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Facebook continues to enhance its Live experience. After the recent announcement of Live 360 videos, Facebook is adding another dimension: audio. The social media giant announced its launch of Live Audio, a new way to go Live on Facebook:

“We know that sometimes publishers want to tell a story on Facebook with words and not video. We’ve even seen some Pages find creative ways to go live and reach audiences with audio only by using the Facebook Live API or by adding a still image to accompany their audio broadcast. Our new Live Audio option makes it easy to go live with audio only when that’s the broadcaster’s preferred format."

According to Facebook, Live Audio also provides a way to broadcast from low-connectivity areas or to reach audiences in areas with weak network connections.

 

How Facebook Live Audio Works

Facebook Live Audio works just like Live video. When a Page starts a Live Audio broadcast, it will be pushed to news feeds and the Page’s Live subscribers and active followers will receive a notification. Facebook will pull the Page’s cover image as the default image for the Live Audio broadcast. Listeners can leave comments and reactions while the broadcast is ongoing. Broadcasts can last for up to four hours.

Facebook_Live_Audio

 

Android users will be able to switch to other apps or even lock their phone while listening to a Facebook Live Audio broadcast while iOS users can continue browsing Facebook while listening.

Facebook Live Audio can be a potential platform for:

  • Radio program broadcasts
  • Podcasts
  • Author interviews and book readings
  • Interviews and Q&A sessions
  • Live sets and recording sessions for bands and musicians
  • News broadcasts from disaster and conflict areas

Facebook has partnered with publishers, including Harper Collins and BBC World Service, as well as authors Brit Bennett and Adam Grant to introduce Live Audio over the next few weeks. The feature will roll out to all other users early next year.

 

Author : Rina Caballar

Source : https://www.searchenginejournal.com/facebook-introduces-live-audio/182151/

Categorized in Social

Last Thursday, after weeks of criticism over its role in the proliferation of falsehoods and propaganda during the presidential election, Facebook announced its plan to combat “hoaxes” and “fake news.” The company promised to test new tools that would allow users to report misinformation, and to enlist fact-checking organizations including Snopes and PolitiFact to help litigate the veracity of links reported as suspect. By analyzing patterns of reading and sharing, the company said, it might be able to penalize articles that are shared at especially low rates by those who read them — a signal of dissatisfaction. Finally, it said, it would try to put economic pressure on bad actors in three ways: by banning disputed stories from its advertising ecosystem; by making it harder to impersonate credible sites on the platform; and, crucially, by penalizing websites that are loaded with too many ads.

Over the past month the colloquial definition of “fake news” has expanded beyond usefulness, implicating everything from partisan news to satire to conspiracy theories before being turned, finally, back against its creators. Facebook’s fixes address a far more narrow definition. “We’ve focused our efforts on the worst of the worst, on the clear hoaxes spread by spammers for their own gain,” wrote Adam Mosseri, a vice president for news feed, in a blog post.

 

Facebook’s political news ecosystem during the 2016 election was vast and varied. There was, of course, content created by outside news media that was shared by users, but there were also reams of content — posts, images, videos — created on Facebook-only pages, and still more media created by politicians themselves. During the election, it was apparent to almost anyone with an account that Facebook was teeming with political content, much of it extremely partisan or pitched, its sourcing sometimes obvious, other times obscured, and often simply beside the point — memes or rants or theories that spoke for themselves.

Facebook seems to have zeroed in on only one component of this ecosystem — outside websites — and within it, narrow types of bad actors. These firms are, generally speaking, paid by advertising companies independent of Facebook, which are unaware of or indifferent to their partners’ sources of audience. Accordingly, Facebook’s anti-hoax measures seek to regulate these sites by punishing them not just for what they do on Facebook, but for what they do outside of it.

“We’ve found that a lot of fake news is financially motivated,” Mosseri wrote. “Spammers make money by masquerading as well-known news organizations and posting hoaxes that get people to visit to their sites, which are often mostly ads.” The proposed solution: “Analyzing publisher sites to detect where policy enforcement actions might be necessary.”

The stated targets of Facebook’s efforts are precisely defined, but its formulation of the problem implicates, to a lesser degree, much more than just “the worst of the worst.” Consider this characterization of what makes a “fake news” site a bad platform citizen: It uses Facebook to capture receptive audiences by spreading lies and then converts those audiences into money by borrowing them from Facebook, luring them to an outside site larded with obnoxious ads. The site’s sin of fabrication is made worse by its profit motive, which is cast here as a sort of arbitrage scheme. But an acceptable news site does more or less the same thing: It uses Facebook to capture receptive audiences by spreading not-lies and then converts those audiences into money by luring them to an outside site not-quite larded with not-as-obnoxious ads. In either case, Facebook users are being taken out of the safe confines of the platform into areas that Facebook does not and cannot control.

In this context, this “fake news” problem reads less as a distinct new phenomenon than as a flaring symptom of an older, more existential anxiety that Facebook has been grappling with for years: its continued (albeit diminishing) dependence on the same outside web that it, and other platforms, have begun to replace. Facebook’s plan for “fake news” is no doubt intended to curb certain types of misinformation. But it’s also a continuation of the company’s bigger and more consequential project — to capture the experiences of the web it wants and from which it can profit, but to insulate itself from the parts that it doesn’t and can’t. This may help solve a problem within the ecosystem of outside publishers — an ecosystem that, in the distribution machinery of Facebook, is becoming redundant, and perhaps even obsolete.

 

As Facebook has grown, so have its ambitions. Its mantralike mission (to “connect the world”) is rivaled among internet companies perhaps by only that of Google (to “organize the world’s information”) in terms of sheer scope. In the run-up to Facebook’s initial public offering, Mark Zuckerberg told investors that the company makes decisions “not optimizing for what’s going to happen in the next year, but to set us up to really be in this world where every product experience you have is social, and that’s all powered by Facebook.”

To understand what such ambition looks like in practice, consider Facebook’s history. It started as an inward-facing website, closed off from both the web around it and the general public. It was a place to connect with other people, and where content was created primarily by other users: photos, wall posts, messages. This system quickly grew larger and more complex, leading to the creation, in 2006, of the news feed — a single location in which users could find updates from all of their Facebook friends, in roughly reverse-chronological order.

