Facebook features

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Facebook is a social networking website, founded in 2004. This is a list of software and technology features that can be found on the Facebook website.

General features


On April 5, 2008, Facebook pre-released Facebook Chat.[1][2] As of April 23, 2008, Facebook Chat was released to the entire Facebook user base. Users may chat with their Facebook friends on a one-to-one basis, or a user may chat with multiple friends simultaneously through the groups feature. Instant messaging clients that currently support Facebook Chat include Yahoo! Messenger version 11.0 and later, Skype version 5 or later, AOL Instant Messenger, eBuddy, Flock, Miranda IM, Trillian, Empathy, Pidgin, Adium, FIM (Windows Mobile / Windows Phone 7), Palringo (Windows Mobile), Meebo, Tokbox as well as QIP Infium with a Firefox plugin. Windows Live Messenger 2011 (Wave 4) can connect to Facebook as well. Facebook Chat can also be run on the desktop using Gabtastik, a dedicated web chat browser. Facebook Chat can also be run on the iPhone using Facebook Chat for iPhone app. Facebook also released the official app for iPad.[3] Facebook chat is also available to use for Blackberry users via the Blackberry Facebook app. On May 13, 2008, a Facebook developer announced that they are working on XMPP support, allowing hundreds of instant messaging clients to interoperate with the service;[4] this functionality became operational on February 10, 2010.[5] In November 2010, Facebook released a major upgrade of its Messages feature, which merged Chat and E-mail into the Inbox. However, users can still only chat with friends and group members.

As of August 2011, Facebook Chat supports video chat. Upon using the feature for the first time users must download a plug-in for their web browser.

Facebook Messenger was released for various mobile operating systems in August 2011 and for Windows 7 in December (an "official" release was made available for Windows 7 on March 5, 2012).[6]

Since April 2011 Facebook users have had the ability to make live voice calls via Facebook Chat, allowing users to chat with others from all over the world. This feature, which is provided free through T-Mobile's new Bobsled service, lets the user add voice to the current Facebook Chat as well as leave voice messages on Facebook.[7]

On July 6, 2011, Facebook launched its video calling services using Skype as its technology partner. It allows one to one calling using a Skype REST API.


Facebook Credits are a virtual currency users can use to buy gifts, and virtual goods in many games and applications on the Facebook platform. As of July 2010, users of Facebook can purchase Facebook credits in Australian Dollars, British Pound, Canadian Dollars, Chilean Peso, Colombian Peso, Danish Krone, Euro, Hong Kong Dollar, Japanese Yen, Norwegian Krone, Swedish Krona, Swiss Franc, Turkish Lira, US Dollars, and Venezuelan Bolivar. Facebook credits can be used sufaesr as on many popular games such as Happy Aquarium, Happy Island, Zoo Paradise, Happy Pets, Hello City, It Girl[8] FarmVille, and Mafia Wars.


"Friending" someone is the act of sending another user a friend request on Facebook. Once the friend request is set, the two people are Facebook friends once the receiving party accepts the friend request. In addition to accepting the request, the user has the option of declining the friend request or hiding it using the "Not Now" feature. Deleting a friend request removes the request, but does allow the sender to resend it in the future. The "Not Now" feature hides the request but does not delete it, allowing the receiver to revisit the request at a later date.

It is also possible to remove a user from one's friends, which is referred to as "unfriending" by Facebook.[9] Many Facebook users also refer to the process as "de-friending".[10] "Unfriend" was New Oxford American Dictionary's word of the year in 2009.[11][12] Facebook does not notify a user if they have been unfriended, but there are scripts that provide this functionality. There has also been a study on why Facebook users unfriend each other:[13] a lack of similarity, especially between ages, and few mutual friendships were the dominant factors correlating with unfriending, all of which mirrors the decline of physical-world relationships.

Facebook profiles also have advanced privacy features to restrict content to certain users, such as non-friends or persons on a specific list.

