more stories that will load quickly on mobile and fewer stories that might take longer to load, so they can spend more time reading the stories they find relevant.
Taking loading time into account
With this update, we’ll soon take into account the estimated load time of a webpage that someone clicks to from any link in News Feed on the mobile app. Factors such as the person’s current network connection and the general speed of the corresponding webpage will be considered. If signals indicate the webpage will load quickly, the link to that webpage might appear higher in your feed.
For years, we have taken many factors into account to make sure people quickly see relevant stories to them — including the type of device you’re on or the speed of your mobile network or wifi connection. For example, if you are on a slower internet connection that won’t load videos, News Feed will show you fewer videos and more status updates and links. And to help load stories faster for people on slow or poor network connections, we prefetch stories by downloading mobile content before someone clicks a link, which we’ve seen can shorten load time for webpages by more than 25%.
Will This Impact my Page?
This update will roll out gradually over the coming months. We anticipate that most Pages won’t see any significant changes to their distribution in News Feed. Webpages that are particularly slow could see decreases in referral traffic. To help webpages avoid experiencing potential decreases, we’re sharing tips to help site owners make their site faster and more mobile-friendly. See here for publisher best practices for improving mobile site load time.
As always, publishers should keep in mind these basic guideposts to reach their audience on Facebook and continue to post stories that are relevant to their audiences and that their readers find informative.
By Elliot Schrage, VP Corporate Communications & Public Policy
Facebook stands for community. Our commitment extends from our global community to our physical headquarters in California. We are particularly dedicated to being an active and responsible partner at our home.
Last December, we announced a partnership with Envision Transform Build and the cities of East Palo Alto and Menlo Park to create regional solutions to the affordable housing crisis. We’re pleased with the progress this partnership has made and we’re excited to announce that the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) will manage the Catalyst Housing fund in collaboration with Housing Trust Silicon Valley and possibly other local organizations in the future. This is a critical next step toward deploying the funds and building new housing.
LISC plans to leverage Facebook’s initial investment of $18.5 million to as much as $75 million. We plan to begin investing in affordable housing projects by fall 2017, and expect funds to be deployed in the five to eight-year horizon.
For nearly 40 years, LISC has partnered with local communities to create high-quality affordable housing in where the need is the greatest. In addition to housing, LISC focuses on economic development, education and financial stability. Those capabilities align with the pillars of our community partnership.
Since the announcement of the community partnership in December, the partners have provided $500,000 to Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto (CLSEPA) to support Belle Haven and East Palo Alto residents threatened with displacement from evictions or abuse by landlords. The partners have also contributed $250,000 to Rebuilding Together Peninsula to rehabilitate and reconstruct homes in East Palo Alto and Belle Haven.
While we’re pleased with this latest step, we believe there is much more to do. We are encouraged by the streamlining and affordable housing funding bills currently under consideration by the state of California. We see the need for policy and funding solutions to work in tandem, and see the Catalyst Housing Fund as an opportunity to advance the supply of housing for families most in need. We are focused on gaining the support of new partners to help solve these issues. Together, we aim to more effectively address regional challenges like affordable housing, legal support for tenants, transportation, and economic opportunity. We’re here for the long-term to work with our neighbors to keep our community strong and assure the continued future of Silicon Valley as an engine of economic opportunity and global leader developing technologies that improve people’s lives.
The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism is holding its first workshop on August 1, 2017 in San Francisco, where representatives from the tech industry, government and non-governmental organizations are coming together to share information and best practices about how to counter the threat of terrorist content online.
Formed last month by Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube, the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism formalizes and structures how our companies work together to curtail the spread of terrorism and violent extremism on our hosted consumer services. Building on the work started within the EU Internet Forum and the shared industry hash database, the GIFCT is fostering collaboration with smaller tech companies, civil society groups and academics, and governments.
In addition to the founding companies of the GIFCT, more than two dozen other technology companies and NGOs will be participating in Tuesday’s meeting. We also welcome United Kingdom Home Secretary Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP and United States Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke — as well as representatives from Australia, Canada, the European Union and the United Nations — to discuss mutual areas of cooperation.