When the news feed was announced, before the emergence of the modern Facebook sharing ecosystem, Facebook’s operating definition of “news” was pointedly friend-centric. “Now, whenever you log in, you’ll get the latest headlines generated by the activity of your friends and social groups,” the announcement about the news feed said. This would soon change.

In the ensuing years, as more people spent more time on Facebook, and following the addition of “Like” and “Share” functions within Facebook, the news feed grew into a personalized portal not just for personal updates but also for the cornucopia of media that existed elsewhere online: links to videos, blog posts, games and more or less anything else published on an external website, including news articles. This potent mixture accelerated Facebook’s change from a place for keeping up with family and friends to a place for keeping up, additionally, with the web in general, as curated by your friends and family. Facebook’s purview continued to widen as its user base grew and then acquired their first smartphones; its app became an essential lens through which hundreds of millions of people interacted with one another, with the rest of the web and, increasingly, with the world at large.

Facebook, in other words, had become an interface for the whole web rather than just one more citizen of it. By sorting and mediating the internet, Facebook inevitably began to change it. In the previous decade, the popularity of Google influenced how websites worked, in noticeable ways: Titles and headlines were written in search-friendly formats; pages or articles would be published not just to cover the news but, more specifically, to address Google searchers’ queries about the news, the canonical example being The Huffington Post’s famous “What Time Does The Super Bowl Start?” Publishers built entire business models around attracting search traffic, and search-engine optimization, S.E.O., became an industry unto itself. Facebook’s influence on the web — and in particular, on news publishers — was similarly profound. Publishers began taking into consideration how their headlines, and stories, might travel within Facebook. Some embraced the site as a primary source of visitors; some pursued this strategy into absurdity and exploitation.

 

Facebook, for its part, paid close attention to the sorts of external content people were sharing on its platform and to the techniques used by websites to get an edge. It adapted continually. It provided greater video functionality, reducing the need to link to outside videos or embed them from YouTube. As people began posting more news, it created previews for links, with larger images and headlines and longer summaries; eventually, it created Instant Articles, allowing certain publishers (including The Times) to publish stories natively in Facebook. At the same time, it routinely sought to penalize sites it judged to be using the platform in bad faith, taking aim at “clickbait,” an older cousin of “fake news,” with a series of design and algorithm updates. As Facebook’s influence over online media became unavoidably obvious, its broad approach to users and the web became clearer: If the network became a popular venue for a certain sort of content or behavior, the company generally and reasonably tried to make that behavior easier or that content more accessible. This tended to mean, however, bringing it in-house.

To Facebook, the problem with “fake news” is not just the obvious damage to the discourse, but also with the harm it inflicts upon the platform. People sharing hoax stories were, presumably, happy enough with they were seeing. But the people who would then encounter those stories in their feeds were subjected to a less positive experience. They were sent outside the platform to a website where they realized they were being deceived, or where they were exposed to ads or something that felt like spam, or where they were persuaded to share something that might later make them look like a rube. These users might rightly associate these experiences not just with their friends on the platform, or with the sites peddling the bogus stories but also with the platform itself. This created, finally, an obvious issue for a company built on attention, advertising and the promotion of outside brands. From the platform’s perspective, “fake news” is essentially a user-experience problem resulting from a lingering design issue — akin to slow-loading news websites that feature auto-playing videos and obtrusive ads.

Increasingly, legitimacy within Facebook’s ecosystem is conferred according to a participant’s relationship to the platform’s design. A verified user telling a lie, be it a friend from high school or the president elect, isn’t breaking the rules; he is, as his checkmark suggests, who he represents himself to be. A post making false claims about a product is Facebook’s problem only if that post is labeled an ad. A user video promoting a conspiracy theory becomes a problem only when it leads to the violation of community guidelines against, for example, user harassment. Facebook contains a lot more than just news, including a great deal of content that is newslike, partisan, widely shared and often misleading. Content that has been, and will be, immune from current “fake news” critiques and crackdowns, because it never had the opportunity to declare itself news in the first place. To publish lies as “news” is to break a promise; to publish lies as “content” is not.

That the “fake news” problem and its proposed solutions have been defined by Facebook as link issues — as a web issue — aligns nicely with a longer-term future in which Facebook’s interface with the web is diminished. Indeed, it heralds the coming moment when posts from outside are suspect by default: out of place, inefficient, little better than spam.

Author : JOHN HERRMAN

Source : http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/22/magazine/facebooks-problem-isnt-fake-news-its-the-rest-of-the-internet.html?_r=1

Categorized in News & Politics

In his predictions for 2017, John Kennedy forecasts how blockchain will be about more than money, IT will move to the clouds and bots will become humanity’s new best friends.

Predicting the future in tech is never an easy business, mainly because tech companies are, by nature, secretive and like to have the last word. Any time I predict what Apple is up to, for example, I always end on the line: “But only Apple really knows.” Because that is simply the truth.

But no one could have foreseen the events of 2016. We witnessed the election of Donald Trump to the US presidency, the loss of so many stars who wrote the soundtracks to our lives, the tragic killings in Nice and the bloody endgame in Aleppo, which will always be a shame for the world to remember.

Predictions for 2017 build on a crazy 2016

In tech, it was business as usual with very few real surprises; except maybe for Apple killing off the headphone jack in its iPhones; fake news infecting Facebook and allegedly influencing the US elections; Putin’s government hacking America; exploding Samsung Galaxy Note7s; hacking getting out of control, especially with ransomware and leaks to Wikileaks; Apple taking on the FBI; no one wanting to buy Twitter; Vine dying on the leaf; and mega acquisitions, such as Facebook buying LinkedIn and Verizon buying Yahoo. It all sounds like a rousing verse from R.E.M.’s It’s the End of the World as We Know It…

On the home front in Ireland, the biggest news was the European Commission lobbying a €13bn tax levy against Apple to the chagrin of the latter and the Irish Government; Britain’s decision to Brexit the EU; the stalling and stalling of the National Broadband Plan; and of course, mega acquisitions such as Verizon’s decision to buy Fleetmatics for $2.4bn and Intel’s acquisition of Movidius for an alleged sum $300m.

So, dear reader, what will 2017 hold for us through the tech lens?

