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Moving to a Local Selling Model

By Dave Wehner, Chief Financial Officer

Today we are announcing that Facebook has decided to move to a local selling structure in countries where we have an office to support sales to local advertisers. In simple terms, this means that advertising revenue supported by our local teams will no longer be recorded by our international headquarters in Dublin, but will instead be recorded by our local company in that country.

We believe that moving to a local selling structure will provide more transparency to governments and policy makers around the world who have called for greater visibility over the revenue associated with locally supported sales in their countries.

It is our expectation that we will make this change in countries where we have a local office supporting advertisers in that country. That said, each country is unique, and we want to make sure we get this change right. This is a large undertaking that will require significant resources to implement around the world. We will roll out new systems and invoicing as quickly as possible to ensure a seamless transition to our new structure. We plan to implement this change throughout 2018, with the goal of completing all offices by the first half of 2019.

Our headquarters in Menlo Park, California, will continue to be our US headquarters and our offices in Dublin will continue to be the site of our international headquarters.

Sharing Facebook’s Policy on Sexual Harassment

By Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer, and Lori Goler, VP of People 

Harassment, discrimination, and retaliation in the workplace are unacceptable but have been tolerated for far too long.

At Facebook, we treat any allegations of such behavior with great seriousness, and we have invested significant time and resources into developing our policies and processes. Many people have asked if we’d be willing to share our policies and training guidelines, so today we are making them available publicly—not because we think we have all the answers, but because we believe that the more companies are open about their policies, the more we can all learn from one another. These are complicated issues, and while we don’t believe any company’s enforcement or policies are perfect, we think that sharing best practices can help us all improve, especially smaller companies that may not have the resources to develop their own policies. Every company should aspire to doing the hard and continual work necessary to build a safe and respectful workplace, and we should all join together to make this happen.

You can find Facebook’s internal policies on sexual harassment and bullying on our Facebook People Practices website, along with details of our investigation process and tips and resources we have found helpful in preparing our Respectful Workplace internal trainings. You’ll see that our philosophy on harassment, discrimination, and bullying is to go above and beyond what is required by law. Our policies prohibit intimidating, offensive, and sexual conduct even when that conduct might not meet the legal standard of harassment. Even if it’s legally acceptable, it’s not the kind of behavior we want in our workplace.

In developing our policies we were guided by six basic principles:

  • First, develop training that sets the standard for respectful behavior at work, so people understand what’s expected of them right from the start. In addition to prescribing mandatory harassment training, we wrote our own unconscious bias training program at Facebook, which is also available publicly on our People Practices website
  • Second, treat all claims—and the people who voice them—with seriousness, urgency, and respect. At Facebook, we make sure to have HR business partners available to support everyone on the team, not just senior leaders.
  • Third, create an investigation process that protects employees from stigma or retaliation. Facebook has an investigations team made up of experienced HR professionals and lawyers trained to handle sensitive cases of sexual harassment and assault.
  • Fourth, follow a process that is consistently applied in every case and is viewed by employees as providing fair procedures for both victims and those accused.
  • Fifth, take swift and decisive action when it is determined that wrongdoing has occurred. We have a zero tolerance policy, and that means that when we are able to determine that harassment has occurred, those responsible are fired. Unfortunately, in some cases investigations are inconclusive and come down to one person’s word against another’s. When we don’t feel we can make a termination decision, we take other actions designed to help everyone feel safe, including changing people’s roles and reporting.
  • Sixth, make it clear that all employees are responsible for keeping the workplace safe—and anyone who is silent or looks the other way is complicit.

There’s no question that it is complicated and challenging to get this right. We are by no means perfect, and there will always be bad actors. Unlike law enforcement agencies, companies don’t have access to forensic evidence and instead have to rely on reported conversations, written evidence, and the best judgment of investigators and legal experts. What we can do is be as transparent as possible, share best practices, and learn from one another—recognizing that policies will evolve as we gain experience. We don’t have everything worked out at Facebook on these issues, but we will never stop striving to make sure we have a safe and respectful working environment for all our people.

Celebrating One Year of Games on Messenger with New Features, New Games and More

By the Messenger and Facebook Games teams

What a difference a year makes. Just over a year ago, we launched games on Messenger and introduced the Instant Games platform to developers, enabling them to build customized gaming experiences for both Messenger and News Feed. When we first launched, we had 20 games available in just 30 markets. Now, we have over 70 games from more than 100 developers available worldwide. This progress is exciting, but even more than that, we’ve been thrilled at the response over the last year from both the people playing and the developers building.

Games are an authentic extension of the connection people feel in Messenger — a fun, interactive and powerful way to connect to people you chat with daily or friends and family who live far away. It’s with this spirit we’re introducing two new features to Instant Games that will help you engage and connect with those you care about in new and different ways.

First, we’re launching live streaming, which will start to roll out today, to gamers who love to share their playthroughs and engage in a little smack talk. The new live streaming capability via Facebook Live makes it simple for people to play and share their experiences with those who love games on Messenger. It’s easy to get started: while playing a game, tap the camera icon located in the upper right corner of the game. Once selected, you can choose the audience you want to broadcast to and add a short description to say something about your video. To start recording, just press the “Start Live Video” button. Once the broadcast ends the video will be published to your Page or profile so that fans and friends who missed it can watch at a later time. You can remove the video post at any time, just like any other post.

Video chats are a great way for people to connect, discuss and share moments with each other when text just isn’t enough. Over 245 million people video chat every month on Messenger, with the option to use fun effects and capture pictures of their moments together. We’re excited to begin a test soon that will enable people to play games with each other while video chatting. When this feature is introduced early next year, Words With Friends from Zynga will be the first game to use it and allow friends to watch each other’s reactions as they run up the score.

We’re also thrilled to welcome a handful of new games coming soon that all have one thing in common — they’re some of the world’s most popular game franchises of all time, reimagined for the Instant Games platform.

Launching globally in early 2018 is none other than Angry Birds, a new game built for Messenger that will feature classic gameplay with an exciting new way to challenge friends. Angry Birds will join the recently launched Tetris®, which includes beloved features like marathon mode and the ability to play with friends in Messenger group chats. Both games are built by CoolGames, an Instant Games platform developer.

In the coming weeks and months, we’ll have even more epic games launching on Messenger:

  • Sonic Jump from SEGA, developed by SEGA HARDlight, will introduce a new, arcade style adventure to Messenger, featuring classic Sonic enemies, power-ups and traps as players challenge friends to see who can jump the farthest. Sonic Jump is rolling out now in select regions and will launch globally in the coming weeks.
  • Disney Tsum Tsum, published by LINE and launching in 2018, will bring beloved Disney characters to Messenger as players collect, connect and pop Tsum Tsum based on the popular Disney Tsum Tsum plushes.
  • GungHo Online Entertainment, Inc., makers of the hit game Puzzle & Dragons, will launch a new casual puzzle game for both existing Puzzle & Dragons fans and new players to enjoy.

Finally, after a year of incredible gaming experiences, we asked a few of our game developer partners to share their favorite facts since launching their game on Messenger…check it out:

We’re so glad that people are embracing the amazing experiences game developers are building for Instant Games. To the people who continue to enjoy, share, compete and challenge themselves and their friends to games on Messenger, thanks for playing and game on.

Facebook’s 2017 Year In Review

By Naomi Gleit, VP Social Good

Today we are announcing our 2017 Year in Review highlighting the top ways people came together on Facebook to support one another.

First, people came together to react and talk about important moments and events that happened around the world. The top three moments that people discussed globally in 2017 were:

  • International Women’s Day: This was the No. 1 most talked about moment in 2017, doubling from last year, with people around the world talking, sharing and posting in celebration of women and related issues.
  • Super Bowl 51: Fans around the world turned to News Feed to cheer for their favorite teams, celebrate with Lady Gaga and debate the top TV ads, with more than 262 million views of Super Bowl-related videos on the platform.
  • Las Vegas Violence: This tragic incident drove conversation around the world, which in turn motivated more than 3,300 people to offer help to their community through our Crisis Response tools on Facebook.

Second, people came together to support one another in times of crisis. 2017 was a difficult year with natural disasters and violence around the world, but it was inspiring to see people help each other when they needed it most. The top three moments where we saw people come to each other’s aid were:

  • Earthquake in Mexico: The response to this crisis in late September drove the highest number of total interactions within Crisis Response on Facebook of the year, with millions of people marking themselves safe, offering help to their community or donating to the cause.
  • Hurricane Harvey: In late August, the community rallied to help those in need by raising more than $20 million in the biggest fundraising effort for a single crisis in 2017 on Facebook.
  • One Love Manchester: The most viewed video and live broadcast on Facebook in 2017, this benefit concert generated over 80 million views and raised more than $450,000 for those affected by the Manchester terror attack.

Finally, people used Facebook to get together in person. The top two ways people connected through these offline moments by creating Events on Facebook were:

  • Total Solar Eclipse: This celestial moment in August brought the world together through more than 20,000 Facebook Events in more than 80 countries.
  • Women’s March on DC: On January 21, The Women’s March on DC brought over 500,000 people together through the largest Facebook event for a single cause in 2017.

Your Year In Review

We also want to create a Year In Review for you. Starting Wednesday, you may see a personalized video in your News Feed. This video includes moments from this past year that you’ve shared or been tagged in, and compiles them in a short video that can be edited and shared. You can access your video by visiting facebook.com/yearinreview.

Methodology

The top moments of this year’s Year In Review were determined by gathering a list of the top keywords by volume mentioned in a single day on Facebook between January 1st and November 1st, 2017. To identify which topics were unique to 2017, we compared these keywords to the previous year’s maximum single-day volume. This means that keywords like Mother’s Day and Halloween, which typically represent the top moments every year, do not repeatedly appear at the top of the list.

Hard Questions: So Your Kids Are Online, But Will They Be Alright?

Raising the Next Generation: What Are Parents Thinking and How Can Facebook Help?

By Antigone Davis, Public Policy Director, Global Head of Safety

Raising a child in today’s digital world can be overwhelming. As the mom of a college-aged daughter, I’ve seen how technology can be beneficial and educational in some ways, but distracting and concerning in others. My daughter and online technologies have grown up together. She’s always been more adept than I am at moving around in her digital universe, and I’ve often found myself anxiously trying to keep up.

