A ‘Dislike’ button is finally coming to Facebook

Although the company denied it would ever happen, Facebook is finally working on a new “Dislike” button for the social network.
The news was announced during a Q&A session with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg today, although details about the dislike button itself were scarce, according to CNBC.
Facebook’s previous anti-dislike button stance actually made a lot of sense, as the company didn’t want its users actively spreading negativity to things shared on the social network — nor did it want to provide a new way for people to be trolled or harassed. I’d imagine the bulk of this opinion, though, had to do with sponsored or promoted content that brands and companies pay Facebook to target key demographics.
Therefore, when we do finally see the dislike button debut, don’t expect it to function much like the current “Like” button. That means you probably won’t be able to see a list of all the people that dislike a page or status update. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Facebook didn’t even include the total number of times people “dislike” something — both for users and certainly for developers.
But while Facebook might not want its users spreading dislikes all over the place, it is likely that it does want to know when you don’t like something. You’ve already been able to tell the company on targeted advertising — and when you hide things from your post, that too suggests you “dislike” it. None of that data is available to the public, but you can bet Facebook uses it to make its product better.
Whatever form the dislike button takes, it should at minimum do one positive thing for Facebook: Increase the activity (and perhaps time spent) people spend on the social network.
Via The Verge

Facebook sees over 1 billion people using the service in a single day

Facebook reached a new milestone earlier this week as the social network saw one-seventh of the world’s population (aka 1 billion people) logged into the service in a single day.
The world’s biggest social network is still driving user growth, but as most people have a Facebook account by now, seeing a significant portion of the population all using the site over a 24-hour period seems like an achievement worth bragging about. This is especially true with the company attempting to increase the amount of time its users spend on Facebook, which has an impact on advertising revenue.
The 1 billion milestone was achieved for the first time ever this past Monday, according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who made the announcement today via a status update. However, he was quick to point out that the figure is simply the peak number of users logged in for a single day, not an average:

“We just passed an important milestone. For the first time ever, one billion people used Facebook in a single day.
On Monday, 1 in 7 people on Earth used Facebook to connect with their friends and family.
When we talk about our financials, we use average numbers, but this is different. This was the first time we reached this milestone, and it’s just the beginning of connecting the whole world.
I’m so proud of our community for the progress we’ve made. Our community stands for giving every person a voice, for promoting understanding and for including everyone in the opportunities of our modern world.
A more open and connected world is a better world. It brings stronger relationships with those you love, a stronger economy with more opportunities, and a stronger society that reflects all of our values.
Thank you for being part of our community and for everything you’ve done to help us reach this milestone. I’m looking forward to seeing what we accomplish together.”

5 titles Mark Zuckerberg should add to the Facebook book club

Mark Zuckerberg’s global book club is off to a roaring start: it reportedly has more than 90,000 members and his first book selection is burning up the Amazon charts. Now, if only Mr. Zuckerberg would assure us this is more than a marketing exercise for Facebook.

So far, there’s hope that it is. The inaugural book selected by Zuckerberg, The End of Power, is a serious title that talks about how power is slipping away from traditional institutions, and is being accrued instead by what the author describes as “Insurgents, fringe political parties, innovative start-ups, hackers, loosely organized activists, upstart citizen media, leaderless young people in city squares.”

It sounds like a worthy read. Still, if the CEO of Facebook is serious about using his book club to promote ideas, he should include authors who have different ideas about power, and who show how it is used to crush individual freedom. Such writers describe how authoritarian governments and corporations manipulate media and access to technology so as to control the social lives of millions.

To that end, here are five ideas for what some are calling the “Zuckerbook Club”:

1) The Circle by David Eggers (2011)the circle

This novel takes place in a future time when Google, Facebook and Twitter have merged into an always-on surveillance realm where “privacy is theft” and individual success is determined by sharing and status updates. While many in the tech press mocked Eggers’ book for a lack of startup savoir faire, The Circle got a better reception from literary heavyweights like Margaret Atwood, who praised it for revealing how “code-owners have the keys to the kingdom.”

2) Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (1932)

In Huxley’s vision of the future, the World State exercises rigid control over the people not with coercion and force, but by entertaining and gratifying them into a stupor. Dissent, history and
individualism are obliterated in bouts of orgies and over-sharing.

3) Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (1953)farenheit 451

The central character is a fireman whose job is to set fire to books. The book burning, which takes place in an American city of the future, began with certain titles that were found to be offensive to certain groups, until the practice spread to all books. In Zuckerberg’s book club, readers could explore if there are parallels between the way that governments control books and the way that Facebook algorithms choose which stories readers can see.

4) Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler (1940)

A dark allegory of Soviet Russia, the novel shows how governments use confessions and the crime of treason to utterly break individuals. The book club could explore if Koestler’s work is useful for understanding contemporary governments like the Communist Party in China, where Facebook recently suspended the account of a dissident.

5) One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey (1962)one flew

The novel (and movie of the same name) provides another example of how institutions — this time the medical system — can be used to suppress individuals. Book club members could discuss how the nurses encourage sharing as a means to exercise control and enforce conformity.

Facebook’s Zuckerberg to headline Mobile World Congress this year

Facebook(s fb) takes mobile very seriously — that’s where its growth lies — so it’s no surprise that Mark Zuckerberg has just been announced as headline keynote speaker on day one of next month’s Mobile World Congress. According to the GSMA, which runs the Barcelona shindig, Zuck will opine on “the importance of extending the benefits of ubiquitous internet access to the unconnected world.” Expect updates on the internet.org initiative and perhaps news on Facebook’s own efforts to extend its advertising humanitarian reach to the world’s needy.