 

Blockchain will be about more than just payments

If there was one breakthrough technology of 2016, it had to be blockchain: the enabling smart ledger technology that was fundamental to the rise of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and a whole slew of new fintech start-ups and platforms.

But more and more experts are coming to the conclusion that blockchain technology could be very useful in ways that go beyond fintech or cryptocurrencies.

The ingenious automated technology could end up being an enabling force for a panoply of platforms and uses, such as network and systems management. The key is the digital trail of crumbs: blockchain technology – which underpins emerging digital, virtual or cryptocurrencies – consists of blocks that hold timestamped batches of recent valid transactions, which form a chain with each block reinforcing those preceding it.

Pay close attention to an interview I did with Seamus Cushley, PwC’s expert on blockchain who runs the company’s blockchain lab in Belfast. Cushley indicated that in the last nine months of 2016, some $1.4bn of investment went into blockchain start-ups.

According to Cushley, blockchain is being investigated not only as a way to enable the viable exchange of contracts for value in everything from FX trading to property acquisitions and more, it foretells the future structure of the internet as we know it.

The future of work

If, like me, you witnessed the onset of the internet being heralded as a revolution in how we work, leading to all kinds of newfangled ways of working, such as teleworking, e-working or nearshoring… you were had. Our lives were meant to get easier, there would be more quality time with loved ones, more time to be creative… wrong.

The digital world has created a noose that means people are working longer hours. Countries like France have even passed laws preventing employers from emailing workers after certain hours.

As skills shortages rise, stress levels soar and entrepreneurship becomes more appealing to talented young executives eager to break free of the rat race, employers will be forced to reassess how they conduct relationships with workers. How do they retain talent, get the best out of enthusiastic people and ensure health levels are optimal?

‘What is the future of work?’ is a question that employers and employees alike will obsess over in 2017 and beyond. Creative companies that value human capital will examine new ways of working, pilot intrapreneurship endeavours to help sate the entrepreneurial wanderings of top talent, vent creative frustrations and ultimately find the key to a quality work/life balance.

The old mantra that work should not just be a place to go, but somewhere you actually enjoy going to, might be dusted off and given a new shine.

Time will tell, however, if questions of the future of work will be a meaningful cause or just more management consulting navel-gazing.

 

Fintech goes mainstream

In parallel with the arrival in Ireland of mobile wallet services like Android Pay (recently) and Apple Pay (eventually), smartphone-toting consumers are going to embrace fintech apps as a cleverer way of managing their money.

Think of these apps as the Swiss Army knives of finance.

Companies like Dublin and London-based Circle – which enables users to instantaneously transfer funds to friends and family via the app or by text message on the iPhone, using blockchain as a core enabler and Barclays as a licensed service provider – are at the forefront of this trend.

Rather than displacing banks as some had feared, this signals a gradual move by banks to employ fintech apps on the front line as an easier and more cost-effective way to deal with consumers, while enabling them to focus on more productive, higher value work as branches become fewer.

Expect banks to employ programmes to franchise fintech apps or initiate outright acquisitions in 2017.

Machine learning becomes a discipline and no longer confused with AI

For too long, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning have been lumped into the same conversation. That is going to change in 2017, as a broader understanding of what AI is all about pervades the tech industry.

Machine learning is remembering and AI is thinking, remembering, deciding and acting.

Quite simply, machine learning in apps and internet services is all about improving as time goes on, learning and assimilating users’ tastes and preferences – for example, for airline travel or hotels.

AI, on the other hand, powers the bots that have conversations with the users and employs machine learning as one powerful subset of a myriad of capabilities.

Start-ups and established tech players that use machine learning, which I have met on the trail from Amsterdam to Lisbon in the past year, are quite clear that it is not to be confused with full AI.

Beautiful Bots

Humankind’s friendship with bots – or automated artificial agents – will be cemented in 2017.

Facebook is currently leading the charge, creating experiences where already it is hard to decipher whether you are talking to a human or a machine.

This portends major changes for the future of customer relationship management, which no doubt Microsoft, Salesforce and fast-growing companies like Intercom are watching very closely.

Could bots be mankind’s next best friend?

 

Tech leaders will be the new business leaders

The digital economy is the economy. Across the world in 2016, thousands of traditional businesses went to sleep one night and awoke the next day as data businesses.

The trend will continue in 2017, as the internet, smartphone apps or other digital filters become the aperture through which consumers increasingly transact.

You are seeing this on retail floors of stores like River Island, where consumers can shop online and collect in-store, on flights with Ryanair where the digital experience continues long after you check in or check out, and the disruption that players like Airbnb and Uber are causing traditional industries like hospitality and transport, respectively.

This is signalling a major transformation in how companies deal with their customers and view their data. According to IDC, 50pc of the Global 2000 companies will be depending on digital products, services and experiences to connect with customers.

By 2021, it is forecast that a third of CEOs and COOs of Global 2000 companies will have spent at least five years in a tech leadership role.

Cloud will reign eternal

From being a mere concept in 2008 to today, where most consumers and executives rely on the cloud consistently – from Facebook and WhatsApp to Dropbox and Office 365 – cloud computing is increasingly becoming the nerve centre of IT infrastructure.

Ireland saw major data centre investments and acquisitions in 2016, from Apple building an €850m data centre in Athenry, Co Galway, to Facebook building a massive data centre in Clonee, Co Meath. Combine this with Equinix buying Telecity and its raft of data centres in and around Dublin, and it’s clear that Ireland is in the eye of the data storm.

This isn’t just about social media or e-commerce; the reality is that more and more IT infrastructure, which used to exist on premises in companies, will have moved to the cloud.

IDC predicts that by 2020, 67pc of enterprise IT infrastructure and software will be in the cloud.

By 2018, 60pc of IT will be done off premises and not only that, but 43pc will be processed at the edge by 2019.

In a nutshell, cloud won’t be an Amazonian concept (sorry AWS) but rather, a fully fledged reality that is 100pc trusted by users.

 

The fourth platform

As cloud’s roots grow deeper, the idea of computing as a thing that sits on our desk or in our hands will dissipate. Even as more and more of the world’s population join the mobile revolution, the golden era of the smartphone is coming to a close. That doesn’t mean the smartphone is going away any time soon, but it will become the lynchpin of a slew of new computing experiences that will draw our eyes elsewhere.

