Facebook Says SMS Spam Received by Two-Factor Authentication Users Was a Bug

Facebook Says SMS Spam Received by Two-Factor Authentication Users Was a Bug

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Facebook users had been getting SMS notifications after signing up for 2F
  • Users’ responses to notifications would appear as status updates on Faceb
  • Facebook acknowledged the issue and promised a fix

Facebook users, over the past week, have reportedly been getting SMS notifications from the social media website after signing up for the two-factor authentication security feature. While the two-factor authentication is a vital part of protecting online accounts by adding a second layer of security, the text messages, interestingly, were not related to any security features. This gave rise to speculation that Facebook was trying to increase user engagement However, Facebook has now responded to the issue saying that it was a bug, and that such notifications were not meant to be sent.

While two-factor authentication is considered a vital measure of security, requiring an attacker to have both the user’s password and physical access to a registered device before being able to log into the user’s account. However, on Facebook, the system appears to have ended up being a problem for its users, thanks to SMS notifications. Interestingly, users also complained that if they replied to the SMS notifications, these would appear as status updates on Facebook.

Alex Stamos, Facebook Chief Security Officer, explains in a blog post that it was not Facebook’s intention to send non-security-related SMS notifications to phone numbers, and also apologised for the inconvenience caused to users. He wrote, “The last thing we want is for people to avoid helpful security features because they fear they will receive unrelated notifications.”

Facebook has also promised that the bug will be fixed soon. “We are working to ensure that people who sign up for two-factor authentication won’t receive non-security-related notifications from us unless they specifically choose to receive them, and the same will be true for those who signed up in the past. We expect to have the fixes in place in the coming days,” said Stamos.

Responding to why users responses to SMS notifications would appear as status updates, Facebook again said it was an unintended consequence, and was enabled by an older functionality where users could post to Facebook via text message. This functionality would soon be deprecated, Facebook said.

While you wait for Facebook to come out with a fix, you can go to Settings > Notifications to switch off text notifications. You can also use a code generator app and a U2F key instead of providing your phone numbers to Facebook when enabling 2FA.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Facebook Lite for Android Review: Made for India

Facebook Lite for Android Review: Made for India

While phone makers are now launching 4G handsets and companies like Airtel and Reliance working towards bringing the networks in India, you might think that there’s no need for apps that minimise data use. The fact of the matter though is that even in a metro like Delhi, 3G access depends greatly on which part of the city you’re in at the time.

That’s where Facebook Lite for Android comes into the picture. The app was launched in Asia earlier this month, and on Monday, Facebook Lite became available in India.

Facebook Lite is available on Google Play and it is just 435KB in size, runs on Android 2.2 and above, so even if you’re using an older phone, you can probably take advantage of the application. According to Shankar, Facebook Lite was designed to solve two challenges – 2G Internet and low-end smartphones – and based on our experience with the app, it seems to have accomplished those goals.

What is Facebook Lite?
As the name suggests, Facebook Lite is a light version of Facebook. It looks like an old version of the Facebook app, with blocky looks and limited features. The full-fledged Facebook app has large cards with neat gutters, expands all pictures and fills up your screen, supports gestures to move between the different Facebook functions.

Facebook Lite on the other hand shows all these previews at a much smaller size, and when we were using it on a 2G network, images took forever to show up. The difference between how posts are displayed between the two versions of Facebook is dramatic, and it’s definitely much more appealing to use Facebook on the full application.

facebook_lite_example.jpg

One other thing we noticed as soon as we started the application is that the Facebook logo is absolutely tiny, and this continued as we used the app too – images attached to posts are tiny thumbnails, filling the width of the screen, and they load after you tap on them. On the full Facebook application, images are much bigger, and they’re likely being preloaded, because they popped up in full size as soon as we tapped on the thumbs. The catch is that you’re pre-loading a lot of images you might not want to click on, using a lot of your mobile data along the way.

facebook_example.jpg

Shankar also points out that in the Facebook Lite settings, you can also choose the image quality, between low, medium and high. Facebook uses proprietary compression algorithms to deliver the images at the desired size, without losing too much visible quality.

Overall, the experience of using Facebook Lite is a lot less refined than the full version, but you’re able to see posts and links more quickly while on the road, and you’re using less mobile data to do so as well. All the features you’d expect – the news feed, friend requests, messages, notifications, and search, all show up. You can easily post status updates, or photos, just like you can on the full application. Messenger is built right into Facebook Lite, so you don’t need to have Facebook Messenger installed to chat anymore.

