Facebook Messenger 98 update download available

Image result for Facebook Messenger 98 update download availableFacebook’s messaging application, Facebook Messenger, recently got a new beta version. The version 98.0.0.18.71 is now available for download. With the new version, users can now see their call history and missed calls -— all in one place.

Other features include

* Group chats
* Photos and videos
* Voice and video calls* Stickers;
* Preview your gallery photos and videos without leaving the conversation
* Record voice messages

 

How to install

To install Facebook Messenger on Facebook Messenger Version 98.0.0.18.71 For on an Android device, users need to open the Google Play Store, search for the application and click on the install button. Once the installation is complete, users can open the app and go chatting.

 

In another related development, Facebook Messenger can now work in Android Auto. This means that Android Auto users can now listen to and reply to texts from friends on Messenger using voice commands.

 

The announcement from the social network came close on the heels of Google’s announcement that its in-car infotainment platform Android Auto can now function as a standalone mobile app.

Here’s how it works as per Facebook: If you have Messenger installed on your Android device, you’ll be able to listen to and respond to messages through the Android Auto mobile app or supported vehicle display. Android Auto will play your messages for you; simply touch the speaker icon to hear the message read aloud. Drivers can give Android Auto voice commands to reply or message a friend on Messenger – no typing involved. You can also touch a “I’m driving right now” button to quickly send this message as a reply.

Facbook tweaks News Feed again

As more and more people are watching “Facebook Live Videos,” the social networking giant has pushed its live video feature to top of its News Feed.

The company is considering Live Videos as a new content type — different from normal videos — and learning how to rank them for people in News Feed.

“As a first step, we are making a small update to News Feed so that Facebook Live videos are more likely to appear higher in News Feed when those videos are actually live, compared to after they are no longer live,” wrote Vibhi Kant, product manager and Jie Xu, software engineer at Facebook in a blog post.

“People spend more than 3x more time watching a Facebook Live Video on average compared to a video that’s no longer live. This is because Facebook Live Videos are more interesting in the moment than after the fact,” they wrote.

“Facebook’s Live Video” feature allows users to broadcast live video from their smartphones.

News Feed is made up of posts from the friends and Pages you have connected to. These posts can be status updates, photos, videos, links and now, Facebook Live videos.

“We rolled out Facebook Live on iOS in December and last week, we began rolling it out onAndroid in the US. Over the last three months, Facebook Live Video has become more and more popular and more and more people and Pages are creating and watching live videos,” the Facebook officials posted.

“As with any new type of content in News Feed, we are learning what signals help us show you the most relevant Facebook Live videos for you personally,” they added.

For example, a few years ago when more people began sharing and watching video on Facebook, the company listened to feedback to learn what signals helped them show people more of the videos they want to see and fewer of the videos they don’t.

“At first we updated News Feed ranking to take into account how many people watched a video and how long people watched for to help us personalise News Feed based on people’s preference for watching video,” the company said.

“Over time, we also learned that certain actions people take on a video, such as choosing to turn on sound or making the video full screen, are good signs they wanted to see that video, even if they didn’t choose to like it,” it noted.

Facebook Live is currently available for verified Pages and public figures using Mentions.

“We do not expect Pages to see significant changes as a result of this update. We will continue to learn how people are watching this new content type,” Kant and Xu added.

German cartel office probes Facebook for market abuse

Germany’s cartel office has opened an investigation into Facebook for suspected abuse of market power through breaches of data protection law, it said on Wednesday.

The watchdog said Facebook’s terms of service regarding its use of user data may abuse its possibly dominant position in the social network market.

“For advertising-financed internet services such as Facebook, user data are hugely important. For this reason it is essential to also examine under the aspect of abuse of market power whether the consumers are sufficiently informed about the type and extent of data collected,” Federal Cartel office president Andreas Mundt said in a statement.

Facebook, the world’s biggest social network with 1.6 billion monthly users, makes its money from targeted advertising, thanks to the data it gathers about its users’ friends, opinions and activities from their postings.

It has faced strong criticism from politicians and regulators in Germany, where data protection is strongly regulated, over its privacy practices.

Co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg visited Berlin on a charm offensive last week.

