Did You Know You Can Blog On Facebook?

blog on facebook 3

Did you know that Facebook offers another option for sharing with your friends and fans?

It is a longer form communication much more like LinkedIn’s professional publishing platform.  And it may be worth a look if your brand has a bit more to share than a recent photo or a link to your latest blog post.

The Facebook Notes app was created and launched in 2006 and allows longer form content much like a blog post. The notes app hasn’t gotten much love or attention from Facebook. But it has more advantages than disadvantages today as content marketing becomes more important for small business success, especially on social media.

Here’s a quick overview of the Facebook Notes features from Smash U Media:

Facebook Notes is a possible alternative for people that might not have their own dedicated blog or website. If you want to write longer form posts on a social site and engage much more directly with your social media following, this is one approach.

Using the Notes feature on Facebook can be another way to build reach, serve and educate customers and add variety to your content approach on Facebook.

How to Find and Set Up Facebook Notes

To set up a Note on Facebook, go to your Facebook home page — not your profile with your timeline — and find the Notes App on the left side of the page under the apps section. Or type “notes”  into your search bar at the top of your page:

blog on facebook

Simply click on the icon and it will bring up the application, a simple word document format that allows you to enter text much like you would in a blog or other online publishing platform.

Customization Features of the Notes App

Notes allows for some simple customization like bolding, Italics, underlining, numbering, bullet points and quotes. It also allows you to add photos and tags.  However, it doesn’t allow embedding of video or gifs.

The Facebook Note app also features several privacy settings which allow you to target those in your community you wish to reach with your message. Settings include “public,” “friends,” “friends of friends,” “me only” or “custom,” a setting allowing you to specifically identify the friends on Facebook you wish to target the note to.

Privacy

Suggested Categories for Post Content

Whether you have a business page or professional page, you can use the Notes feature for:

  • How-to’s on a specific service or process.
  • Reviews of products or books.
  • Events, promotions and sales incentives.
  • Personal stories and experiences as they relate to your business relationships.
  •  Niche ideas and advice that you want to share with your community.
  •  Small business content that you can share, link and add your take on for your community.

Here’s an example of how people are using notes:

blog on facebook 2

Advantages of Using Facebook Notes

There are actually several advantages especially today to incorporating Facebook Notes into your content marketing mix.

First, Facebook Notes allows you to blog directly on the most popular social media platform in the world where a huge audience and community for your message already exists. Blogging on Facebook is a win-win all around. It allows you to directly address existing fans and followers and to easily build that community over time.

Second, Google loves social media and especially Facebook. So longer form content published on the Facebook platform is sure to be indexed quickly and turn up prominently in searches. Just make sure to add SEO and hashtags and to tag your friends in your posts on Notes.

Third, regular Notes posting can drive traffic to your website or Facebook page just like a blog post does. The more consistently you are posting the more prominently you will show up in the search results. Imagine if you could publish one note a week in addition to your regular blog posts on your website. That would add 52 additional pages that you are getting out there with real quality content for both Google and Facebook search to pick up on.

Fourth, the Notes feature allows you to go beyond the 420 character limit of a regular status update. So you can add more insights, ideas and information. Your fans and friends can comment on, “like” or share your Notes or your Notes RSS feed with others. You can also re-purpose a previous blog post using the Notes app.  Just be sure to re-format and rewrite it so that you can publish it as a new piece of content.

Disadvantages of Using Facebook Notes

There are a few disadvantages to keep in mind when using Facebook’s Notes app. The main ones have more to do with linking, spam and images more than credibility, acceptability and value.

First, your Notes will lack permalinks. So while Facebook content is popular with search engines, this one fact may make your entries not as SEO friendly as most traditional blog posts. In the case of Private Notes, Facebook may provide each user with a custom link to your note in order to maintain “privacy settings on a per-viewer basis.” But remember, no one will be able to see these links but those you designate.

