Doodle Draw: The First Game for Facebook Messenger

When Facebook introduced its Messenger Platform at F8 in March, there was speculation that third-party applications for the messaging app would eventually include games. Speculation has become reality.

Josh Constine of TechCrunch discovered Draw Something clone Doodle Draw on the Messenger Platform app list.

The description for Doodle Draw on Google Play reads:

Draw something awesome, share with friends and see if they can guess what your drawing is in Doodle Draw!

  • Pick from a delightful word list.
  • Do your best Picasso impression and paint fun words with your fingers.
  • Share your art with friends and see if they can guess what it is.
  • Watch replays of your friends’ guesses.
  • Manage your ongoing games from the home screen.
  • Earn coins that can be spent on more colors.

So what are you waiting for? Install Doodle Draw today to start having loads of fun with all of your friends!

Note: this app is built for Messenger, so you’ll need a network connection and Facebook Messenger to play.

Facebook confirmed the launch of Doodle Draw for Messenger to Constine, saying:

Currently, we think Messenger Platform is best-suited for apps that focus on content creation and curated content. But one of the reasons we were excited to announce at F8 that Messenger Platform is open to all developers is to see what people build. From there, we’ll think about what else might make sense.

Readers: What are your thoughts on games via Messenger?

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Duncan Hines is Facebook’s Top CPG Brand (Infographic)

Facebook Marketing Partner and social media analytics platform Socialbakers crowned a fellow baker as the leader in Facebook engagement for the consumer-packaged-goods category: Duncan Hines.

According to Socialbakers, Duncan Hines had the most interactions on Facebook among CPG companies, as well as the overall top-performing post.

Coca-Cola had the most likes in the CPG sector, at more than 12.6 million, while the most interactions per 1,000 fans went to Simply Orange.

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AccuWeather Seeks Best Weather Photos for #FanFriday

Weather fans: AccuWeather wants your favorite weather photos, via Facebook and Twitter.

The weather information provider announced the launch of #FanFriday, in which fans can submit images such as weather selfies or people and pets having fun with the weather, by posting them to the AccuWeather Facebook page or to Twitter with the hashtag #FanFriday.

AccuWeather said it will select weekly winners, which will be revealed on its Facebook page every Friday, with links to its fan gallery.

#FanFriday will be promoted via social media, the AccuWeather website and mobile site, videos, blogs and on 24/7 AccuWeather Network.

Readers: Do you have any noteworthy weather-related photos for #FanFriday?

Facebook Messenger Surpasses 1 Billion Android Downloads

Facebook vice president of messaging David Marcus announced a significant milestone for the social network’s Messenger application for Android: 1 billion downloads.

Marcus shared the image to the right from the Google Play store, with Messenger boasting the 1 billion downloads badge, and he wrote in a Facebook post:

Happy to make it to the very exclusive Android 1 billion+ downloads club.

The Messenger team has been busy of late, with new features including:

Android users: Are you one of the 1 billion-plus who have installed Messenger on your devices?

Warning: Facebook Users Should Avoid Unfriend Alert

Facebook users who downloaded an application called Unfriend Alert need to be on the alert, according to Pieter Arntz of Malwarebytes Labs.

Arntz cautioned in a blog post that the app did not do what it promised. What it did do, however, was send victims’ login information to yougotunfriended.com.

Unfriend Alert also does not show up on Facebook users’ lists of apps, Arntz warned, adding:

In general, it is a bad idea to give your Facebook credentials away, especially to a third-party app. The functionality of this app can also be found in Facebook apps like Unfriend Checker, which seems to make a bit more sense to me.

If you came here because you are infected, you can find a removal guide for this adware on our forums.

Readers: Have you ever been burned by surrendering your Facebook login info?

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Facebook Marketing Partner Falcon Social Heads to Brooklyn

Brooklyn is set to welcome a Facebook Marketing Partner, as Falcon Social announced the relocation of its North American headquarters from Manhattan to Williamsburg.

Falcon Social was founded in 2010, and the social media management software company moved into its current headquarters at 401 Broadway last year.

The company closed a $16 million series-B funding round earlier this year, bringing its total financing to date to $25.33 million, and Falcon Social said it closed out the first quarter of 2015 with revenue growth of 25 percent and a 20 percent staff increase.

Founder and CEO Ulrik Bo Larsen said in a release announcing the move to Brooklyn:

We closed 2014 with 443 percent revenue growth and a 63 percent hike in staff, and that was before we raised the new funding. We are now concentrating on talent acquisition, especially in New York, where we are substantially growing our presence, starting with our marketing, sales and customer success teams.

