Last month, we announced a number of changes to make privacy simpler and to give you more control over the information you share with other people. Today, we're taking the next step by providing more transparency and control over the information you share with third-party applications and websites with a new, simpler application authorization process.
The majority of people on Facebook actively interact with applications and Facebook-integrated websites every month. In order for these applications and websites to provide social and customized... experiences, they need to know a little bit about you. We understand, however, that it's important that you also have control over what you're sharing. With this new authorization process, when you log into an application with your Facebook account, the application will only be able to access the public parts of your profile by default. To access the private sections of your profile, the application has to explicitly ask for your permission.
For example, JibJab is an interactive greeting card website that needs access to my photos and my friends' birthdays and photos so I can create personalized greeting cards. Based on the new model, JibJab must specifically ask for that information.
First announced in August 2009 as part of our work with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner in Canada, and introduced in April, this new permissions box will pop up whenever you install a new application or first log in to an external website with your Facebook account.
As before, all applications you authorize can access your basic information—your name, profile picture, gender and networks. This is information that is publicly available on Facebook to make it easy for your friends to find you, and in this case, to help you get started quickly with applications. You can always control which information you want to keep private through your privacy settings page, and you can remove applications from your application settings page at any time. You can also control which information your friends can share with the applications they use.
These improvements reflect two core Facebook beliefs: first, your data belongs to you; second, it should be easy to control what you share. If at any point you ask a developer to remove the data you've granted them access to, we require that that they delete this information. For more information, visit our Help Center.
Bret, Facebook's CTO, is granting Causes the ability to post updates to his Wall so he can share his favorite organizations from the application with friends.
- by Bret Taylor on Wednesday, June 30, 2010 at 10:22am
Last month, we announced a number of changes to make privacy simpler and to give you more control over the information you share with other people. Today, we're taking the next step by providing more transparency and control over the information you share with third-party applications and websites with a new, simpler application authorization process.
- by Austin Haugen on Monday, March 1, 2010 at 11:54am
Every month more than 70 percent of you interact with applications on Facebook, and we want to ensure that you have the best possible experience with them. We recently added a number of features to make it easier for you to use applications, such as the Applications and Games dashboards which are linked to on the home page, and the ability to share your email address with applications.
All of these updates are aimed at giving you more control over how applications can communicate with you. That is why beginning today, you will begin seeing... updates from applications in the latest channels we've added, instead of through notifications.
Staying connected to applications on Facebook is important to many of you, so we wanted to share the best ways you can continue to get updates from applications:
- Check the Applications and Games dashboards for the latest news: The dashboards help you manage your application activity and discover new applications that your friends are using.
- Bookmark applications: The applications you've bookmarked can alert you via counters on the home page when there is a new action for you to take.
- Grant applications permission to email you: You can share you email address with applications to receive updates, such as newsletters, in your email inbox.
- Become a fan of application Facebook Pages: Once you're a fan of an application, you can hear directly from it through stories it posts to your News Feed, and Updates sent to your Facebook Inbox.
We will continue working to enhance your experience with applications and provide a streamlined environment for you to connect with your friends. Please keep letting us know how we're doing.
Austin, a Facebook product manager, just clicked a counter that reminded him to take his turn in his Scrabble game.
- by Ray C. He on Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 1:22pm
Facebook is designed to give you control over the information you share, and today we're making available some of our most recent privacy controls to applications on Facebook and websites and services using Facebook Connect.
Last December, we launched a control that many of you had requested for some time—the ability to customize privacy for each piece of content you share on Facebook.com through the Publisher, including status updates, links, photos and videos. Today, we are responding to your continued feedback by extending that same level of... control to content shared through applications.
There are now granular privacy options that enable you to personalize the audience for each piece of content you share through applications. Simply select the group of people you want to share with from the drop-down menu near the lock icon on the Publisher on your home page or profile, or the prompts that appear when you share from applications or Facebook Connect websites.
For example, maybe you don't want all of your friends to see the humorous greeting card you just posted from an application. Now you can set that post to be viewable only by certain friends.
Alternatively, there are some posts you may want to share with the broadest audience possible, such as information on an important organization you're supporting in the Causes application.