Second, the Notes app does not offer a custom domain feature yet. One could redirect a domain towards a Facebook Notes page but by doing so might make a Notes journal look less professional in the process.

Third, spam is always an issue on social media and blogs. However, Facebook seems to have perfected a way to isolate spammers while keeping legitimate comments viewable, allowing users to focus on creating content instead of dealing with loud mouths seeking attention for personal or “business” reasons.

Fourth, the way Facebook Notes handles HTML image tags could give an attacker the ability to launch distributed denial of service attacks against external targets — like your website — using the power of the massive network to amplify the attack. Read more about how this kind of attack could be launched to minimize your chances of being a victim.

Most people would not ditch their blogs for Facebook Notes. But used together with other online marketing tools the app could give your brand definite advantages. Use it as a way to get started and get used to the blogging process before launching a blog of your own. Or enhance what you are already doing on your own website with occasional Facebook Notes updates. You can also use the app for specific campaigns, products, services or to reach a very specific audience.

There is buzz about Facebook Notes being a major focus of the next redesign for Facebook and there may be good reason to believe this.  Facebook needs to keep finding ways to serve it’s small business community and Facebook Notes certainly might be one such approach.

The Facebook Notes app gives you the opportunity to be in the blogging and content creation game now in a turn key environment and system at almost no cost to you, except the time invested to create and promote your posts.

Facebook Photo via Shutterstock

More in: Content Marketing, Facebook

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Facebook Launches Events App for iPhone; Android Version Is ‘Coming Soon’

Facebook Launches Events App for iPhone; Android Version Is 'Coming Soon'

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The app lets you browse for happenings based location or interest
  • Events is a stand-alone spin on a section at Facebook
  • More than 100 million people daily use Facebook’s events section

Facebook on Friday released a mobile app for finding local happenings to enjoy with friends.

The Events app tailored for iPhones (not available in India yet) hit Apple’s App Store, with a version “coming soon” for smartphones powered by Google-backed Androidsoftware, Facebook product manager Aditya Koolwal said in an online post.

Events is a stand-alone spin on a section at the leading online social network that lets people share plans for concerts, poetry slams, plays or other types of events they are interested in attending.

“When you open Events, you can quickly catch up on new events your friends are interested in, recently-announced events by the Pages you like, and updates from events you’re already connected to,” Koolwal said.

More than 100 million people daily use Facebook’s events section to discover activities they can take part in with friends, according to Koolwal.The Events app lets people browse for happenings based on factors such as location or interest, and to explore potential outing options with the help of interactive maps.

Plans made in Events are organised on a calendar and shared back to Facebook friends.

California-based Facebook has been building a family of mobile applications to stay tuned into modern lifestyles in which smartphones are used to quickly connect and share with friends or colleagues.

Facebook has a mobile app for the social network, as well as Messenger and WhatsApp messaging programs that each claim more than a billion users.

Facebook also owns photo and video sharing app Instagram, which reported earlier this year that it topped 500 million users.

Tags: Facebook, Events from Facebook, Facebook Events, Apps
[“Source-Gadgets”]

India Among Top Five Countries Using Workplace by Facebook

India Among Top Five Countries Using Workplace by Facebook

Buoyed by the positive response from over 1,000 companies that are currently using Workplace(formerly known as Facebook at Work), the company has announced to make the app available to all.

This means you can chat with a colleague across the world in real time, host a virtual brainstorm in a Group or follow along with your CEO’s presentation on Facebook Live.

“People have created nearly 100,000 groups and the top five countries using Workplace are India, the US, Norway, UK and France,” Facebook said in a statement on Tuesday.

“We’re announcing that Workplace will now be available to any company or organisation that wants to use it,” it added.

Large multinational companies like Danone, Starbucks and Booking.com, international nonprofits such as Oxfam and regional leaders such as YES Bank in India and the Government Technology Agency of Singapore have all embraced Workplace.