Listen with Friends

Listen with Friends allows Facebook users to listen to music at the same time as their friends and discuss the tunes using Facebook Chat. Users can also listen in as a group while one friend acts as a deejay. Up to 50 friends can listen to the same song at the same time, and chat about it. Every-time a user begins listening to music with a friend, a 'story will be posted to her/his friends' ticker and/or news feeds. Users will have control over who will be able to see when they are listening with a friend through their App Settings page after installing the compatible music app.[14]

Facebook Live

On August 13, 2010, Facebook launched a new service called "Facebook Live", a live streaming video channel that is intended to keep Facebook users updated to what is happening on the social networking site.[15] The service, powered by Livestream, will feature videos from Facebook staff members and celebrity interviews, but is not designed for Facebook users to showcase their own videos. All the content shown on Facebook Live will have some tie-in with Facebook products, features, or how people are using the site.[16] Facebook said this is not an opening to get them into the video distribution space. The first official guest was America Ferrera, the leading actress in the television series Ugly Betty. She discussed her new independent film The Dry Land, that was being promoted almost exclusively through social media channels.[16]


According to a June 2010 report by Network World, Facebook said that it was offering "experimental, non-production" support for IPv6, the long-anticipated upgrade to the Internet's main communications protocol. The news about Facebook's IPv6 support was expected; Facebook told Network World in February 2010, that it planned to support native IPv6 user requests "by the midpoint of this year".[17]

In a presentation at the Google IPv6 Implementors Conference, Facebook's network engineers said it was "easy to make [the] site available on v6". Facebook said it deployed dual-stack IPv4 and IPv6 support on its routers, and that it made no changes to its hosts in order to support IPv6. Facebook also said it was supporting an emerging encapsulation mechanism known as Locator/Identifier Separation Protocol (LISP), which separates Internet addresses from endpoint identifiers to improve the scalability of IPv6 deployments. "Facebook was the first major Web site on LISP (v4 and v6)", Facebook engineers said during their presentation. Facebook said that using LISP allowed them to deploy IPv6 services quickly with no extra cost. Facebook's IPv6 services are available at www.facebook.com m.v6.facebook.com, www.lisp6.facebook.com and m.lisp6.facebook.com.[17]


👍 Like

Described by Facebook as a way to "give positive feedback and connect with things you care about",[18] users can "like" status updates, comments, photos, and links posted by their friends, as well as adverts, by clicking the "Like" button at the bottom of the content. This makes the content appear in their friends' News feeds.[19]

The "Like Button" is also available for use on websites outside Facebook: "When the user clicks the Like button on [a] site, a story appears in the user's friends' News Feed with a link back to [the] website".[20] At the same time when any visitor, including non Facebook members and logged out users, visit a site with the Like Button, their presence on the site is recorded by Facebook.[21] Introduced in April 2010, by September 2010 over 350,000 sites had installed it.[22] A "Like Box" also allows Facebook page owners to see how many users and which of their friends like the page.[23] From the end of 2010 and in the US, Microsoft's Bing search engine identifies which links in the results have been "Liked" by the searcher's Facebook friends.[24][25]

A lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles in 2010 claiming the Facebook should not allow minors to "like" advertising; Facebook said the suit was "completely without merit".[26] Because websites with a "Like Button" send IP address information of all visitors to Facebook, the German state of Schleswig-Holstein said in August 2011 that the button breaches German data protection laws and that federal agencies should remove the buttons and similar social plugins from their websites.[27] Canada's Privacy Commissioner raised similar concerns in 2010.[28] "Like" links are vulnerable to likejacking, a form of clickjacking that makes users "Like" content they did not intend to.[29] An Israeli couple named their child "Like" after the Facebook feature in 2011.[30]

In August 2011, Google linked their +1 button to Google Plus to rival the Facebook Like Button.[31]

Messages and inbox

Since the website's founding, it has allowed users to send messages to each other.[32] A Facebook user can send a message to any number of his/her friends at a time. Deleting a message from one's inbox does not delete it from the inbox of other users, thus disabling a sender to redo a message sent by him or her.