These new controls give you the power to determine who sees the content you post to Facebook through any third-party application, whether it is on Facebook.com, your desktop, mobile phone, or from a Facebook Connect website or service. Seesmic, a desktop application from which you can view and update your News Feed, will soon offer extended privacy options so you can specify audiences for each update you make from the application, such as uploaded photos and status updates.
Applications on Facebook.com and external websites and services using Facebook Connect implementations have always respected your privacy based on what you've set in the "Posts by Me" setting on your Privacy Settings page. This setting will continue to be your default setting for all posts, and you can change it at any time.
You may also start to see additional prompts in applications asking if you'd like to set privacy for certain pieces of content that differ from your default setting. Whether you choose to keep your default setting on everything you share or change the audience for different pieces of content, the choice is yours.
We look forward to continuing to provide tools that give you more control over your information. Please keep your comments and suggestions coming.
Ray, an engineer on the Facebook Platform team, is sharing a Someecard that is not safe for mom.
- by Jing Chen on Thursday, February 4, 2010 at 6:46pm
Over the past few months, we've been testing several different designs of the home page to improve navigation to and discovery of commonly used features. Today, we started rolling out the most recent navigation updates to help you find what you are looking for on Facebook. Now from the top and left menus you can quickly get to what's new and important....
Stay Updated from the Top Menu
In the top menu, you will find your newest notifications, requests and messages. For example, when you receive a Facebook notification about someone writing on your Wall or tagging you in a photo, you'll see a red bubble appear in the left-hand corner near the search bar. When you click on the icon, you'll see a drop-down menu with your most recent notifications.
The Home and Profile links can now be found in the top-right corner along with your Account menu, which includes your privacy settings and the ability to log out.
Discover Content from the Left Menu
The left menu has been organized to make it easier for you to communicate with and discover content from your friends. You can now access your messages and other core features all in one place, to the left of your News Feed.
With the Photos dashboard you can browse recent photos of your friends, and the Events dashboard lists your upcoming events along with events your friends are attending. The Friends dashboard will help you find friends, see which of your friends have recently updated their profiles and filter your News Feed by Friend Lists you may have already created.
We have also made Chat more prominent by showing you a list of some of your online friends in the left-hand menu. This list is not comprehensive, but includes people who you communicate with frequently. To see a list of all of your online friends, you can open the Chat bar in the bottom right-hand corner or click "See All" at the bottom of your left-hand menu.
Interact with Games and Applications
We're making it easier for you to find and interact with applications and discover new ones, with the new Applications and Games dashboards, accessible via the "Applications" and "Games" links on the home page. The dashboards will surface the applications you've interacted with most recently as well as your most recent application activity and your friends' activity.
You will also start to see counters next to the applications you have bookmarked on your home page. Counters will notify you when you have a specific action to take, so that you never miss your turn in a game or an update from a friend in an application.
You can bookmark your favorite applications using the "Add Bookmark" button in an application, and then you'll have one-click access to them from the left-hand menu beneath the Applications and Games dashboards. Click the "More" link to see all of your newest bookmarks.
Another way to receive personalized updates from applications will be in the Applications and Games dashboards. News items will appear alongside applications in the dashboards with actions such as "Clean Stinky" in Pet Society or "Joe just beat your high score!" in Bejeweled Blitz.
We think sharing information about the applications you use enriches the shared experience between you and your friends. At the same time, we feel strongly that control is an important element of any information sharing on Facebook. That's why these features are launching with an entirely new privacy setting.
If you would rather not have your recent application activity visible in the dashboards to your friends, you can change this through your Privacy settings . We're also working on a more granular set of controls for specific applications, so that you can turn off activity for certain applications while leaving it on for others. We'll have more information to share on this soon.
We hope the simplified design of the home page will make it easy for you to stay connected with the people, applications and activities that matter the most to you. To learn more about the new design, check out the site tour.
Jing, a Facebook engineer, is moving fast around the site.
- by Arun Vijayvergiya on Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 10:03am
Starting today, you'll have a new way to stay connected to your favorite applications on Facebook.
As we work to make the site as simple and efficient as possible, we're giving you the opportunity to receive updates from applications in your email inbox, such as your MSN, Yahoo! or Gmail accounts, similar to how you may receive email notifications from Facebook when you're tagged in a photo or receive a message. Note that you will have to explicitly grant developers the right to email you; they will never receive your email address without your... expressed consent.