“We’ve brought the best of Facebook to the Workplace a” whether it’s basic infrastructure such as News Feed, or the ability to create and share in Groups or via chat, or useful features such as Live, Reactions, Search and Trending posts,” the company said.”We’ve also built unique, Workplace-only features that companies can benefit from such as a dashboard with analytics and integrations with single sign-on, in addition to identity providers that allow companies to more easily integrate Workplace with their existing IT systems,” Facebook added.

The company also announced “Multi-Company Groups” – shared spaces that allow employees from different organisations to work together and extend collaboration beyond their companies in a safe and secure way.

“This will be rolling out to all customers in the coming weeks,” Facebook said.

“Workplace will be priced competitively – companies only pay for people who are actively using the product,” it added.

Tags: Facebook, Facebook At Work, Workplace, Workplace By Facebook, Apps, Social, India
[“Source-Gadgets”]

Why Facebook Suddenly Blacked Out All Ads in Thailand

Why Facebook Suddenly Blacked Out All Ads in Thailand

Facebook is taking a very unusual step for a company that makes it money off advertisements: It will stop showing ads on its network in the entire country of Thailand in a gesture of respect for the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The social network announced the decision on its blog for advertisers, saying that it is removing ads in observance of a “cultural custom”:

“On October 13, we turned off all delivery of ads to the country of Thailand. Thailand is in a period of mourning due to the death of the King and removal of ads is a cultural custom. We don’t yet know the duration of the mourning period. We’ll keep you posted of any additional details as they become available.

“Note that ads will continue to deliver as normal in other countries, and that advertisers in Thailand can continue to run ads outside of Thailand.”

Why make such a drastic move to pay respects to this particular beloved world leader?

Facebook hasn’t said why outright, but Thailand is a significant market for the social network and is home to some of Facebook’s most engaged users. When the company first opened an office in Thailand last fall, Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg noted that Thai users tend to post three times more often than the global average. At the time, an estimated 37 million people in Thailand were using Facebook – most on mobile.

Facebook ads are also particularly well-received in Thailand, according to a report from the Thai newspaper The Nation. (That paper has adopted a monochrome design to show its respect for the late king.)It’s not clear how much money Facebook is forgoing as a part of this decision; the company did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The ad research firm eMarketer estimated that Thai advertisers would spend $81.7 million (roughly Rs. 545 crores) on Facebook advertising by the end of 2016, making Facebook the largest ad platform in the country.

That suggests that Facebook could be letting go of $6.8 million per month, though that is a very rough estimate. It does not factor in how much Facebook could be making from ads bought by Thai companies and shown outside of the country.

As Facebook said, it’s not clear how long the moratorium on ads will last. The Washington Post’s Annie Gowen has reported that the mourning period for the late king will last a year.

The move is a first for Facebook, but not unprecedented in the ad space. Yahoo last year turned off ads for Singapore after the death of noted leader Lee Kuan Yew, CNN Money reported.

© 2016 The Washington Post

Tags: Facebook, Facebook Thailand, Facebook Advertisement, Social
[“Source-Gadgets”]

Facebook Signs EU’s Privacy Shield Treaty; May Spark Privacy Row

Facebook Signs EU's Privacy Shield Treaty; May Spark Privacy RowSocial networking giant Facebook has agreed to adopt a new European Union (EU) data accord that allows personal information to be transferred to the US, potentially sparking yet another privacy row, the media reported.

Facebook has quietly signed the Privacy Shield – a controversial treaty that allows US technology companies to transfer EU citizens’ details abroad. It will apply to certain advertising data and its new Workplace service for businesses, the Telegraph UK reported on Saturday.

Privacy Shield, a replacement deal that was designed to provide extra safeguards for Europeans, came into force in July. Google and Microsoft have already adopted the treaty.

Facebook signed up at the end of September, although only two aspects of the social network use it.The first is Workplace, a special version of Facebook that allows company employees to communicate, which was launched last week.