At Tuesday’s meeting we will be formalizing our goals for collaboration and identifying with smaller companies specific areas of support needed as part of the the GIFCT’s workplan. Our mission is to substantially disrupt terrorists’ ability to use the internet in furthering their causes, while also respecting human rights. This disruption includes addressing the promotion of terrorism, dissemination of propaganda, and the exploitation of real-world terrorist events through online platforms. To achieve this, we will join forces around three strategies:
- Employing and leveraging technology
- Sharing knowledge, information and best practices, and
- Conducting and funding research.
In the next several months, we also aim to achieve the following:
- Secure the participation of five additional companies to the industry hash-sharing database for violent terrorist imagery; two of which have already joined: Snap Inc. and Justpaste.it
- Reach 50 companies to share best practices on how to counter terrorism online through the Tech Against Terrorism project in partnership with ICT4Peace and the UN Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate
- Conduct four knowledge-sharing workshops — starting in San Francisco today, with plans for further meetings later this year in other locations around the world
We believe that the best approach to tackling online terrorism is to collaborate with each other and with others outside the private sector, including civil society and government. We look forward to further cooperation as we develop a joint strategic plan over time.
One of the best ways for creators to reach new audiences and broaden distribution of their videos on Facebook is when people re-share their videos. To make sure we’re meeting the needs of both creators and those who re-share content, we’re redesigning insights for re-shares.
We gathered feedback from creators and re-sharers and tested new metrics. We heard that creators want more information about which Pages are re-sharing their videos. In addition, creators put a lot of work and investment into the videos they create and share on Facebook, and they would prefer if re-sharers didn’t have access to certain metrics about their videos.
At the same time, we know that people who re-share videos want to understand how much engagement they’re getting.
With this in mind, we are making some updates to re-share metrics:
- What’s changing for the re-sharer (next week)
- We are removing the retention graph, average watch time, 30 Seconds Views and detailed breakdown of views (autoplay/click to play, unique/repeat) – so only creators can see this information. We also tested offering minutes viewed, 10 Seconds Views and sound metrics with some Pages but will be removing them, as well, for the same reason.
- Page owners who re-share videos will be able to see aggregated information about the demographics and general location of the people who are viewing that video. They’ll also see a graph of daily views of the re-shared video, and additional breakdowns on the re-shared video related to paid versus organic activity.
- What’s changing for the creator (starting in August)
- We are adding insights on which Pages are re-sharing their videos and related metrics.
In addition, during our review of re-share metrics, we found two bugs impacting re-shares. First, for the Video Average Watch Time of some re-shared videos, we were displaying a zero value in video insights to the re-sharers instead of the correct value. Second, this same metric for video re-shares was displaying an incorrect value for re-sharers. These insights will no longer be displayed for re-sharers, given the above updates we’re making. It’s important to note that the bugs impacted only re-sharers of videos (not videos creators) in Page Insights (and does not impact ads insights).
The metrics and insights we provide to creators and re-sharers are a key part of informing areas of posting strategy and content creation. We are committed to continually improve the functionality, reliability, and accuracy of our systems.
Click here for details on Facebook’s financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2017.
Today, people and companies across the country are participating in a day of action to fight for net neutrality. Facebook is proud to be a part of it.
Net neutrality means a free and open internet for everyone. It ensures that internet service providers are not allowed to block or throttle internet traffic or discriminate against certain content.
The FCC has existing rules in place to protect net neutrality and ensure that anyone with an internet connection has a fair shot at turning an idea into something that can change the world. That would change if internet providers were allowed to decide what content its customers could access, or charge customers more to access the websites and services of their choice.
The FCC’s current rules help prevent this from happening. We strongly support those rules, but the FCC’s new proposal could undo those protections. That’s why Facebook supports strong net neutrality rules that will keep the internet free and open.
We’re open to working with anyone, including members of Congress, on a solution that will preserve strong net neutrality protections. We hope you join us in this fight. To learn more about the day of action visit: iadayofaction.org.
By Mike Booth, Head of Product Management, Facebook Spaces
Thanks to the immersive power of virtual reality, Facebook Spaces lets you feel like you’re spending time with your friends in person — no matter where they are. Starting today, you can share live video on Facebook from Facebook Spaces to give the people you care about a window into your VR world. Bring more friends along for the ride!