You can now use the rules and routing mechanisms of your email inbox to control how you communicate with applications. This email option is one of a number of upcoming changes we announced in October to give you a faster and more connected experience when interacting with external applications on Facebook. You will soon start to see dialog boxes on application pages from external developers asking you if you would like to receive communication about their applications through your primary email address.
Just like you can receive newsletters from your favorite websites, granting developers permission to email you means you can receive more detailed and interesting information from them, including notifications of actions within their applications, receipts for purchases you make or newsletters like the one below.
At any time, if you decide that you no longer want to receive emails, you can unsubscribe by clicking the "unsubscribe" links in the emails (they'll most likely be located at the bottom). When you unsubscribe from communication with an application, that application's developer will no longer be permitted to contact you. If an application is not complying with your request to unsubscribe, you should report it to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for violating CAN-SPAM here.
Some applications may require an email address in order to use their service, in the same way that websites might when you sign up for them. In all cases, you will have the option to click the "change" link in the dialog box and share an anonymous version of your email address, called a proxied email address. You can always choose to stop using an application or use a different application instead if you don't want to receive emails from a particular application.
This new communication channel gives you more control over how you communicate with applications on Facebook Platform, and you can turn the channel on and off as you choose. Additionally, developers will be held to the highest Facebook and federal guidelines to help prevent spam, misleading information and malicious intent. We encourage you to use caution when communicating with these applications in the same way you do with sites across the Web. If you feel that an application is violating the guidelines in place, you can report the application to Facebook by clicking "Report Application" at the bottom of the page, or by clicking "Report" at the bottom of any canvas page within the application.
Email from applications is one of many updates we'll be rolling out over the coming months. In addition to email, you will soon start to see new places to receive notifications from applications. For example, there will be a new feature called "Counters" that will appear next to bookmarked applications on your home page, as well new Applications and Games Dashboards where you'll also be able to get application updates. As we open a new means of communication with applications through these new channels, you will soon no longer receive updates from applications in the notifications channel on Facebook.
For the latest on these changes, become a fan of the Facebook Page.
Arun, an engineer on the Facebook Platform team, likes straightforward communication.
- by Julie Trescott on Thursday, November 5, 2009 at 10:12am
As a recent college graduate, I use Facebook to keep up with the latest news from my alma mater, Pomona College, in Claremont, Calif. For instance, I learned about a happy hour for young alumni via a status update, and I saw photos of John Krasinski, who plays "Jim" in "The Office," on his recent visit to campus.
Pomona isn't the only college utilizing Pages. In fact, in addition to colleges and universities, a number of academic groups are now on the site. We also recently launched a Facebook in Education Page on the site as a resource for... teachers, professors, administrators, counselors and others who work in academia.
Here are a few other interesting examples of how educators are using Facebook to connect.
Texas A&M University has connected with nearly 150,000 people through their Facebook Page. They share highlights from the latest Aggie win on the football field, exclusive interviews with the university President and admissions information.
Stanford University uses their Facebook Page to host open office hours for people to connect with professors and luminaries. They solicit questions on the Page and post responses in a series of videos. You can see the most recent edition here with Provost John Etchemendy.
High schools from San Jose, Calif. to Sanford, Fla. also are using Facebook to organize student and alumni events, generate support and excitement around upcoming games and keep their local communities informed about school activities.
Svein Arber, a high school teacher in San Francisco, Calif., created a Facebook group to connect with his Advanced Placement (AP) literature class. Over the course of the year, students write posts on the group's discussion board to analyze the narration style in Phillip Roth's "American Pastoral" and debate whether a character in Albert Camus' "The Stranger" is fundamentally good or evil. Svein also uses the Events feature to remind students of due dates for assignments. "It's been very positive," he said. "I'm able to reach my students where they live."
Other teachers are encouraging students to use Facebook to collaborate with peers across the globe. For example, two high school students from the Loudoun Academy of Science in Sterling, Va. are studying the positive qualities of maggots in collaboration with two students in Singapore, more than 9,000 miles away. One student, Joanne Guidry, told The Washington Post, "When we talk on Facebook, you can't tell they are halfway around the world."
There also are Facebook applications like Schools, which help students before they even step foot on campus, during school and after they graduate. Incoming students can contact admissions offices and engage with their peers. Current students can get help with homework from classmates and plan club meetings, while graduates can locate other alumni and organize reunions. You already can find schools like Arizona State University, Michigan State University and Becker College through the Schools application.