I know I’m not alone in the questions I’ve asked, the mistakes I’ve made and the worries I’ve had as a parent when it comes to kids and technology. As a mom and a former teacher and policy advisor for a state attorney general, I have heard many people voice these concerns. I believe that the largest social media platform in the world has the opportunity and obligation to address these issues, and I wanted to be a part of that. Many of us at Facebook are parents, and naturally we’re thinking about technology’s role in the lives of children and families. Other technology companies are grappling with this as well.

Children today are online earlier and earlier. They use family-shared devices — and many, as young as six or seven years old, even have their own. They love to take photos, watch videos, talk to their grandparents and of course they want to be just like their older siblings and use the apps they’re using too. It can be hard for caregivers to manage. While kids have more ways than ever to learn and benefit from online experiences, three out of four parents say they worry about their kids’ online safety and want more control.

Over the last 18 months, we’ve worked closely with leading child development experts, educators and parents as we prepared to build our first product for kids. We created an advisory board of experts. With them, we are considering important questions like: Is there a “right age” to introduce kids to the digital world? Is technology good for kids, or is it having adverse affects on their social skills and health? And perhaps most pressing of all: do we know the long-term effects of screen time?

Today we’re rolling out our US preview of Messenger Kids a new app that makes it easier for kids to video chat and message with family and friends when they can’t be together in person. And so I wanted to explain why Facebook decided to create an app for children, and why I think it’s the right time.

We’ll share what we’ve learned so far and the principles we’ve created with the help of external experts as our company launches its first product built for kids.

What Research Tells Us

If it feels like kids are starting to use technology at younger ages, you’re right. Data from the research firm Dubit shows that kids are already using technology on a regular basis. Some 93% of 6-12 year olds in the US have access to tablets or smartphones, and 66% have their own device. They’re playing games, watching videos and video chatting with family.

Research shows that kids are using apps that are intended for teens and adults. We collaborated with National PTA on a study with more than 1,200 American parents of children under the age of 13, and three of every five parents surveyed said their kids under 13 use messaging apps, social media or both, while 81 percent reported their children started using social media between the ages of 8 and 13.

As kids become more tech-savvy, parents are worrying about the potential dangers that exist online. According to a Dubit study, 74% of parents of 6-12 year olds are concerned about their children interacting with strangers or people they don’t know online, and we’ve heard in countless conversations that parents’ top concern about their kids using technology is online safety.

“My concern is safety, getting friend requests from people you don’t know, chatting with people you don’t know, giving out information to strangers.”
—Christine, parent participant, National PTA Roundtable

We know that when building for kids, we have to get it right and we’re taking that responsibility seriously. Simply complying with the law is not enough. We want to create technologies that benefit, rather than harm or are merely neutral on the lives of children. We’re proceeding carefully and will share what we learn along the way.

Listening to Parents and Kids

Over the last 18 months, we’ve talked to thousands of parents and kids across the country in Arizona, California, Colorado, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina and Virginia, as well as parents overseas. With National PTA and Blue Star Families, we brought parents together to hear how they’re using technology with their kids and their views on how to parent in a tech-filled world.

What we found is that nearly all of these conversations involved both positive and negative experiences with kids and tech. On the positive side, we heard wonderful stories of connection between military parents stationed abroad and their families back home using Facebook and other apps. But we also heard some scary things, like a mom who found the online chat her 7 year-old had while playing a video game with an adult male stranger. It began with seemingly friendly questions about her son’s favorite sports teams but slowly led to questions about what he looked like, before finally pushing the boy to send a photo of himself. She was terrified.

“I do feel overwhelmed, particularly because I’m not a big tech person. There’s a lot to keep up with, and I’m not keeping up with it.”
—Norah, parent participant, New Mexico State University Learning Games Lab

Kids told us that the primary reason they want to use social media and messaging platforms is to have fun, which means that an environment that emphasizes safety at the expense of joy and laughter will fail the customer satisfaction test — and potentially leave kids vulnerable to less controlled and more risky social environments. We believe that it’s possible to give kids a fun experience that provides more peace of mind for parents, too.

Though parents often feel confused or unprepared for how to handle their children’s online experiences, many also told us that they’re conflicted because they see the benefit of technology in their children’s lives — particularly when it’s used for education or connecting with family. In the study we conducted with National PTA, 63% of parents said they believe social media provides children with digital skills that are mandatory in society today.

“Because [my kids] see my presence on Facebook and that I’m talking with family… they want a bit part of that. But obviously one of the biggest concerns we have is safety. So that’s a challenge, but I also don’t want them not to be familiar with it because it’s going to be important as they get older.”
—Nikki, parent participant, National PTA Roundtable

But in all of our research, there was one theme that was consistent: parents want to know they’re in control. They want a level of control over their kids’ digital world that is similar to the level they have in the real world. Just as they want to know whose house their child will be visiting for a playdate, they want to know who their child is connecting with online. And just as they want to say “lights out” at night, they also want to be able to say “phones off.”

Talking to the Experts

With all of this feedback in mind, we knew it was important to consult with experts to help us shape our work and own principles as a technology company. Our team of advisors includes top experts in the fields of child development, online safety and children’s media currently and formerly from organizations such as the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Connect Safely, Center on Media and Child Health, Sesame Workshop and more. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers excellent guidelines to parents for monitoring their kids’ digital consumption, though we know there are still a lot of unanswered questions about the impact of specific technologies on children’s development.

These advisors are helping us grow our knowledge and guide us as we develop products like Messenger Kids. They challenge us as we think about these important issues.

In partnership with these advisors, we’ve developed a set of principles to guide us. They are:

  1. Putting kids first
  2. Providing a safe space that fosters joy, humor, play and adventure
  3. Enabling kids to mine their own potential by building for empowerment, creativity and expression
  4. Helping kids build a sense of self and community
  5. Recognizing the relationship between parent and child, and that we take our responsibility and their trust in us seriously.

These guiding principles help us as we navigate a world where children are increasingly using technology at younger ages, parents are asking for more help, and we’re considering how to provide technologies to meet the needs of the modern family and benefit kids and parents alike.

Applying These Principles When Building Products

We created Messenger Kids with the belief that parents are ultimately the best judges of their kids’ technology use, and the parents we’ve spoken to have asked for a better way to control the way their children message.

We hope that developing an app that gives parents more control over their kids’ online experience is a step in the right direction, but we think the industry also needs a better understanding of tech’s long-term impact on children. That’s why today we’re also announcing a new $1 million research fund to work with academics, experts and partners across the industry to further explore this issue.

Read more about our blog series Hard Questions. We want your input on what other topics we should address — and what we could be doing better. Please send suggestions to hardquestions@fb.com.

National PTA does not endorse any commercial entity, product, or service. No endorsement is implied.

Update on the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism

At last year’s EU Internet Forum, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube declared our joint determination to curb the spread of terrorist content online. Over the past year, we have formalized this partnership with the launch of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT). We hosted our first meeting in August where representatives from the tech industry, government and non-governmental organizations came together to focus on three key areas: technological approaches, knowledge sharing, and research. Since then, we have participated in a Heads of State meeting at the UN General Assembly in September and the G7 Interior Ministers meeting in October, and we look forward to hosting a GIFCT event and attending the EU Internet Forum in Brussels on the 6th of December.

The GIFCT is committed to working on technological solutions to help thwart terrorists’ use of our services, and has built on the groundwork laid by the EU Internet Forum, particularly through a shared industry hash database, where companies can create “digital fingerprints” for terrorist content and share it with participating companies.

The database, which we announced our commitment to building last December and became operational last spring, now contains more than 40,000 hashes. It allows member companies to use those hashes to identify and remove matching content — videos and images — that violate our respective policies or, in some cases, block terrorist content before it is even posted.

We are pleased that Ask.fm, Cloudinary, Instagram, Justpaste.it, LinkedIn, Oath, and Snap have also recently joined this hash-sharing consortium, and we will continue our work to add additional companies throughout 2018.

In order to disrupt the distribution of terrorist content across the internet, companies have invested in collaborating and sharing expertise with one another. GIFCT’s knowledge-sharing work has grown quickly in large measure because companies recognize that in countering terrorism online we face many of the same challenges.

Although our companies have been sharing best practices around counterterrorism for several years, in recent months GIFCT has provided a more formal structure to accelerate and strengthen this work. In collaboration with the Tech Against Terror initiative — which recently launched a Knowledge Sharing Platform with the support of GIFCT and the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate — we have held workshops for smaller tech companies in order to share best practices on how to disrupt the spread of violent extremist content online.

Our initial goal for 2017 was to work with 50 smaller tech companies to to share best practices on how to disrupt the spread of violent extremist material. We have exceeded that goal, engaging with 68 companies over the past several months through workshops in San Francisco, New York, and Jakarta, plus another workshop next week in Brussels on the sidelines of the EU Internet Forum.

We recognize that our work is far from done, but we are confident that we are heading in the right direction. We will continue to provide updates as we forge new partnerships and develop new technology in the face of this global challenge.

Introducing Messenger Kids, a New App For Families to Connect

By Loren Cheng, Product Management Director

Today, in the US, we’re rolling out a preview of Messenger Kids, a new app that makes it easier for kids to safely video chat and message with family and friends when they can’t be together in person. After talking to thousands of parents, associations like National PTA, and parenting experts in the US, we found that there’s a need for a messaging app that lets kids connect with people they love but also has the level of control parents want.

To give kids and parents a fun, safer solution, we built Messenger Kids, a standalone app that lives on kids’ tablets or smartphones but can be controlled from a parent’s Facebook account. Whether it’s using video chat to talk to grandparents, staying in touch with cousins who live far away, or sending mom a decorated photo while she’s working late to say hi, Messenger Kids opens up a new world of online communication to families. This preview is available on the App Store for iPad, iPod touch and iPhone.