The other is its “Ads and Measurement” technology that uses customer data supplied by other companies to target adverts.

Other user data is not covered by the treaty, although it can be transferred to the US under secondary legal measures, the report said.

“We have signed up two important parts of our business to the EU-US Privacy Shield Framework – Facebook at Work and our relevant Ads and Measurement services,” a Facebook spokesman confirmed the report.

Facebook’s adoption of the treaty is significant because the prior US-EU agreement, Safe Harbour which was abolished by the European Court of Justice as a direct result of legal action against the social network by privacy campaigners.

However, it is likely to lead to further scrutiny of the Privacy Shield deal from Facebook’s critics, the report stated.

Tags: EU, Privacy Shield, Facebook, Social, Internet
[“Source-Gadgets”]

Facebook Messenger App Adds Data Saver Option to Help You Save Mobile Data

Facebook Messenger App Adds Data Saver Option to Help You Save Mobile Data

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The feature is currently available only on Android
  • Data Saver allows you to manually download images and videos
  • App automatically downloads images and videos on Wi-Fi

Following the lead of many other apps, Facebook’s Messenger app has now been updated to include the data saver options to help users save cellular data. Many browsers have had these options for a while, and recently, companies like Google and Shazam announced several optimisations to their apps to provide improved services in countries where connectivity is an issue.

As of now, the data saver option seems to have been just added to the Android version of the Facebook Messenger. However, as the feature is in a testing phase, we will have to wait and see if it eventually makes way to iOS or not.

The data saver option, as implemented by Facebook Messenger, essentially allows the users to manually download the images and videos that are sent to the users instead of the app downloading them automatically. In order to enable the option, you need to head to the account settings menu of the Messenger app and tap on Data Saver. Then you need to toggle-on the option with the same name. The app also updates you about the estimated mobile data saved from the feature.

When you are connected to a Wi-Fi network, the app will automatically download videos and pictures. The data saver option will help users use their cellular data more effectively and will likely prove to be cost-efficient.Earlier this month, Facebook rolled out option to enable end-to-end encryption on Messenger conversations. This update provides similar user privacy as available on company’s WhatsApp messaging service and was introduced to provide additional privacy to Messenger users. However, unlike WhatsApp, Messenger users are required to manually choose end-to-end encryption for every new conversation.

Tags: Facebook Messenger Data Saver, Messenger App, Cellular Data Saving, Apps, Social, Android
[“Source-Gadgets”]

Facebook Messenger Testing ‘Conversation Topics’ You Can Talk About

Facebook Messenger Testing 'Conversation Topics' You Can Talk About

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Feature suggests topics on the basis of friends’ activities
  • Feature has been named “Conversation Topics”
  • Messenger app on Android recently introduced data saver option

Facebook Messenger has introduced a new feature called “Conversation Topics”, which is likely to be a conversation topic in itself. As the name suggests, this new feature essentially suggests topics for conversation to the app users. These topics are recommended to users on the basis of their friends’ recent activities.

The feature was first spotted by Twitter user Chris Messina, as pointed out by TechCrunch, on iOS platform. The app shows you the various activities performed by your friends in order to provide you with a topic to talk about. The recommendations reportedly have their own section on the home screen and show you the activities beneath your friends’ names.

The activities range from the places your friends visited, to the songs that they listened to. At this point, this feature seems to be in a test phase as the company has not announced it and it is not showing up for everyone.

Even though it is highly debatable if the social networking sites, with their new features, are helping people get in touch or making them less social, this update will definitely keep you informed about your friends’ activities.Facebook Messenger recently added ‘data saver’ option to its app on Android, which allows the users to manually download the images and videos that are sent to them, instead of the app downloading them automatically.