The Courses application allows educators and students to view class rosters and manage their schedules, while the Flashcards application keeps students language skills fresh by allowing them to to study spelling, French vocabulary and much more.
Now, that's some A+ work. Be sure to check out the recently launched Facebook in Education Page for even more tips on using the Facebook in the classroom, stories about educators and answers to frequently asked questions about Facebook and academia. We would love for you to share your own experiences, as well.
Julie, a specialist on Facebook's user operations team, is moving to Ireland to put her teaching skills to work in Facebook's Dublin office.
- by Austin Haugen on Thursday, October 29, 2009 at 10:07am
Here at Facebook we can't build all the features for the site that you want to use to connect with your friends. That's why in 2007, we opened up a platform for people outside of Facebook to create experiences directly on the site for you to interact with.
Since that time we have seen over 350,000 applications built on Facebook Platform, in areas ranging from sports and games to family and education. These applications were built to accompany our core Facebook applications like photos, events and groups. Our goal is to offer you a smooth... experience regardless of what applications you're interacting with on the site, which is why in the next couple of months we're going to roll out some improvements to Facebook Platform.
Here's what the changes will mean for you:
Easier Access to Applications
Soon, the applications menu will move from its current location on the bottom left-hand side of any page on Facebook to the navigation menu on the left-hand side of your home page. This way, you always can rely on seeing applications in the same place and easily interact with your favorites, in addition to discovering new ones. You'll have the option to bookmark applications on the home page so that your favorite applications are only a few clicks away. You'll also be able to see instant alerts from applications that you've bookmarked.
We will be introducing a new Games Dashboard and an Application Dashboard that can be accessed from the home page and will serve as destinations for you and your friends' application activity. These will make it easy to view the latest applications you've interacted with, as well as discover new applications based on what your friends are using. You can also receive updates directly from applications here. For instance, if you're playing a game of Scrabble with your mother, you can visit the Games Dashboard to find short messages about when it's your turn to play, as well as interesting activity from games your friends are playing.
Direct Contact with Applications
With these upcoming changes, you'll have the option to share your email address with any application you use. If you choose to do so, you may be emailed notifications directly from any application. This new choice will give you the ability to control which of your applications can contact you and enable you to leverage the tools of your email inbox, such as folders and routing rules, to manage these communications. Finally, if you no longer want to hear from an application, you'll be able to simply unsubscribe from their mailing list.
The email practices we're developing will be similar to signing up for or creating accounts on other web services, which is essentially what applications on Facebook are. When you do so, those services can email you directly to confirm a purchase, or provide newsletters or updates for which you signed up. Soon, you'll have a comparable experience with applications on Facebook. Keep in mind that applications will never be given your email address unless you explicitly grant them permission, and like other websites you can always choose to unsubscribe if the service is no longer of value.
A Better Facebook Experience with Less Spam
Allowing you to control which applications send you email notifications is just one step we are taking to reduce spam and ensure you don't receive unwanted notifications, requests or invitations through Facebook. We have heard from many of you that you want greater control over how and when you see stories in News Feed about applications. Our upcoming changes aim to improve that experience, by enabling you to only see application requests and invitations if your friends have explicitly chosen to send them to you rather than have the application take that action on your behalf.
If you are interested in staying updated on these upcoming improvements, become a fan of the Facebook Page. We'll be rolling these changes out over the couple of months.
Austin, a product manager, loves that playing games on Facebook is part of his job.
- by Henri Moissinac on Thursday, September 3, 2009 at 8:32am
Even when you're away from your desktop, we want you to be able to share and connect with those that matter to you on Facebook. We had that goal in mind when we launched Facebook Mobile in 2006. Today, we reached a new milestone with more than 65 million people now actively using Facebook on their mobile devices — a significant increase from 20 million just eight months ago.
As we celebrate 65 million, we want you to be able to take Facebook with you wherever you go. That's why we are continuously making updates to our mobile products and... working with some of the biggest names in mobile to make sure that Facebook is available on the latest devices and mobile operating systems.