Co-Developed With Parents, Kids and Experts

Today, parents are increasingly allowing their children to use tablets and smartphones, but often have questions and concerns about how their kids use them and which apps are appropriate. So when we heard about the need for better apps directly from parents during research and conversations with parents, we knew we needed to develop it alongside the people who were going to use it, as well as experts who could help guide our thinking.

In addition to our research with thousands of parents, we’ve engaged with over a dozen expert advisors in the areas of child development, online safety and children’s media and technology who’ve helped inform our approach to building our first app for kids. We’ve also had thought-provoking conversations around topics of responsible online communication, parental controls and much more with organizations like National PTA and Blue Star Families, where we heard firsthand how parents and caregivers approach raising children in today’s digitally connected world.

And for the past several months, many families at Messenger and Facebook have used the app and helped come up with some of the key features like the easy-to-use parental controls.

More Fun For Kids, More Control For Parents

Messenger Kids is full of features for kids to connect with the people they love. Once their account is set up by a parent, kids can start a one-on-one or group video chat with parent-approved contacts. The home screen shows them at a glance who they are approved to talk to, and when those contacts are online.

Playful masks, emojis and sound effects bring conversations to life.

In addition to video chat, kids can send photos, videos or text messages to their parent-approved friends and adult relatives, who will receive the messages via their regular Messenger app.

A library of kid-appropriate and specially chosen GIFs, frames, stickers, masks and drawing tools lets them decorate content and express their personalities.

Messenger Kids gives parents more control. Parents fully control the contact list and kids can’t connect with contacts that their parent does not approve. Parents control kids accounts and contacts through the Messenger Kids Controls panel in their main Facebook app:

How to Get Started

Every child account on Messenger Kids must be set up by a parent. For parents, setting your child up with a Messenger Kids account is done in four steps:

  1. Download: First, download the Messenger Kids app on your child’s iPad, iPod touch, or iPhone from the App Store.
  2. Authenticate: Then, authenticate your child’s device using your own Facebook username and password. This will not create a Facebook account for your child or give them access to your Facebook account.
  3. Create an account: Finish the setup process by creating an account for your child, where all you’ll need to do is provide their name. Then the device can be handed over to the child so they can start chatting with the family and friends you approve.
  4. Add contacts: To add people to your child’s approved contact list, go to the Messenger Kids parental controls panel in your main Facebook app. To get there, click on “More” on the bottom right corner in your main Facebook app, and click “Messenger Kids” in the Explore section.

More Information and What’s Next

There are no ads in Messenger Kids and your child’s information isn’t used for ads. It is free to download and there are no in-app purchases. Messenger Kids is also designed to be compliant with the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA).

This preview of Messenger Kids is only available in the US at this time on the Apple App Store, and will be coming to Amazon App Store and Google Play Store in the coming months.

We’ve worked extensively with parents and families to shape Messenger Kids and we’re looking forward to learning and listening as more children and families start to use the iOS preview.

To learn more about Facebook’s approach to building technologies for kids and the questions we’ve asked ourselves and discussed with others along the way, read our Hard Questions blog post.

For more specific information about the app, visit messengerkids.com.

National PTA does not endorse any commercial entity, product, or service. No endorsement is implied.

Facebook Social Good Forum: Announcing New Tools and Initiatives for Communities to Help Each Other

By Naomi Gleit, VP Social Good

Today at the second annual Social Good Forum, we announced new tools and initiatives to help people keep each other safe and supported on Facebook.

  • Mentorship and Support, a new product where mentees and mentors come together to connect and interact directly with each other and progress through a guided program developed by nonprofit organizations
  • Eliminating nonprofit fees, 100% of donations made through Facebook payments to nonprofits will now go directly to those organizations
  • Facebook Donations Fund, $50 million annual fund for 2018 to help communities recover from disaster by direct contributions and matching dollars, to increase the impact of our community’s support during crises like a major natural disaster. The fund will also help more people support causes that they care about, as well as help nonprofits increase the amount raised by their supporters for campaigns like Giving Tuesday
  • Charitable giving tools expansion, people can now create fundraisers in places like Europe, Australia, Canada and New Zealand
  • Fundraisers API, the ability for people to sync their off-Facebook fundraising to their Facebook fundraisers
  • Community Help API, a new tool that will give disaster response organizations access to Community Help data, offering important information about the needs of people affected by crises so that they can respond
  • Blood donations feature, more than 4 million donors in India have signed up, expanding to connect blood banks and hospitals to donors through blood donation events, and introducing the feature in Bangladesh in early 2018

Introducing Mentorship and Support
Mentorship and Support is a new product that connects people who may need support and advice to achieve their goals with people who have the expertise and experience to help. The mentee and mentor are matched by a nonprofit partner organization and work through a step-by-step program on Facebook developed by the nonprofit organization and tailored to the needs of the mentee.

We are starting as a pilot with iMentor (for education) and The International Rescue Committee (for crisis recovery.) Our goal is to expand these tools to help connect people around a variety of causes like addiction recovery, career advancement, and other areas where having someone you can count on for support can make all the difference.

We take privacy and security very seriously, and this product is being built with both in mind. It is only available to people 18 years and older. Mentors are vetted by the partner organizations before they are matched with mentees, and people can also report issues to Facebook if they encounter problems.
Mentorship & Support

Expanding our charitable giving tools globally
Nonprofit fundraising tools (including donate buttons and nonprofit fundraisers) allow people to raise money for nonprofit organizations, and are now available in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Poland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Portugal, Denmark, Norway, Austria, Finland and Luxembourg.

Personal fundraisers allow people to raise money for themselves, a friend or something or someone not on Facebook, and are now available in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Austria, Finland, Luxembourg, Sweden, Denmark and New Zealand.

Fundraisers

New Fundraisers API
People will be able to sync their off-Facebook fundraising efforts to Facebook fundraisers, making it easier to tell friends and family about the causes they support on and off Facebook. When people connect their off-Facebook fundraising campaign with Facebook, it creates a Facebook fundraiser that syncs with their campaign page.

Connecting to Facebook can help participants meet their goal faster by allowing them to easily reach all of their Facebook friends. Friends can share the fundraiser with others, spreading the word and reaching new donors. And donors can give in just a few taps without ever leaving Facebook. We are starting with Susan G. Komen, JDRF, National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Movember, and will be rolling this out to 500 additional nonprofits by the end of spring 2018.

New Community Help API
Earlier this year we announced Community Help, a crisis response tool where people can ask for and give the help they need to recover following a crisis. We are now introducing a Community Help API, which will give disaster response organizations access to data from public Community Help posts that can offer important information about the needs of people affected by a particular crisis. We are piloting the Community Help API with NetHope and the American Red Cross. Our hope is that this data will help organizations coordinate information and response resources as fast as possible. We plan to announce more partnerships soon.

Expanding Blood Donations Feature
In October, we launched a new blood donations feature, starting in India, to make it easier for people to donate blood. There are now more than 4 million blood donors signed up on Facebook in India. In addition to enabling people in need to connect to blood donors, our tools also allow organizations to connect to donors more efficiently. Hospitals, blood banks and non-profits can create voluntary blood donation events on Facebook, and nearby donors are notified of the opportunities to donate blood. In early 2018, we will expand blood donations to Bangladesh, where, like India, there are thousands of posts from people looking for blood donors every week.

Blood Donations Camp Event

We are constantly inspired by all the good that people do on Facebook and are committed to continuing to build tools that help communities do more good together.

Downloads:
Social Good Forum Live Broadcast
Social Good Forum Event Photos
Social Good Products Screenshots & Demos
SGF One Sheeter

Hard Questions: Are We Winning the War On Terrorism Online?

By Monika Bickert, Head of Global Policy Management, and Brian Fishman, Head of Counterterrorism Policy, Facebook

In recent decades, as it’s become clear that the internet can be used to connect people both for good and for ill, Facebook and other social media companies have made it a priority to minimize the way criminals can use new technology. One of the greatest challenges in this arena has been terror groups, which have embraced the internet as a way to spread propaganda and recruit others to their extremist ideologies. These groups don’t confine their efforts to one social media service or online distribution mechanism. Instead, they try a variety of avenues to get their message out.

But even as governments, companies and nonprofits have battled terrorist propaganda online, we’ve faced a complex question over what’s the best way to tackle a global challenge that can proliferate in different ways, across different parts of the web.

Often analysts and observers will ask us at Facebook why, with our vast databases and advanced technology, we can’t just block nefarious activity using technology alone. The truth is that we need not only technology but also people to do this work. And in order to be truly effective in stopping the spread of terrorist content across the entire internet, we need to join forces with others.

Over two years ago, we started meeting with more than a dozen other technology companies to discuss the best ways to counter terrorists’ attempts to use our services. We all face similar challenges, including how to identify the relatively small amount of terrorist content on our relatively large sites, and how to review that content quickly and accurately across many languages.

In a Hard Questions post last June, we described how we have faced those challenges at Facebook. We invest in efforts to prevent terrorist content from ever hitting our site. But when it does, we’re working to quickly find it and remove it from our platform. We’ve historically relied on people — our content reviewers — to assess potentially violating content and remove it. But as we described last June, we’ve begun to use artificial intelligence to supplement these efforts. In figuring out what’s effective, we face the challenges that any company faces in developing technology that can work across different types of media. For instance, a solution that works for photos will not necessarily help with videos or text. A solution that works for recognizing terrorist iconography in images will not necessarily distinguish between a terrorist sharing that image to recruit and a news organization sharing the same image to educate the public.

Today we have an update on how this work is going. It is still early, but the results are promising, and we’re hopeful AI will become a more important tool in the arsenal of protection and safety on the internet and on Facebook.

At the same time, because AI alone is not the answer, we continue to expand our partnerships with other technology companies, governments and nonprofits that share our goal to root out terrorism on the internet.

Detecting and Removing Terrorism Through Artificial Intelligence

The use of AI and other automation to stop the spread of terrorist content is showing promise.

Today, 99% of the ISIS and Al Qaeda-related terror content we remove from Facebook is content we detect before anyone in our community has flagged it to us, and in some cases, before it goes live on the site. We do this primarily through the use of automated systems like photo and video matching and text-based machine learning. Once we are aware of a piece of terror content, we remove 83% of subsequently uploaded copies within one hour of upload.