We’re moving into a wonderful space that will be customized for our current needs and will be scalable to accommodate our future growth. We also feel that Williamsburg is a great fit for the Falcon Social brand: up-and-coming, fresh and packed with ideas.

Facebook Disconnects Facebook Connect From Microsoft

Microsoft is apparently not part of the world Facebook wants to connect, as an update to the social network’s Graph API removed the ability for several Microsoft applications and services to support Facebook Connect.

In a Microsoft Office support blog post, Microsoft explained how the changes to Facebook’s Graph API affect the following products:

Full details are available in the blog post, but the major features to be impacted include:

  • If you’ve previously connected your Facebook account to Outlook.com, your Facebook contacts will no longer be updated with information from Facebook.
  • Facebook events will no longer automatically sync to your calendar on Outlook.com, Windows, Windows Phone and Office 365. As a workaround, you can subscribe to a link that Facebook provides from Outlook.com calendar.
  • If you’ve connected the People app to Facebook on Windows 8.1, you’ll no longer be able to see any updates from your Facebook contacts in the app from now on. If you’re a new user, you won’t be able to add your Facebook account to the People app because the Connect feature is no longer supported.
  • People app tile notifications shown on the desktop will no longer include updates from Facebook.
  • Sharing content to Facebook contacts using the People app will no longer be supported.
  • Posting updates to Facebook contacts via the People app will no longer be supported.
  • You will no longer be able to publish photos or videos directly to Facebook. But photos and videos that have been previously published to Facebook via Photo Gallery will remain published.

Readers: What are your thoughts on this move by Facebook?

Facebook Extends Availability of Place Tips

Facebook began testing its location-based place tips optional feature with iPhone users in January, and the social network announced Monday that it is expanding the availability of place tips to more small and midsized businesses.

When Facebook introduced place tips in January, it said in a Newsroom post:

When you tap on place tips, you’ll see a series of cards with info about the place you’re at. If you choose to view place tips, you’ll find things like posts and photos your friends have shared with you about that place.

You can also see information about the place, including posts from its page, popular menu items and upcoming events.

The social network offered more information about its expansion of place tips in a Facebook for Business post, saying that local businesses that have tested the feature “have seen a steady uptick in page traffic from in-store visitors.”

Facebook provided a more detailed look at how the feature works:

Place tips gather useful information about a business or landmark—like posts from the business’ page, upcoming events and friends’ recommendations and check-ins—and show it at the top of News Feed to in-store visitors.

Each person’s place tips are unique. At a restaurant, place tips can show the menu, reviews and frequently mentioned information about the establishment, like a signature cocktail or popular table. Place tips for a retail store can help customers find business hours, locate popular items and learn about upcoming events.

To improve the customer experience, businesses can write a customizable welcome note that appears at the top of the place tips feed and use it to promote items or share facts and tips about their establishment. A bookstore could use the welcome note to tell visitors where a book signing is happening in the store, while a popular deli may share menu items that famous people have ordered.

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Place tips are shown to people who are in store and who have given Facebook permission to access their location on their phone. They’re also shown to people who check in to the business on Facebook. Because place tips are personalized and designed to be useful, we only show them when there is enough content from the business and a person’s friends to offer an enjoyable experience.

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When Facebook initially announced the test of place tips in January, it said users’ locations were determined via cellular networks, WiFi and GPS, adding that it set up Bluetooth beacons in several locations in New York:

The social network said Monday that it is expanding the availability of its Bluetooth beacons, writing in the Facebook for Business post:

The most reliable way for businesses to serve place tips is with a Facebook Bluetooth beacon, a device businesses request from Facebook. Beacons use Bluetooth to send a signal to the Facebook app on customers’ phones to show them the right place tips at the right place.

We’re now providing free beacons to more businesses in the U.S. Because place tips are meant to offer people useful and interesting information about the places they visit, we’re prioritizing beacons for businesses with active pages full of content—such as photos, check-ins and status updates—from both the business and its customers. To help ensure that your customers see place tips at your business, request a beacon today.

Readers: Have you used place tips yet? What are your thoughts?

Report: Periscope, Meerkat Have Long Road Ahead of Them

Despite the hype surrounding live-video-streaming applications Periscope and Meerkat, a recent study by eMarketer found interest in them to be “generally low.”

According to eMarketer, an April poll by Horizon Media found that just 21 percent of respondents had used or were interested in using Periscope or Meerkat.

The results were heavily skewed by age, as eMarketer reported that one-half of millennials (aged 18 through 34) said they would use the apps, with that figure slipping to one-quarter for 35- through 49-year-olds; 16 percent for those aged 50 through 64; and 7 percent for respondents 65 and older.