Tags: Facebook Messenger Update, Conversation Topics, Apps, Social, Apple
[“Source-Gadgets”]

Facebook Bug Bounty Program Awards Indians the Most for Finding Flaws

Facebook Bug Bounty Program Awards Indians the Most for Finding Flaws

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Facebook distributed a total of $611,471 to 149 researchers in H1 2016
  • Indians received the biggest share of the bounty in the period
  • Facebook received 9,000 security reports in first six months of 2016

Indians remain the biggest beneficiaries in Facebook’s Bug Bounty program, the company’s initiative to allow security researchers to find flaws on its platform. Joey Tyson, a security engineer at the company, wrote in a post that Indians lead the world when it comes to raking in the moolah, taking the biggest chunk of the $611,741 (roughly Rs 4.08 crores) distributed to 149 researchers via the program between January and June 2016.

(Also see: Bug Bounty Hunters and the Companies That Pay Them)

The USA and Mexico took the next two spots in the list of countries whose developers get the most money for finding bugs on Facebook. The company has distributed over $5 million among more than 900 researchers under the program in the five years since its inception.

India has been a dominant force in the Facebook bug bounty program over the past few years. Cyber-security researchers and developers from India had been awarded roughly Rs 4.8 crores since the program was started, according to data the company released in March this year. Facebook did not reveal the breakup of the bounty distribution for the first half of 2016.

Facebook’s Bug Bounty program lets white hat hackers report vulnerabilities in Facebook and its acquired companies and products, such as Instagram, Free Basics, Oculus, and Onavo. With the help of the Bug Bounty program, security researchers were able to report over 9,000 bugs on Facebook platforms in the first half of the year.

(Also see: Facebook Fixes Flaw That Could’ve Let Anyone Access Your Account)

This year, Facebook added WhatsApp to the program, expanded payment options to include Bitcoin, and switched to an automated payment process so researchers can be paid faster, Tyson said in the post. Additionally, the award notifications now include information on how the specific bounty was determined.

More changes are coming to the initiative, as Facebook plans to share more educational resources on security fundamentals and topics specific to our products.

Tags: Facebook, Facebook India, Facebook bug bounty, Facebook Security Researchers, White Hat Hackers

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Facebook Marketplace Lets You Sell Locally, Challenges Craigslist

Facebook Marketplace Lets You Sell Locally, Challenges Craigslist

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) had 1.71 billion monthly active users as of the second quarter of 2016, and by the time the company finishes monetizing its platform, it might be selling everything under the sun. The latest venture is the second iteration of Marketplace, which was first launched in 2007.  This time around Marketplace is available only on mobile, which will go a long way in Facebook’s drive to increase mobile engagement from the 50 minute average it currently enjoys.

Marketplace 1.0

When the first Marketplace was launched, Facebook had a mere 50 million users, and Craigslist, eBay and others had the secondhand market pretty much sewn up.  However, the company didn’t give up on the platform, adding Oodle and other investment before finally shutting it down in 2014.

Marketplace was later turned into For Sale Groups, in February of 2015, and according to the company, 450 million users buy and sell goods on the platform.

Marketplace 2.0

The success of For Sales Group and Facebook’s need to increase mobile engagement, as well as new monetization opportunities all played roles in the new Marketplace, which is getting a lot of attention from the company. If all goes according to plan, Facebook will expand globally and add a desktop version, with the eventual goal of monetizing the platform.

According to Marketplace product manager Bowen Pan, “After we’re confident we’ve built out a great product experience for people, we’ll look into introducing businesses if it makes sense, and after that we’ll look at how we could potentially monetize the surface,” as told to Josh Constine of TechCrunch.

How to Use Facebook Marketplace

To access Marketplace tap on the shop icon at the bottom of the Facebook app and you can start looking for things you want to buy, or post an item for sale.

How to Use Facebook Marketplace

When Marketplace opens, it shows you listed items near you with a Browse to Buy feature that filters feeds of items you can buy from groups or communities you belong to. If you don’t see anything you like, you can filter the search by location, category and price. When you find what you like, you tap the image to get additional information from the seller, which includes the name and profile photo as well as general location. 