Deploying AI for counterterrorism is not as simple as flipping a switch. Depending on the technique, you need to carefully curate databases or have human beings code data to train a machine. A system designed to find content from one terrorist group may not work for another because of language and stylistic differences in their propaganda. Because of these limitations, we focus our most innovative techniques on the terrorist groups that pose the biggest threat globally, in the real-world and online. ISIS and Al Qaeda meet this definition most directly, so we prioritize our tools to counter these organizations and their affiliates. We hope over time that we may be able to responsibly and effectively expand the use of automated systems to detect content from regional terrorist organizations too.

Working With Experts to Find Terrorist Content

The use of AI against terrorism is increasingly bearing fruit, but ultimately it must be reinforced with manual review from trained experts. To that end, we tap expertise from inside the company and from the outside, partnering with those who can help address extremism across the internet.

This past summer, we announced the formation of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT) — working with Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube to formalize our longtime collaboration to fight the spread of terrorism and violent extremism across our platforms. Because we know that terrorists will try a variety of ways to reach people online, we’re working with smaller technology companies around the world to share insights on the trends we see from terrorists and what’s working to stop them. Already, GIFCT has brought together more than 50 technology companies over the course of three international working sessions.

GIFCT’s work encompasses the development and expansion of a shared industry database of “hashes” that was launched at the EU Internet Forum in December 2016. We share and accept these hashes, which are unique digital “fingerprints” of terrorist media, from other companies to help detect attempted uploads of potential terrorist propaganda. Through GIFCT, we also engage with governments around the world and are preparing to jointly commission research on how governments, tech companies and civil society can fight online radicalization.

Along with increased industry collaboration, we continue to deepen our bench of internal specialists — which include linguists, academics, former law enforcement personnel and former intelligence analysts. They have regional expertise in terrorist groups around the world and also help us build stronger relationships with experts outside the company who can help us more quickly spot changes in how terror groups are attempting to use the internet.

For example, in recent months, we’ve expanded our partnerships with several organizations that have expertise in global terrorism or cyber intelligence to help us in our efforts. These partners — which include Flashpoint, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), the SITE Intelligence Group, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Computer Forensics Research Lab — flag Pages, profiles and groups on Facebook potentially associated with terrorist groups for us to review. These organizations also send us photo and video files associated with ISIS and Al Qaeda that they have located elsewhere on the internet, which we can then run against our algorithms to check for file matches to remove or prevent their upload to Facebook altogether.

Real-World Impact

We’re grateful for the work that law enforcement and safety officials perform around the world to keep our communities safe from terrorism, and we’re committed to doing our part to help. As we’ve mentioned before, we reach out to law enforcement whenever we see a credible threat, and have law enforcement response teams available around the clock to respond to emergency requests. Over the past year, we’ve been able to provide support to authorities around the world that are responding to the threat of terrorism, including in cases where law enforcement has been able to disrupt attacks and prevent harm.

Our Continued Commitment

As we deepen our commitment to combating terrorism by using AI, leveraging human expertise and strengthening collaboration, we recognize that we can always do more. We’ll continue to provide updates as we develop new technology and forge new partnerships in the face of this global challenge.

Read more about our blog series Hard Questions. We want your input on what other topics we should address — and what we could be doing better. Please send suggestions to hardquestions@fb.com.

Getting Our Community Help in Real Time

By Guy Rosen, VP of Product Management

When someone is expressing thoughts of suicide, it’s important to get them help as quickly as possible.

Facebook is a place where friends and family are already connected and we are able to help connect a person in distress with people who can support them. It’s part of our ongoing effort to help build a safe community on and off Facebook.

Today, we are sharing additional work we’re doing to help people who are expressing thoughts of suicide, including:

  • Using pattern recognition to detect posts or live videos where someone might be expressing thoughts of suicide, and to help respond to reports faster
  • Improving how we identify appropriate first responders
  • Dedicating more reviewers from our Community Operations team to review reports of suicide or self harm

Over the last month, we’ve worked with first responders on over 100 wellness checks based on reports we received via our proactive detection efforts. This is in addition to reports we received from people in the Facebook community. We also use pattern recognition to help accelerate the most concerning reports. We’ve found these accelerated reports— that we have signaled require immediate attention—are escalated to local authorities twice as quickly as other reports. We are committed to continuing to invest in pattern recognition technology to better serve our community.

Expanding our use of proactive detection

  • We are starting to roll out artificial intelligence outside the US (except in the EU at present) to help identify when someone might be expressing thoughts of suicide, including on Facebook Live. This will eventually be available worldwide.
  • This approach uses pattern recognition technology to help identify posts and live streams as likely to be expressing thoughts of suicide. We continue to work on this technology to increase accuracy and avoid false positives before our team reviews.
  • We use signals like the text used in the post and comments (for example, comments like “Are you ok?” and “Can I help?” can be strong indicators). In some instances, we have found that the technology has identified videos that may have gone unreported.

Improving how we identify first responders and dedicating more reviewers

  • Our Community Operations team includes thousands of people around the world who review reports about content on Facebook. The team includes a dedicated group of specialists who have specific training in suicide and self harm.
  • We are also using artificial intelligence to prioritize the order in which our team reviews reported posts, videos and live streams. This ensures we can get the right resources to people in distress and, where appropriate, we can more quickly alert first responders.
  • Context is critical for our review teams, so we have developed ways to enhance our tools to get people help as quickly as possible. For example, our reviewers can quickly identify which points within a video receive increased levels of comments, reactions and reports from people on Facebook. Tools like these help reviewers understand whether someone may be in distress and get them help.
  • In addition to those tools, we’re using automation so the team can more quickly access the appropriate first responders’ contact information.

Our ongoing commitment to suicide prevention

Already on Facebook if someone posts something that makes you concerned about their well-being, you can reach out to them directly or report the post to us. We have teams working around the world, 24/7, who review reports that come in and prioritize the most serious reports. We provide people with a number of support options, such as the option to reach out to a friend and even offer suggested text templates. We also suggest contacting a help line and offer other tips and resources for people to help themselves in that moment.

Facebook has been working on suicide prevention tools for more than 10 years. Our approach was developed in collaboration with mental health organizations such as Save.org, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and Forefront Suicide Prevention and with input from people who have had personal experience thinking about or attempting suicide. They are also available globally — with the help of over 80 local partners — in whatever language people use Facebook in.

With the help of our partners and people’s friends and family on Facebook, we hope we can continue to support those in need.

 

Our Advertising Principles

By Rob Goldman, VP Ad Products

Our advertising team works to make meaningful connections between businesses and people. That’s a high bar, given many people come to Facebook, Instagram and Messenger to connect with their friends and family. Our goal is to show ads that are as relevant and useful as the other content you see. If we do this effectively, advertising on Facebook can also help businesses large and small increase their sales and hire more people — as research published recently showed.

While the world and our services are always evolving, we thought it would be helpful to lay out the principles that guide our decision making when it comes to advertising across Facebook, Messenger and Instagram.

We build for people first.
Advertising is how we provide our services for free. But ads shouldn’t be a tax on your experience. We want ads to be as relevant and useful to you as the other posts you see. This is important for businesses too, because you’re less likely to respond to ads that are irrelevant or annoying. That’s why we start with people. Our auction system, which determines which ads get shown to you, prioritizes what’s most relevant to you, rather than how much money Facebook will make from any given ad.

We don’t sell your data.
We don’t sell personal information like your name, Facebook posts, email address, or phone number to anyone. Protecting people’s privacy is central to how we’ve designed our ad system. This means we can show you relevant and useful ads – and provide advertisers with meaningful data about the performance of their ads — without advertisers learning who you are.

You can control the ads you see.
Clicking on the upper right-hand corner of an ad lets you easily hide ads you don’t like, or block ads from an advertiser you don’t like. Clicking on “Why am I seeing this?” tells you more about why you were shown the ad and takes you to your Ad Preferences. Anyone can visit their Ad Preferences to learn more about the interests and information that influence the ads they see, and manage this information so they get more relevant ads.

Advertising should be transparent.
You should be able to easily understand who is showing ads to you and see what other ads that advertiser is running. It’s why we’re building an ads transparency feature that will let you visit any Facebook Page and see the ads that advertiser is running, whether or not those ads are being shown to you. This will not only make advertising on Facebook more transparent; it will also hold advertisers accountable for the quality of ads they create.

Advertising should be safe and civil; it should not divide or discriminate. 
We have Community Standards that prohibit hate speech, bullying, intimidation and other kinds of harmful behavior. We hold advertisers to even stricter advertising policies to protect you from things like discriminatory ads – and we have recently tightened our ad policies even further. We don’t want advertising to be used for hate or discrimination, and our policies reflect that. We review many ads proactively using automated and manual tools, and reactively when people hide, block or mark ads as offensive. When we review an ad, we look at its content, targeting, landing page and the identity of the advertiser. We may not always get it right, but our goal is to prevent and remove content that violates our policies without censoring public discourse.

Advertising should empower businesses big and small.
We believe that smaller businesses should have access to the same tools previously available only to larger companies with sophisticated marketing teams. We have millions of advertisers — from local businesses to community organizations — who depend upon us to reach their audiences, grow their businesses and create more jobs. As long as they follow our Community Standards and policies that help keep people safe, our platform should empower all advertisers with all voices to reach relevant audiences or build a community.

We’re always improving our advertising.
We’re always making improvements and investing in what works. As people’s behaviors change, we’ll continue listening to feedback to improve the ads people see on our service. For instance, when people shifted to mobile, we did, too. We know our work isn’t done by any means, which means we’ll often introduce, test and update certain features like ad formats, metrics and ad controls.

Continuing Transparency on Russian Activity

A few weeks ago, we shared our plans to increase the transparency of advertising on Facebook. This is part of our ongoing effort to protect our platforms and the people who use them from bad actors who try to undermine our democracy.

As part of that continuing commitment, we will soon be creating a portal to enable people on Facebook to learn which of the Internet Research Agency Facebook Pages or Instagram accounts they may have liked or followed between January 2015 and August 2017. This tool will be available for use by the end of the year in the Facebook Help Center.