On November 15, 2010, Facebook announced a new "Facebook Messages" service. In a media event that day, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, "It's true that people will be able to have a @facebook.com email addresses, but it's not email". The launch of such a feature had been anticipated for some time before the announcement, with some calling it a "Gmail killer". The system, to be available to all of the website's users, combines text messaging, instant messaging, emails, and regular messages, and will include privacy settings similar to those of other Facebook services.

Networks, groups, and "like" pages

Facebook allows different networks and groups which many users can join. This is essentially equivalent to control of a blog for the administrators. However these blogs allow some additional controls. For example these allow privacy settings on basis of networks. Groups are used for discussions, events, etc. and are a way of enabling a number of people to come together online to share information and discuss specific subjects. They are increasingly used by clubs, companies and public sector organizations to engage with stakeholders, be they members of the public, employees, members, service users, shareholders or customers. A group includes but is not limited to the following: the members who have joined, recent news contents, wall contents, photos, posted items, videos and all associated comments of such items. In this respect, groups are similar to "Like pages" (below) but contain a different set of features. Facebook users cannot join more than 300 groups.

Since October 2010, there are version 0 (legacy) and version 1 (current) groups.[33] Version 1 or "new" groups can contain the name of the group in their URL if the email-address of the group is set. Groups do not have a RSS feed to export the wall or the member list, such as Pages or Events have, but third parties provide such service[34]

A flag which indicates if the group was created prior to launch of the current groups product in October 2010.

Facebook customers can create "Like Pages" which allow fans of an individual, organization, product, service, or concept to join a Facebook fan club. The Like Pages were introduced in November 2007. Like Pages look and behave much like a user's personal private profile, with some significant differences. Public Profiles are integrated with Facebook's advertising system, allowing Public Profile owners to easily advertise to Facebook's users. Owners can send updates to their fans, which shows up on their home page. They also have access to insights and analytics of their fan base.[35] Early on, users had the option to "become a fan" of the page until April 19, 2010[36] when the option was later changed to "like" the page. While an individual with a personal profile can acquire up to 5,000 friends, a "Like Page" can have an unlimited number of "Likers". "Like Pages" can also be customized by adding new Tabs using the Static FBML application. This powerful feature can bring additional functionality to a page such as e-mail collection, specialized content, or a landing page for sales activity. The URLs of "Like Pages" start with http://www.facebook.com/pages... and include the name of the page.

In April 2010, it was announced that "community pages" would integrate content from Wikipedia, under a Creative Commons license.[37]

News feed

On September 6, 2006, Ruchi Sangvhi announced a new home page feature called News Feed.[38] Originally, when users logged into Facebook, they were presented with a customizable version of their own profile. The new layout, by contrast, created an alternative home page in which users saw a constantly updated list of their friends' Facebook activity. News Feed highlights information that includes profile changes, upcoming events, and birthdays, among other updates. This has enabled spammers and other users to manipulate these features by creating illegitimate events or posting fake birthdays to attract attention to their profile or cause.[39] News Feed also shows conversations taking place between the walls of a user's friends. An integral part of the News Feed interface is the Mini-Feed, a news stream on the user's profile page that shows updates about that user. Unlike in the News Feed, the user can delete events from the Mini-Feed after they appear so that they are no longer visible to profile visitors. In 2011, Facebook updated the News Feed to show top stories and most recent stories in one feed, and the option to highlight stories to make them top stories, as well as to un-highlight stories. In response to users' criticism, Facebook later updated the News feed to allow users to view recent stories first.[40]

Initially, the addition of the News Feed caused some discontent among Facebook users. Many users complained that the News Feed was too cluttered and full of undesired information. Others were concerned that the News Feed made it too easy for other people to track activities like changes in relationship status, events, and conversations with other users. This tracking is often casually referred to as "Facebook-Stalking".[41] In response to this dissatisfaction, creator Mark Zuckerberg issued an apology for the site's failure to include appropriate customizable privacy features. Thereafter, users were able to control what types of information were shared automatically with friends.[42] Currently, users may prevent friends from seeing updates about several types of especially private activities, although other events are not customizable in this way.[43]