How well did it perform on 2G?
While it’s less refined, Facebook Lite loaded up posts much more quickly than the full version of the app when we switched to Edge connectivity. Usually, when we’re on the road in remote areas, we give up on Facebook because it’s almost certainly not going to load more posts.

The experience with Facebook Lite was a lot closer to using that other social network – Twitter. There are still problems, and posts still take some time to load. Images don’t pop up right away, and take even more time to load. But it does show you new posts and you can at least read what people are saying while you wait for a picture to load, which is a step forward.

Doing all this required some sacrifices. For one thing, the app does not support videos yet, though that is on the roadmap, according to Shankar. It also doesn’t support advanced location features – basically anything that requires the GPS. And while you can post comments on updates and pictures, you can’t reply to comments for now. And while the main Facebook app allows you to work offline, and make post updates when it connects to a network, Facebook Lite does not have this feature.

facebook_lite_settings.jpg

Who should use this?
If you’re using an older Android phone, or if you bought a budget Android device, then the amount of storage available will can often be quite limited.

In such a case, the small size of Facebook Lite might actually be a big plus point, and you might be willing to sacrifice a little bit of the polish of Facebook, but an app that actually works smoothly and loads quickly on your phone which also frees up a lot of space. While Facebook Lite takes less than 1MB, Facebook can be a lot bigger – a few random checks all turned up usage of over 150MB. Smaller footprint also means that app updates take less data.

But the most important thing was that Facebook Lite uses less data. Facebook says that the app gives a reliable experience, even when bandwidth is at a minimum.

That means that if you’ve already started using an LTE connection on your flagship Android phone with a quad-HD screen, then you should will probably find this app boring and pointless. If you spend most of your time at home or in office, with a steady Wi-Fi connection, then you can probably give this app a miss.

On the other hand, if you’re on the move a lot and travel in areas where getting a 3G signal is still a rare thing, or if you’re trying to reduce the data usage you see for Facebook, then this app will be appealing.

On a smaller, lower resolution screen, the difference between the two versions of Facebook wasn’t so pronounced, so you might prefer it if you have an older device, or if you bought a budget phone. And as we mentioned, it will probably be a good idea if you’re using a phone with limited storage space as well.

The app isn’t for everybody, but frankly, the number of people with good connectivity and high-end devices is definitely smaller than people with spotty Internet access and entry-level devices. Based on that, launching Facebook Lite seems like a great move, and will likely find plenty of takers in India.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Facebook Messenger Testing Snapchat-Like Streaks, Gets 4K Resolution Photo Support

Facebook Messenger Testing Snapchat-Like Streaks, Gets 4K Resolution Photo Support

HIGHLIGHTS

  • For streaks, Messenger shows a lightning bolt icon and days counter
  • Streaks provides a glance to ‘fun facts’ about the most active contacts
  • 4K resolution support is rolling out in limited regions

Taking on the competition, Facebook is testing a ‘Streaks’ feature in Messenger that is also used by Snapchat. The Menlo Park, California-headquartered company has also added 4K resolution support to its messaging service to uplift the visual experience. The latter feature is arriving for both Android and iOS platforms.

The first of the two updates to Facebook Messenger is the availability of Snapchat-like streaks feature that has been reported by certain users. The new feature would help Facebook to enhance engagements by letting users have a continuous conversation with their contacts. As spotted by Twitter user Case Sandberg, Facebook Messenger shows a lightning bolt icon next to the name of a person you have messaged for at least two days in a row. A counter is also available alongside the streak icon to reveal for how many days you both have been chatting on Messenger.

In a statement to Mashable, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed the presence of streaks. The spokesperson stated that the feature was in testing to let you “see at a glance fun facts” about the people you have spoken with on Messenger. It also adds that the feature will be visible if the person has been messaged at least “three days in a row”. Although the formal comment does not reveal an expansion of streaks, the feature could arrive on other Facebook-owned properties including Instagram and WhatsApp following its success on Messenger.

In addition to streaks, Facebook Messenger is receiving 4K support take the visual communication to new levels. The new support enables you to send and receive photos in up to 4096×4096 pixels resolution.

facebook 4k resolution support Facebook Messenger 4K  Facebook Messenger  Facebook

Facebook Messenger with 4K support

Despite supporting larger images, Messenger is touted to make it quicker to upload your favourite memories. Of course, you won’t have an as fast experience as the lighter version of Messenger offers on Android devices. But in the latest case, you have the ability to zoom into your memories to see the subjects and objects in detail.