It is important that people understand how foreign actors tried to sow division and mistrust using Facebook before and after the 2016 US election. That’s why as we have discovered information, we have continually come forward to share it publicly and have provided it to congressional investigators. And it’s also why we’re building the tool we are announcing today.

Announcing Facebook Communities Summit Europe

By Nicola Mendelsohn, Vice President, Facebook Europe, Middle East and Africa

Today, we are announcing that the Facebook Communities Summit (FCS) is coming to Europe. The event will celebrate community leaders who are using Facebook in Europe to bring people together.

We will host group admins, event organizers and page admins from across the region in London on February 8 and 9, 2018. Whether through a group that connects new mums, a business whose Page promotes healthy lifestyles and supports a neighborhood running group, or an event to raise money for a local cause, what these communities share is a passionate leader.

At FCS Europe, community leaders attending will have the opportunity to join workshops and panels dedicated to learning new skills, applying new tools and getting advice on managing a community. Attendees will connect, learn from, and share experiences with other community leaders, as well as hear from Facebook about the products we’re building to help support safe and supportive communities. We’ll have opportunities for community builders to share their feedback and experiences with us so that we can better support them. Since hosting FCS in Chicago earlier this year, we worked to apply the feedback we heard from attendees, and recently announced some new groups features as a result.

Every time I travel, I try to meet with someone building community on our platform and I’m reminded of the impact community leaders have on the people they serve. Just last month, I met a community leader, Radim Hasalik in Prague, who is the admin of a group called Podnikatelé a živnostníci – výměna zkušeností (translated: The Exchange of Experiences). It is the Czech Republic’s most active Facebook group for entrepreneurs, business owners and self-employed people. And after meeting Radim, it’s clear how members in his Group are able to network with each other, share advice on hiring, inquire about best practices across different industries and support each other in the moment and longer term.

Group admins, event organizers and page admins from Europe are invited to apply here for an invitation to the Facebook Communities Summit. More event details will be shared in the coming months.

Making Visual Messaging Even Better – Introducing High Resolution Photos in Messenger

By Sean Kelly & Hagen Green, Product Managers, Messenger

The way people message today is no longer limited by just text; visual messaging as our new universal language is much more emotional and expressive. Whether you’re catching up over moments big and small — like a recent vacation, an amazing meal at a new restaurant, a new member of the family, or the first snow day of the year — sharing photos of our experiences brings our conversations to life.

We’re making significant investments in how people communicate visually on Messenger. That’s why today, we’re excited to share that people can send and receive photos in Messenger at 4K resolution — or up to 4,096 x 4,096 pixels per image — the highest quality many smartphones support. We heard that people want to send and receive high resolution photos in Messenger — and considering people send more than 17 billion photos through Messenger every month — we’re making your conversations richer, sharper, and better than ever.

Your photos will also be sent just as quickly before, even at this new, higher resolution.

You may be curious how much of a difference 4K resolution makes. Take a look at the before and after of this photo a beach in Sydney. On the right at 4K resolution, once you zoom in, the photo is much sharper and clearer so you can see every detail. That’s what we mean by bringing your conversations to life.

See the difference in quality in this photo of the Brooklyn Bridge…

Or on a windowsill in Paris…

Or in a park in London.

To send and share photos at 4K resolution, first update your Messenger app to make sure you have the latest version. Then open a conversation and tap the camera roll icon. Select the photo, tap send, and the person you’re messaging with will receive the high resolution photo.

Starting today, we are rolling out 4K resolution on both iPhone and Android to people in the US, Canada, France, Australia, the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea. In the coming weeks, we’re planning to roll out 4k resolution to additional countries.

We know that every message matters to you, no matter how or what you’re sharing. We appreciate that you continue to use Messenger to connect with the people you care about most.

*The images on the left were reproduced to reflect the previous default resolution at 2K. The images on the right reflect the new default resolution at 4K.

Messenger for Small Businesses: Making Business Personal

By the Messenger Team

One of the things that makes small businesses so special is how personal they are. When you walk into your local bakery or stop by your corner bodega, it’s not just about the box of cookies you need for your last-minute dinner party or the carton of milk you’re picking up for your morning coffee, it’s about the people behind the business, and the relationship you have built with them over the years.

While many small businesses still have a community of local, loyal customers who frequent their establishment regularly, many others rely heavily on technology to reach their audience, with an increasing number of small businesses building their livelihoods entirely online. Technology has helped businesses large and small reach more people than ever before, but sometimes digital marketing can feel like it’s missing that personal connection. Messaging changes that. According to a study we recently commissioned, messaging adoption has grown significantly in the past two years, and is now the most frequently used form of communication across regions. According to this same study, Messenger is the only messaging app used by more than half the population across all age-groups, with 58% of people who use Messenger saying they use the app every day.

While people are using messaging more and more to connect with the people they love, they are increasingly turning to messaging to connect with the brands they care about; according to a Facebook-commissioned study by Nielsen, 63% of people surveyed said their messaging with businesses has increased over the past two years, and 67% expect to message businesses even more over the next two years. In fact, in 2017 alone over 330 million people connected with a small business on Messenger for the first time.

We are also seeing certain industries really take off on the platform, with professional services, retail, public good and local entertainment taking the lead. Aprille Franks-Hunt, a Master Business Coach in Oklahoma, uses Messenger to connect with her community, distribute materials and encourage signups for her seminars. Mermaid Pillow Company, a family-owned business in Nebraska that sells “Kids Positivity” pillows and arm bands, uses Messenger to answer questions and enable transactions, recently implementing the customer chat plugin on their website to connect with their customers across their website and Messenger. And Love Your Melon, a Minnesota-based brand dedicated to providing a hat to every child battling cancer in the US and supporting the fight against pediatric cancer, harnesses Messenger as a powerful re-engagement channel, using sponsored messages to promote new merchandise.

We are so inspired by the small businesses who are already using Messenger to connect with their community and customers, and with Small Business Saturday – an annual shopping event dedicated to supporting small businesses – around the corner, we’re excited to share a few resources for folks looking to get started on the platform today.

Today we are announcing the launch of Messenger’s first ‘bot makeover contest’ in partnership with bot development platform ManyChat. Three winners* will receive a makeover to their Messenger experience courtesy of ManyChat, along with consultation from our team of Messenger experts here at Facebook. Each winner will also receive $5,000 in ad credits to be used to drive discovery of their new and improved Messenger experience. Submissions are open today, November 20, 2017 through Monday, December 4, 2017 at 8:00pm PST/11:00pm EST, with the winners being announced in mid-December.

For small business owners looking to get started on Messenger, on Tuesday, November 21st at 3:00pm PST/6:00pm EST we will be partnering with small business expert Gene Marks for a Facebook Live panel about Messenger best practices. He will be joined by our very own Stefanos Loukakos, Head of Messenger Business and small business owner and Master Business Coach Aprille Franks-Hunt who can share her personal experience using Messenger to drive results and build stronger relationships. We will also be taking live questions that Gene, Stefanos and Aprille will answer at the end of the panel, so be sure to tune in and ask about anything you’ve ever wanted to know about Messenger for your business.

We’re so grateful to all the small businesses who have already chosen Messenger to connect with their community, and we look forward to empowering even more business owners to use Messenger to drive results and make business personal.

 

 

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. Submission phase begins 11/20/2017 at 10:00:00AM PT & ends 12/4/2017 at 8:00:00PM PT. Only open to businesses (legal entities and individuals) that: have a valid Facebook account; are a resident or legally formed in 50 U.S., DC or PR; have 100 or fewer employees; as of the contest start date, uses Messenger to connect with customers and uses digital marketing channels; & is 18+ and maj+. 3 winners determined by highest score using criteria: Commitment to messaging (40%); Business goal (40%); & Creativity (20%). Void where prohibited by law. SUBJECT TO FULL OFFICIAL RULES, which contain important bot and content restrictions and requirements. ARV of each Prize: $8,000. Total ARV $24,000. Ad credits must be used within 90 days of issuance and are subject to their terms. Verified winner must spend minimum required time on Messenger marketing to make use of the prize or it will be forfeited. Sponsor: Facebook, Inc., 1 Hacker Way, Menlo Park, CA 94025.

 

Announcing New Tools for the Creator Community

By Chris Hatfield, Product Manager, Video

Creators around the world are sharing their videos on Facebook to build a community around their passion — whether their passion is comedy sketches, their favorite recipes, or even knitting sweaters. On Facebook, creators can connect with more than two billion potential fans and collaborators, get to know their community, talk directly to fans with Live, and monetize with products like branded content.

We understand that creators have specific needs, and we’re committed to helping them on their journey as they grow and find their community. As part of this commitment, we’re announcing two initiatives to help creators unleash their creativity: an app that helps creators manage their presence on Facebook and a central destination where creators can get the resources they need to improve and grow.

Facebook Creator App

The Facebook Creator app is a one stop shop for creators of all kinds, to help take their passions to the next level. With the app, creators can easily create original video, go live with exclusive features, and connect with their community on Facebook — all from their pocket.

If you’re a creator, there are a range of features for you:

  • Live Creative Kit: Access exclusive tools that make it easy to create live broadcasts with a personalized and fun feel. Creators can add intros as openers to their live broadcasts, outros that conclude them, custom live stickers that viewers can use to interact, and graphic frames to create a consistent brand.
  • Community Tab: Connect with fans and collaborators with a unified inbox, which centralizes comments from Facebook and Instagram, and messages from Messenger.
  • Camera & Stories: Use fun camera effects and frames and easily crosspost content to other platforms. Creators can also access Facebook Stories to engage with their fans.
  • Insights: Easily access metrics to inform content creation, including analytics about your Page, videos and fans.

If you’re a creator making a show for Watch, you can also log into the app as your Show Page to access the features above. We’re currently testing shows with a set of creators and plan to roll out more broadly in the future.

We’re launching the Facebook Creator app globally today on iOS, and will be rolling it out to Android users in the coming months. The app is open to individuals on Pages or profiles, and you will be able to download it in the Apple App Store today. We will be gathering feedback and iterating on the app to create the best experience for creators.