Facebook Mobile first started as a simple mobile site in English with a few of the core site features built in, such as status updates and photo uploads. Since then, we've grown far beyond what was then a fairly basic mobile site. We have translated the mobile site into other languages, launched Facebook SMS and deployed a wide range of applications for hundreds of mobile handsets, including Facebook for Blackberry, Facebook for iPhone and Facebook for Nokia.
Below is a quick tour of all of your options for using Facebook Mobile:
Mobile Web Sites
Facebook has two mobile web sites: m.facebook.com, which works on any mobile browser, and x.facebook.com, which is designed specifically for touch screen phones like Android, Palm, iPhone and Nokia. These sites have been translated into more than 60 languages and allow you to update your status, browse your News Feed and your friends' Profiles, comment or "like" stories, and view or update your Facebook Page.
Through Facebook Mobile Texts, you can receive notifications, set your status and send and receive messages via SMS. This service is now available on 52 operators in 25 countries, on any mobile phone.
Facebook Mobile for Devices
Facebook applications can be found on an increasing number of mobile phones; many come pre-installed while others can be downloaded from the Internet. The most recent Facebook mobile applications include major updates for Apple's iPhone and Nokia's N97 and 5800. These applications make it easier to update your status, share photos, browse your News Feed and keep in contact with all your friends on Facebook wherever you are.
Also available are Facebook applications from INQ, HTC, LG Electronics, Motorola, Palm, RIM, Samsung and Sony Ericsson. There are also Facebook applications for the T-Mobile Sidekick and phones powered by Microsoft's Windows Mobile.
Facebook Connect for Mobile Web
Beginning today, you'll start to see Facebook Connect available on some of your mobile sites and applications, just as you would on the Web. Already, Facebook Connect makes it easier for you to take your online identity with you all over the Web, share what you do online with your friends and stay updated on what they're doing. Soon, you'll see prompts for Facebook Connect on mobile sites and applications and have the opportunity to take your Facebook profile information, friends and privacy preferences to your favorite mobile applications, as well.
If you're a developer and want to build social applications, learn more about Facebook Connect for Mobile Web here.
Whether you want to use an application, the mobile site or SMS, you can always learn more about all Facebook Mobile services here.
Henri and the rest of the mobile team are working on helping you access Facebook on any phone wherever you are.
- by Kathy H. Chan on Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 1:04pmAt Facebook, we're constantly connecting with interesting people — from experts in their field, academics and researchers to celebrities or visitors to our office. Occasionally, we'll share these conversations on the Facebook blog in our "Connecting with..." series. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Brian Phillips, a co-founder of Thread, which is one of 24 companies that in the fbFund REV incubator program for startups building Facebook applications and that announced funding today. Read the previous blog post in this series here.
...The basis for your company, Thread, is to introduce friends-of-friends on Facebook. How did you come up with the idea?
Personal experience. One of our co-founders, Skye Lee, is a consummate matchmaker. She loves nothing more than to set me up. A typical day: I'll get a phone call from her before we even start thinking about business. "I just found this really cute girl on the street, and she's single. You should take her to coffee next week. I told her all about you." When we started to think about business ideas, it hit us — we should just make it easier to introduce people by applying cool technology like Facebook Connect.
What have you learned with fbFund REV this summer?
First and foremost, the collaboration has been great. We're co-located with 23 other fantastic start-ups with brilliant people behind them, and we're all working on things on the Facebook Platform. If we have a question, problem or challenge, surely someone in the building has had the same question, problem or challenge before.
Secondly, it's been really educational. fbFund REV has a great curriculum with speakers who come to our office almost every other day — whether it be a representative from Facebook or Tim Ferris, author of "The 4-Hour Workweek," and experts in marketing, SEO, public relations or venture capital.
And third, it's just been fun. For instance, every Wednesday afternoon, we have weekly check-ins to talk about what we're working on, and afterwards, the entire group goes out for a beer. We have our own happy hour. There's a great vibe, lots of energy.
Facebook has never focused on dating. What made you think it would be well-suited for an application built on that idea?
We try to take activity that people do off of Facebook and make it easier to do with Facebook. Two-thirds of all marriages are the result of friend introductions. This is how people are actually meeting in the real world. Now, you could actually make that easier. Instead of having to go to 30 dinner parties, I can use Facebook to browse my friends' friends and ask questions about them, instead of meeting every single one of them in person.
How do you think the Internet is changing people's dating patterns or ability to meet new people?
