Monday, June 25, 2012

Facebook promoting "Close friends" to increase activity

Did you see Facebook asking you to star your closest friends to one list called "Close friends" recently? Did you add your close friends and got loads of notifications of all their activity? And then switched off notifications on closest friends? If NO - you are gonna go thru the whole thing soon - so read on

As i explained in few of my previous posts - "Photo/Video sharing kills Facebook & grows Twitter", Facebook is losing activity due to the popularity of micro blogging platforms like Twitter where there is hyper activity. Another reason for this is the old Facebook users are now having considerable amount of friends&share pages and they no longer find the news feed relevant. In order to increase momentum and to make the news feed more relevant Facebook has started pushing "Friends lists" recently.

You will see a window on top asking you to star your closest friends. Facebook suggests close family and friends, giving you the option to select like given below.

Once selected - they go to the friend list "Close friends". Only pain is that by default Facebook starts sending you notifications for every action they do on Facebook (Like,comment,photo upload.etc). Worse if you are on mobile and much worse if you are on notifications via SMS like below.

How to remove Facebook close friends notifications?
  1. Go to your Facebook home
  2. See on your left side - There's a set of pages you admin, followed by groups and followed by friends' lists. Under the friends list should be "Close friends" category. Click on that
  3. On your rights side you will see a button called "Notifications" - tick that off.
Now you will get notified without being a pain as mobile notifications or SMS

Do you think this can make Facebook survive? Did you go thru the same "Close friends" add and remove notifications drama? Feel free to share your experiences...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

How to hard reset Samsung Galaxy Tab & Vendor hypocicy

Few weeks back,my Samsung Galaxy Tab started showing this error message "app.calendar is not responding".etc. It keeps coming,you cant even go to settings. I searched for the error in the net, there was not much help. So thought of going to the official Samsung repair centre in Bambalapitiya. I had already gone there to replace my battery so i knew the place.

They said there is a software jam and quoted Rs.4000 to do the following.

1. With the device off, press and hold Volume Up and Power buttons.

2. Release the Power button when you see the Samsung logo, but continue to hold Volume Up until the recovery screen appears.

3. Use the Volume buttons to navigate the menu and select wipe data / factory reset. Press Home to choose the selection

4. Press volume up to continue - Tab will continue its resetting process. You just need to wait for about 3-5 minutes.

End of the process, I had my tab just as when it was purchased. The process took maximum 5 minutes and few pressing of button, for which the Samsung dealer in Sri Lanka charges Rs.4000. To make things uglier its not Samsung but a local agent of Samsung that is running the repair centre who charges unreasonable prices like this knowing the users are ignorant and have no other place to go.

My advice to all Samsung users in Sri Lanka - double check if you are getting some repair done, if you are not on warranty period - pls do a Google search about the fault or show it to someone you know - If you know about gadgets please contact me. Lets not let hardware vendors to spoil innocent customers.  

Monday, June 4, 2012

Photo/Video sharing kills Facebook & grows Twitter

In one of my posts in last October titled  "Facebook "Share" button is going to be the next big thing" I explained how Facebook strategically gave more prominence to Photo&video shares through the timeline view. In a recent post titled "Is engagement higher for Facebook photos?" i proved with stats how this has made sharing of a photo or a video get higher engagement than a text update.

Outcome of this strategy was heavy sharing of images which resulted in the emergence of photo sharing Facebook pages such as "Trust me,Im an Engineer", "Ads of the world", "Kajuwaththa eksath"(Local) , "Loweth ne" (Local) and the culture of edited photo sharing in the form of memes.

This has also made the data consumption higher for Facebook usage and the requirement of certain minimum speeds to access Facebook (Some android phones will need long Facebook app load times). But the most important and a vital result of highlighting photos is the negligence to text based updates.  As given in the post "Is engagement higher for Facebook photos?", Facebook users are three times less likely to respond to a text only update now.

We have passed the era of text status updates of good and bad moments of life and getting dozens of comments from Friends and Family. Now a text status update in Facebook receives very low attention. This outcome is killing Facebook by driving users to microblogging platforms like Twitter where even a text based update can make a lot of impact. Do you think this can kill Facebook? Will Facebook understand the consequences and try to rectify it? Please feel free to comment your opinion below...