A Facebook spokeswoman said on Wednesday: “We are confident that we comply with the law and we look forward to working with the Federal Cartel Office to answer their questions.”

Brazil judge orders release of Facebook executive

A Brazilian judge ordered the release today of Facebook’s vice president for Latin America, a day after he was arrested for refusing to hand over WhatsApp messages to the police investigating a drugs case.

The judge, Ruy Pinheiro, considered the detention of Diego Dzodan in Sao Paulo on Monday “unlawful coercion,” the court in Sergipe state said in a statement.

“It seems to me that the extreme measure of imprisonment was hurried,” Pinheiro said.

Facebook, which owns the popular WhatsApp mobile phone messaging tool, denies it has tried to obstruct the police probe.

Dzodan had been arrested on the request of a lower court judge in Sergipe and accused of “repeated non-compliance with court orders” to share Facebook data, federal police said.

“This information was required to produce evidence to be used in an organized crime and drug trafficking investigation,” police said.

According to Brazilian media reports, traffickers had been using WhatsApp to discuss their business.

When Facebook refused to comply, Brazilian authorities imposed fines, starting with 50,000 reais (about $12,500) daily beginning two months ago, and which rose to 1 million reais ($250,000) a month ago, Sergipe federal police told AFP.

US billionaire Mark Zuckerberg’s companies slammed Brazil’s approach.

“We are disappointed with the extreme and disproportionate measure of having a Facebook executive escorted to a police station in connection with a case involving WhatsApp, which operates separately from Facebook,” Facebook said in a statement.

“Facebook has always been and will be available to address any questions Brazilian authorities may have.”

WhatsApp insisted that it had no technical means for cooperating.

“We are disappointed that law enforcement took this extreme step. WhatsApp cannot provide information we do not have,” it said in a statement.

It’s not the first arm-wrestle between Brazilian justice authorities and Facebook.

In December, a judge ordered the suspension of WhatsApp for 12 hours after it failed to hand over information during another criminal investigation. The stoppage, which provoked widespread anger, was overturned on appeal.

Three years ago, Google was in the firing line. The search engine giant’s top Brazil executive was accused of breaking election laws when he refused to remove videos on YouTube that were critical of a mayoral candidate in Mato Grosso do Sul state.

In the United States, Apple is embroiled in its own row with the government over a refusal to cooperate with the FBI in unlocking an iPhone used by one of the shooters in a mass killing by a couple in San Bernardino, California, last year.

Facebook, CitrusPay tie up to facilitate e-commerce

According to figures released by eMarketer, the social media site is expected to sell 3.17 billion dollars in ad dollars this year.In a move that will enable Indian businesses to use Facebook as an e-commerce platform, the world’s largest social media company has tied up with an India payment gateway CitrusPay for cards and net banking transactions.

At present, the CitrusPay gateway allows Facebook users to make payments for games. But those in the financial tech sector said that this could be the first step to enable full-blown e-commerce within Facebook. The company is already moving into the e-commerce space internationally by allowing retailers to open ‘shops’ in the form of Facebook pages. The company is also building fund transfer functionality into Facebook Messenger. Clicking on the purchase button on games opens up CitrusPay’s local gateway.

Although Facebook was not available for comment, when contacted Amrish Rau, MD, CitrusPay, said, “Social payments are increasing exponentially. More and more businesses are using social channels for business instead of dedicated e-commerce websites. We are keen to enable Indian consumers to buy directly from social posts on Facebook and Twitter.”

The tie-up with a payment gateway is significant as it allows anyone with a bank account in India to transact. Net banking is more economical for merchants as they do not have to pay the 2% fee to the credit card companies. “We are seeing international e-commerce companies adopt local payment types like net banking so as to cater to the Indian banked population for payments,” Rau added.

Earlier this week, note-taking app Evernote announced that it has localized credit card payments in India allowing customers to pay in rupees for premium subscriptions. RBI’s regulations insist on localized payments where the underlying transactions are essentially taking place between two residents in India (card issued in India being used for purchase of goods and service offered by a merchant/service provider in India).

