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Realtor tech tip: Facebook hacks that help those frustrated with new changes

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Given the sheer size of Facebook, any updates to functionality are likely to upset two camps- fans and those that don’t like change. The way images render has changed, ads are popping up in new places, hitting “enter” submits your update instead of hitting a submit button and privacy settings have changed over time.

Product developers know that changes to a product, no matter how small, will upset a core group of users. The difference between a soap formula and a website is the ability to hack your way back to the way it was before changes. Below are some common Facebook hacks.

My pet peeve: how pictures now render

A pop up within Facebook? On a black lightbox? Another ad served to me? The inability to right click and save a picture? Seriously? Grr. This feature alone caused me to seek out my own hacks and thank goodness others are annoyed too.

Enter the Google Chrome browser extension, “Revert Photo Viewer” which puts it back to the way it was- white background and a page on its own. Just the way I like it.

Pressing “enter” submits updates

I personally love that on Facebook, when you hit enter, your update is posted- it’s a huge time saver for me and seems much more intuitive, but people are pissed about not having that old submit button.

For those annoyed by this feature, you should know that you have to hit “Shift+Enter” at the same time to start a new line. It’s a classic hack for many software programs and one that you should get in the habit of using if you don’t want what you’re saying to be submitted, rather you want a line break.

News feed doesn’t show everyone anymore!

This one is a big shock to a lot of people who feel that people have abandoned Facebook and one I get asked about all the time. Facebook changed your news feed to feature only the people you most frequently interact with. Some love it because they really are only there to talk to their 10 best friends and don’t care about MeMaw’s Farmville while others (like me) want an overview of what everyone is doing at a glance.

To change it back so you can see all of your friends’ updates, click the triangle next to “Most Recent” on top of your news feed, select “Edit Options” and in the gray dropdown menu, select “All of your friends and pages” then save your changes. Voila!

New privacy options

Although the uproar over privacy is nothing new, there are two tricks you can do to get around some of the privacy issues.

First of all, with the “Facebook Disconnect” Google Chrome browser extension, you can stop Facebook from tracking the webpages you go to. Many applications don’t work on Facebook if you don’t grant permission to track, so this is one way around that. Keep your curtains drawn close, you know?

Secondly, for those of you that are hardcore (me excluded), check out the “Facebook Ad Block” Chrome extension which is pretty self explanatory. I don’t use this one because I actually like ads, I’m a marketing geek. But there are many of you who love the idea of an ad-free Facebook experience.

Which will you use?

Do any of these hacks have your name on them? There are literally hundreds of Facebook tricks and hacks, these are just the ones we tell people about the most- share yours with us in the comments!

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. Kelly Grothe

    March 18, 2011 at 10:32 am

    When you are looking at a photo you can also refresh the page to get back to the old view 🙂

    • Lani Rosales

      March 18, 2011 at 2:11 pm

      Kelly, it doesn’t always work on Chrome 🙁 that *was* the hack I used but it figured me out….

      • Wayne Harriman

        March 19, 2011 at 9:59 am

        F5 works every time for me on RockMelt, which is Chrome-based.

  2. Juan Carlos

    March 18, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Shift-enter! Thank you for that!

    I actually like the new photo viewing lightbox, but you know why 🙂

    • Lani Rosales

      March 18, 2011 at 2:13 pm

      Oh my photographer friend, you WOULD like it. 😉 #blacklightbox

  3. Liz Benitez

    March 18, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Maybe I missed it but I didn’t see the hack for “The inability to right click and save a picture” 🙂 that one gets under my skin. Although I am fine with peeps not being able to save my pictures.

    • Lani Rosales

      March 19, 2011 at 4:59 pm

      Hey Liz, if you use the Google Chrome “revert” extension, you’ll be able to see pics like you used to at which time you can right click to save. 🙂

      • Mike Salway

        March 20, 2011 at 5:27 pm

        With the new photo viewer, there’s a “Download” link down the left bottom corner – that’s how you download photos 🙂

  4. Joe Loomer

    March 19, 2011 at 8:45 am

    These are all great tips, Lani – but what I really, really need is to get the events function to allow me to invite all the people on a friends list with one click. The “select all” function has dissapeared and all i can find in the help menus talks about groups, not lists. I create and publish at least four-five events per week and now I have to go through the time to invite each of the 800-plus agents in our area that are in my realtor list, for example.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

    • Lani Rosales

      March 19, 2011 at 5:00 pm

      Joe, Facebook has made several attempts just like Twitter to disallow bulk activity to keep the system more human and less automated, but you’re right, the “select all” button should come back!