Historically, it started out with slow adoption. There's a good chunk of people who've never been on a dating site or sworn them off. The stigma is going away and people are becoming more comfortable with the idea of using the Internet. At some point, it will be rare for people not to use the Internet in some way for dating. One of our goals is not to have people think of us as a dating site. Thread is a service that just makes what people do offline really easy.
Would you call yourself a matchmaker?
I like to think I'm actually a pretty good matchmaker. I just recently set up two friends of mine. They met through Thread, and they've gone on three dates. I parade around the office high-fiving people about how creative a matchmaker I am. We have a competition going at the office: Who can make the most successful matches? One of our key metrics for success will be actual weddings.
Now, obviously we're a new service, we've only been around for eight weeks or so, but I'm hoping this couple that I've set up will be good candidates for marriage. Let's say this couple is ultimately successful and someone asks them, "How did you guys meet?" Their answer will be, "We met through friends." Not a dating site or Thread, just through friends.
How many people have you set up? What's the track record for your setups?
Probably over a dozen couples. On Thread, you get an opportunity to look at what information people have available through Facebook and learn a little more about them. Instead of a blind email, which I may have used before to set up my friends, people can see a profile photo, what networks they're part of on Facebook and some of their interests.
In the case of my 12 setups, probably a third to half of them went on second dates. You can put anybody on a first date if you're convincing, but if they go on a second date, that's something. That's just me, though. If you're a bad matchmaker offline, Thread isn't necessarily going to make you a better matchmaker. We'll just make it easier.
What sort of criteria do you use on Thread to set people up?
There's no better substitute than your friends' own judgement. The whole premise of our system is that your friends can either make suggestions for you or you can ping your friends and ask them if they think someone would make a good match for you. What's different about our site is that everybody you see, you know through at least one person and sometimes more than one. It's all about friends of friends.
What do you think of the six degrees of separation theory? It's the idea that everyone is, at most, six steps away from knowing any other person.
I buy it. Everyone probably is connected by six degrees. I haven't thought about the math or statistics behind this, but I would suggest that the person you're going to marry is probably not six degrees away. They're most likely one, maybe two, degrees away.
Two degrees away is a huge number of people. On average, people on Facebook have somewhere around 120 friends. If you have 120 friends and they each have 120 friends, that's 14,400 people. And if those 14,400 people each have 120 friends, that's 1,728,000 people.
So, are you single?
I am single. My personal interests and business interests are perfectly aligned. A lot of people think, "Wow, Brian is really interested in meeting girls."
This begs the question, why haven't you found someone by using Thread already?
I've dated more in the last two months than I ever have in my life.
Kathy, Facebook's resident blogger, is checking which of her friends are single and ready to mingle on Thread.
- by Shaykt Chaudhri on Wednesday, August 5, 2009 at 4:25pm
When I found out this past spring that I'd be a product marketing intern at Facebook for the summer, I was eager to start working on cool projects at one of the most exciting companies in Silicon Valley. I never imagined that in my first week I'd have the opportunity to have an even broader impact by being asked to work with dozens of technology start-ups through the fbFund REV program.
REV is an incubator program for 24 companies building new applications for you on the Facebook Platform, ranging from an application devoted to helping people ...run errands more efficiently to one that is devoted to finding work for people in third-world countries.
Over the past couple of months, I've worked with the companies as they experiment and iterate on the development of new applications and build their businesses— all from one of Facebook's former offices in downtown Palo Alto, Calif. Most importantly, the environment spurs learning and innovation.
For instance, one of the companies in the program, GeckoGo, is building an application that helps people plan their upcoming travel. While designing the application, GeckoGo's founders realized they needed to make it more engaging and turned to other entrepreneurs and advisers in the REV program for advice on how to simplify the design of their product and better solicit feedback from users. After a series of changes, people began spending significantly more time with their application. Another company, Frintro, is trying to find new ways to connect your single friends with one another by asking its users to make introductions from their different friend groups.
Together, we have a small community that provides powerful advice and learnings around product development and marketing, not to mention the daily struggles of starting a company.Along with meetings among the entrepreneurs and developers , the program also has experts from all over Silicon Valley visit REV to share their perspectives on building a company — on everything from funding the business and building user-friendly features to giving a good presentation. Many of the topics I'm studying as a business school student at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, like how to run an operationally lean company and how to market your company's products, were brought to life through the REV program.
