Now You Can Comment on Facebook Posts Directly From Bing

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Interacting with your friends on Facebook just got a lot easier — If you’re a Bing user, that is.

Starting Friday, Bing will show comments from Facebook relevant to your search in the sidebar. From that search, you can Like a friend’s post, comment, or see the original post in its entirety on Facebook.

For instance, my search for “New Kids on the Block” brought up several posts from my friends who are fans, one who was excited to hear a NKOTB song on the radio, and another who was excited to be going to an NKOTB concert this summer. So, if I happened to be looking for a friend to go to the concert with, I could potentially contact one of them.

 

You can also add your own Facebook post directly from Bing. So, I could post a status asking if anyone would like to go to the concert with me, or express my own excitement about the event.

Friday’s new Facebook feature is an extension of the social sidebar Bing introduced last year. That feature brings in relevant social results from networks such as Foursquare, Twitter, Facebook, and Klout that are pertinent to your web search. Previously, you were not able to comment on or Like those posts.

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Facebook Home Gets Unofficial Support on More Phones

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Good news, Android fans: You can now install Facebook Home on your device — provided it’s running Android 4.0 or higher — whether it’s officially supported or not.

Facebook Home was released last month to lots of fanfare but with limited device support. A month and nearly a million downloads later, Facebook Home is available on more phones. At least, on an unofficial basis.

Users who don’t have an HTC One X, HTC One, HTC First, Galaxy S III or Galaxy Note II still can’t download the app from Google Play, but if you manage to sideload the app, it will work.

While I was setting up an AT&T variant of the Samsung Galaxy S4 today, I noticed that Facebook Home finally worked on the device, albeit with a warning that I might not get “the best experience.” The Galaxy S4 is supposed to get official Facebook Home support, so at first I thought this might just be a fluke.

Curious, I tested Facebook Home on my Nexus 4 and was happy to see that it was also working — with the same warning — on the stock Android device.

Perusing the web, we found that our friends at Android Central came to the same conclusion and, judging by the comments, basically every phone that is running a compatible version of Android will run Home.

There are a few caveats with the installation of Facebook Home on unsupported devices right now. You’ll need to uninstall and reinstall Facebook and Facebook Messenger before sideloading Facebook Home if you want it to work correctly.

What Is Facebook EdgeRank and Why Does It Matter?

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The average Facebook user spends more than a quarter of his or her time on the site scrolling through the News Feed. For users, that means a lot of baby pictures and stale memes. For brands, it represents an opportunity.

See, Facebook brand pages don’t attract consumers — far from it. Virtually every fan of a brand, such as Coke, will never return to its page after an initial Like (if they even visited at all). So where’s the best place to reach that consumer?

You guessed it: News Feed. Brands are finally embracing social marketing in effective ways, but there’s still a lot to learn about the strategies of the medium and the algorithms that keep it running.

That’s where EdgeRank comes in. Whether you’re a brand or an average user, it’s helpful to understand what shows up in your News Feed and why.

Check out the infographic below, courtesy of Post Rocket, to educate yourself on EdgeRank.

Are you happy with what you see in your News Feed? Let us know in the comments.

Thumbnail image courtesy of Flickr, marcopako

Locked Out of Facebook? Now Your Friends Can Help

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It’s common practice to give out spare house keys to a few trusted friends in case of an emergency, but would you take the same approach when it comes to backing up Facebook login information?

The social network on Thursday announced it’s rolling out a new way to recover passwords with a little help from your friends. Called Trusted Friends, it gives three to five friends access to your account if you’re ever having issues logging in.

The company first introduced the concept to a small test group in 2011 under the name “trusted friends.” Facebook has renamed it “trusted contacts” and increased security.

“This solution provides users with another way to recover their password and can choose which method to use,” a Facebook spokesperson told Mashable. “In addition, while you might forget your security questions (or never set one up) you never forget who your friends are.”

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When an account can’t be accessed, Facebook will send different code numbers to your group of trusted contacts. If you have three people listed, you will need three codes to regain access. But if you have five selected, only three codes are needed.