  5. Jason fox

    March 19, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    The automatic edge ranking kinda freaked me out. It was like one day all of my friends disowned me :(. I get the idea of edge, and as a marketer its very important that we understand it, but I personally dont want Facebook or anybody else telling me which of my friends I should interact with. My profile is set to All. Nice post.

    • Lani Rosales

      March 19, 2011 at 5:01 pm

      I AGREE, Jason. They shouldn’t default behaviors like this, they should make you choose which you want. Average users think they’ve been abandoned. Great idea, horrible execution.

  6. Carole Sanek

    March 21, 2011 at 10:35 am

    For those who accidentally post by hitting enter all you have to do is remove your remark it will come back to you and you can edit it or keep on writing. Cool beans.

  7. Missy Caulk

    September 21, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Perhaps you should update this today since there is a hol lotta whining going on over there today.

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Tech News

Facebook deletes developer over ironic browser extension invention

(TECHNOLOGY) Think a muted week for a nipple shadow is bad? Facebook just permabanned this inventor for…helping others to use the platform less.

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African American hand holding iphone on Facebook's login page.

It must be true that corporations are people because Facebook is pulling some seriously petulant moves.

In a stunt that goes beyond 24hr bans for harmless hyperbole, and chopping away at organic reach (still bitter from my stint in social media management), Facebook straight up permanently banned one of their users for the high crime of…aiming to get people to use the platform a little less.

Developer Louis Barclay came up with Unfollow Everything, an extension that basically instantly deleted your feed without having you unfriend anyone or unlike anything. Rather than have users manually go through and opt out of seeing posts, they’d now opt IN to keeping who they wanted front and center.

In his own words on Slate: “I still remember the feeling of unfollowing everything for the first time. It was near-miraculous. I had lost nothing, since I could still see my favorite friends and groups by going to them directly. But I had gained a staggering amount of control. I was no longer tempted to scroll down an infinite feed of content. The time I spent on Facebook decreased dramatically. Overnight, my Facebook addiction became manageable.”

Since more time spent on Facebook means more ads that you’re exposed to, means more you spend, the add-on started slowly making headway. I myself pretend to be a ranch owner to keep ads as irrelevant to me as possible (though my new addiction to hoof trimming videos is all too real), and Unfollow Everything probably would have been a great find for me if it hadn’t been killed by a cease and desist.

Law firm Perkins Coie, representing the internet giant, let Barclay know in their notice that Unfollow Everything violated the site’s rules on automated collection of user content, and was muscling in on Facebook trademarked IP.

They also added, in what I can only assume was a grade-school narc voice, that the add-on was “encouraging others to break Facebook’s rules.”

Barclay, not having the resources to fight a company with the finances of a small country, promptly ceased and desisted. Practical.

Officially speaking, Facebook might have actually have some ground to stand on vis-à-vis its Terms Of Service. The letter and legal team may have been warranted, not that we’ll ever truly know, since who’s taking Facebook to court? But then they followed up with a ‘neener neener’ deletion of Barclay’s 15 year old account – which was still very much in use.

Look, Facebook is the only way I connect with some of my friends. I don’t take enough pictures to make full use of Instagram, I fully hate Twitter, my Tumblr is inundated with R-rated fanfiction, and any other social media platform I’m happy to admit I’m too haggish and calcified to learn to use. So a complete WIPE of everything there with no notice would be pretty devastating to me. I can only imagine how Barclay felt.

And in light of the fact that the browser extension wasn’t hurting anyone, taking money, or spewing hateful rhetoric, there’s really only one thing to say about Facebook’s actions…they’re petty.

Sure, they may have the legal right to do what they did. It’s just that when you notice every fifth post is an unvetted advertisement, their high ground starts to sink a little. I mean nothing says ‘We’re being totally responsible with user information’ like the number of add ons and user tactics popping up to avoid seeing the unnecessary. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Facebook put up a fight against losing ad traffic.

We all know all those stores with amazing deals aren’t actually going out of business, or even using their own photos right? Right?

Barclay added in his article, “Facebook’s behavior isn’t just anti-competitive; it’s anti-consumer. We are being locked into platforms by virtue of their undeniable usefulness, and then prevented from making legitimate choices over how we use them—not just through the squashing of tools like Unfollow Everything, but through the highly manipulative designs and features platforms adopt in the first place. The loser here is the user, and the cost is counted in billions of wasted hours spent on Facebook.”