With the introduction of the "New Facebook" in early February 2010 came a total redesign of the pages, several new features and changes to News Feeds.[44] On their personal Feeds (now integrated with Walls), users were given the option of removing updates from any application as well as choosing the size they show up on the page. Furthermore, the community feed (containing recent actions by the user's friends) contained options to instantly select whether to hear more or less about certain friends or applications.[45]


Notifications of the more important events, for example, someone sharing a link on the user's wall or commenting on a post the user previously commented on, briefly appear for a few seconds in the bottom left as a popup message (if the user is online), and a red counter is updated on the toolbar at the top, thus allowing the user to keep track of all the most recent notifications.


On September 2010, rumors of a "Facebook Phone" similar to Google's Android, circulated in business and tech industry news. In an interview with well-known technology blog Techcrunch, CEO Mark Zuckerberg was noted to have said, "Our strategy is very horizontal. We're trying to build a social layer for everything", while denying that they were attempting to compete with the Apple iPhone or Android.[46]

On May 28, 2011, rumors reemerge about a "Facebook Phone" that they hope to release in 2013. Facebook has already hired more than half a dozen former Apple engineers who worked on the iPhone. This rumor has gone around before but Sunday's Times report added new specifics such as an interview with a former iPhone engineer who said he recently met with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who "peppered him with questions about the inner workings of smartphones", including the types of chips used. "It did not sound like idle intellectual curiosity, the engineer said".[47] Although still rumor, this becomes more of a reality as the percentage of people accessing Facebook continues to shift towards mobile.


The poke feature is intended to be a poke gesture (similar to "nudge" in instant messaging) to attract the attention of another user.[48] A previous version of Facebook's FAQ gave additional insight into the origin of the feature, stating:

When we created the poke, we thought it would be cool to have a feature without any specific purpose. People interpret the poke in many different ways, and we encourage you to come up with your own meanings.
— Mark Zuckerberg during a live Facebook webinar

There are several applications on Facebook which extend the idea of the poke feature by allowing users to perform other actions to their friends—such as "kick" or "wave to". Some people reciprocate pokes back and forth until one side gives up, an event known as a "Poke War".


Many new smartphones offer access to the Facebook services either through their web-browsers or applications. The Facebook iPhone-compatible web site was launched August 2007 and as of July 2008 over 1.5 million people used it regularly, at the point when a free application for the iOS named "Facebook for iPhone" was launched.[49] Version 2.0 of this app was released in September 2008 and featured improved services such as being able to respond to friend requests and notifications.[50] Version 3.0 was released in August 2009 and added features such as events, and uploading video with an iPhone 3GS.[51][52]

Microsoft developed an application for Facebook on their Windows Phone 7 platform, available in the Windows Phone Marketplace. Users can pin elements such as Messages, Events, the News Feed, and Photos directly onto one's homescreen. It also includes tile notifications for events, friend requests, tags, and so on.[53] Windows Mobile platform, including features such as messaging, uploading pictures and video straight from the device, managing profile information, contact integration allowing users to call anyone in their friends list that has their number in their profile information. It is also possible to add a chat feature to Windows Mobile via third-party software such as FIM, available in the Windows Mobile Marketplace. Nokia also offers a Facebook app on its Ovi Store for Nokia S60 devices such as the N97 and contains most of the functionality of the full website.[54]

Google's Android 2.0 OS automatically includes an official Facebook app. The first device to use this is the Motorola Droid. The app has options to sync Facebook friends with contacts, which adds profile pictures and status updates to the contacts list. Research In Motion also offers a Facebook application for the BlackBerry. It includes a range of functions, including an ability to integrate Facebook events into the BlackBerry calendar, and using Facebook profile pictures for Caller ID.[55]