Posting an Item for Sale

If you want to sell something on Marketplace, all you have to do is take a picture of it and add it from your camera roll. Name the item you want to sell, describe it and set the price. You then confirm your location and select a category so it can be easily found, and post.

Posting an Item for Sale on Facebook Marketplace

The Items section of the platform keeps track of current and past transactions so you can view saved items and anything you have posted for sale, as well as messages from buyers.

Comparison to Craigslist and eBay

The announcement of Marketplace sent eBay stock lower on Monday, and most reports also highlighted the potential threat it represents to Craigslist, the perennial peer-to-peer shopping platform. But it is really unfair to compare Facebook and everyone else because no one has 1.71 billion users.

Facebook can take its time building this platform until it becomes the go to source for peer-to-peer shopping; it has the capital and infrastructure to make it possible. And when it does, there will be very few companies that will be able to compete.

By integrating the information of the seller with his or her Facebook profile, Marketplace is going to give shoppers peace of mind and sense of security they cannot get elsewhere, especially Craigslist. 

The Case for the Small Business Owner

Facebook has a lot of competition in this segment. The likes of eBay, Etsy, Craigslist, Amazon, Alibaba, Oodle Marketplace, Bonanza, Sell.com, Ebay Classifieds, eBid, and Rakuten are just some of the companies it will be going against.

These are all sites small businesses have used at one point or another to sell their products and services. With Marketplace, you will still be able to do the same, but the opportunities to use Facebook’s marketing solutions can deliver better results. It is still too early to speculate on the possibilities because Marketplace is still in beta, but the future looks good once it is available to everyone.

Availability

If you are over 18 years old and you live in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand, you are in luck because you can use Marketplace on your iPhone or Android device to buy and sell items. The company said it will continue to expand to more countries as well as platforms, which will include a desktop version in the coming months.  As for pricing, it is absolutely free.

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Facebook Messenger Lite Takes Up Less Phone Space for Tech Challenged Areas

young-mobile-users-in-kenya

Small businesses and others seeking a better way to communicate with customers or partners in tech challenged areas should rejoice.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has launched lighter version of its Android Messenger app. The new bare-bones Messenger app is designed for people in areas with slow internet connections as well as for older phones with less powerful processors and less memory.

Introducing the Facebook Messenger Lite App

The new Facebook Messenger Lite allows you to send stickers, photos, links and text to anyone using Messenger or Messenger Lite.

“More than 1 billion people around the world use Messenger every month from a range of mobile devices on networks of various speeds and reliability,” said the Engineering Manager for Messenger Lite Tom Mulcahy in a blog post. “With Messenger Lite, more people can stay in contact, regardless of network conditions or storage limitations on their Android devices. Messenger Lite was built to give people a great Messenger experience, no matter what technology they use or have access to.”

Tom also adds that the app is fast and easy to download as it’s under 10MB.

Like Facebook Messenger, Messenger Lite uses the same bolt logo, but with reversed colors. The bolt is blue with a white chat bubble background while for Facebook Messenger, the bolt is white with a blue chat bubble background.

The new Messenger Lite is already rolling out to people in Malaysia, Kenya, Tunisia, Sri Lanka and Venezuela. Tom says that they will soon be rolling the app in other countries in the coming months.

This should come as good news for businesses that use Messenger as a means to communicate with their clients. You can now be able to upload real-time photos and links regardless of the Internet speeds or the speed of your phone.

While Facebook is quite clear on what you can do with the “Lite” version, they are not so clear on what you will not get but don’t get surprised if you can’t find features certain features.

Facebook also doesn’t disclose whether there will be a similar app for iOS. They are, however, clear that they chose markets with a “prevalence of basic Android smartphones.”

Young Mobile Users in Kenya Photo Via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]