A New Website for Creators

Facebook for Creators is a new website where creators can find resources and tips on how to create great videos, connect with fans, and grow on Facebook.

If you’re a creator, with Facebook for Creators you can:

  • Learn skills and techniques to make your content shine
  • Find answers to common creator-specific questions
  • Join the community to be considered for early access to new features and tools

Creators are invited to join the Facebook for Creators community here.

We are excited to see how creators use these tools to share video, interact with their followers, and grow their community on Facebook. We are just getting started, and look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with creators to make their experience on Facebook even better.

Messages Matter: Exploring the Evolution of Conversation

By the Messenger Team

December 3rd 2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the first SMS text message ever sent. In case you were wondering, it was a simple greeting dispatched by software engineer Neil Papworth. Cell phones were much larger, and connection times were much longer. Since that pivotal moment, technology has changed, and alongside it the art of conversation has evolved immensely. Billions of people now use messaging as their preferred way to connect with the people and businesses they care about, from sending a note to tell someone you miss them to sharing an inside joke; from wishing someone a happy birthday to saying you’re thinking of them during a tough time.

We know messaging is more important than ever. In fact, 80 percent of adults and 91 percent of teens message every day, according to a recent study we commissioned. With more technology in our hands, we have the ability to connect and share with people across the globe – more than any other generation.

At Messenger, we believe in the power of messages to make meaningful connections. We believe in their power to engage and unite the people who make use of them. With this study, we wanted to dig deeper into how our global conversation has evolved and get a glimpse of where it is going, plus understand if some commonly believed myths were true. What we found is that messaging turns out to be not a wedge, but instead a bridge bringing us closer together.

Now let’s explore some of the key trends and takeaways from the study.

More Devices Lead to More Communication
Some believe that the digital age has its tradeoffs in communication. But our study reveals that the diverse toolkit of channels available has improved and deepened the way people connect with others.

  • Messaging is a core part of everyday life: 80 percent of adults (age 19-64) and 91 percent of teens (age 13-18) across the globe message every day
  • There has been an increase in the amount of communication over the past two years: People have increased their usage of various channels, but the top five include messaging (67 percent), social media (48 percent), email (47 percent), video chat (47 percent) and face-to-face (38 percent) communication
  • More modes of communication = greater social satisfaction: As modes of communication increase, people report having greater and more authentic conversations

Sidebar Conversations Strengthen Relationships
Sidebar conversations – the secret non-verbal chats we have on our phones whilst in meetings, at dinners, watching TV shows – get a bad rap. Our research tells us they are on the rise and taking place around the world. Naturally, they must be serving a purpose. So what is it? We learned that the “sidebar” is drawing more people together, facilitating close relationships and promoting intimacy.

  • Most people admit to sidebar conversations: Most people (71 percent) have sidebar conversations, and 62 percent of those that do say messaging makes them feel closer to friends (versus 36 percent of those who don’t sidebar)
  • Sidebar conversations are happening around the world: People across various countries and age groups indulge in sidebar conversations, with millennials (82 percent) and teens (79 percent) most likely to sidebar
  • Sidebars happen in social settings: Sidebar interactions occur primarily at social events and family gatherings; survey respondents cite their power to strengthen relationships

A New Language of Hieroglyphics
Human history has shown that images are worth more than words. With the rise of visual-based communication, we’re returning to more visual expressions driven by a desire for intimacy in a hectic world with an urgent need to release emotions. This is reflected in a new vocabulary of emojis, GIFs and camera-based messaging, which is making us more expressive than ever before.

  • Visual messaging is the new universal language: Most people (57 percent) have responded to a message with a GIF, while 56 percent have sent a message using only emojis
  • Emojis and GIFs are ageless: 77 percent of people over the age of 55 use emojis to communicate while more than half (53 percent) use GIFs
  • Visual messages lead to great conversations: People who frequently communicate with visuals have more “great conversations” compared to those who don’t use visuals as often

Keeping in Touch Thrives as Never Before
Many report that messaging has replaced other forms of communication in their lives. But across the world, face-to-face conversations continue to rise, suggesting that there may be a correlation between more messaging and greater in-person connections.

  • Messaging replaces other communication channels: Half the population reports messaging has replaced their other forms of communication; 67 percent of people are messaging more than they did two years ago
  • More messaging = greater in-person connection: People who message more are 52 percent more likely to be also talking face-to-face more, as compared to someone who is not messaging more
  • Face-to-face conversations are increasing all over the world: All markets surveyed are doing more talking in person, but Brazil (+33 percent), France (+22 percent), Germany (+21 percent) and the US (+20 percent) have seen the highest increase in face-to-face interactions

People Are Finding Their Authentic Voices
For some people – particularly those less comfortable with other forms of communication – messaging opens up doors to more authentic dialogues. Our study shows that messaging removes filters and an emotional burden. People are bolder, more impulsive and more honest when they communicate. This, the survey results suggest, leads to more authentic conversations.

  • Those that are messaging are having more authentic conversations and relationships: 66 percent of people who message say they have more authentic conversations; 61 percent have more authentic relationships
  • First comes dating app, then comes messaging: One third of people (34 percent) who started a conversation on a dating app will continue their conversation through messaging, compared to a quarter of people (26 percent) who continue conversations in person
  • Genuine conversations are the best conversations: For a conversation to be great, people cite it must be genuine first and foremost (64 percent), followed by thought-provoking (49 percent) and entertaining (48 percent)

With the future of messaging looking more promising than ever, we hope you continue to use Messenger to connect with the people you care about most.

Facebook Community Boost: Helping to Create Jobs and Provide Digital Skills Across the US

By Dan Levy, VP, Small Business

Today we’re introducing Facebook Community Boost, a new program to help US small businesses grow and to equip more people with the digital skills they need to compete in the new economy.

Facebook Community Boost will visit 30 US cities in 2018, including Houston, St. Louis, Albuquerque, Des Moines and Greenville, South Carolina. Facebook will work with local organizations to provide digital skills and training for people in need of work, to advise entrepreneurs how to get started and to help existing local businesses and nonprofits get the most out of the internet.

Since 2011 Facebook has invested more than $1 billion to support small businesses. Boost Your Business has trained more than 60,000 small businesses in the US and hundreds of thousands more around the world. More than 1 million small businesses have used Facebook’s free online learning hub, Blueprint, and more than 70 million small businesses use our free Pages tool to create an online presence. And we recently created a digital marketing curriculum that will help train 3,000 Michigan residents in digital skills development over the next two years.

According to new research by Morning Consult in partnership with the US Chamber of Commerce Technology Engagement Center and Facebook, small businesses’ use of digital translates into new jobs and opportunities for communities across the country. Small businesses provide opportunities for millions of people (they create an estimated four out of every five new jobs in the US), offer useful products and services, and often provide a place for people to come together. In addition:

  • 80% of US small and medium businesses on Facebook say the platform helps them connect to people in their local community.
  • One in three US small and medium sized businesses on Facebook say they built their business on the platform; and 42% say they’ve hired more people due to growth since joining Facebook.
  • Businesses run by African Americans, Latinos, veterans and those with a disability are twice as likely to say that their business was built on Facebook, and one and a half times more likely to say they’ve hired more people since joining the platform.
  • 56% of US small and medium sized businesses on Facebook say they increased sales because of the platform; 52% of say Facebook helps them sell products to other cities, states, and countries.

We want to do more to support communities across America – particularly for those who are transitioning to careers that require more digital skills. It’s why we’re introducing Facebook Community Boost.

  • If you’re looking for a job, we’ll provide training to help improve your digital and social media skills. According to the research, 62% percent of US small businesses using Facebook said having digital or social media skills is an important factor in their hiring decisions — even more important than where a candidate went to school.
  • If you’re an entrepreneur, we’ll have training programs on how to use technology to turn an idea into a business or show you ways to create a free online presence using Facebook.
  • If you’re a business owner we’re going to offer ways your business can expand its digital footprint and find new customers around the corner and around the globe.
  • If you’re getting online for the first time or you want to support your community, we’ll provide training on digital literacy and online safety. And we’ll also help community members use technology to bring people together, with features like Events and Groups.

Facebook Community Boost was developed based on requests from the small business community that Facebook spend more time in their cities and provide more training. We’re just getting started, and are pleased to partner with community leaders to learn where we can help. We are especially grateful to the governors and mayors representing each of the five cities where we’re starting in 2018, including:

  • Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner: “We’re happy to welcome Facebook to Houston to boost our residents’ digital skills and make sure our vibrant community of entrepreneurs and small businesses gets more out of the internet. I’m glad that Facebook recognized that one of the first five cities to benefit from this program should be Houston, the most diverse city in the nation, the largest economic engine of Texas and a proving ground not only for innovation in tech, energy, medicine and space exploration but also for mom-and-pop small businesses that reflect all the cultures of America and the globe.”
  • Texas Governor Greg Abbott: “Small businesses are the backbone of the Texas economy. My goal as governor is to help small businesses and the non-profit sector grow even faster in Texas, and I’m grateful for the help of industry movers like Facebook. I applaud the decision by Facebook to choose Houston, TX as one of the five U.S. cities for this important and exciting event, and for their investment in the entrepreneurial spirit of Texas.”
  • New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez: “It’s clear when it comes to innovation and economic development New Mexico and Facebook make great partners. We are proud Facebook has selected Albuquerque as one of only five of the first locations in the country to offer its new Community Boost program. Residents and small businesses in New Mexico will have the opportunity to build stronger digital skills to get the most out of the digital marketplace. We will be working with Facebook to ensure our business have access to this exciting opportunity because New Mexicans deserve a diversified economy for the future.”
  • Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry: “As the City of Albuquerque is the second most digital city in nation, we are excited and welcome Facebook to Albuquerque for its new community boost! This initiative will help train our residents in developing key skills to help them thrive in our ever evolving digital world. We look forward to working closely with Facebook in coordinating the weeklong event to ensure Albuquerque and New Mexico small businesses are aware and can participate to the fullest extent. We hope this will help bring more tech skills and better job opportunities to our wonderful community.”
  • Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds: “It’s my priority to ensure that Iowans have the skills they need to fill the jobs of today and tomorrow, and to ensure that Iowa businesses have the tools they need to thrive in the digital economy. So I’m thrilled that Facebook has chosen Des Moines as a pilot city to launch its new Community Boost Program. Facebook has been a great partner in Iowa, and my administration looks forward to working with them on this wonderful project.”
  • South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster: “The fact that Facebook has chosen Greenville as one of the first cities to offer its new Community Boost is something that all of South Carolina can be proud of. We see new businesses come to our state and existing ones expand here every day, making it as important as ever that our people are trained and ready to do any job they’re asked to do. The work Facebook will be doing in Greenville is important for the future prosperity of South Carolina, and we look forward to working with them.”

