Facebook claims Newsfeed dip for news sites was a mere ‘bug’

Facebook giveth traffic. Hath Facebook taken it away?

The social network said on Tuesday afternoon that it had given news publishers underwhelming data reports about how many people see posts on its NewsFeed

NewsWhip, a social media tracking startup, had published a blog post on Tuesday afternoon noting that news content on Facebook had experienced a marked decline in the number of people reached from the middle of February and into March

See also: BuzzFeed’s latest vision: Who needs a website when you have Facebook?

In the fraught relationship between Facebook and the news business, that blip reignited the concern of news publishers that Facebook’s important traffic had suddenly been cut back as it looks to embrace native video and other forms of media. Read more…

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Twitter Launches Curator, a Platform for Media Publishers

By Tuesday, March 31, 2015 0 Permalink 0

Twitter wants to make it easier for media entities to tap into conversation on its platform. The company announced Tuesday the launch of Curator, a platform that surfaces the most relevant and popular tweets and Vines around a certain topic.

Media publishers can see a demographic breakdown of those talking about a topic, such as March Madness, as well as some of the most popular tweets and Vine videos.

Twitter Product Manager Matt Dennebaum wrote about Curator in a blog post:

Whether it’s Fashion Week, the Cricket World Cup or a TV show finale, surfacing great Twitter content in key moments is a powerful catalyst for engaging audiences and igniting conversations. Now we’re making it easier than ever to find and display the most relevant Twitter and Vine content with a new tool called Curator.

Curator was built to allow media publishers to search, filter and curate Twitter content that can then be displayed on web, mobile and TV. Those who have been testing Curator have seen strong increases in audience engagement, participation and attention. With these encouraging results, we’re opening up the product to all media publishers around the world, for free. This includes news organizations, production companies, broadcasters, local governments, and even concert venues.

To request access to Curator, click here.

ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: 700M+ Interactions by 53M Facebook Users

By Tuesday, March 31, 2015 0 Permalink 0

ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 wrapped up with Australia’s victory March 29, and the tournament generated more than 700 million interactions from Jan. 1 through the final match, from 53 million Facebook users.

India’s victory over Pakistan Feb. 15 was itself responsible for 25 million interactions from 9 million users on the social network, and other matches drawing the attention of Facebook users included Australia’s semifinal victory over India (24.5 million interactions from 8.8 million users) and its final-match triumph over New Zealand (9.3 million interactions from 3.7 million users).

Facebook head of media partnerships for India Saurabh Doshi and strategic partner development manager for Australia and New Zealand Karren Rogers highlighted Cricket World Cup-related posts by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Australian actor Hugh Jackman, New Zealand boxer Joseph Parker, India captain MS Dhoni, teammate Virat Kohli and Bollywood star Aamir Khan, as well as from publishers including Cricinfo, the ICC, Aaj Tak and Star Sports, in a Facebook Media blog post, adding:

During the semifinal and final matches, Facebook selfie sticks and phones were taken through the stands by ICC hosts, and fans were asked to take selfies that captured the excitement of the finals. The photos were posted exclusively to the ICC Facebook page.

Through custom experiences built for the tournament on desktop and mobile, cricket fans on Facebook could get closer to the action. This included trending pages for fans to follow the matches and get live scores in real-time, custom status updates to share that you were watching a certain match and more. For example, you can experience the trending page for the final match here.

Cricket fans: Did you interact on Facebook during ICC Cricket World Cup 2015?

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Watching Steve Smith hit #CWC15 winning runs! Congratulations to Michael Clarke on a brilliant One Day International career & New Zealand on a great tournament.

Posted by Tony Abbott on Sunday, March 29, 2015

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MS Dhoni: “They played very good cricket, over 300 is always a difficult score, I felt it was just over par, they could…

Posted by MS Dhoni on Thursday, March 26, 2015

You’re about to see a lot more baby photos in your Facebook feed

Facebook now has a dedicated feature that lets parents tag their children in photos.