Big data, internet of things, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), 3D printing, robotics, next-generation security, blockchain – all of these technologies will happen around us, with data being the fabric and the smartphone being the connecting device.

In other words, computing experiences will be occur without relying on a primary screen as the conduit. This is the fourth platform.

The mainstreaming of AR and VR

VR and AR have been slowly entering the fray. 2016 was a significant year that finally saw Microsoft take the wraps off HoloLens, as well as Oculus Rift arriving, along with a slew of competing devices from HTC, Samsung and Sony.

VR has been a kind of revolution and it hasn’t. The high-end experiences promised by Oculus and Microsoft are still hampered by computing power.

At the lower end, smartphone-based VR experiences from HTC and Samsung – and let’s not forget Google’s Cardboard and similar products which can be found in any supermarket or toy store – are still gimicky.

Keep your eyes and ears (no pun intended) open for what Google intends to do with its Daydream headset, which portends a merging of the VR and AR worlds, so the headset can also overlay virtual reality experiences onto the physical world before us. In a sense, this could be the future of the recently shelved Google Glass or the newly launched Snap Spectacles.

Expect the games and experiences to become more intelligent and textured. Keep an eye on what Irish firm Immersive VR Education – creators of Apollo and Titanic virtual experiences – has planned in the year ahead, as VR and AR move from novel to to natural.

 

Smart things and voice

Like I said, smartphones will occupy less of the stage and give way to smarter things. 2016 saw Amazon up its game with Echo, its voice-based e-commerce service, as well as its Dash buttons, which order consumables like washing powder or nappies in just one touch.

Google will be no slouch in 2017, having already revealed its Google Home speech-based product at I/O earlier this year.

This is Google’s fourth platform play and the company is closely shadowing, if not exceeding, rivals like Apple on the payments front.

2017 will see a kind of arms race, where players like Amazon and Google will endeavour to become the partner of choice for a whole range of internet of things (IoT) players who see e-commerce as a potent ingredient in their smart things.

Facebook acceleration, Oculus telepresence and Slack rivalry

Rather than being email killers (if only), most workers are up to their tonsils in additional tools and things to keep an eye on; like Slack, Trello, Wrike, and other digital platforms aimed at simplifying workflow.

Others giants like Microsoft (Teams) and Facebook (Workplace) added to the cacophony in 2016.

It is high time that someone decided to dominate this space for once and for all with tools that eradicate the need for all the others.

There is a golden opportunity for Microsoft to do more to bring Skype and Teams together, or for Facebook to finally reveal its telepresence vision for the future of work with Oculus and Workplace.

Keep an eye on other dark horses like Cork-based Teamwork or Salesforce (which almost bought Twitter). They may do something to finally get rid of the screen noise and clutter (sorry, Microsoft) that is the reality of the modern-day worker.

The iPhone hits 10, Apple revs up for its newest phase

It is hard to believe that it is nearly 10 years since Steve Jobs took to the stage at Apple World in 2006 and said “One more thing …”

That one more thing was the iPhone and, having gone through more than seven different phases of the device, Apple will no doubt do something to celebrate the iPhone at 10.

Considering the phone’s form factor has remained mostly the same for the last three generations, I expect Apple to reveal a wholly new design to the iPhone to signal its next phase. As I said, only Apple really knows what this form factor will look like, but expect the design to inform all future phone designs from rivals in the Android camp. I mean, why break with tradition?

Another next phase for Apple, however, may see the company finally break its silence on what it intends to do with cars.

Apple is revving up to be a big noise in the IoT and healthcare spaces, but the idea of an Apple car is still igniting people’s imaginations.

Will Apple build a car or just a car OS? Given that Apple has so far dashed expectations on television hardware, the car idea is one that just won’t disappear.

Codenamed Project Titan and spearheaded by some of Apple’s top talent and roughly 1,000 workers, Apple may choose the timing of the 10th anniversary of the iPhone to shed some light on the future of the company for the next decade.

Will that involve four wheels? Definitely. But will it be an Apple car or OS? We’ll have to wait and see.

The Solar revolution

Given that Elon Musk’s master plan goes beyond cars and includes trucks, buses and homes, the attractive economies of scale of solar panels are hard to ignore.

Musk recently revealed his solar roof concept that would use tiles made of glass, which look like ordinary roof tiles, to power up homes.

This might not sound as crazy or unfeasible as you would think, when you consider that Scientific American recently said the average cost of solar models per watt dropped from $22 in 1980 to under $3 today.

It suggests that soon, an average solar tile per watt will be $1.75.

That makes 2017 a lynchpin year for a whole new revolution in solar energy.

But time will tell.

Author:  John Kennedy

Source:  https://www.siliconrepublic.com/companies/tech-predictions-2017

Categorized in Internet Privacy

Recruiters will soon have new tools and technologies to help match candidates with open positions, based on recent announcements from tech giants Facebook and Google.

Both companies made it known in November that they are in the early stages of staking larger claims in the talent acquisition space and disrupting the status quo.

Facebook is blurring the once-indelible line between personal and professional networking by adding a job-posting and application-collecting functionality to Facebook Pages.

Talent acquisition professionals already use the ubiquitous social media site for sourcing, branding and posting paid ads.

Facebook is testing a new option that allows employers to share specially formatted job openings in the company's status update box as well as in a separate, dedicated jobs tab on the company page. Ads can also be promoted to target specific users by education, geography or other criteria allowable by Facebook's advertising settings. An interested job seeker can click on an "Apply now" button to launch an application form prepopulated with information from the user's public profile. The form is then delivered to the page administrator as a Facebook message. This is just one of a number of recruiting features Facebook is experimenting with, the company said.

"It was inevitable, as Facebook attempts to get more into people's lives," said Martin Burns, a strategic consulting leader with Boston-based HireClix, a digital recruitment advertising agency.

Other vendors offer services to build jobs pages on Facebook, but this announcement formalizes postings for employers directly through the site.

"Past attempts to plug in mini careers sites onto Facebook pages haven't worked very well in terms of traffic and conversions," Burns said. "I wonder if that was because they were third-party apps or [because] people don't want to look for jobs while they are on Facebook. The idea sounds good in theory, but it hasn't really worked."

Manually posting jobs and dealing with applications sent as Facebook messages will be challenges for large employers that rely on automated job postings and delivery of applications into their applicant tracking systems.