For local payments, the transaction should be authorized through two-factor authentication – card details and one-time password. Some online firms, which are headquartered in the US, treat the transaction as an international one and do not have two-factor authentication. In the case of taxi aggregator Uber, the RBI has said that it was a domestic transaction and should be subject to two-factor authentication.

You could go to prison for having a Facebook account that’s not in your real name

You could go to prison for having a Facebook account that's not in your real name
Internet users who create fake profiles could face criminal charges, according to new guidelines.

People who use social mediaaccounts under other names to harass and attack others should be charged, according to the Crown Prosecution Service.

The new rules could allow for the prosecution of people who create a profile “under the name of the victim with fake information uploaded which, if believed, could damage their reputation and humiliate them”, the CPS said.

“In some cases the information could then be shared in such a way that it appears as though the victim has themselves made the statements.”

Authorities said that the new rules were a response to the changing nature of online crime.

“It is vital that prosecutors consider the bigger picture when looking at evidence and examine both the online and offline behaviour pattern of the defendant,” director of public prosecutions Alison Saunders said.

“Online abuse is cowardly and can be deeply upsetting to the victim.”

Ms Saunders said that offenders can “mistakenly think that by using false online profiles and creating websites under a false name their offences are untraceable”, but that police can use techniques to catch the offender.

Social media giants such as Twitter and Facebook have facilities in place to report impersonation accounts.

Twitter’s help centre says impersonation is a violation of its rules, adding that accounts portraying another person “in a confusing or deceptive manner” may be permanently suspended.

Parody, commentary, or fan accounts are allowed on the microblogging site.

Facebook’s help centre says “impostor accounts” are not allowed.

The CPS is today launching a six-week public consultation on proposed revisions to the guidelines, which will also be updated to incorporate two new offences created since they were published in 2012.

Revenge pornography, which is predominantly carried out online, was the subject of a new law introduced last April.

Legislation rolled out in December created the offence of “controlling or coercive behaviour” in intimate or family relationships.

It means domestic abusers who control their victims through social media accounts or spy on them online could face up to five years in prison.

Ms Saunders said: “Online communication is developing at such a fast pace, new ways of targeting and abusing individuals online are constantly emerging.

“We are seeing more and more cases where social media is being used as a method to facilitate both existing and new offences.
“It is vital that prosecutors consider the bigger picture when looking at evidence and examine both the online and offline behaviour pattern of the defendant.
“Online abuse is cowardly and can be deeply upsetting to the victim.
“Worryingly we have seen an increase in the use of cyber-enabled crime in cases related to Violence against Women and Girls, including domestic abuse.”

Facebook Warned to Toe France’s Privacy Line

CNIL, France’s data protection authority, on Monday formally gave Facebook three months notice to comply with the French Data Protection Act.

Facebook Warned to Toe France's Privacy Line

A working group comprised of regulators from France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, and the German province of Hamburg recommended the action.

On-site and online inspections, along with a documentary audit, disclosed that Facebook had failed to meet the requirements of the French Data Protection Act, CNIL said.

What Facebook Must Do

The notice gave Facebook a laundry list of things to do within the next 90 days, including the following:

  • Stop compiling the data of French account holders for advertising purposes without a legal basis;
  • Stop processing data that’s irrelevant, excessive or inadequate with respect to the purposes pursued, and stop asking account holders to prove their identity by providing medical records;
  • Obtain the explicit consent of account holders, based on specific information, for the collection and processing of their sensitive data — including religious and political views and sexual orientation;
  • Inform account holders on the sign-up form and profile pages about the processing of their personal data, why data is transferred outside the EU — and to whom, and the level of protection offered by third countries;
  • Fairly collect and process data of non-account holders with regard to data collected using the “datr cookie” and the “like” button; and
  • Inform Internet users and obtain their prior consent for placing cookies on their terminal.

“The Europeans take a tough stance, and it makes sense,” commented Laura DiDio, a research director at Strategy Analytics.

Today, in a world where everything’s interconnected, the question about who owns the data becomes very muddy,” she told TechNewsWorld.