I'm constantly surprised by all that I learn from the REV developers and can't wait for you to try all of the applications. For more information about the products that the teams are developing, check out the fbFund REV website and Facebook Page.
Shaykat, an intern for the fbFund REV program, doesn't want the summer to end.
- by Kari Lee on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 at 7:26pm
Today, we're beginning to test new versions of Facebook Search with a small group — just a fraction of a percent of the people on Facebook. Those of you in the test group will be able to find content from the people, organizations and public figures that matter to you as soon as they share it on Facebook. Testing potential features is an important part of our product development process. These tests tell us if new features benefit people in the way we think they will, what we might do to make them even better, and in some instances, when we... need to go back to the drawing board.
Those of you in the test group will see new layouts for search results that will continue to include people's profiles, Facebook Pages, groups and applications, and some entirely new Search features. With the test, you will be able to search your News Feed for the most recent status updates, photos, links, videos and notes being shared by your friends and the Facebook Pages of which you're a fan. You will also be able to search for status updates, posted links and notes in Search from people who have chosen to make their profile and content available to everyone. As always, you can control what content you're sharing by editing your privacy settings here.
The people around us are a powerful source for finding information about new and interesting information — from the latest on last night's episode of "The Office" and suggestions on what to do for your next vacation to current events.
I'm interested in the latest updates on the aftermath of the Iranian election. By entering the term "Iran" in the "Search" field in the upper-right corner of any page on Facebook, I will see up-to-the-minute results from my friends and the Facebook Pages of which I'm a fan, not to mention people who have chosen to make their profile and content available to everyone. I'm able to discover what blogs and news sources my friends are following, what my friends are saying about President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and opposition candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi, and how people in general are reacting to the election results.
In the coming weeks, as we learn more from the different test versions of Search, we'll keep making improvements and may expand the test to more people.
Kari, an engineer, is ready, set, start your Facebook Search engines.
- by Sandra Liu Huang on Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 9:10am
With the more than 52,000 applications available on Facebook Platform, there are countless new ways to connect and share with friends and family. You can play social games, recruit people to causes and discover music and movie recommendations--to name only a few.
Sometimes, all that choice can be a little overwhelming. So today, we've launched a new Application Directory to help you discover the best and most reliable social applications. The directory includes applications for Facebook.com, as well as a growing number of Facebook Connect... enabled websites, mobile devices and desktop applications. You can access it from the "Browse More Applications" link on the Application menu in the bottom left-hand corner of your browser. Check out these and other tips in this video.
One of the new sections in the directory is "Applications You May Like," which includes the most popular apps on the site, ones your friends have used recently or those that are being suggested based on your current favorites. In some instances, you'll also see green check marks displayed alongside some of the listed applications. These signal that these applications are verified, having passed through a detailed review by Facebook.
When an application completes the verification process, they commit to extra steps for providing a trustworthy experience that meets your expectations.
You'll also find an area for applications "Featured by Facebook." This will include some Verified Applications that we periodically select, because they offer a unique way to interact or share with your friends. For instance, check out currently featured application, kaChing, which lets you and your friends create stock portfolios and compete to see who can outperform the market. Also take a look at CitizenSports and find out which sports teams are your friends' favorites.
Below the listing of "Applications You May Like," you'll now find a stream of your friends' most recent activity with applications. This lets you learn new things about your friends -- from the interests you share and the jobs openings they are promoting to their recent high scores in Tetris and the summer concert they're planning to attend.
You can receive updates directly from the applications you love by becoming a fan of their application profile. Once you're connected, these applications can communicate new features and share updates in your News Feed, so you can be the first to review a new movie or learn about new features being introduced.
Be sure to visit the new Application Directory to find your next favorite application.
Sandra, a program manager for App Verification, is waiting to play her turn in Lexulous..
- by Justin Bishop on Monday, April 27, 2009 at 9:35amUPDATE on Monday, April 27: The Facebook Desktop for Adobe AIR application is now available. You can install it here. Note: You must have Adobe AIR installed for the application to work. You can download Adobe AIR for free here.
When you want to stay updated with your friends and other connections on Facebook, you can log into your home page to see a running timeline, or stream, of the information they're sharing. The more they share, the more you see in the stream and the more you learn about your connections. Starting today, you have the... option to access that same stream outside of Facebook.com.