The social network rolled out a new feature on Tuesday called Scrapbook for parents to create customizable shared photo albums of their children in the Facebook app and on the web.

See also: How to use Facebook for thank you notes

Scrapbooks differ from the traditional Facebook photo album in that multiple family members can contribute to the same album, which will appear in the Photos menu of each parent who collaborates. Parents can also tightly control who can see photos in scrapbooks and how their children are tagged. If parents don’t want their child’s name on Facebook, for example, they can choose to identify their child by a nickname or initials. Read more…

More about Facebook, Social Media, Tech, Apps Software, and Apps And Software

FarmVille 2: Country Escape Updated with Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt

By Tuesday, March 31, 2015 0 Permalink 0

Zynga has released the latest major content update for FarmVille 2: Country Escape on mobile, bringing an Easter celebration to gamers level 10+. The event will see players completing quests and crafting special “Springtime Goods,” turning them in for Basket Points in an effort to climb the leaderboard and win prizes, including a limited edition Irish Setter Farm Hand.

As with most holiday events, this Easter event has multiple parts. The first focuses on sending Farm Hands to key locations, including the Glade, Pier, Pond, Mine and new Flower Field (which is only available during this event). Different locations offer different Springtime ingredients. Oranges, for instance, can only be found while exploring the Flower Field or the Pier, while Cocoa Beans are available in the Glade, Pond and Flower Field.

A themed building has been added behind Eagle Eye Eddie’s barn, and has up to three active orders at any one time. These orders may be for standard items, like Wheat, Carrots and Shovels, or will be for individual Springtime Goods and the items those ingredients can create (Orange Gummies, for instance). Crafted items are worth more Basket Points than individual ingredients, but if players aren’t interested in taking the time to craft or otherwise retrieve an item, they can pass on the order and will receive another after a few minutes.

Meanwhile, players can also collect new Spring Eggs from their chickens. Players have a chance to receive a special Spring Egg each time they tend a chicken, with different chickens dropping different eggs. To be specific, white chickens drop yellow eggs, brown chickens drop red eggs and black chickens drop blue eggs. These can be traded in for extra Basket Points at the Prize Tent.

For every 200 Basket Points players earn, they’ll receive a Surprise Egg filled with “helpful items,” which may include Springtime ingredients and boosts. At the end of the event, players in the top three leaderboard levels will receive the ultimate prizes, including Stamps, coins and Golden Gloves, depending on the ranking.

This Easter event will only be available for a limited time. Players looking to make faster progress can purchase the special Easter Bunny Farm Hand for 200 Keys (he’s better at finding event-specific items), while special chocolate bunnies increase the amount of Basket Points players receive for a limited time.

FarmVille 2: Country Escape is available to download for free on the iTunes App Store, Google Play and the Amazon Appstore.

Facebook Adds Subscribe Button for Pages’ Events

By Tuesday, March 31, 2015 0 Permalink 0

With the oft-mentioned drop in Facebook pages’ organic reach, page administrators of event-heavy pages, such as those for musical artists, have been hit hard. The social network launched a feature this week aimed at solving that issue.

All pages on desktop and mobile now have subscribe buttons in their events sections, according to numerous reports, and users who click those buttons will receive the same types of notifications that they would see from other users’ events.

Karissa Bell of Mashable pointed out that the new feature allows users to stay informed about events from pages in their event dashboards, both via the Web and Facebook’s flagship mobile applications, rather than being required to check those pages, avoiding the whims of the social network’s News Feed algorithm.

And Josh Constine of TechCrunch reported that users’ friends will be able to see which events they have subscribed to, the same way they can see pages they have liked.

Constine added that musical artists in particular suffered when Facebook began preventing pages from setting default landing tabs in 2012, which the social network has attempted to address with its Shop Now call-to-action button by enabling those pages to lead users to non-Facebook destinations such as stores on artists’ websites or on iTunes.