"Whether or not Facebook users can upload a resume or use their LinkedIn profile is unknown, but this might be the hard part for many employers to swallow," said Joel Cheesman, a recruiting technology industry veteran and the founder of Ratedly, which monitors anonymous employee complaint websites.

"If you're the Facebook admin for a Fortune 500 company, good luck," Burns said. "They will get slaughtered. They will have to watch that channel carefully and filter it and make sure only the right folks see the ads."

 

Both Burns and Cheesman said that the tool may be most appealing to small and local businesses and companies that have hard-to-fill positions.

"This could be a market for companies who need a version of a LinkedIn corporate page but lack the budget to pay for it and don't want the restrictions that come with it," Burns said. "It may work for a facility in eastern Kentucky or northern Minnesota, where an Indeed posting doesn't really convert folks for jobs in call centers or as forklift drivers."

But the experts agreed that Facebook has the potential to improve engagement with the much-sought-after passive job seeker. Facebook offers demand generation potential, organically reaching people going about their daily life. "Facebook's professional-oriented groups are getting better engagement than LinkedIn, and if employers were able to start running job ads targeting groups, that could really hurt LinkedIn's model," Burns said.

"If at some point Facebook users are able to add a professional profile that complements their already-available personal pages—which, let's be real, is eventually going to happen—and attach that profile to a job opening, and companies can manage and search those profiles, then I think they're really onto something," Cheesman said.

Google's New Jobs API Aims to Make Hiring Smarter

The world's most popular search engine has developed a new tool with the potential to greatly improve hiring. The Google Cloud Jobs API (application programming interface) uses machine learning to understand how job titles and skills relate to one another and which job description, location and seniority level are the closest match to a job seeker's preferences.

 

The goal of the API is to address the disparity among job titles, job descriptions and the skills needed that "comes from a lack of industry standards to define and describe occupations and how they align to specific skills," according to Google.

The company compared the new tool—currently available in alpha testing—to Google's translation API, which translates text into many different languages. "Cloud Jobs API understands the nuances of job titles, descriptions, skills and preferences, and matches job-seeker preferences with relevant job listings based on sophisticated classifications and relational models," wrote Christian Posse, group data scientist with Google Cloud in this blog post.

At the core of the tool lies two proprietary galaxies of 250,000 specific occupations and 50,000 hard and soft skills, as well as relational models between them that encode the popularity and specificity of each skill for any occupation. For example, the relational models that encode JavaScript, HTML and CSS are skills related to the occupation of user interface engineer.

Posse explained that before the tool spits out a match, job posting titles are standardized and "cleaned" of any language not directly related to the occupation definition, including location, employment type, salary information, company name, marketing lingo and administrative jargon.

The tool is intended for job boards, careers sites and applicant tracking systems, where it will sit in the cloud, allowing partners to call on Google's algorithms only when needed. Early adopters include job boards Dice and CareerBuilder and Jibe, which develops careers sites for clients.

The eventual outcome of this tool, powered by Google's data, is that the jobs will find the people, Burns said. "That's the way it should be. It's the idea that you can visit a job board or careers site and be automatically served up appropriate career options based on your online browsing activity, geography and job title. Employers wouldn't need a recruitment marketing platform that captures your data. That step would be eliminated."

Was this article useful? SHRM offers thousands of tools, templates and other exclusive member benefits, including compliance updates, sample policies, HR expert advice, education discounts, a growing online member community and much more. Join/Renew Now and let SHRM help you work smarter.

Author : Roy Maurer

Source : https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/talent-acquisition/pages/facebook-google-invest-job-search.aspx

Categorized in Social

The next time you search for a business on the desktop version of Bing you may see some new social media integration in the right hand knowledge panel.

Jennifer Slegg has spotted Facebook posts appearing in knowledge panels of certain brands and businesses. They are presented in a card-style format which shows the two most recent posts from the business’s Facebook page.

Here’s an example of what it looks like:

Screen Shot 2016-12-12 at 4.01.25 PM

Facebook posts in Bing knowledge panels are not currently being shown for all brands and businesses, which could indicate this is just a test the company is trying out for a while.

It’s also worth noting that if you search for the name of a brand or business that has a physical store in your area, you will be presented with a local knowledge panel rather than the type of knowledge panel shown above. I could not find any examples of local knowledge panels displaying Facebook posts.

This is a small but newsworthy addition to Bing search, which gives it a slight edge over Google on desktop. Google is capable of displaying real-time tweets in search results, but one could argue being able to display Facebook posts is more meaningful due to the fact it has more daily active users than Twitter.

Auhtor : Matt Southern

Source : https://www.searchenginejournal.com/bing-begins-including-facebook-posts-business-knowledge-panels/180983/

Categorized in Online Research

Facebook is undoubtedly the biggest social media platform today, making it among other things, a target for hackers on darknet markets

Stolen data are a popular buy on various darknet markets for criminals looking for new identities to hide their clear web activities.

As such, data breaches like the theft of Facebook usernames and passwords are not uncommon.

In a bid to protect its users, Facebook employs more than just the use of secure software to keep out criminals who supply the darknet markets with stolen information.

Facebook buys the leaked passwords from the hackers in the various darknet markets, cross-reference them with existing user passwords, then sends an alert to their users to reset their passwords or make them a lot stronger to ensure their account’s safety.

Cross-referencing Process is Heavy

alex-stamos

Facebook purchases stolen passwords from hackers on various darknet markets and uses them to improve their users’ online safety.

 

Facebook’s Chief of Security Alex Stamos admits that the process is not easy at all, but is very effective.

He mentioned that the biggest threat to the safety of user accounts is weak passwords and the reusing of passwords.

He highlights that, despite the security team’s efforts to keep Facebook secure from hackers looking to make a coin on darknet markets, ensuring user accounts safety is an entirely different and notably more difficult aspect.

Facebook’s security team apparently began their data mining venture shortly after the massive data breach of Adobe in 2013.

Their primary goal was to seek out users with weak, reused passwords that were shared on the Facebook and the Adobe platform.

Since then, they have continued to purchase leaked passwords from the various darknet markets in a bid to ensure their users’ continued safety.

