Your Facebook feed is about to get slightly less infuriating. No, your friends aren't going to spontaneously start believing the same things you do. Facebook has decided to end sponsored stories. Those are the posts that float to the top of your feed informing you that one of your friends has interacted with a brand or product on Facebook. Well, no more.
We've received an early look at an upcoming version of Facebook that introduces a brand new, flat UI. This is a change that competing social networks like Twitter and Pinterest made a long time ago, and given the direction Android, iOS, and Windows Phone have all moved in, it only makes sense. When considering Facebook Messenger's recent redesign, it's even less surprising. Yet this is pre-release software, so there's a decent chance none of these changes will make it into the stable version.
Yesterday Facebook announced that it was revamping its Messenger app, stripping it of SMS functionality and creating a more attractive, streamlined experience that the company hopes will draw more users to the app. The new version is currently rolling out to a limited number of users, with a wider release planned for the coming weeks. So when it arrives, what should you expect?
To get started you're going to hand over the keys to everything, including your car, before using the app.
For a very long time, the Facebook app on Android was atrocious, and it's still not great. The folks at Facebook are trying, though. After starting a Play Store beta program not long ago, the social network is now setting up an alpha channel to test the newest (and potentially most unstable) features. Want in?
The alpha program will be run in a very similar way to the beta program. You'll have to sign up for the Play Store testing program and the app will update as new builds are released.
Facebook's Android app isn't what you'd call a shining example of standards-based development, but it's been steadily improving for the last couple of years. A tipster who's using the latest Facebook Android beta sent us screenshots of what the next major iteration might look like. After resetting his account and being sent the relevant codes, our reader noticed two "code generator" entries in the app's slide-out menu. Tapping the first one shifted his app's UI considerably.
Facebook started a beta testing program through the Play Store a while back, and if ever there was an app that needed some help from the community, it's Facebook. The newest update to version 3.7 brings a few notable additions, as well as a variety of bug fixes and tweaks.
Just because you use Facebook, that doesn't mean you have a Facebook page. We all have profiles, but pages are typically reserved for organizations, artists, or products. That said, anyone can create a Facebook page. Yes, anyone They're practically giving them away. And while you're creating a page of your own, check out the Facebook Pages Manager app, which was updated recently with a number of nice features that make managing that new page a bit easier.
I'll admit it - I tried to avoid signing into apps using Facebook back when doing so first became a thing. I figured the company already had enough information about me, and I didn't want them getting more. Now I wager that consolidating my information is probably no less safe (or unsafe?) than leaving my contact information scattered across many different servers, each maintained by scattered companies of varying size that may or may not exist this time next year.