Feature phones

Although like all other website apps Facebook made its presence on the smartphones as mentioned but also is present for the feature phones. As the company said that the feature phones dominate the American cell phone markets hence an app was exclusively made for this purpose as well.[56]

Status updates

"Status updates" (also called as a "status") allows users to post messages for their friends to read. In turn, friends can respond with their own comments, as well as clicking the "Like" button. A user's most recent updates appear at the top of their Timeline/Wall and is also noted in the "Recently Updated" section of a user's friend list. Originally, the purpose of the feature was to allow users to inform their friends of their current "status", including feelings, whereabouts, or actions, where Facebook prompted the status update with "Username is"... and users filled in the rest. This feature first became available in September 2006, though on December 13, 2007, the requirement to start a status update with is was removed.[57]

The is updates were followed by the "What are you doing right now?" status update question; in March 2009, the question was changed to "What's on your mind?"[58] In 2009, Facebook added the feature to tag certain friends (or groups, etc.) within one's status update by adding an @ character before their name, turning the friend's name into a link to their profile and including the message on the friend's wall. Tagging has since been updated to recognize friends' names by typing them into a status while a list of friends whose names match the inputted letters appears. A large percentage of the updates that are posted are humorous and as a result, many apps, websites and books have sprung up to help users to update their own.


In 2011, Facebook launched a ticker that showed all of their friends and pages updates. For example, it shows when their friends comment or like a status, and their status updates as soon as they posted them. If users do not have the chat sidebar open, the ticker appears on Facebook home next to the News Feed. If users do have the chat sidebar open, the ticker appears above the list of friends, and can be re-sized (it can't be if the chat sidebar isn't open). The ticker cannot be closed, and this has brought up concern among users, especially privacy concerns. However, Facebook has been keen to emphasize that the ticker only shows what people could see before: it just makes it "more discoverable".[40]


Since December 15, 2011, a Timeline is the new virtual space in which all the content of Facebook users will be organized and shown.[59] Replacing the Facebook Profile, in a Timeline the photos, videos, and posts of any given user will be categorized according to the period of time in which they were uploaded or created.[59] Posts and events are displayed along a timeline that runs through the center of the profile, with the option of adding events that occurred prior to the user joining Facebook as well as "hiding" posts.[60][61] Some experts[62] see this as a crucial step on the use of social networks. In March 2012, Timeline became available for "Facebook Pages", and by the end of the month, Facebook had forced all Facebook Pages (not Profile pages) to convert to the Timeline layout, against the will of many page admins.[clarification needed] Like the Wall, users can set Timeline privacy settings to change who can see their entire profile. Users' friends have the ability to post messages on the user's Timeline. Using Facebook on certain devices, such as iPads, may result in automatic adoption of the Timeline. In August 2012, Profile pages were forced to change to the Timeline layout.

URL shortener

On December 14, 2009, Facebook launched its own URL shortener based on FB.me domain name.[63] From that point on, all links based on facebook.com can be accessed through fb.me, which is seven characters shorter.


Starting June 13, 2009, Facebook introduced a feature that allowed users to choose a Facebook username to make user location easier. The user is able to direct others to their page through a simple link such as www.facebook.com/username rather than an otherwise complex URL. This feature on Facebook quickly spread, with more than 1 million users registering usernames in the first three hours.[64] Usernames are now available to any existing or newly registered user.

According to the FAQ, "Facebook reserves the right to remove and/or reclaim any username at any time for any reason".[65]


The Wall is the original profile space where Facebook users' content, as of December, 2011, is shown. It allows the posting of messages, often short or temporal notes, for the user to see while displaying the time and date the message was written. A user's Wall is visible to anyone with the ability to see his or her full profile, and friends' Wall posts appear in the user's News Feed.