We’ll be visiting 30 US cities in 2018, and we’d love to hear how Facebook Community Boost can help people in your city or town. You can share your story at facebook.com/tellcommunityboost.

Send Money to Friends in Messenger – Now in Euros and British Pounds

By the Messenger and Payments Teams

Today we’re adding one of the most requested features in Messenger to two new countries by introducing peer-to-peer payments to people in the UK and France. It’s a convenient and secure way to send and receive money right in Messenger threads — making it fast to send money to friends without leaving a conversation. We’ve also added an animation of falling Euros and British Pounds, depending on the country, just for a touch of fun.

This is the first time Messenger has extended p2p payments since launching in the US in 2015, and since then, p2p payments in Messenger have been widely used to make life more seamless. Some recent Messenger research has shown it’s not just the transactional act of paying someone back, it’s the emotional importance of doing so. Reciprocity fosters happiness and builds trust. We’ve heard that people often want better ways to express themselves when sending money, like adding accompanying text, emoticons, pictures and GIFs; of course Messenger is the best place to do many of these things, so we hope we’re bringing even more functionality to the art of conversation.

We asked people in France and the UK when they wished they could send money to someone in the moment. The top reasons for sending money include celebrations, social events and festive occasions. It’s those everyday moments we’re trying to make a little easier. We’ve seen that in the US, most people use payments in Messenger to send less than $50 at a time, and sending money in Messenger has become a part of everyday life for many.

Payments in Messenger will roll out to everyone in the UK and France over the coming weeks. With this feature, people will be able to send money to others in their country (from a person in the UK to another person in the UK, for example) but not across borders.

Payments in Messenger are fast, free and secure.

To send money:

  1. Start a message with a friend
  2. Tap the blue + icon and then tap the green Payments icon
  3. Set up your payment account (only the first time) and then enter the amount you want to send
  4. Tap Pay and then add your debit card
  5. Watch the amount of money you sent rain down on the screen

To receive money:

  1. Open the conversation from your friend
  2. Tap Add Card in the message, add your debit card and setup your payment account to accept money for the first time

The money you send is transferred right away. It may take one to three business days to make the money available to the recipient depending on their bank, just as it does with other deposits.

Messenger uses people’s authentic identities so you know who you’re talking to. And when it comes to payments, we take extra steps for your protection: all debit card credentials are encrypted and protected with bank level security, our world-class anti-fraud specialists monitor payments, and in the rare case that we find unauthorized activity on your account, we’ll work with you to secure your account again. Plus, since payments in Messenger use debit cards, as with any other debit card payment, if you see unauthorized charges, you have recourse with your bank. Finally, Messenger payments are offered as a regulated payment service, meaning they’re directly subject to consumer protection requirements.

We’re also rolling out M suggestions for payments in the UK and France. M is your helpful assistant in Messenger, powered by artificial intelligence. M offers suggestions by popping into an open conversation to suggest relevant content and capabilities to enrich the way people communicate and get things done. M, which is completely automated, will recognize when people are discussing payments and gives them the option of easily sending or requesting money. While M became available to people in the UK in August, today is M’s French debut. In addition to payments, starting today M will suggest sending stickers, sharing your location, starting a poll (in a group conversation) or sending birthday wishes.

Update on Our Advertising Transparency and Authenticity Efforts

by Rob Goldman, VP of Ads

When it comes to advertising on Facebook, people should be able to tell who the advertiser is and see the ads they’re running, especially for political ads.

That level of transparency is good for democracy and it’s good for the electoral process. Transparency helps everyone, especially political watchdog groups and reporters, keep advertisers accountable for who they say they are and what they say to different groups.

In September, our CEO Mark Zuckerberg talked about the initial steps we were taking to help protect the integrity of elections, both in the United States and around the world. Earlier this month, our VP of Public Policy Joel Kaplan provided additional details on what we’re doing to make advertising more transparent, increase requirements for authenticity and strengthen our enforcement against ads that violate our policies.

Today we’re sharing an update on the progress we’ve made towards accomplishing those tasks.

ADDITIONAL TRANSPARENCY FOR ALL ADVERTISING
We’re going to make advertising more transparent, and not just for political ads.

Starting next month, people will be able to click “View Ads” on a Page and view ads a Page is running on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger — whether or not the person viewing is in the intended target audience for the ad. All Pages will be part of this effort, and we will require that all ads be associated with a Page as part of the ad creation process. We will start this test in Canada and roll it out to the US by this summer, ahead of the US midterm elections in November, as well as broadly to all other countries around the same time.

We know how important it is to our community that we get this feature just right — and so we’re first rolling it out in only one country. Testing in one market allows us to learn the various ways an entire population uses the feature at a scale that allows us to learn and iterate. Starting in Canada was a natural choice as this effort aligns with our election integrity work already underway there.

During this initial test, we will only show active ads. However, when we expand to the US we plan to begin building an archive of federal-election related ads so that we can show both current and historical federal-election related ads. In addition, for each federal-election related ad, we will:

  1. Include the ad in a searchable archive that, once full, will cover a rolling four-year period – starting from when we launch the archive.
  2. Provide details on the total amounts spent.
  3. Provide the number of impressions that delivered.
  4. Provide demographics information (e.g. age, location, gender) about the audience that the ads reached.

POLITICAL ADVERTISERS WILL HAVE TO VERIFY THEIR IDENTITY
As Joel Kaplan mentioned, we’re going to require more thorough documentation from advertisers who want to run election-related ads. We are starting with federal elections in the US, and will progress from there to additional contests and elections in other countries and jurisdictions. As part of the documentation process, advertisers may be required to identify that they are running election-related advertising and verify both their entity and location.

Once verified, these advertisers will have to include a disclosure in their election-related ads, which reads: “Paid for by.” When you click on the disclosure, you will be able to see details about the advertiser. Like other ads on Facebook, you will also be able to see an explanation of why you saw that particular ad.

For political advertisers that do not proactively disclose themselves, we are building machine learning tools that will help us find them and require them to verify their identity.

We remain deeply committed to helping protect the integrity of the electoral process on Facebook. And we will continue to work with our industry partners, lawmakers and our entire community to better ensure transparency and accountability in our advertising products.

Celebrate Halloween with Spook-tacular Features from Facebook and Messenger

If you’re looking for fun and hair-raising ways to get into the Halloween spirit this year, look no further than Facebook and Messenger. Halloween is a top holiday that brings people together, with people celebrating by sharing photos and attending events on Facebook, sending photos to friends on Messenger, and talking about their costumes in Facebook posts. Today, we’re announcing dozens of Halloween-themed experiences on Facebook and Messenger:

  • New Effects in Camera, Live and Messenger: People can try out dozens of Halloween-themed masks, frames and stickers.
  • Try Out a New Interactive Game: In Camera, people can turn themselves into a trick-or-treater who jumps their way out of a spooky haunted house.
  • Get Creative with Halloween-Themed Posts: When posting in News Feed, people can try out different backgrounds for their text posts.

On Facebook, get into the Halloween fun

Celebrate in Costume: On Halloween, you might see a message from Facebook in your News Feed wishing you a Happy Halloween and inviting you to get into the holiday spirit. By swiping right into Camera, you will find more than twelve different spooky masks and frames, as well as a handy way to snap a photo of your Halloween look.Broadcast Your Halloween Live: Facebook Live is also introducing Halloween effects that can be used in your Live videos. Try a scary mask, or tell a story using an effect. Go live with a friend and have fun bringing people into your Halloween moments.

Escape From a Virtual Haunted House: For even more fun, try our interactive Halloween-themed game located within Camera. You’ll turn into a trick-or-treater who jumps their way out of a spooky haunted house by hopping up the walls to escape. Turning your head from side to side changes the direction in which you jump to climb higher and avoid traps. Share your highest score with a photo and challenge your friends to beat your record.

Dress Up Your Posts: To give you even more ways to express yourself on this holiday, we’re adding Halloween-themed backgrounds to the colored background options on text posts, which you can find when posting on Facebook.

Trick or Treat at a Neighborhood Event: With more than 500,000 Halloween events around the world planned this year, we’re making it even easier for people to find events near them by sending prompts that feature Halloween events that may interest them.

On Messenger, there are even more ways to connect with your friends

Find Your Disguise in Camera: No need to pick up a last-minute costume when you can try on a number of Halloween masks and frames in the Messenger Camera. The Camera is always one tap or swipe away, whether you’re already in a conversation or you’ve just opened the app.

Give Your Friends a Fright on Video Chat: All of the same masks and effects in the camera are also available in Messenger video chat! Start or open a one-on-one or group conversation and tap the video icon in the top right corner. Then tap the star to chat with your friends as a green goblin or black cat.

We hope everyone enjoys the tricks and the treats this Halloween!

New Features for Groups to Build Communities

By Alex Deve

In June, we hosted our first-ever Facebook Communities Summit in Chicago with hundreds of Facebook group admins. Since the Summit, we’ve been busy building tools and programs that will help them grow and manage their communities, and today we’re announcing several of them:

New Tools for Admins and Members

Welcome Posts: For admins, welcoming new members and making them feel supported is critical to building community. To help them introduce new members to the group, admins can now write a welcome post that will automatically tag new joiners.

Badges: We also heard that members want ways to easily identify group leaders and other members. That’s why we’ve also introduced badges for group admins, moderators and new members.

