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Facebook Is Considering a Huge Shift That Would Dramatically Change How You Use the Social Network (It’s a Good Thing)

Facebook invented the ‘like’ button as a subtle way of sending a message, short of adding a comment, that you supported whatever it was your friend posted on the social network. It was like a virtual nodding of your head at whatever they shared, a “Yeah, I agree with that,” without saying a word.

Over time, the ‘like’ became a little more flexible, adding a few other emotive options. You can now add a range of options from a heart, laughing, angry, or even sad. It also happens to be how many people measure whether or not a post was worth the time it took to create, the metric being, how many ‘likes’ did it get?

Soon, however, the ‘like’ may be no more, at least not as a measure of popularity. That’s because Facebook is apparently testing what happens when they remove the ‘like count’ from posts.

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The test was discovered by app researcher Jane Manchun Wong, who spends a lot of time digging under the hood of the apps you use everyday, to discover unreleased features that are being tested. And it isn’t just a hunch–Facebook has confirmed to Techcrunch that it plans to test removing the feature.

I reached out to Facebook, but did not immediately receive a response.

Facebook has already begun testing this on Instagram (which was also discovered first by Wong), and apparently the company views it as a success because it has continued to roll it out to additional countries. According to Verge, users in the test have responded positively overall.

The problem with ‘likes.’

Here’s why this is interesting. Facebook helped created a world where people obsess over how many likes their selfies and photos of their pets receive. For many, it’s become a signifier of self-value. It even has a name: The ‘like’ culture.

Now it appears the company clearly realizes that the adverse effects of that culture have real world consequences for people. Anxiety over how much attention a social media post receives is a real thing. Depression and bullying online are also real. The best case scenario–at least for the users–is that they simply stop using social media site. The worst-case-scenario is, well, far worse.

Why engagement matters.

Part of the problem for Facebook is that if people fear that their content might not get very many ‘likes,’ they could be less interested in sharing. If they don’t share, overall engagement goes down. And engagement is extremely important to Facebook. Engagement means that people are using the site, which means they’re able to view the target ads that make the company a lot of money.

My guess is that most people won’t love this change at first, but it’ll be better for all of us in the long run. If it helps people become less addicted to the instant gratification that comes with little red notification dots and ‘like counts,’ it’s a step in the right direction.

If it helps people become a little less obsessed with what other people think about the curated view into their lives that they share online, we’ll all be better off. In that regard, I’ll give Facebook credit for helping people’s mental health, even if it may also helps the company at the same time.

By: Jason Aten

 

Source: Facebook Is Considering a Huge Shift That Would Dramatically Change How You Use the Social Network (It’s a Good Thing)

Between Facebook stock in freefall and the platform being used to destabilize democracy we thought it a better time than ever to explore David Fincher’s blockbuster hit The Social Network. Get ready to learn the true story about Facebook in all it’s gory details. If you enjoy what you see and hear don’t feel shy about subscribing, liking or sharing our channel. It helps us produce more contact. Join the Serfs! www.patreon.com/theserfs Or find us on social media: https://www.weareserfs.com https://twitter.com/Theserfspodcast https://www.instagram.com/serfspodcast/ https://www.facebook.com/serfspodcast https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/t… https://www.soundcloud.com/theserfs Sources: https://www.thedailybeast.com/faceboo… http://www.mtv.com/news/2437629/the-s… http://www.slate.com/articles/news_an… https://www.businessinsider.com/is-th… https://www.thedailybeast.com/mark-zu… https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB100014… https://www.cnn.com/2012/05/29/tech/s… http://ew.com/article/2010/10/12/soci… https://jezebel.com/5654633/the-socia… Keywords: facebook,mark zuckerberg,the social network,the social network debunked,the social network fact check,the social network true story,social network true story,is the social network true,the social network fact vs fiction,social network fact vs fiction,fact check social network,facebook documentary,facebook what happened,facebook stock,facebook popularity,zuckerberg,zuckerberg stock,facebook scandal,facebook news,aaron sorkin,david fincher,facebook loss

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Facebook Defends Libra Cryptocurrency in Sometimes Hostile Senate Hearing

Ahead of the launch of its new global cryptocurrency, Facebook (FBGet Report) sent its crypto chief David Marcus to the Senate Tuesday to face questioning from the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

The mixed reaction Marcus received among senators was mostly divided along party lines, with some of the toughest questioning coming from Democratic Senators still skeptical of the company in the wake of the Russian election hacking scandal that Democrats blame for their candidate’s loss in the 2016 presidential election.

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Senator Mark Warren (D-VA) stated that “Facebook has a history of buying or copying competing technologies,” before demanding that Marcus assure the panel that competing digital wallets wouldn’t be hindered on WhatsApp and Messenger, two of Facebook’s most popular products.

Marcus went back and forth with Warner before assuring Warner that users would be able to send and receive non-Libra digital currencies on Facebook’s networks. But Marcus would not commit to embedding those competing currencies on its platforms.

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) baldly stated that “Facebook is dangerous,” saying that the company has continued to misuse customer data while continually referring to each instance as a “learning experience.”

Brown concluded his remarks by saying that “it takes a breathtaking amount of arrogance to look at that record” and believe that the next move for the company should be to create a digital currency.

Republican Senators were more forgiving for the most part, with Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) applauding the company’s efforts to provide financial services for the under-banked.

“I want to make clear that we are only at the beginning of this journey,” Marcus said. “We expect the review of Libra to be one of the most extensive ever. Facebook will not offer the Libra currency until we have addressed the concerns and receive appropriate approvals.”

Marcus also stated the Calibra network will have the “highest standards” when it comes to privacy and that the social and financial data will be completely separated.

Users will have to provide an authentic government ID so sign up for Calibra and will not be able to register by simply using their existing Facebook profiles.

Marcus stressed Calibra’s independence from Facebook, stating that the company has taken the lead in developing the technology but that it would give up the lead once the digital currency is launched.

“We will not control Libra and will be one of over 100 participants that will govern over the currency,” Marcus said. ” We will have to gain people’s trust if we want people to use our network over the hundreds of competing companies.”

Facebook shares were up 0.18% to $204.27 on Tuesday early afternoon and are up more than 55% this year.

Facebook is a holding in Jim Cramer’s Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells FB? Learn more now.

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Source: Facebook Defends Libra Cryptocurrency in Sometimes-Hostile Senate Hearing

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