In July 2007, Facebook allowed users to post attachments to the Wall,[66] whereas previously the Wall was limited to text only. In May 2008, the Wall-to-Wall for each profile was limited to only 40 posts. Recently[when?] Facebook has allowed users to insert html code in boxes attached to the wall via apps like Static FBML which has allowed marketers to track use of their fan pages with Google Analytics.[67]

In addition to postings by other users, the Wall also displays other events that happened to the user's profile. It displays when information is changed, when they change their profile picture, and when they connect with new people, among other things.

The Wall is being replaced by the Timeline profile layout, which was introduced in December 2011.


On September 14, 2011, Facebook launched a Subscribe button. The feature allows for users to follow public updates, and these are the people most often broadcasting their ideas.[68] There were major modifications that the site released on September 22, 2011.[69]

Verified Accounts

As reported by TechCrunch on February 15, 2012, Facebook is introducing 'Verified Account' concept like that of Twitter & Google+. Though as of March 3, 2012, verified accounts don't get any badges or denotations, but such accounts will get more priority in 'Subscription Suggestions' of Facebook.[70]

Easter eggs

The following are easter eggs that Facebook had at one time or another.

Possible additions

Pay to promote

As of May 2012, Facebook is currently testing a system where users can pay a small fee to ensure that information they post is available to more of their friends. The tests are currently being carried out in New Zealand where Facebook are testing to see if users would pay to flag up their posts.[72] Possible payments could be made via Paypal or credit card. Already a similar system is in affect by Twitter in which businesses can promote their tweets as a source of advertising.

The other alternative is utilizing a third-party service such as Fan Bullet to promote status updates and likes via Facebook.

Facebook Gifts

On September 27, 2012, Facebook announced a new feature that will allow users to send gifts to friends.[73] The initial gift options included Starbucks gift cards, stuffed animals, and cupcakes, however the company announced that it will be adding more products daily. The recipient gets an immediate notification of receiving a gift either as a post or through a message, along with a digital greeting card and preview of the gift.[74] The sender has the option of paying for the gift immediately, or delaying payment until its received. Facebook will receive a commission on each sale. This marks Facebooks first venture into retail since the Gift Shop option offered and subsequently scrapped in 2010. This feature offers a possible boost to the profit per user ratio at a time when Facebook shares have devalued to half their IPO price.[75]

Facebook has aligned with many big name partners who will offer the ability to purchase and send gifts right from Facebook. Apple is one of the biggest companies participating in Facebook Gifts, giving users the ability to send iTunes credits as gifts. [76] Other companies such as babyGap, Fab, Brookstone, Lindt, ProFlowers, Hulu Plus, Pandora and Rdio will also allow gifting options via Facebook Gifts as well. [77]



Facebook events are a way for members to let friends know about upcoming events in their community and to organize social gatherings.[78] Events require an event name, network, host name, event type, start time, location, and a guest list of friends invited. Events can be Public or Private. Private events cannot be found in searches and are by invitation only. People who have not been invited cannot view a Private event's description, Wall or photos. They also will not see any Feed stories about the event.[79] When setting up an event the user can choose to allow friends to upload photos or videos. Note that unlike real world events, all events are treated as separate entities (when the reality is some events sit inside other events, going to one event would preclude going to another, and so on).

In February 2011, Facebook began to use the hCalendar microformat to mark up events, and the hCard microformat for the events' venues, enabling the extraction of details to users' own calendar or mapping applications.[80] Third parties facilitate events to be exported from Facebook Pages to the iCalendar-format.[81]


In May 2007, Facebook introduced the Facebook Marketplace allowing users to post free classified ads within the following categories: For Sale, Housing, Jobs, and Other. Ads can be posted in either available or wanted format.[82] The market place is available for all Facebook users and is currently free.[83] In 2009, Facebook transferred ownership of the Marketplace to Oodle.[84]


Facebook Notes was introduced on August 22, 2006, a blogging feature that allowed tags and embeddable images. Users were later able to import blogs from Xanga, LiveJournal, Blogger, and other blogging services.[85]