Facebook Live is already one of the most immediate and interactive ways to share moments with friends. By going live from Facebook Spaces, you can share a whole new kind of moment with friends and family directly from VR. Whether you’re touring exotic locations across the globe in 360, collaborating on a virtual marker masterpiece, or riffing on a viral video, the people who matter most to you can now follow along in real time on Facebook.
When you go live from Facebook Spaces, you’ll have a virtual camera that you can position anywhere in your space to capture the action. Friends on Facebook can comment on your broadcast and ask you questions to participate in the moment with you — and you can even see their reactions in VR. You’ll see a stream of friends’ comments and can pull out your favorites as physical objects that everyone in the space can interact with — a great way to highlight compelling questions and clever one-liners from your friends.
Live from Facebook Spaces opens up the fun of VR and lets everyone join the experience. Along with Messenger video calling and selfies, it’s an easy way to share your VR experiences and create lasting memories with everyone you care about. We’re excited to see how people go live from Spaces to interact with friends in new ways — and this is only the beginning, as we’ll continue to add new features to the experience.
Check out Facebook Spaces in beta on the Oculus Store, and try your first live broadcast today. If you don’t have a Rift yet, now is the perfect time to jump in! Thanks to the Oculus Summer of Rift sale, Rift + Touch are now available at $399 for a limited time.
By John Tenanes, VP Global Facilities and Real Estate
We found a home when we moved to Menlo Park in 2011.We are part of this community, and being here makes it possible for us to work on our mission to bring the world closer together.
That’s why we plan to keep investing in this community. When we first expanded beyond our original campus, we looked no further than across the street. Frank Gehry helped us design that building, which we call MPK20. Our presence has expanded further since then, and we are now planning to redevelop the former Menlo Science & Technology Park which we intend to call Willow Campus.
Working with the community, our goal for the Willow Campus is to create an integrated, mixed-use village that will provide much needed services, housing and transit solutions as well as office space. Part of our vision is to create a neighborhood center that provides long-needed community services. We plan to build 125,000 square feet of new retail space, including a grocery store, pharmacy and additional community-facing retail.
The first official step will be the filing of our plan with Menlo Park in July 2017. We will begin more formal conversations with local government officials and community organizations over the course of the review process, which we expect to last approximately two years. We envision construction will follow in phases, with the first to include the grocery, retail, housing and office completed in early 2021, and subsequent phases will take two years each to complete.
Housing is also critically important to these efforts. We hope to contribute significantly to the housing supply by building 1,500 units of housing on the campus, 15% of which will be offered at below market rates. This added on-site housing should also mitigate traffic impacts from growth. These efforts complement our ongoing work to address the issue, including the Catalyst Housing Fund for affordable housing we established in partnership with community groups to fund affordable housing for our local area. The fund was initiated last year with an initial investment of $18.5 million that we hope will grow.
The region’s failure to continue to invest in our transportation infrastructure alongside growth has led to congestion and delay. Willow Campus will be an opportunity to catalyze regional transit investment by providing planned density sufficient to support new east-west connections and a future transit center. We’re investing tens of millions of dollars to improve US101.
Construction will generate an array of jobs, and we’re planning to help local workers access those opportunities. The site will be developed in two phases designed to bring office, housing and retail online in tandem.
Our hope is to create a physical space that supports our community and builds on our existing programs. We’ve hosted tens of thousands of community members at farmers’ markets and events, and partnered with nonprofits like Rebuilding Together Peninsula to rehabilitate local homes. We’ve also enrolled local high school students from East Palo Alto, Belle Haven and Redwood City in our six-week summer internship program.
This is only the beginning. Going forward, we plan to continue to work closely with local leaders and community members to ensure Facebook’s presence is a benefit to the community. It’s one we’re lucky to call home.
Our design partner in imagining the campus is OMA New York. We have worked with them to prepare a video describing our vision and hope for integrating more closely with our community.
By Adam Mosseri, VP, News Feed
Today we are making an update to help reduce low quality links in News Feed. We are always working to improve people’s experience in News Feed by showing more stories that we think people will find informative and entertaining.