Males were also slightly more likely to express interest in the two apps than females were.

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Periscope and Meerkat also need awareness boosts, as the Horizon poll found that only 9 percent of Internet users had heard of Meerkat, and just 6 percent had heard of Periscope.

In contrast, eMarketer noted that the awareness figures for other apps were far higher: more than three-quarters for Instagram, 59 percent for Snapchat and 44 percent for Vine.

Awareness of the two apps was skewed by age, as well, with millennials most likely to be aware of each app, and the numbers sliding as ages increased.

eMarketer did note that the poll was conducted prior to the May 2 high-profile boxing match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, which was reportedly viewed by “thousands” of users of the two live-video-streaming apps.

Respondents who expressed interest in Periscope and Meerkat cited the fact that the apps were free (59 percent), Periscope and Meerkat being an easy way to share live events in real-time (43 percent) and “they provided a new way to view the world” (42 percent) as the reasons for their interest.
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Readers: How many of you use Periscope and/or Meerkat?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Facebook Tweaking Groups Homepage?

Facebook appears to be tinkering with its groups homepage, giving users more sorting options.

Reader Kavitha Gopan, co-founder of IPIX Solutions, shared the screenshots below from her groups homepage, noting that users can now sort groups by recently visited, latest activity and alphabetical order.

Gopan also said in an email to SocialTimes that the thumbnails appear larger, and that the homepage has two sections: favorites and sorted view.

Readers: Have you seen anything similar?

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Infographic: How Millennials in Mexico, Colombia, Argentina Access Facebook

90 percent of millennials in Mexico, Colombia and Argentina access Facebook daily, compared with 87 percent for online searches and 72 percent for watching television, according to a new study by global media analytics expert comScore, commissioned by Facebook.

Other findings in the study, as reported in a Facebook IQ post, included:

  • 86 percent of respondents access Facebook via mobile devices, compared with 69 percent for computers.
  • 59 percent use Facebook while watching TV.
  • 42 percent log into Facebook first thing in the morning, while 54 percent do so just before going to sleep.
  • 89 percent access Facebook at home, and 23 percent do so while commuting.
  • Android accounts for 74 percent of devices used to connect to Facebook in those countries, versus just 8 percent for iOS.
  • 19 percent of millennials in Argentina use feature phones to access the social network.
  • In Mexico, the number of millennial respondents who watch online videos daily was roughly equal to those who watch TV every day, at 61 percent, compared with 62 percent.

Facebook audience researcher for Latin America Gabriel Gontijo (pictured) led the study, and he said in an interview with Facebook IQ:

We’re looking at a multiscreen landscape—which actually gives brands an amazing opportunity to engage millennials across multiple touch points and deliver a more immersive and relevant experience than ever.

The finding that home is the most common point of access is interesting because it speaks to the connectivity challenges that millennials across Latin America often face—from prohibitively high data costs to spotty service. When you consider that millennials, when out and about, are constantly searching for WiFi, it makes sense that home is such an attractive place to connect to Facebook.

Brands seeking to connect with millennials in Mexico, Colombia and Argentina should be as “mobile-first” as the millennials they are trying to reach. Brands need to put mobile at the center of their business strategy. And in doing so, it’s important to recognize where each country is in its mobile evolution. For example, marketing to millennials in Argentina may mean finding a strategic role for feature phones in your campaign. In Colombia, it’ll be about embracing both old and new screens to deliver multiscreen magic across TV and mobile (and sometimes desktop). And lastly, brands that want to connect with millennials in Mexico will want to take full advantage of the expanding opportunity around online video.

Readers: What did you think of comScore’s findings?

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Full-Court Press From Facebook for NBA Finals Posts?

Is Facebook prompting users to post about the National Basketball Association Finals?

Reader Jedrzej JD Derylo commented on a friend’s post about cheering on the Cleveland Cavaliers in game one of the NBA Finals, against the Golden State Warriors, as pictured below.

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Then, when Derylo looked at his status update box, it featured an image of a basketball and the text, “The Cavaliers are playing today. What’s on your mind?”

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Derylo said in an email to SocialTimes that he has not liked the Cavaliers’ page.

Readers: Have you seen anything similar?

Facebook Adding Functionality to Messaging by Pages?

Facebook appears to be testing enhanced messaging features for pages.

Reader Chris Ruberg, social community specialist at OneCommand, shared the screenshots below, in which page administrators are able to create and send saved replies, as well as adding personalization touches, such as the first and/or last names of the users or the admins, or the company’s URL or address. We also got this tip from Geoffrey Moffett of Triovia Media.

Page admins: Have you seen anything similar?

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