Estimated reading time:7 minutes, 57 seconds
Facebook is not a static social network. It constantly changes and evolves in order to adapt to its users’ needs and global technological developments. Like a generous ice-cream parlor worker, they keep adding more and more on top of the already spectacular platform, so you can enjoy the world’s most popular social channel in new ways every week. On the other hand, these new Facebook features and apps might catch you off-guard. One day you’re laughing at your dad for posting the same selfie nine times over a period of two hours, a week later you’re the one who’s ridiculed for not knowing how to use the color post feature.
While most of you already have a Facebook account, The Daily Zuckerberg may not be your preferred morning read. Luckily, we packed some of the coolest, most important, or weirdest features added to Facebook in the last few weeks.
So let’s cut the chit-chat and see what exactly the Facebook stork brought to us:
Always wanted to find out if your friends prefer you with or without bangs? Wondering if your page followers are more partial to GIF or photos posts? Now you can easily get these answers thanks to the fresh, easy-to-use and well-designed polls feature. Facebook did allow users and pages to create polls in the past, but the interface was different for each type of user. This new tool enables both users and pages to publish two option polls, with GIFs or photos to accompany each option. So here’s how you do it:
- Go to the status update composer and choose “Polls.”
- Enter the question you want to ask in the status box section.
- Fill the options respondents will have to choose from.
- Choose an image or a GIF for each option.
- Determine the timeframe for the poll – a day, a week or any other custom length.
For years people have been struggling with the hassle of leaving Facebook for a few minutes to order food in a separate browser tab. Well, mark today on your calendar, because from now on, your life will never be the same. After beta testing the feature since May, US users can finally order food via Facebook, on both desktop and mobile devices. The service, which allows users to order food for delivery and pickup, is now operating in partnership with a few delivery services and food chains (but don’t expect to see the Facebook logo on the delivery guy’s shirt). Another cool attribute of this new feature is the option to see comments and reviews your Facebook friends have left for any food joint.
Wondering how to take advantage of this new option? Hop to the “Explore” menu in the Facebook app, browse restaurants near you and click “Start Order” to begin.
Check your sources
The term “fake news” is like the fad of boomboxes in the 90s, it’s everywhere! Alongside its rise as one of the most common buzzwords of the year, fake news is a growing problem for social networks. Facebook has been subject to criticism in recent months for allowing the spread of false stories and this new feature is sure to be an important move in their fight against the phenomenon. When viewing articles shared in your News Feed, you’ll be able to use the new “Article Context” button. Tapping on the button that has the letter ‘i’ on it, will open a small tab with additional contextual information regarding the article, such as;
- Details about the publisher from their Wikipedia page.
- Examples of how the article is being shared on Facebook.
- Links to trending articles from other sources that cover the same topic.
This new Facebook feature is supposed to help people evaluate the content they encounter on their News Feed and decide which stories are worth reading, which ones require a hint of salt and which texts should be ignored. Besides the context tool, Facebook also operates a fact-checking projectthat, as you probably guessed, check the facts in stories shared on the feed.
Subscribe to your favorite newspaper
Staying on the same front, Facebook recently partnered with ten large news publishers to give its app users access to articles. Throughout this trial, users will be able to read 10 (free) articles from the Washington Post, The Economist, Bild, Le Parisien and other leading press giants. After a user read their allotted 10, the app will offer users to purchase a subscription through the publisher’s website.
This feature might be considered as a strategic change by Facebook, after previous attempts to keep users within the social network. According to estimations, the move is aimed to improve Facebook’s public image. As we mentioned above, Facebook was recently accused of not preventing the spread of fake news on its platform. For now, it seems that if there’s an Apple device in your pocket, you won’t be able to enjoy this new Facebook feature, as the service will launch on Android devices only. Why? Apple is reported to insist on taxing thirty percent of any subscription made on its devices, while Facebook demands that all of the revenue will go to the publishers.
Cluster the content you’re sharing
Another exciting feature which is currently being tested and has already started popping up on some lucky users’ screens is ‘Sets.’ Don’t worry, these sets have nothing to do with the number of sit-ups you need to complete during a workout. ‘Sets’ is basically a clustering tool which allows you to group status updates, photos and videos as a group of publications with a general theme and then share them with a specific group of friends.
This will help you organize your updates around specific topics. Want to share the never-ending stream of photos from the last family vacation to blood relatives only? No problem. But you’re not the only one deciding who will see the posts. Because on the other hand, users can unfollow sets that they find boring or irrelevant. Sounds quite familiar? Many will say that ‘Sets’ was created in to compete with Pinterest boards.
Share your screen with the world
Close all of your embarrassing tabs, because as much as this tool might be helpful, it is also dangerous. Facebook is now allowing users to share whatever’s happening on their screens via Facebook Live broadcasts, directly from the social network itself. Before the emergence of this tool, users had to use an external software in order to do this.
If you’re already dancing with excitement while thinking of a script for a live broadcast that will outshine “War of the Worlds,” please note that this new Facebook feature comes in the form of a browser extension, that as of now, is compatible with Chrome only. Don’t look for the app on Chrome’s apps store, as you’ll be able to download and install it once you try to share your screen.
Just follow these steps:
1) Start a new Live video, but don’t click on “Go Live” yet.
2) Click on the “Share Screen” button at the right side of the screen.
3) Choose the sharing option you prefer.
Users who operate two screens can easily choose between them or even decide to share a specific chrome tab or a running application. It’s time to show your Minesweeper talents to the world!
Transfer money to your friends via PayPal
Still looking for the twenty bucks your old roommate borrowed from you last year? Do you want to pay your friend back for last night’s pizza without installing a new app? If so, you’ll love this new feature. Facebook and PayPal teamed up last year to enable users to purchase items through Facebook Messenger; this time they’re making it personal. PayPal has recently announced a new feature that will allow Facebook users to send or request money from our friends, entirely via Facebook Messenger.
All a user needs to do is open Messenger, click the blue ‘plus’ icon within the conversation window and then hit the green ‘Payments’ button, choosing PayPal as the gateway. For now, the service is open to US users only.
Discover new people through your friends
Looking for your soulmate? Thinking about expanding your social circle? Trying to see if your bestie found a new friend who’s an improved version of you? If you answered “Yes” to one of these questions, you’ll probably find this new tool very useful. “Things in Common” allows you to, astonishingly, browse your friends’ friends; specifically those whom you have the most in common with. Some Facebook users can already enjoy this feature. Want to find out if you can use it too? Here are the steps:
- Go to a friend’s profile.
- Scroll down to their ‘Friends’ box on the left side of the screen.
- Underneath the nine selected profile pictures, it will say “See what you have in common with X’s friends.” Click “View” and let the discovering begin.
Clicking on the “Things in Common” button opens a full-screen window with a carousel layout, enabling you to explore through your friends’ friends. On each profile, you’ll be able to see all the interests, details and preferences you both have; pages you like, groups you’re both in, shared personal information like hometown, etc. Who needs the real world to meet new people? (Well, probably most of us, but still – this is a cool addition to our social arsenal)