A recent[when?] use of Notes includes the Internet meme "25 Random Things About Me" which involves writing 25 things about the user that their friends don't already know about them and using the tag function to ask 25 friends to also do so. Nearly 5 million "25 Random Things" notes were written on Facebook profiles in the first week of February 2009.[86]


Facebook announced Places on August 18, 2010. It is a feature that lets users "check in" to Facebook using a mobile device to let a user's friends know where they are at the moment.[87]

In November 2010, Facebook announced "Deals", a subset of the Places offering, which allows for users to check in from restaurants, supermarkets, bars, and coffee shops using an app on a mobile device and then be rewarded discounts, coupons, and free merchandise. This feature is marketed as a digital version of a loyalty card or coupon where a customer gets rewarded for loyal buying behavior. [88]

Places is currently available only in some countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Canada, Cayman Islands, Japan, United Kingdom, United States, France, Italy, Spain, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, South Africa, Finland, Ireland, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Philippines, and Malaysia with many more on the way.[citation needed]

On October 10, 2010, Places became available on BlackBerry, after iPhone.[89] The Android OS is also places capable. Other users, including Windows Mobile users, must use an HTML5 browser[90] to use Places via Facebook Touch Site.

Facebook Places was reported discontinued on August 24, 2011.[91]


The Facebook Platform provides a set of APIs and tools which enable third-party developers to integrate with the "open graph", whether through applications on Facebook.com or external websites and devices. Launched on May 24, 2007, Facebook Platform has evolved from enabling development just on Facebook.com to one also supporting integration across the web and devices.

Facebook Platform Statistics as of May 2010:

Third party companies such as Adonomics, Kontagent and Mixpanel provide application metrics, and blogs such as AppRate, Inside Facebook, and Face Reviews have sprung up in response to the clamor for Facebook applications. On July 4, 2007, Altura Ventures announced the "Altura 1 Facebook Investment Fund", becoming the world's first Facebook-only venture capital firm.

On August 29, 2007, Facebook changed the way in which the popularity of applications is measured, to give attention to the more engaging applications, following criticism that ranking applications only by the number of people who had installed the application was giving an advantage to the highly viral, yet useless applications. Tech blog Valleywag has criticized Facebook Applications, labeling them a "cornucopia of uselessness".[5] Others have called for limiting third-party applications so the Facebook "user experience" is not degraded.

Primarily attempting to create viral applications is a method that has certainly been employed by numerous Facebook application developers. Stanford University even offered a class in the Fall of 2007, entitled, Computer Science (CS) 377W: "Create Engaging Web Applications Using Metrics and Learning on Facebook". Numerous applications created by the class were highly successful, and ranked amongst the top Facebook applications, with some achieving over 3.5 million users in a month.


On March 24, 2011, Facebook announced that its new product, Facebook Questions, facilitates short, poll-like answers in addition to long-form responses, and also links directly to relevant items in Facebook's directory of "fan pages". [92]

In May 2010, Facebook began testing Questions, which is expected to compete directly with services such as Yahoo! Answers.[93]


One of the most popular applications on Facebook is the Photos application, where users can upload albums of photos, tag friends helped by face recognition technology,[94] and comment on photos. According to Facebook:

On April 11, 2011, Facebook launched a new feature for photo tagging: people can tag photos with a brand, product, company or person's Facebook page, similar to the way they tag their friends in photos.[98] In August 2011, Facebook announced that it would be adding a series of photo filters to its mobile application.[99] Facebook plans to unveil nearly a dozen photo filters, which will be similar to Instagram's grainy images.[99] Per last known numbers, today in the world, highest number of photos are hosted at Facebook.


During the time that Facebook released its platform, it also released an application of its own for sharing videos on Facebook.[100] Users can add their videos with the service by uploading video, adding video through Facebook Mobile, and using a webcam recording feature. Additionally, users can "tag" their friends in videos they add much like the way users can tag their friends in photos, except the location of the friend in the video is not displayed. Users also have the option of video messaging. Videos cannot be placed in categories, whereas photos are sorted by albums. Facebook Video can support up to 1080p format and even 4K resolution.