Passwords are Secure

For those who are concerned about their passwords being accessed by the Facebook security team, Facebook security incident response manager assures them that the method used to cross-reference the passwords to the respective owners’ accounts is in no way similar.

 

At the time they began buying the passwords from darknet markets, they ran the plaintext passwords using a one-way hashing code in order to link the passwords to their respective accounts.

The one-way hashing function compares the hashes of the recovered password using hashes that are already stored by Facebook.

If the two hashes are successfully matched using Facebook’s security process, then Facebook identifies the user and sends them a request to change their password in order to enhance account security.

Facebook’s Move May Be Encouraging Cyber-crime

As expected, there has been outcry concerning the morality of the whole situation.

Purchasing stolen information from cyber-criminals in the various darknet markets could only promote their activities, especially now that they realize Facebook will simply pay them to return the stolen passwords.

Stamos admits that the use of passwords and usernames are more than a bit outdated.

Originally coined in the 70s by mainframe architectures, the security provided by them is less than sufficient.

This is mostly the reason why Facebook later adopted additional security measures such as the identification of Facebook friends alongside its original two-factor authentication process to determine whether an account had been compromised.

They have also enhanced the account recovery significantly by making it possible to allow close friends to help in the verification of your account recovery request.

Stamos insists that despite all the security measures they use to protect their users from cybercriminals, there is always the lot that will choose to skip these measures and as such, it is upon the security team to ensure their account security.

Author:  Darknet Markets

Source:  https://darkwebnews.com/darknet-markets/facebook-buys-leaked-passwords-darknet-markets

Categorized in Deep Web

Facebook has risen to the top spot among tech companies on the annual Glassdoor Best Places to Work U.S. rankings.

That seems fitting for the company in a year when it is taking on Slack, Microsoft-owned Yammer, and other workplace collaboration platforms with its own Facebook Workplace.

Facebook’s Head of People, Lori Matloff Goler, told TechCrunch that the social media giant focuses on being a “strengths-based organization” and wants to be known as an employer that “takes good care of its people overall.”

She said, “Most employees speak favorably about their ability to have a real impact here. Many talk about the flexibility in the way we work.

Your manager is there to care for you, set context and help you play to your strengths, give you feedback and goals, but let you do whatever you need to get there. It’s not about how much time you spend in the office.

This is great for families but was inspired by engineers who, as you know, like to or need to work at different hours and are not seated at their desks all the time.”

Facebook also offers a very attractive parental leave package, she noted.

Glassdoor compiles compensation data, reviews and ratings by employees about the companies where they work. It makes money through paid job listings, recruiting and employer branding services. Its data sample comes from employees who self-select to offer information there.

 

Last year’s top-ranked tech venture, Airbnb, plummeted 34 spots in Glassdoor Best Places to Work 2017.

According to Glassdoor Community Expert, Scott Dobroski, that was largely due to written reviews from employees who said there has been an increasing amount of bureaucracy and decreasing amount of transparency from senior leaders in the company as it has grown.

The sharing economy’s top lodgings business still attained an overall 4.2 rating, out of 5 possible, from employees and did make the list of Best Places to Work U.S.

He also said Facebook made the list for the seventh time and topped the tech category because employees raved about their employer, overall, especially around compensation and benefits and perks that make day to day life easier like free meals or transportation.

When it comes to Facebook’s areas for improvement, Glassdoor data suggests the company could afford its people greater work-life balance. On a scale from one to five, Facebook employees rated work-life balance at their company around 3.8 compared to Google’s 4.1 rating in the category.

Google got slightly lower marks than Facebook on compensation and benefits with a rating of 4.4.

Other areas where employees were asked to score their companies included: career opportunities, culture and values, senior leadership, how strongly they’d recommend their employer to a friend, and the business outlook for their employer.

Whether Facebook can stay atop the list, or perhaps even top it overall and not just among tech employers remains to be seen.

 

The future of human resources at Facebook will be about “personalization,” Goler said.

“Students in middle and high school right now have grown up on shared platforms where they can customize their feeds, whether that’s on Instagram, or Facebook…They’ll enter the work world thinking it should feel similar to those consumer products.”

In total, 20 tech companies made the Glassdoor Best Places to Work 2017 list for the U.S.

Here they are, with their rankings and overall company score, as provided by Dobroski:

Facebook (#2, 4.5)
Google (#4, 4.4)
World Wide Technology (#5, 4.4)
Fast Enterprises (#6, 4.4)
LinkedIn (#8, 4.4)
Adobe (#9, 4.3)
Paylocity (#14, 4.3)
SAP (#15, 4.3)
MathWorks (#16, 4.3)
Salesforce (#17, 4.3)
Intuit (#20, 4.3)
Docusign (#23, 4.3)
Concur (#24, 4.3)
Akamai (#25, 4.3)
Zillow (#29, 4.2)
NVIDIA (#30, 4.2)
Airbnb (#35, 4.2)
Apple (#36, 4.2)
Microsoft (#37, 4.2)
Texas Instruments (#42, 4.2)

Author:  Lora Kolodny

Source:  https://techcrunch.com

Categorized in Internet Technology

It’s been half a decade since the co-founder of Avaaz, Eli Pariser, first coined the phrase “filter bubble,” but his prophetic TED Talk — and his concerns and warnings — are even more applicable now than they were then. In an era of fake news, curated content, personalized experiences, and deep ideological divisions, it’s time we all take responsibility for bursting our own filter bubbles.

When I search for something on Google, the results I see are quite different from yours, based on our individual search histories and whatever other data Google has collected over the years. We see this all the time on our Facebook timelines, as the social network uses its vats of data to offer us what it thinks we want to see and hear. This is your bubble.

Numerous companies have been striving toward bubbles for years. Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is believed to have once told colleagues that “a squirrel dying in your front yard may be more relevant to your interests right now than people dying in Africa.” The entirety of Facebook is geared toward making sure you know everything there is to know about that squirrel.

 

Although contentious, it’s arguable that Zuckerberg is at least partly right. People couldn’t function in their day-to-day lives if they spent every second worrying about the problems of the world. But curating our news to give us what we want to see, rather than what we perhaps need to see, has real, long-term problems.

The dangers of filter bubbles

Filter bubbles may not seem too threatening a prospect, but they can lead to two distinct but connected issues. The first is that when you only see things you agree with, it can lead to a snowballing confirmation bias that builds up steadily over time.