You don’t need to select any specific settings to send 4K photos to your contacts. However, the latest version of the Messenger app is required to enable the new experience. Facebook has started rolling out the 4K resolution in the US, Canada, France, Australia, the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea. Other regions will receive the same update in the coming weeks.

As of September, Facebook Messenger has more than 1.3 billion monthly active users worldwide – on par with WhatsApp that reached the same milestone in July. The messaging service also offers a platform to third-party developers to host their apps and games in addition to features like bots, video calling, and peer-to-peer payments.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Five Hacks To Produce High Quality, Low-Cost Facebook Creative Today

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In recent years, one of the most consistent concerns of both existing and prospective clients has been, “how can we generate more high-quality creative quickly and affordably?”

With Facebook favoring video in the newsfeed and Instagram’s rollout of Stories, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and assume regularly producing high-quality creative requires a dedicated design and videography team.

That’s simply not true. From my experience working with many emerging e-commerce leaders, you can achieve your goals — whether they’re increasing engagement, greater click-through rates, or lower cost per acquisition– by following the five strategies below. I’ve seen these strategies used over and over to achieve great results without breaking the bank.

1. Create High-Quality (Not Overproduced) Content

One of the biggest misconceptions of Facebook advertising is that every piece of creative needs to look like it was made by a professional photographer or Hollywood filmmaker. More often than not, creative that looks user-generated will outperform its more polished counterparts. When an ad is overproduced, it can create “banner blindness.” Fast-scrolling thumbs won’t slow down to look at something if it looks too much like an ad. On Facebook and Instagram, ads that look like a photo or video from a friend are more likely to catch a prospect’s attention.

2. Use The Boomerang App

Boomerang from Instagram allows you to create captivating mini videos that play forward-then-backward, creating a neat, GIF-like video loop. These videos are fun, eye-catching and, most importantly, only take a second to produce. Boomerang videos do not include audio, which makes them great for mobile.

One of our clients, Brooklinen, has done a great job using Boomerang in its Facebook Ads. The bedding company created boomerangs of people jumping into bed, putting on a luxe duvet cover, etc. These eye-catching ads increased click-through rates, which in turn created lower cost-per-click and overall lower cost-per-acquisition of new customers. Customers have also responded positively, leaving comments on the ads describing the fun and quirky format.

3. Repurpose Online Reviews

Many online retailers would be surprised to see how many customers have created “unboxing” videos and uploaded them to YouTube. Unboxing is the unpacking of new products, especially consumer products, where the process is captured on video and uploaded to the internet. According to Think With Google, “unboxing fuels anticipation and provides useful product information.”

Many people think that unboxing videos are just for tech gadgets – not true. This same Google publication reports that “Food and drink, fashion and style and mobile phone unboxing videos have seen 42%, 90%, and 200% growth in popularity, respectively.”

Combining user-generated content with useful, relevant product information is a proven winner. Be sure to always reach out to the creator first for permission to use their content.

4. Crowdsource Creative

User-generated content, or user-created content, is any form of content created by customers or end users. UGC most often appears as supplementary to online platforms such as social media websites and may include such content types as blog posts, photos, videos or reviews. Many emerging brands are using UGC in their advertising campaigns as it speaks in the voice of the customer and is highly relatable.

According to the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Internet Trends 2017 Report, “Effective UGC can create 6.9x higher engagement than brand generated content on Facebook.”

Many successful brands have leveraged contests to generate more UGC, including one of our clients, MVMT Watches. The MVMT team holds a monthly contest where customers upload photos of their purchase to Instagram using a specific hashtag that enters them into the contest. This contest has generated thousands of pieces of high-quality content that are used in future advertising campaigns. It works because MVMT customers are highly engaged with the visual brand and want to help build the brand, thus creating more customer loyalty and further building brand identity.

Just remember to have clear rules and rights to ownership of content produced.

Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?

5. Use Snapchat Lenses

If your goal is to reach millennials, pay extra attention to this. According to a TechRadar writer, “Snapchat lenses are augmented reality filters – you’ll typically find these on the selfie camera, but some are available on the rear-facing camera – within the SnapChat app … use these to make your face look like a dog or give yourself a strange hairstyle.” These are fun, social and highly recognizable, which gives your brand familiarity.

These short videos can easily be repurposed and used for Facebook advertising. Another plus: They’re vertical (mobile-first format), which generates a full-screen experience on mobile.

These five tips alone will not create winning advertising campaigns, but they certainly can help take the headache out of creating content. With strong technical knowledge of Facebook advertising and consistent testing, you should be able to easily identify and source the creative that works best for your online brand.

[“Source-forbes”]