As of March 2011, Facebook supports the following languages:


On May 12, 2011, Facebook announced that it is launching several new security features designed to protect users from malware and from getting their accounts hijacked.[101]

Facebook will display warnings when users are about to be duped by clickjacking and cross-site scripting attacks in which they think they are following a link to an interesting news story or taking action to see a video and instead end up spamming their friends.[101]

Facebook also offers two-factor authentication called "login approvals", which, if turned on, will require users to enter a code whenever they log into the site from a new or unrecognized device. The code is sent via text message to the user's mobile phone.[101]

Facebook is partnering with the free Web of Trust safe surfing service to give Facebook users more information about the sites they are linking to from the social network. When a user clicks on a potentially malicious link, a warning box will appear that gives more information about why the site might be dangerous. The user can either ignore the warning or go back to the previous page.[101]

Removed features


Facebook Markup Language (FBML) is considered to be Facebook's own version of HTML. While many of the tags of HTML can be used in FBML, there are also important tags that cannot be used such as HTML, HEAD and BODY. Also, Javascript cannot be used with FBML.

According to the Facebook Markup Language (FBML) Developer's page,[102] FBML is now deprecated. No new features will be added to FBML and developers are recommended to develop new applications utilizing HTML, JavaScript and CSS. FBML support ended January 1, 2012 and FBML no longer functions as of June 1, 2012.


Some of Facebook's gifts, as displayed in the website's gift shop

In February 2007, Facebook added a new virtual gift feature to the website. Friends could send gifts, small icons of novelty items designed by former Apple designer Susan Kare, to each other by selecting one from Facebook's virtual gift shop and adding a message. Gifts given to a user appear on the recipient's wall with the giver's message, unless the giver decided to give the gift privately, in which case the giver's name and message is not displayed to other users. Additionally, all gifts (including private gifts) received by a user are displayed in the recipient's gift box (right above their wall on their profile), marked with either the first name of the user (for public gifts) or the word "Private". An Anonymous option is also available, by which anyone with profile access can see the gift, but only the recipient sees the message. None will see the giver's name, and the gift goes in the recipient's gift box but not the wall.

Facebook users are given one free gift to give upon registering their account. Each additional gift given by a user costs US$1.00. The initial selection of gifts was Valentine's Day themed, and 50% of the net proceeds (after credit card processing fees were taken out, etc.) received through February 2007 were donated to the charity Susan G. Komen for the Cure. After the month of February, the proceeds were no longer donated. Soon after, Facebook began making one new gift available each day, most of which had a limited supply or were available for a limited time.

On November 8, 2008, Facebook changed the $1.00 per gift model to a micro-payment model of 100 points per $1.00, with the existing gifts costing 100 points. They planned to allow a wider variety of gifts in the future.

The built-in Gifts feature was removed on August 1, 2010, to allow Facebook to focus on more important website features. Existing gift-giving applications can be used as a replacement for the Gifts feature.[103]


In August 2009, Facebook announced the rollout of a "lite" version of the site, optimized for users on slower or intermittent Internet connections. Facebook Lite offered fewer services, excluded most third-party applications and required less bandwidth.[104] A beta version of the slimmed-down interface was released first to invited testers[105] before a broader rollout across users in the United States, Canada, and India.[104] It was announced on April 20, 2010 that support for the "lite" service had ended and that users would be redirected back to the normal, full content, Facebook website. The service was operational for only eight months.


On April 25, 2011, Facebook announced a pilot program called Deals, which offered online coupons and discounts from local businesses. Facebook initially released Deals as a test in five cities—Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, San Diego and San Francisco—with the hope of expanding. This new offering was a direct competitor to other social commerce sites such as LivingSocial and Groupon for online coupons and deals-of-the-day. Facebook users were able to use Facebook Credits to purchase vouchers that can be redeemed for real goods and services.[106][107] Facebook has since closed its deal program.


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