They don’t overtly take a stance, they invisibly paint the digital landscape with things that are likely to align with your point of view.

A wider problem is that with such difference sources of information between people, it can lead to the generation of a real disconnect, as they become unable to understand how anyone could think differently from themselves.

A look at any of the left- or right-leaning mainstream TV stations during the buildup to the recent election would have left you in no doubt over which candidate they backed. The same can be said of newspapers and other media. In fact, this is true of many published endorsements.

But we’re all aware of that bias. It’s easy to simply switch off or switch over to another station, to see the other side of the coin.

Online, the bias is more covert. Google searches, social network feeds, and even some news publications all curate what they show you. Worse, it’s all behind the scenes. They don’t overtly take a stance, they invisibly paint the digital landscape with things that are likely to align with your point of view.

If a person’s Facebook feed is full of pro-Hillary and anti-Trump stories and posts, you may wonder how on Earth anyone could vote for the man. If your feed is the complete opposite, highlighting only the negatives of Hillary and championing Trump and his benefits, you may have the exact opposite opinion.

Like Wittgenstein’s Lion, if our frames of reference from news and social feeds are so different from one another, could we ever hope to understand each other’s position?

Fake news, a historic problem, persists today

This becomes even more of a problem when you factor in faux news. This latest election was one of the most contentious in history, with low-approval candidates on both sides and salacious headlines thrown out by every source imaginable. With so much mud being slung, it was hard to keep track of what was going on, and that was doubly so online, where fake news was abundant.

This is something that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has tried to play down, claiming that it only accounted for 1 percent of the overall Facebook news. Considering Facebook has near 2 billion users, though, that’s potentially a lot of faux stories parroted as the truth. It’s proved enough of an issue that studies suggest many people have difficulty telling fake news from real news, and in the weeks since the election, both Google and Facebook have made pledges to deal with the problem.

 

Also consider that 61 percent of millennials use Facebook as their main source of news, and you can see how this issue could be set to worsen if it’s not stoppered soon. But this isn’t the first time the youth has been tricked by the right sort of lies.

Fake news, fake knowledge, and fake wisdom are something that humans have had difficulty with in perpetuity. Sophistry was once a practice of teaching rhetoric and public speaking in ancient Greece, but is thought to have been co-opted by charlatans who used the power of rhetoric and philosophy to not only make money from their paying students, but to popularize ridiculous arguments.

Plato described such a person in one of his later dialogues, and attempted to draw a comparison between them and their brand of implied wisdom, versus a true philosopher or statesman. In it, he concludes that sophistry is the near indistinguishable imitation of a true art, much as fake news today imitates the art form of journalistic investigation and reporting.

The second president of the United States, John Adams, knew its dangers too. In response to a letter from a friend in 1819 inquiring about the definition of certain words like “liberty and “republic,” he praised the search for such clarity, highlighting the importance of being acutely aware of the meaning behind words and phrases.

“Abuse of words has been the great instrument of sophistry and chicanery, of party, faction, and division of society.”

“Abuse of words has been the great instrument of sophistry and chicanery, of party, faction, and division of society,” he said, before citing his own tiredness at the pursuit of such clarification.

In much the same way that sophists and fraudsters of the past could use the techniques of their peers to make money, raise their own stature, and in some ways subvert the functioning society, fake news sites and authors use the styles and techniques of online journalism to create content that seems plausible. When combined with a salacious headline, and the ability to easily share that content online before checking its authenticity, you have a recipe for the proliferation of phony stories that can have a real cultural impact.

While Zuckerberg may not think fake news and memes made a difference to the election, Facebook employee and Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey certainly did. He was outed earlier this year for investing more than $100,000 in a company that helped promote Donald Trump online through the proliferation of memes and inflammatory attack advertisements. He wouldn’t have put in the effort if he thought it worthless.

STORIES DRIVE EMOTIONS

Buzzfeed’s analysis of the popular shared stories on Facebook shows that while fake news underperformed compared to its real counterparts in early 2016, by the time the Election Day rolled around at the start of November, it had a 1.5 million engagement lead over true stories.

That same analysis piece highlighted some of the biggest fake election stories, and all of them contained classic click-baiting tactics. They used scandalous wording, capitalization, and sensationalist claims to draw in the clickers, sharers, and commenters.

 

That’s because these sorts of words help to draw an emotional reaction from us. Marketing firm Co-Schedule discovered this back in 2014, but it’s likely something that many people would agree with even without the hard numbers. We’ve all been tempted by clickbait headlines before, and they’re usually ones that appeal to fear, anger, arousal, or some other part of us that isn’t related to critical thinking and political analysis. Everyone’s slinging mud from within their own filter bubbles, secure in the knowledge that they are right, and that everyone who thinks differently is an idiot.

BURSTING WHAT YOU CANNOT SEE

And therein lies the difficulty. The only way to really understand why someone may hold a different viewpoint is through empathy. But how can you empathize when you don’t have control over how the world appears to you, and your filter serves as a buffer to stories that might help you connect with the other side?

Reaching out to us from the past, Pariser  has some thoughts for those of us now living through his warning of the future. Even if Facebook may be stripping all humanity from its news curation, there are still human minds and fingertips behind the algorithms that feed us content. He called on those programmers to instill a sense of journalistic integrity in the AI behind the scenes.

facebookComp_head

“We need the gatekeepers [of information] to encode [journalistic] responsibility into the code that they’re writing. […] We need to make sure that these algorithms have encoded in them a sense of the public life, a sense of civic responsibility. They need to be transparent enough that we can see what the rules are and […] we need [to be] given some control.”

That sort of suggestion seems particularly pertinent, since it was only at the end of August that Facebook laid off its entire editorial team, relying instead on automated algorithms to curate content. They didn’t do a great job, though, as weeks later they were found to have let a bevy of faux content through the screening process.

While it may seem like a tall order for megacorporations to push for such an open platform, so much of a stink has been raised about fake news in the wake of the election that it does seem like Facebook and Google at least will be doing something to target that problematic aspect of social networking. They can do more, though, and it could start with helping to raise awareness of the differences in the content we’re shown.

Certainly there are times we don’t need content catered to us. If you are researching a topic to write on, you want the raw data, not Google’s beautified version of it. When it comes to news, offering some manual control over the curation wouldn’t go amiss. either.