Agreed, Mr. Barclay.

Now I’m off to refresh my feed. Again.

 

Graffiti wall with image of Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, with the saying "You've been Zucked."

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Tech News

Glowbom: Create a website, using just your voice

(TECH NEWS) Talk about futuristic! This app allows you to create quizzes, surveys, an online store, and even a website in minutes–without typing.

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Colleagues looking at Glowbom website homepage

In the past, we’ve discussed things like simplified coding and no-code app creation. Now, a San Francisco startup has taken the process a step further with no-type app creation.

Glowbom is a voice app that allows you to dictate steps to an AI – from adding information all the way to exporting code–in order to create a simple app, survey, or game. While the built-in options for now are limited to four simple categories, the power of the app itself is impressive: By asking the Glowbom AI to complete tasks, one is able to dictate an entire (if small) program.

It’s an impressive idea, and an even more impressive product. Glowbom founder and CEO Jacob Ilin showcases the power of Glowbom in a short demonstration video, and while he only uses it to create a simple survey, the entire process–up to and including the exportation of the API–is accomplished via voice commands.

Furthermore, Glowbom appears to process natural inputs–such as phrases like “Let’s get started”–in the context of an actual command rather than the colloquial disconnect one tends to expect in AI. This means that users won’t need to read a 700-page manual on phrases and buzzwords to use before jumping on board–something the Glowbom user base was probably hoping to avoid anyway.

As of now, the options one can use Glowbom to create include a quiz, a survey, an online store, and a website. It seems reasonable to expect that, as support for the app grows, those categories will expand to comprise a larger library.

Glowbom certainly opens a few doors for people looking to take their businesses or ideas from an offline medium into the digital marketplace. As coding becomes less centralized in computer language and more contingent on processes such as this, we can expect to see more products from folks who may have missed the coding boat.

Perhaps more importantly, Glowbom and products like it make coding more accessible to a wider base of disabled users, thus taking a notable step toward evening the playing field for a marginalized demographic. It’s not true equality, but it’s a start.

This story was first published here in October 2020.

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4 ways startups prove their investment in upcoming technology trends

(TECH NEWS) Want to see into the future? Just take a look at what technology the tech field is exploring and investing in today — that’s the stuff that will make up the world of tomorrow.

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Woman testing VR technology

Big companies scout like for small ones that have proven ideas and prototypes, rather than take the initial risk on themselves. So startups have to stay ahead of technology by their very nature, in order to be stand-out candidates when selling their ideas to investors.

Innovation Leader, in partnership with KPMG LLP, recently conducted a study that sheds light onto the bleeding edge of tech: The technologies that the biggest companies are most interested in building right now.

The study asked its respondents to group 16 technologies into four categorical buckets, which Innovation Leader CEO Scott Kirsner refers to as “commitment level.”

The highest commitment level, “in-market or accelerating investment,” basically means that technology is already mainstream. For optimum tech-clairvoyance, keep your eyes on the technologies which land in the middle of the ranking.

“Investing or piloting” represents the second-highest commitment level – that means they have offerings that are approaching market-readiness.

The standout in this category is Advanced Analytics. That’s a pretty vague title, but it generally refers to the automated interpretation and prediction on data sets, and has overlap with Machine learning.

Wearables, on the other hand, are self explanatory. From smart watches to location trackers for children, these devices often pick up on input from the body, such heart rate.

The “Internet of Things” is finding new and improved ways to embed sensor and network capabilities into objects within the home, the workplace, and the world at large. (Hopefully that doesn’t mean anyone’s out there trying to reinvent Juicero, though.)

Collaboration tools and cloud computing also land on this list. That’s no shock, given the continuous pandemic.

The next tier is “learning and exploring”— that represents lower commitment, but a high level of curiosity. These technologies will take a longer time to become common, but only because they have an abundance of unexplored potential.

Blockchain was the highest ranked under this category. Not surprising, considering it’s the OG of making people go “wait, what?”

Augmented & virtual reality has been hyped up particularly hard recently and is in high demand (again, due to the pandemic forcing us to seek new ways to interact without human contact.)

And notably, AI & machine learning appears on rankings for both second and third commitment levels, indicating it’s possibly in transition between these categories.

The lowest level is “not exploring or investing,” which represents little to no interest.

Quantum computing is the standout selection for this category of technology. But there’s reason to believe that it, too, is just waiting for the right breakthroughs to happen.

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