Now, you'll be able to view your stream and publish information into it from places you never could before — like your desktop computer or your mobile phone. Your stream will appear just as it does on Facebook.com and maintain the same privacy settings. We believe that the ability to see more and more of what is happening around you will lead to greater openness and transparency.
To make this work, we released new technology for developers so they can offer this option to you on other websites and applications. We work closely with third-party developers to enable intriguing and meaningful experiences both on and off Facebook.com. Since we launched Facebook Platform in 2007, developers have created 10s of thousands of applications to help you connect and share with your friends in interesting ways — whether by playing a social game, discovering new books or creating group greeting cards.
Last year, we announced Facebook Connect to make it easy for you to take your online identity with you across the Web and share what you do online with your friends back on Facebook by publishing your actions to the stream. Today's announcement is an extension of that by making it easy for you to interact with your stream from anywhere.
We've already worked with a few developers to build some of these new experiences for you to try out, and we've created one ourselves, as well. Beginning later today, you'll be able to find these and future applications in the Facebook Application Directory under "For Your Desktop."
For instance, you'll be able to install Facebook Desktop for Adobe AIR and connect using your Facebook account.
Then, you'll receive two prompts: the first to give permission for the application to access your News Feed and Wall and the second to give permission to publish posts and comments.
From there, you'll be able to interact with your stream just as you would on Facebook but directly from your desktop rather than through a browser. You'll be able to do all the same things you would normally do on Facebook, including view your friends' content and share information through the Publisher. You can even "Like" and comment on your friends' stories directly from your desktop.
Be sure to also check out Seesmic's desktop application, which includes your stream from Facebook and adds feeds from other websites, too.
In the coming months, you'll be able to interact with your stream on even more websites and through more applications, in ways we're only beginning to imagine.
Justin, an engineer at Facebook, is getting his friends' latest updates and sharing information, all from his desktop.
- by Melissa Luu-Van on Friday, March 13, 2009 at 9:25am
Every spring, I can't wait for the start of March Madness. This popular U.S. college basketball tournament brings out the competitiveness of me and my friends as we fill out brackets with our predictions for winning teams. Starting in 2006, we brought the tradition to Facebook by using the first brackets application to organize and share all of our picks online. Since then, the number of ways to connect over the 63-game NCAA basketball tournament have only increased.
This year, you can use a number of Platform applications to compete with your... friends' predictions. On Selection Sunday, March 15, find out which teams will face off in their quest to be the champion, and check out any of the following apps to get started:
- by Craig Donato on Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 8:15amCraig Donato is the CEO of Oodle, which is a growing online classifieds service that organizes millions of classified listings from across the Web. We've asked him to post on the Facebook blog today about the launch of Facebook Marketplace powered by Oodle.
Today, we're launching Facebook Marketplace powered by Oodle—and adding even more functionality so you can easily create, share and respond to listings. Facebook first introduced the Marketplace application on Facebook Platform in May 2007 as a way for people to post classified listings on... the site. Marketplace helps people buy and sell furniture and household items in a trusted environment. Late last year, Facebook turned to Oodle for its expertise in online classifieds, and Oodle has built an entirely new version of Marketplace focused on giving people a place to buy, sell or give things away to the people they know.
If you previously had the Marketplace application installed, you'll continue to see it bookmarked on the Applications tab in the lower left hand corner of your screen. And if you have an active listing in Marketplace, you'll be given the option to transfer it to the new Facebook Marketplace powered by Oodle.
You'll be able to access the Facebook Marketplace powered by Oodle from the Application Directory, as well.
We're also excited to introduce new features including Sell for a Cause, which allows you to donate the profits of the items you sell to over a million participating charities including UNICEF, the Sierra Club and local organizations like the Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco. For instance, I'm selling some of the toys that my kids have outgrown to support the Samaritan House, a local charity in Oodle's hometown of San Mateo, California, that supports programs for families in need. If every person on Facebook sold something for just $1, we would be able to collectively raise over $175 million for causes around the world.
In the coming months, we'll be rolling out even more functionality and categories, so please be sure to let us know how we're doing.
Craig Donato, CEO of Oodle, urges you to sell (or buy) something for a cause you believe in.
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