Our research shows that there is a tiny group of people on Facebook who routinely share vast amounts of public posts per day, effectively spamming people’s feeds. Our research further shows that the links they share tend to include low quality content such as clickbait, sensationalism, and misinformation. As a result, we want to reduce the influence of these spammers and deprioritize the links they share more frequently than regular sharers. Of course, this is only one signal among many others that may affect the ranking prioritization of this type of post. This update will only apply to links, such as an individual article, not to domains, Pages, videos, photos, check-ins or status updates.
One of our core News Feed values is that News Feed should be informative. By taking steps like this to improve News Feed, we’re able to surface more stories that people find informative and reduce the spread of problematic links such as clickbait, sensationalism and misinformation.
Will This Impact My Page?
Most publishers won’t see any significant changes to their distribution in News Feed. Publishers that get meaningful distribution from people who routinely share vast amounts of public posts per day may see a reduction in the distribution of those specific links. As always, publishers should keep in mind these basic guideposts to reach their audience on Facebook and continue to post stories that are relevant to their audiences and that their readers find informative.
By Alex Himel, Engineering Director
Today we’re beginning to roll out Find Wi-Fi everywhere in the world on iPhone and Android. We launched Find Wi-Fi in a handful of countries last year and found it’s not only helpful for people who are traveling or on-the-go, but especially useful in areas where cellular data is scarce.
Find Wi-Fi helps you locate available Wi-Fi hot spots nearby that businesses have shared with Facebook from their Page. So wherever you are, you can easily map the closest connections when your data connection is weak.
To find Wi-Fi hotspots, open your Facebook app, click on the “More” tab and then “Find Wi-Fi.” Once in the “Find Wi-Fi” tab you may need to turn it on. You can then browse the closest available hotspots on a map, and learn more about the businesses hosting them.
Great campaigns are powered by great insights. As people interact with businesses in new ways, marketers need to better understand actions driven by their online presence. We’ve heard feedback from businesses that they want more transparency and understanding around their Facebook performance. As part of our commitment to measurement, about every month or so we’ll release new metrics so that businesses have better ways to measure outcomes, all in one place. We’ll begin the series of metrics updates with features that capture new kinds of interactions with your ads or Page.
More Visibility On Ad Interactions
Getting visitors to your website or app greatly expands the potential for new customers. But slow-loading mobile sites or poor connections quickly cause many people to lose interest if they’re waiting for a page to load after clicking on an ad. To give you a better sense of the number of visitors that arrive to your website after a link click on an ad, we’re beginning to rollout a new metric called landing page views. This new metric will help businesses realize the importance of optimizing for a better mobile web experience. Businesses will be able to choose to optimize for landing page views when they use the traffic objective, finding more people who will actually arrive on their landing page after clicking on their ad.
We’ve also heard that businesses want more clarity around whether or not someone who clicks on an ad is a new or returning customer. The pre-impression activity breakdown is a new metric we’re introducing over the coming weeks that shows the number of people who have previously engaged with an advertiser’s website or app versus new visitors. We make the determination based on whether a site in recent weeks fired a pixel or triggered an app event associated with a business. Pre-impression breakdown is particularly helpful for businesses running dynamic ads for broad audiences, where the audiences expand beyond their own customers, and where ad creatives are generated dynamically based on associated product recommendations.
New Reporting On Page Interactions
We’re introducing three new reporting metrics to give Page owners a more complete understanding of how people learn about and interact with their businesses. These metrics will roll out to Pages over the coming weeks and can be viewed within the “overview” tab of Page Insights on desktop.
- Follows: rather than only showing the total number of follows a business has, we’re now breaking out the number of follows a Page gains or loses over time, insights into where follows happen, follower demographics, and a breakdown of organic and paid follows. You can visit the Help Center for a refresher on understanding follows and likes.
- Previews: people may come across your Page’s information without actually clicking on the Page. We’ll now show you the number of people who saw your Page’s information when hovering over your Page’s name on desktop.
- Recommendations: people are already using recommendations as a way to get advice from friends, family, and local Groups on Facebook. We’ll now start showing the number of times a Page has been included under someone’s recommendation as a suggestion from friends and family.
We’ll continue to surface more metrics over the coming months as we get feedback and uncover new ways to provide actionable insights.