Facebook is “using illegal means of collecting data and a data transfer mechanism which was invalidated by the European Court of Justice last fall,” DiDio pointed out. “I think it’s pretty nervy that they collect the browsing activity of anybody who surfs the Web, even if they don’t have a Facebook account — and I laugh at their response, which is always, ‘We are willing to work with the European authorities.'”

Facebook did not respond to our request to provide further details.

Facebook’s Options

Facebook “will likely try some sort of delaying tactic, whether legal or procedural remains to be seen,” surmised Mike Jude, a program manager atStratecast/Frost & Sullivan.

However, Facebook has to be able to target advertising to continue being a going concern, and this order “would pretty much shut down French operations,” Jude told TechNewsWorld. The procedural fixes “will require rearchitecting its service for the French market.”

Faced last year with a similar order from Belgium, Facebook responded by banning nonmembers in the country from accessing any pages on its website. That resulted in complaints of blackmail, so it’s unlikely Facebook will try that tactic again.

Forget about going to court, said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.

France has “a very fast legal system,” he told TechNewsWorld. “Penalties could be assessed and reach nosebleed levels very quickly, and appeals are very limited.”

The Napoleonic legal system doesn’t embrace the concept of fairness, Enderle said.

Further, the French “are likely to make an example of the company if it doesn’t comply,” he suggested. “This could include criminal indictments for Zuckerberg and his senior staff, and there’s an extradition treaty between France and the U.S. The French take this stuff really seriously.”

Fallout From France’s Actions

More investigations are being conducted into Facebook by the various EU regulatory authorities, and India just last week banned the company’s Free Basics service.

“The Internet is being Balkanized by competing regulatory regimes,” Frost’s Jude said. “As countries move to impose their own regulations on the Web, the overall freedom people enjoy there will ultimately disappear.”

Expect repercussions against Google, Amazon, Twitter, YouTube, “and every other company doing business online that uses consumer data to tailor services,” Jude cautioned. “This is definitely a slippery slope.”

Zuckerberg Aims to Set Things Right With India

facebook-ceo-mark-zuckerberg-india-free-basics-marc-andreessen

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday went into damage-control mode following a tweet from board member Marc Andreessen about India and colonialism.

Andreessen was reacting to the Indian telecom regulator’s ban on Facebook’s Free Basics service.

“Another in a long line of economically suicidal decisions made by the Indian government against its own citizens,” he reportedly tweeted. “Denying world’s poorest free partial Internet connectivity when today they have none, for ideological reasons, strikes me as morally wrong.”

Indian entrepreneur Vivek Chachra reportedly tweeted in response that the Free Basics argument that some Internet is better than no Internet sounded like a “justification of Internet colonialism.”

“Anti-colonialism has been economically catastrophic for the Indian people for decades. Why stop now?” Andreessen’s replied.

Zuckerberg disavowed Andreessen’s comment on anti-colonialism, which has been deleted.

“I found the comments deeply upsetting, and they do not represent the way Facebook or I think at all,” he said.

Zuckerberg Hearts India

India “has been personally important to me and Facebook,” Zuckerberg continued, adding he was “inspired by the humanity, spirit and values of the people” when he traveled to the country.

“It solidified my understanding that, when all people have the power to share their experiences, the entire world will make progress,” he said. “I’ve gained a deeper appreciation for the need to understand India’s history and culture” and “I look forward to strengthening my connection to the country.”

The situation is “kind of interesting in that it pits Zuckerberg, who is truly a leader in Facebook, against Andreessen, who trades on the perception of similar success but has actually been more of a secret failure,” observed Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.

Facebook has withdrawn Free Basics from India.

Zuckerberg “is moving to protect Facebook and needs to do so, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t sincere,” Enderle told TechNewsWorld. “The two things don’t have to be mutually exclusive.”

It “would be a good thing for [Zuckerberg] to state an official position for Facebook,” said Mike Jude, program manager, Stratecast/Frost & Sullivan.

“His response sounds sincere,”.

Loose Lips Sink Company Ships

Zuckerberg wants to bring the Internet to the entire planet by 2020. Just how badly the controversy will impact those plans remains to be seen.

“This did hurt Facebook’s image a lot,” Enderle said. “Board members, like children, should be seen and not heard, and this issue shows why this is the case.”