 

 

“Not only are all selected friends needed to open the account, but also the person logging on still needs to get through our login security system which vets every single attempt to access an account,” the spokesperson said. “We encourage users to choose friends they can trust and those that are unlikely to collude and gain access to an account. Similarly, you wouldn’t trust your house keys to someone who may rob your house.”

Facebook suggests users talk to friends in person or over the phone to avoid an impersonator sweeping in via email or chat to access your account. Trusted contacts can be chosen via Security Settings within your account at any time. Once the names are set, Facebook will notify them so they can be ready to step in and help when the time comes.

Sure, the company says this will “take the worry about remembering the answer to your security question or filling out long web forms to prove who you are,” but wouldn’t it be a greater hassle (and take more time) to involve your friends to recover your account? And what if one of the three contacts is sleeping or out of town? Sounds like a headache. But at least you’ll have the option.

“While you may trust your friend from pre-school who is on sabbatical in Borneo, it might be a better choice to select the people you know that you’ll be able to reach,” Facebook said in response.

Facebook ‘Trusted Contacts’ Needlessly Complicates Security

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Facebook announced earlier this week a new feature called “trusted contacts” to help you get back into your account when locked out. Although it’s intended to make life easier by leaning on a few friends when you’re in need of re-entry (think lending out your spare house keys), the concept is a handful. In fact, you’ll need a special code from each of your trust contacts (about three to five people) to get back into your account.In theory, this sounds like a strong way to triple-lock your account and prevent anyone from entering, but how is this any better than remembering the answer to a few security questions or using Facebook’s existing two-factor authentication feature?First, here’s a rundown of how “trusted contacts” works: If you’re ever locked out of your account, Facebook will send a code to your chosen list of three to five friends. To gain access to the account again, you need to enter at least three of those codes into a prompt. Theoretically, this will prevent hackers from breaking in. With that in mind, Facebook actually recommendscalling these friends to get the codes because you wouldn’t want an impersonator sweeping in via email or chat to access your account.

 

But there are a few problems. To start, you’re banking on the ever-accessibility of your friends. What if one of your trusted contacts is out of town for the weekend or is otherwise unreachable? The beauty of the Internet — and now storage in the cloud — is the fact that you can retrieve information without relying on anything or anyone else. Sure, giving a set of keys to a trusted neighbor is good practice if you’re ever locked out, but in this increasingly connected and digital world, don’t you just wish you could securely unlock the front door remotely and not have to involve the neighbors (or the whole neighborhood, for that matter) to get back in?

In this case, Facebook is blending old-school methods of relying on friends with digital security. But not only is this an inconvenience to your closest friends — at least three, in fact — there’s also the problem of getting in touch with someone who might not be around when you need them.

“While you may trust your friend from pre-school who is on sabbatical in Borneo, it might be a better choice to select the people you know that you’ll be able to reach,” Facebook told me.

“While you may trust your friend from pre-school who is on sabbatical in Borneo, it might be a better choice to select the people you know that you’ll be able to reach,” Facebook told me.

Does this mean each time a trusted contact goes out of town, they need to let you know or you should just pick friends that just don’t get out much? And what if you lose touch with a friend or they even die? Facebook says you’ll need to report the issuewith the site and select a new contact. Again, more legwork on your part.

Keep in mind this is just an option. You can still answer security questions and thankfully, use two-factor authentication.Facebook rolled out two-factor authentication — an increasingly popular security method, which adds an extra layer of security to an account besides a password. If you log onto an account from a device the service doesn’t recognize, it will then send you a text or voice message with a code that needs to be entered before access is granted, just to make sure it’s actually you.

What’s surprising about this secure method, however, is that many people aren’t aware Facebook even has two-factor authentication. You would think the company would spend time informing users about how to sign up rather than rolling out “trusted contacts,” which seems like more of a hassle and involves way too many people. Instead, Facebook should focus its efforts more on its more reliable, proven two-factor method, rather than an entire new system which makes users jump through hoops.

 

Twitter users have long asked for two-factor authentication to come to the micro-blogging site, which has experienced a series of high-profile hacks in the past year. Facebook should make the most of the feature that many other services need.

What do you think about the feature? Should Facebook look for ways to ramp up two-factor authentication and focus less on trusted contacts? Let us know in the comments.