Facebook Tries Letting You Share Emoticons Of Exactly What You’re Feeling, Reading Or Eating

posted byJOSH CONSTINE

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Facebook is poised to get a lot more expressive. Today it began tests of a new status composer that lets you say “what are you doing?” by selecting from different categories to share activities such as feeling, reading, or eating. You can then choose a specific emotion or piece of media or add a custom text description and post something like “Niners in the Super Bowl – feeling ecstatic :) “

Facebook is testing this new visual activity sharing status composer with some users on the website and its m.facebook.com mobile site. It could inspire people to share more frequently. Instead of just adding a plain text update, you can select from feeling, watching, reading, listening to, drinking, or eating. Then you can pick from pre-made options such as happy, Game Of Thrones, 50 Shades Of Gray, Radiohead, coffee, or ice cream. Alternatively, you can write in your own emotion, piece of content, or cuisine.

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Visual status updates could help Facebook fend off emoji messaging apps like Line, media consumption sharing apps like GetGlue, and the smiley-laden Path. It follows Facebook testing a bunch of new standard status update prompts like “What’s going on, Josh?” and the somewhat creepy “How are you feeling, Josh?”

Along with being fun for users, it could be a big help to advertiser,  though Facebook tells me its not piping this data into its ad engine just yet. By selecting your current activity instead of merely writing it out, you structure data for Facebook. That could eventually help it to connect you with advertisers who want reach people who frequently watch tv and movies, or listen to music, or eat at restaurants.

If you choose a particular pre-formatted emotion, piece of media, or food, Facebook could potentially use that behavior to pinpoint you with ads. If you listen to a Daft Punk song, it could target you with ads for their new album or nearby concert. Coffee shops might be able to pay to reach coffee drinkers, and Netflix would probably love to target sad users who could be primed to stay home and watch some videos.

This all mirrors Facebook’s “action spec ad targeting” which lets advertisers target you based on your activity in Open Graph-connected apps like Spotify or Foodspotting.

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Facebook didn’t provide many details but noted:

It’s just a new way for people to visually represent what they’re doing and how they’re feeling through their Facebook posts. It will only be available to small set of people. This isn’t integrated into Graph Search. It’s just a small test to see if people are interested in sharing their actions in a more visual way.

If rolled out, I think the visual status composer could be very popular, as it will make people’s status updates stand out in the crowded feed.  It’s a subtly brilliant move for Facebook the simultaneously lets users express themselves while building its knowledge of who they really are.

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New Tool Promises to Predict Whether Your Video Will Go Viral

reblogged from Todd Wasserman

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Viral videos are famously impossible to predict. Who, for instance, could have foreseen the phenomenal success of Rebecca Black’s “Friday” or Psy’s “Gangnam Style“?

Yet Unruly, a UK firm that specializes in collecting data around viral videos, claims it has a tool that can help advertisers predict the amount of earned media their videos are likely to attract across social media and how much advertisers should spend promoting their videos. Dubbed Unruly Share Rank, the algorithmic tool will help advertisers “gain insight into the psychological, social and content triggers that affect the success of their video content,” according to the company, which also promises “they’ll know the word-of-mouth potential of their video before they spend anything on media.”

The company didn’t disclose exactly how Share Rank works, except that it’s based on seven years’ worth of data from the Unruly Viral Video Chart and the algorithm includes more than 10,000 data points. (Disclosure: Mashable is a partner for Unruly’s Global Ads Chart.) Such data is combined with the emotional reactions of test subjects and on their stated willingness to share the video. Pricing for Share Rank was not disclosed.

Image courtesy of YouTube

Get Ready For Even More Google Glasshole Sightings

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In major metropolitan areas and in Silicon Valley, there have been a rash of sightings of people wearing Google Glass. They look like inhabitants of the future, come back to ride our subways and drink our “Ass Juice” and report back to their leaders about what the world used to be like, well before everyone had the Internet on his or her face.

Maybe you’ve seen these people around San Francisco or Mountain View, inevitably staring off into space while swiping the sides of their glasses during conversation, ignoring those around them while surfing the web or scrolling through images they’ve captured with the device. I like to call them “Glassholes.”

Glassholes aren’t just annoying because they’re wearing portable electronics that no one else can get their hands on. They’re annoying because they represent a coming time where our worst insecurities will finally come true. Today, you can usually tell when someone is being rude and looking at a cell phone. But with Google Glass it’s going to be a lot harder to tell if they’re paying attention to your conversation or just, like, watching cat videos on YouTube.*

So far, we’ve been relatively lucky in this regard. Yes, Google Glass has been out in the wild, even in places as far off as New Zealand. (I was there for that one.) But so far the hardware has been restricted for use only by Google employees. And those Google employees, at least all those I’ve seen or heard about, have been quite protective of their eyewear, refusing to let anyone touch it.

That could soon change, as a whole new group of Google Glass developers are expected to be getting their hands on the devices this week, coinciding with two meetups that Google is throwing for developers in San Francisco and New York City. Some developers we’ve talked to expect to be able to take some hardware home after the Glass Foundry events, taking place January 28 and 29 in SF and February 1 and 2 in NYC.

That will mean more Glassholes, and probably more Glasshole sightings.

What’s not clear is how protective these new Google Glass owners will be about letting other people play with the hardware. After all, it’s one thing if you’re a Google employee and you’re toting around a device that costs dozens of thousands of dollars and you don’t want it to get into the wrong hands or be broken or whatever. It’s a whole other thing if you’re a third-party developer who’s paid $1,500 to play with Google’s newest toy.

Then again, Glass Foundry participants have agreed to a pretty crazy NDA, so who knows? Maybe we won’t see as many of these things as one might expect.

Anyway, if you are one of the lucky devs who gets a pair and you want to bring it by one of the TechCrunch offices for us to test out, we promise not to call you a Glasshole to your face.

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* There’s also that whole thing about Google knowing everywhere you’ve been and everything you’ve looked at, but that’s a whole other discussion.

[Photo taken by A.R. blogger Noah Zerkin who spotted Google co-founder Sergey Brin on the subway.]

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