“One expects a certain level of cultural sensitivity,” Jude said. “This sort of thing can’t help.”

However, if Facebook “takes steps to engage culturally with India and proves that it’s really trying to be sensitive to its new market, this could be good for them,” he added, “especially if it leads to better behavior in other markets.”

What Else Facebook Could Do

Andreessen’s comments make it look “like Facebook has ulterior motives” for seeking to link up the planet, “not so much because of what Andreessen actually said but what others are reading into it,” Enderle remarked.

Facebook should ask him to step down, “if only as an example to others that this behavior is not tolerated,” as not doing so “suggests the statement is acceptable in private and casts a shadow of dishonesty over the office of the CEO,” he added.

However, “people do make mistakes, and especially now that Facebook has disavowed his actions,” asking him to step down “is probably not necessary,” Jude said.

Facebook TIPs the Scales Toward Better Networking

Facebook Telecom Infra Project

Facebook on Sunday at the 2016 Mobile World Congress announced its Telecom Infra Project, an engineering initiative aimed at developing new technologies and approaches to building and deploying telecom network infrastructure.

TIP will bring together telecommunications companies, infrastructure providers, system integrators and other technology companies, according to Jay Parikh, Facebook’s global head of engineering and infrastructure.

In essence, Facebook wants to become a provider hub of globally shared content.

People and devices are coming online in increasing numbers around the world, making it easier to share data-intensive experiences such as video and virtual reality, Parikh said. However, the industry has been too slow in scaling traditional telecom infrastructure to meet the global data challenge.

If TIP is successful, it could be a game-changer. Content is and always has been king, and Facebook needs the telecommunications providers to efficiently deliver content, said Michael Bremmer, CEO of Telecom Quotes.

“Facebook is changing the game because telecom is dominated by players who do not want the game to change and are not used to actual competition,” he told LinuxInsider.

Possible Fly in the Ointment

However, the major telecom suppliers are concerned about lowering their profitability and have been unable to find other ways to monetize their assets, according to Bremmer.

“This is an industry that literally still thinks in billing by the X — long distance, byte, etc.,” he said.

TIP’s task will be to enable telecom operators and the broader telecom industry to be more flexible, innovative and efficient in order to expand connectivity, according to Parikh.

It is tied into Facebook’s other connectivity efforts already underway through Internet.org.

An Open Concept

The endgame is to get better wireless networks, and Facebook is calling on a previous play to drive its plan forward: the Open Compute Project, which led telcos to rebuild the hardware that powered data centers.

TIP members will align their efforts to contribute designs in three areas: access, backhaul, and core and management. The initiative will apply the Open Compute Project models of openness and disaggregation to spur innovation, noted Parikh.

Facebook hopes to unbundle the closed system of component pieces that make up the network and give network operators more flexibility in building networks. It also will result in major gains in cost and operational efficiency for both rural and urban deployments, Parikh said.

The announcement is an interesting move that says as much about Facebook’s growing stature and influence as it does about the increasing overlap between technologies and vendors’ market strategies, according to Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.

“An ongoing problem in IT is the lack of consensus/collaboration among competing parties. If Facebook can get vendors to play nice and work together, chances are good that technological evolution and innovation will accelerate,” he told LinuxInsider.

Here Comes 5G

If the plan works, it could speed the emergence of 5G networks and related services.

“That is something many in the industry are hoping for, though I think translating that into profitable market demand has a long way to go,” King said.

Bringing divergent industry players together will be helpful in making 5G a reality, noted Brian Lavallée, director of solutions and technology marketing atCiena.

“The evolution toward 5G will affect the entire end-to-end network infrastructure, from virtualizing the radio access network and Evolved Packet Core to upgrading the radio and air interfaces to segments interconnecting air-based to land-based networks — the mobile backhaul network,” he told LinuxInsider.

A heterogeneous network of different cell types will be required to obtain aggressive performance gains in speed, latency and coverage. The intelligent utilization of these cell types will result in a highly flexible 5G mobile network architecture optimized for significant, overall performance gains, Lavallée said.

