Is Facebook faking friend Likes to increase your interaction with brands?

OK, put on your tin foil hat with me, this is a total conspiracy theory, but…

Facebook just showed me a post that it claimed 3 of my closest friends (actually my wife, sister, and good friend) had Liked:

Facebook bug?

Now, I know for a fact that they did not Like this post. Heck, they don’t even know about this brand.

So, my question is this: is this a sleazy effort by Facebook to encourage me to Like a post, or is this just a bug–which conveniently benefits Facebook anyway?

Why the FBI is jealous of Facebook’s 97% facial recognition accuracy

facial recognitionHardcore conspiracy theorists will tell you that Facebook is a secret government spying project, cleverly designed to get us to reveal everything from our whereabouts, to our associates, and nefarious activities.

If you fall in to that category, fear not. Techcrunch reports that the government can only dream of having the same kind of technology available to Facebook–especially when it comes to facial recognition.

Given a suspect’s face, NGI [the FBI's technology]  returns a ranked list of 50 possibilities, and only promises an 85 percent chance of returning the suspect’s name in the list. To put it another way, even when you give NGI 50 guesses, it still lets one in seven suspects off the hook.

Compare that to Facebook…

Old Macdonald had a farm with internet, Gee Oh Oh Gee eL Eee!

The Wall Street Journal has exclusive details of Google’s plans to take over the world thanks to a fleet of satellites. It just needs $1 BILLION dollars!

Dr-Evil

Actually the plan is not that evil. It’s not even quasi-evil.

The Goog wants to put into orbit around 180 small, low-orbit satellites that would bring internet to rural areas of the world–allowing Old Macdonald to check-in on the Facebook status of his cows.

“Google and Facebook are trying to figure out ways of reaching populations that thus far have been unreachable,” said Susan Irwin, president of Irwin Communications Inc., a satellite-communications research firm. “Wired connectivity only goes so far and wireless cellular networks reach small areas. Satellites can gain much broader access.”

Why? The money! It’s always about the money.

Is Facebook gearing up to force businesses to pay for all promotional posts? (screenshots)

This is total speculation, but could Facebook be getting ready to force businesses to pay for any post that is blatantly promotional in nature?

While enjoying my normal morning browsing of dog photos, family updates, and tennis controversies, Facebook slipped in a small request for me to take a brief survey. Sure, why not?

Here’s what happened next:

Facebook Survey

And this:

Facebook Survey 2

Another one:

Facebook Survey 3

In total, Facebook asked me to look at 14 different posts–some from companies I didn’t follow, some from Pages I did, and others from friends. With each post, I was asked to rate whether I believed it was an ad or not. Interesting, huh?

Now, here’s my speculation on why Facebook is doing this:

Google Now, Mine and YouTube Collections: I Wonder What Else I’ve Been Missing

secret_passageGoogle’s been keeping secrets from me. While researching the rumored “Google Mine” project, I found out that there are hidden pathways and content tricks that I didn’t know existed.

Those inquisitive little bloggers over at Google Operating System: Unofficial News and Tips About Google turned me on to Google Now. Visit https://www.google.com/now/topics/ and you’ll find a graphical list of topics that you searched in the past week and the past month.

It only picks up terms you searched on multiple occasions and it appears to only collect what you searched when you were logged in to your Google account.

Last week, I was looking up the movie The Internship and that led to this box. In Google’s mind, if I like The Internship, I’ll also enjoy Jurassic Park, Lincoln, Schindler’s List and ET. That’s one of the most mismatched collections of movies I’ve ever seen.

Yahoo’s Online Shopping Spree Continues

538310_no_copyright_issues_“Today is a great day — both in our journey with PlayerScale and for users of our Player.IO product. We are happy to announce the next big step toward our goal of building the best possible gaming infrastructure platform: we have been acquired by Yahoo!. And don’t worry, we’re not going anywhere. Our platform will continue to support the same great games that you love playing today … and in fact, it will only get better from here!”

That’s a familiar tune. . . . where have I heard it before? Oh, right, Tumblr was singing it about a week ago when they turned over the keys to Yahoo!.

(Side note: does the forced double punctuation that happens when you end a sentence with Yahoo! drive anyone else crazy?)

Facebook Autoplay Video Ads! Get Ready to Get Mad

mute buttonThe Financial Times (and everyone else who saw the article) is reporting that Facebook is going to start inserting autoplay video ads into your Facebook feed.

I sense a brouhaha coming on.

But really. . . let’s talk about this.

First, is it even true? I’m not questioning the integrity of the reporter who wrote the story, but Facebook talks about doing a lot of things that either never happen or they happen and then go away. Even the changes that stick quickly become part of our routine – with one exception – I do wish they’d put Facebook Page updates back in my main feed because I always forget to check the separate feed. (Is there a way to combine them that I’m missing?)