Member profiles: Many people also tell us they often get to know other group members by reading their group posts and visiting their profiles. To help make this easier, we’re introducing a new feature called member profiles. Now, when group members click on another person’s name they will be directed to a group-specific profile, based on publicly-available information like things they may share in common and a feed of that person’s activity in the group.

New controls: Finally, many admins spend hours each week making sure their Facebook groups stay supportive and safe, so we’ve built new features to help group admins grow and manage their communities.

We’ve expanded the Group Insights tool to include helpful personalized tips, like scheduling posts at times when members are most engaged. We’ve also heard that conversations in even the most supportive groups can sometimes get heated, so we’ve created more tools for admins to manage members that might have forgotten group rules of conduct. Admins can now temporarily turn off a member’s ability to comment and post, and remove members who violate their community’s rules from multiple groups they manage in a single click.

Building Relationships with Group Admins
We loved getting to know group leaders at the Facebook Communities Summit, and we got to learn a lot more about the groups they manage: for example, we learned that most common categories of meaningful groups on Facebook in the US include local city and neighborhood groups, pregnancy and parenting groups, animal and pet groups, and occupation-focused groups. To give the admins of these groups more opportunities to connect with other community leaders, we started an invite-only group on Facebook where they can connect with one another and share feedback about their experiences, so we can provide the support they need to serve their communities. We’re also exploring programs to help these leaders meet up in person and keep the connection going— we’ll be announcing more about these new programs soon.

Leaders Inspiring Change
Since the Facebook Communities Summit, we’ve seen people use Facebook Groups to impact inspiring real-world change in their communities:

  • In their first philanthropy project, Grown and Flown Parents used their group to raise money and buy dorm supplies for 225 first-generation freshmen at the University of Texas, helping these hard-working students get off to college on the right foot.
  • Physician Moms Group (PMG) and Show Me Your Stethoscope rallied help in times of crisis, deploying first-response services and donations in the walk of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and raising over $15,000 to send food to first-responders following the Las Vegas shooting.
  • Mendleton is a group of more than 40,000 active duty and veteran Marines. Through dialogue and camaraderie within their group, they’ve worked to provide support for servicemen and have prevented more than 100 suicides to date. They’ve also started a non-profit called the Mendleton Foundation, committed to ending military suicide.

We’ve learned so much from working with group admins already, and this is just the beginning. There’s a lot more work to be done and we look forward to continue building the tools they need to bring the world closer together.

Marketplace Adds More Options For US Car Shoppers

By Deborah Liu, VP, Marketplace

Millions of Americans are using Marketplace every day to look for cars. Since this is one of our most popular categories, we’re expanding our used car inventory by partnering with leaders in the auto industry.

In the coming weeks, Marketplace will introduce features that will make it easier for car shoppers in the US to:

  • Browse inventory from auto dealers through new partnerships with Edmunds, Cars.com, Auction123, CDK Global and SOCIALDEALER
  • Find what they’re looking for by visiting the enhanced vehicles section and filtering listings by year, make, model, mileage, vehicle type and transmission
  • See trusted car values from Kelley Blue Book
  • Communicate directly with dealership representatives via Messenger, powered by chat providers like ActivEngage, CarCode, Contact At Once!, and Gubagoo

In addition to vehicles, we are testing features in other Marketplace categories like jobs, event tickets, retail, and home rentals to give people more options when looking for products and services in their community.

You can find more information about buying and selling cars on Marketplace here.

News Feed FYI: Introducing News Feed Publisher Guidelines

By Adam Mosseri, Head of News Feed

We launched the Facebook Journalism Project to collaborate with the news industry in support of an informed community. A consistent piece of feedback we’ve heard from publishers as part of this effort is that they would like more insight into how News Feed works, in order to understand best practices for reaching their audiences.

In response to this feedback, today we are releasing News Feed Publisher Guidelines, which include “do’s and don’ts” to help publishers succeed on our platform.

As an extension of the Publisher Principles we released in May, we developed these guidelines with social media teams in mind and in consultation with publishers. We will continue to update the guidelines in collaboration with our partners so they can reach their audiences on Facebook.

Click here to view the News Feed Publisher Guidelines, and see below for information on how News Feed ranking works.

Now You Can Order Food with Facebook

By Alex Himel, VP of Local

Ordering food for takeout or delivery is supposed to be simple. That’s the point. But somehow it’s gotten complicated. First you need to decide what to eat, then you have to sift through a bunch of options and services.

Today, we’re taking the time out of finding what you want to eat by officially launching the ability to order food for pick-up or delivery, directly on Facebook. People already go to Facebook to figure out what to eat by reading about nearby restaurants, and seeing what their friends say about them. So, we’re making it even easier.

Facebook combines options from a number of food ordering services like EatStreet, Delivery.com, DoorDash, ChowNow and Olo, as well as restaurants like Jack in the Box, Five Guys, Papa John’s, and Panera, so you don’t have to search through multiple places to find what you’re looking for. From local spots to national chains, Facebook connects you with old favorites and new discoveries in just a few taps. You can even check out what your friends have to say about a restaurant before you order your food.

You can browse restaurants nearby by visiting the Order Food section in the Explore menu. On this page, you can browse food options and select Start Order when you’ve found what you’re looking for. If the restaurant you want to order from offers takeout or delivery with multiple services, you can select which service you’d like to use. For example, if you have an account with Delivery.com, you can easily order with your existing login. If you don’t have an account with that service, you can quickly and easily sign up, without leaving the Facebook app.

We’ve been testing this since last year, and after responding to feedback and adding more partners, we’re rolling out everywhere in the US on iOS, Android and desktop.

People will be able to browse restaurants near them that take orders via Delivery.com, DoorDash, ChowNow, Zuppler, EatStreet, Slice, and Olo, as well as directly from restaurants including Papa John’s, Wingstop, Panera, Jack in the BoxTGI Friday’s, Denny’s, El Pollo Loco, Chipotle, Five Guys and Jimmy John’s.

Hard Questions: A Live Interview With Sheryl Sandberg

By Elliot Schrage, Vice President of Policy and Communications

Since its launch last June, Hard Questions has explored difficult topics that matter to Facebook’s global community — explicitly and openly confronting our handling of terrorism, hate speech and Russian ads on the platform.

Your response to Hard Questions inspired us to open a new channel that we hope will produce greater insights into the challenges facing Facebook and other technology companies.

This week we begin a series of interviews with the digital news site Axios. Our goal is to push ourselves toward even greater transparency and to participate in tough  questioning by an independent, highly credible news organization with public policy and technology expertise. Axios editors and reporters will fully control the questions and resulting coverage.

The kickoff is a wide-ranging interview with our Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg by Axios co-founder Mike Allen on October 12 at 9AM ET. You can watch it here and on Facebook Live.

In the coming months, Facebook executives will sit for interviews with Axios reporters and editors on some of the most crucial issues in social media. We’ll also be working with other news outlets and independent groups wanting access to our executives.

In all of this our goal is to open ourselves to hard questions, to be candid about our thinking and to invite constructive criticism and discussion. We hope to make better, more informed decisions with and for our communities worldwide and we hope you’ll participate.

Read more about our new blog series Hard Questions. We want your input on what other topics we should address — and what we could be doing better. Please send suggestions to hardquestions@fb.com.

Oculus Announces New Standalone Headset, ‘Venues’ at Oculus Connect

Today at its fourth developer conference in San Jose, Oculus announced its newest and most affordable VR headset, called Oculus Go. The standalone device will ship in early 2018 starting at $199.

Oculus also showcased updates to its Santa Cruz prototype, including new positionally tracked controllers with six degrees of freedom that bring the power of Rift and Touch to the standalone category.

The company offered a sneak peek into Oculus Venues, a new experience coming next year that lets people watch live concerts, sports, and movie premieres with thousands of other people around the world.

Watch the full keynote here or read more at the Oculus blog.

News Feed FYI: New Test to Provide Context About Articles

By Andrew Anker, Sara Su, and Jeff Smith

Today we are starting a new test to give people additional context on the articles they see in News Feed. This new feature is designed to provide people some of the tools they need to make an informed decision about which stories to read, share, and trust. It reflects feedback from our community, including many publishers who collaborated on its development as part of our work through the Facebook Journalism Project.

For links to articles shared in News Feed, we are testing a button that people can tap to easily access additional information without needing to go elsewhere. The additional contextual information is pulled from across Facebook and other sources, such as information from the publisher’s Wikipedia entry, a button to follow their Page, trending articles or related articles about the topic, and information about how the article is being shared by people on Facebook. In some cases, if that information is unavailable, we will let people know, which can also be helpful context.

Helping people access this important contextual information can help them evaluate if articles are from a publisher they trust, and if the story itself is credible. This is just the beginning of the test. We’ll continue to listen to people’s feedback and work with publishers to provide people easy access to the contextual information that helps people decide which stories to read, share, and trust, and to improve the experiences people have on Facebook.

How will this impact my page?

We anticipate that most Pages won’t see any significant changes to their distribution in News Feed as a result of this test. As always, Pages should refer to our publishing best practices and continue to post stories that are relevant to their audiences and that their readers find informative.

Promoting October Cyber Security Awareness Month

By Alex Stamos, Chief Security Officer

Facebook works constantly to protect your account and information as part of our effort to help build a safe community. For years, we have joined people around the world in recognizing and promoting cyber security awareness during the month of October.

This year, a lot of you will see information in your News Feed about the different tools we offer to help protect your account and can help remind you about some of the ways you can increase your security.

For example, this month, millions of people around the world will see a prompt to run our Security Checkup, which will help you enhance the security of your Facebook account in just a few steps. This easy-to-use tool can help you log out of Facebook from unused browsers and devices, get alerts about unrecognized logins, and learn to protect your password.

For more examples of security tools, you can check out a blog post published today from Heidi Shin, a product manager on the account security team. Her team builds and maintains the set of security features you can use to make your account more secure. Heidi’s post is the first of a weekly blog series we are hosting this month, where each Monday in October, we will introduce you to a new person who can teach you more about what Facebook does, and what you can do, to help protect your account. These blogs and other security information can be found at http://facebook.com/security.

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