How about a button that lets us see the complete opposite to what our data-driven, personalized feeds show? I’d certainly click that now and again.

But that puts the onus on other people to make the change for us, and it’s important to remember that the reason these services feed us content that’s relatively narrow is because of our own searches and clicks. If we all made a point to read outside of our comfort zone, to go in with a clear mind and demand content outside of our own bubble, we would get it and the algorithms would gradually respond.

That has the double benefit of giving us an immediate access to new information, but also teaches our digital curators to be a little more open-minded themselves.

And perhaps us too. At least enough to listen without shouting down and demanding a safe space for our own thoughts. Whether you believe that the opposing viewpoint is misguided, wrong, or disgusting, the best way to combat it is with reasonable debate. No terrible idea can survive the harsh light of day and intelligent opposition.

 

For his side of things, Pariser continues to highlight the problems filter bubbles pose, but has taken it upon himself to bring together people to help fight fake news and other online nonsense. If you’d like to help him out, you can contribute yourself.

It seems increasingly clear, though, that as much as there are many large institutions that need to make changes to help strive for truth online, the best step we can all take is to burst our own bubbles to see what’s beyond. It just might make thing a little clearer in a time where it’s increasingly hard to keep on top of what’s what.

Source : http://www.digitaltrends.com/

Auhtor : 

Categorized in Social

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg just offered up a behind-the-scenes look at some seriously cool tech that his company is developing for its various platforms.

The social network’s founder took to Facebook Live to play around with some of the prototypes and updates built by the firm’s engineers during this month’s Hackathon. The new tools include a location request feature for Messenger, GIFs for Facebook comments, and offline messaging, among others.

Zuckerberg was joined by chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer and chief product officer Chris Cox, along with a number of other execs, for the live-stream — which was jokingly described as Facebook’s version of American Idol.

 

The proceedings started with a modified version of Oculus Touch: the new controllers for Facebook’s Oculus Rift VR headset. The demo device that Zuckerberg played with in the video (for the “first time”) physically turns hot or cold depending on what you are interacting with in a game. “This is quite warm,” remarked Zuckerberg whilst clutching the controller. At the same time, onscreen, his virtual hands were hovering over a virtual fire.

Next up came a feature for Facebook Messenger that allows users to share their location with friends. The feature can be enabled individually for each of your Messenger contacts, allowing you to tell them where exactly you are during (for example) an emergency. Once a request is made, your mapped location will be sent automatically to your contact in the form of a reply — you can disable the auto-response within a set time limit. “That’s awesome,” exclaimed Zuckerberg. “This builds on the safety check work that we’ve done,” he added, referring to the existing Facebook feature that allows users to mark themselves as safe during a crisis.

The third Hackathon update that was showcased during the live-stream could end up being the first to actually be released. GIFs in comments could soon be added to Facebook across all platforms, according to the engineers who demoed the update. As you’d expect, the feature comes with an integrated GIF search engine (courtesy of Giphy and Riffsy), allowing you to pick from an updating database of animated clips. “I think this will be widely used,” said Zuckerberg.

After the GIF-a-thon came an exclusive update aimed at emerging markets. Overseas users of Facebook’s stripped-down Messenger Lite app may soon be able to message one another while offline. The tech basically uses Wi-Fi Direct support on a smartphone to allow users to chat with others nearby. It sounds like a handy function, but will likely be limited to select foreign markets where connectivity is low. Future updates could also allow for a message to be sent across several phones to reach its intended recipient. Zuckerberg’s take on the project: “That’s really cool.”

The final audition, as it were, was of an AI-assisted shared albums feature. The tool compiles photo and video galleries by pulling content tied to a specific event from the comments section of a post. For example, if you asked your friends to share images from a wedding, the feature would recognize that and automatically put them in their own album for everyone to view.

 

That’s a lot of cool stuff that could very well be rolled out on Facebook in 2017, and beyond. Before signing off from the stream, Zuckerberg also revealed that his AI butlerwill be demoed before the year’s end. Let’s keep our fingers crossed Robert Downey Jr. will come through on his offer to voice the digital assistant.

Source : http://www.digitaltrends.com/

Auhtor :  

Categorized in Social

Facebook is teaming up with some of its biggest tech industry counterparts in order to combat the spread of extremist content on the web.

On Monday, the company announced that along with Twitter, Microsoft, and YouTube it will begin contributing to a shared database devoted to “violent terrorist” material found on the respective platforms.

The compiled content itself will be identified using “hashes” — unique digital “fingerprints” — with the hopes that the sharing of this type of data will lead to a streamlining of the removal process across the web’s biggest services.

In its blog post, Facebook describes the items being targeted as: “hashes of the most extreme and egregious terrorist images and videos … content most likely to violate all of our respective companies’ content policies.”

Theoretically, once a participating firm adds an identified hash of an extremist image or video to the database, another company can use that unique data to detect the same content on its own platform and remove it accordingly.

 

Facebook assures its users that no personal information will be shared, and corresponding content will not immediately be removed. Ultimately, the decision to delete content that matches a hash will rest on the respective company and the policies it has in place. Additionally, each firm will continue to apply its practice of transparency to the database and its individual review process for government requests. Facebook claims that more partners for the tool will be sought in the future.

Over the past year, the web giants in question have all faced public pressure to tackle extremist content online. At the start of the year, execs from Google, Twitter, and Facebook met with White House officials to discuss the issue.

Facebook and Twitter have also been hit with lawsuits regarding their alleged inaction against terrorist groups operating on their respective sites. In response, the latter has banned 325,000 accounts since mid-2015  for promoting extremism. For its part, Google began showing targeted anti-radicalization links via its search engine. Meanwhile, in May, Microsoft unveiled a slew of new policies in its bid to remove extremist content from its consumer services.

“Throughout this collaboration, we are committed to protecting our users’ privacy and their ability to express themselves freely and safely on our platforms,” Facebook wrote in its post. “We also seek to engage with the wider community of interested stakeholders in a transparent, thoughtful, and responsible way as we further our shared objective to prevent the spread of terrorist content online while respecting human rights.”

Author:  Saqib Shah

Source:  http://www.digitaltrends.com/

Categorized in News & Politics

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