#TBT: Facebook Unveils the HTC First, No One Buys It

On April 3 of 2013, I went hands-on with the HTC First, also known as the Facebook Phone. For complete transparency, I wasn’t actually allowed to hold the phone because the software was still in development, but a very nice Facebook employee held it for me and took me on a hardware tour. Little did I know at the time, April 3 would also be the last I ever saw of the HTC First, as once it was announced, hardly a single soul, relative to the smartphone market as a whole, decided to purchase it.

Launched with a price of $99 on-contract, no one bought this thing, even with a few big tech sites giving it decently scoring reviews. Fast forward not even a month, when AT&T, the only carrier in the US to offer the phone, slashed the price to $0.99 on-contract. This was the first sign that literally no one wanted this thing.  (more…)

Facebook Live Adds Support for Groups and Events, Viewer Reactions

Facebook announced changes for Facebook Live today, changes that will affect those who broadcast their own happenings, as well as those who are viewing the broadcast. Starting now, users inside of Groups and Events can begin live broadcasts for members to view, but for viewers, they have been given new ways to express themselves while watching.

To do this, Facebook is including Reactions for viewers, which are those six icons that sum up the entire range of human emotion you see on your News Feed. For example, you can Love a live broadcast, say, “Wow” with a emoji, or express sadness with the teardrop emoji. (more…)

Report: Facebook Messenger to Offer “Secret Conversations,” In-Store Purchase Feature

According to code buried within the Messenger app from Facebook, new features may soon be available that will lead to a more secure chatting experience for users. As detailed by The Information, secret conversations, which is likely a reference to encrypted messaging, would allow users to chat a bit more privately, a feature that is currently available to users of WhatsApp. (more…)

Instagram is Probably Going to Mess Up Your Feed

In the “coming months,” Instagram is going to start messing with your feed. It’s probably going to suck. Prepare yourselves.

Instagram says that about 70 percent of people miss the content in their feed because growing feeds are becoming harder and harder to keep up with. What they are trying to say is that you are missing photos or videos that were taken earlier in the day or yesterday or the day before because you don’t have time to scroll all of the way back through that many photos, depending on how many people you follow and how active at posting they are. Like Facebook before it, Instagram is going to try and fix this problem by sorting your photos and videos to “show the moments we believe you will care about the most.” (more…)

Facebook Live Rolling Out to Android Over Next Week

Facebook announced that it is bringing Facebook Live to Android users in the US over the next week. With Facebook Live, users can stream live video when they are chilling at home or out and about, allowing friends and family to watch the video right from their News Feed. In a way, think of it like Periscope, with the exception that it is not a standalone app and is a feature built-in to the main FB app.  (more…)