Facebook Wins Either Way

Facebook is in a no-lose position, noted King. If the project succeeds, the company gets praise for its foresight and willingness to play mediator.

“The history of IT is littered with dead or moribund industry collaborations. If Facebook fails, it can bemoan lost opportunities and then get back to the business it knows best,” he said.

If it does not work out, Facebook really does not lose much, Bremmer noted. People still want their product and may force the other companies to innovate.

“Facebook’s biggest problem is it is an app,” he said. “This was proven by the failure of the Facebook phone. Facebook is dependent on others to deliver their content.”

Facebook Gives Us More Ways to Push Each Other’s Buttons

facebook-reactions-emojis

Facebook on Wednesday rolled out a new set of options for its 1.5 billion monthly users to use when responding to posts in their News Feeds.

The six “Reactions,” as Facebook has termed them, allow users to make more nuanced responses to posts rather than simply clicking on “Like.”

“We’ve been listening to people and know that there should be more ways to easily and quickly express how something you see in News Feed makes you feel,” explained Sammi Krug, product manager at Facebook. “That’s why today we are launching Reactions, an extension of the Like button, to give you more ways to share your reaction to a post in a quick and easy way.”

The additional options are Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry. When users scroll over the standard Like button, the new emojis pop up.

Advertising Reactions

The Reactions aren’t for users alone. They will provide Facebook with a deeper understanding of how people feel toward various posts — data Facebook potentially could use to help marketers create more meaningful content and ads, said Neal Schaffer, president of Maximize Your Social.

“I think what Facebook is trying to do is to get more information about how we engage with different types of content,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“Ultimately, I think they’re going to use that data in optimizing their algorithm — for example, to determine what content they show us in the News Feed. For marketers, there’s not much we can do until they release that data to us,” Schaffer said.

“One advantage for marketers could be that even if users didn’t necessarily press Like, maybe some of these other emotions will trigger something within them, and they’ll engage with the content,” he said.

Getting more detailed feedback on Facebook ads would be a huge advantage for marketers, noted Tammy Martin, CEO of Martin Marketing.

Instead of limiting Facebook advertisers to a black-and-white view of ad reactions and effectiveness, this addition could give them a deeper understanding of users’ attitudes toward ad content, she told TechNewsWorld.

“Right now we, as advertisers, get feedback on whether people like or dislike our ad content. We can see if people are responding negatively to ads, but beyond that we’re not getting much more. It’s sort of polarized feedback,” Martin said. “If there’s some middle-of-the-road feedback — colder or warmer — that would be helpful for marketing efforts. I see this change as benefiting advertisers in the long run.”

Facebook’s Evolution

Not long ago, Facebook added another way for people to engage: the hashtag. Although it’s a popular tool on Twitter, the hashtag never caught on in the Facebook community, Schaffer noted.

Like the hashtag, the new emojis may reflect Facebook’s effort to integrate tools that are popular with younger users into the Facebook platform.

“Facebook was behind in these kinds of stamps. They’ve been trying to bring in things from social networks of younger demographics into the Facebook platform,” Schaffer said.

“In fact, when you look at these emoji, they look really big for emoji, and you only get six different ones — whereas if you’re on Instagram and you’re using a smartphone, there are hundreds of emoji for you to choose from,” he pointed out.

“One way of looking at is that Facebook is trying to take things that the younger demographic — who are hyperactive on social and mobile — are using, and trying to standardize it and format it to the masses,” Schaffer said, “and the masses on FB are in their 30s and 40s, not in their teens and 20s.”

Another factor affecting this change is the additional time it might take a user to choose how they feel about a particular post. Before the emojis were added, Facebook users had two choices: They could like a post or not like it. Now, users must decide which emotion best represents their feelings.

That makes it not only time consuming, Schaffer pointed out, but also political. People will spend more time trying to interpret the various reactions of their friends on Facebook.

“Until now, you either liked something or you didn’t,” he said. “Now we have a wide variety of emotions which users can choose to express themselves. I’m on the fence about how many people will embrace it. In the past, it’s just been a like. Now people have to spend extra time figuring out which emotion best represents their feelings. We’re all busy, and we don’t have a lot of time. It might actually [reduce] engagement.”