Readers: What do you think of the subscribe button for pages’ events?

Screenshots courtesy of TechCrunch and Mashable.

Pinterest Celebrates 5th Birthday

By Tuesday, March 31, 2015 0 Permalink 0

Pinterest on Tuesday celebrated its fifth birthday, sharing some statistics showing how the company has grown in the last half decade.

In the past 5 years:

50 billion Pins collected by people onto more than 1 billion boards
80 percent of traffic comes from mobile
Each year, Pinterest serves more than 1.5 trillion recommendations
Recipes: Pinterest has more than 1.7 billion recipe Pins
Shopping: Every day nearly 2 million people Pin product rich Pins
Articles: More than 14 million articles are Pinned each day
⅔ of all the content people Pin is from a business’ website

Pinterest has also doubled its male user base in the U.S. this year. In 2014, the site’s male population in the U.S. grew 73 percent year over year and is outpacing overall Pinterest growth.

Pinterest is available in more than 30 languages and the company has 5 global offices: Tokyo, London, Paris, Berlin and São Paulo. Last year, international users grew more than 135 percent. Monthly active users are up 150 percent year over year outside of the U.S.

Readers: How often are you on Pinterest?

Mobile Signals Report: Will Your App Reach $1M in Revenue?

By Tuesday, March 31, 2015 0 Permalink 0

Tapjoy, a marketing automation and monetization company, has released its Mobile Signals Report, which studied the mobile app behaviors of 149 million users and found five major trends that may be useful for developers to determine whether their apps will reach $1 million in revenue. Tapjoy examined user behavior in 479 apps with session counts over 1,000, from October 2013 to December 2014. The report focused on developers from Korea, Japan and China, a fast-growing but still relatively new market.

First, Tapjoy found a strong connection between the number of players making three or more in-app purchases and the likelihood the game would reach the $1 million revenue threshold. The study found 84 percent of apps with 1,000 or more users who complete three or more in-app purchases within the first 83 days eventually reached $1 million in revenue. Apps that had 4,000 or more users completing three or more in-app purchases reached $1 million 100 percent of the time.

When analyzing these three individual purchases, the study found users are more willing to make the first purchase, with “dramatic drop-off rates” afterward. For that reason, Tapjoy says first-purchase rates are potentially misleading when determining whether an app will reach a desired performance threshold. The report showed 35 percent to be the key number for reaching the $1 million revenue mark, with the “vast majority” of apps that had at least 35 percent of their first time purchasers go on to complete a third purchase reached that revenue number.

Tapjoy went further, analyzing average gameplay session length, in-app purchase trends in relation to the time of day or month, and more. The report showed the top 10 percent of games by revenue had an average gameplay session of over 25 minutes, and that 20 percent of monthly revenue is earned during the first four days of the month.

Since this data doesn’t provide a guaranteed formula for determining the lifetime value of users or the eventual revenue of new mobile games, Tapjoy says developers should “rely on multiple perspectives, with close attention to nuances, to piece together [their] revenue picture.”

The full Tapjoy Mobile Signals Report is available here.

Footage shows every angle of burglars smashing into a mall

Two burglars in Australia drove a stolen Subaru Liberty into a shopping center in Canberra, crashing their way into a jewelry store in the early morning on March 30. They raided the store and used crowbars to smash the glass displays. Police are still on the hunt for the suspects.

This surveillance footage, which was uploaded by the ACT police, shows the burglars and their less-than-stealthy operation in all of its glory.

According to ACT police, a similar smash-and-grab occurred early March 31 using a different vehicle in a nearby suburb.

Cat and fish take a surprisingly successful bath together

Romantic Wrestlemania proposal ends with 3 words

Stop what you’re doing, because Gonzo is doing ‘The Humpty Dance’

Vin Diesel talks about ‘Furious 8’ before ‘Furious 7’ is even out Read more…

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