Woman posts ‘happy’ photo to Facebook before fatal crash

If you need another example of why people shouldn’t text and drive, a North Carolina woman has provided it.

Courtney Sanford, 32, was driving along when she posted a photo of herself in her car, happy that she was listening to Pharell’s song ‘Happy.’

The woman’s last Facebook post went up at 8:33 a.m. – and drivers report the accident occurring at 8:34 a.m.

According to a local news report, Sanford drifted across the median and into oncoming traffic, smashing head-on into a big truck.

Seriously people, texting/Facebooking/emailing and driving don’t mix.


Police: Woman Posted To Facebook Before Deadly Crash.

Facebook launches ‘trending’ feature

Facebook's trending topics appear in this handout photo.

Facebook’s trending topics appear in this handout photo.

The world’s largest social network is launching a feature that shows users what is trending, similar to Twitter’s trending topics list.

Facebook says Trending will help users discover content by highlighting “interesting and relevant conversations.”

The Trending topics will appear in the top-right corner of the Facebook news feed.

In a blog post published Thursday, Facebook engineering manager Chris Struhar says the trending list will be personalized, populated with content users are interested in along with other trends from across the social network.

Clicking a headline will take users to a landing page containing content related to the trend.

Don’t expect to see Facebook’s Trending section right away, however.

As is often the case with new features from the social network, Facebook will gradually roll out Trending to Canadian users over the next few weeks.


Report Says YouTube Overtakes Facebook, Among Teens

So while Facebook admits fewer teens are using the social network, what are they using?

According to Mashable, it’s YouTube. Some argue – myself included – that Instagram would have been that new destination.

Good news for Google, not so great for Facebook.

Read more here:

Exclusive: Report Says YouTube Overtakes Facebook Among Teens.

Facebook stock price hurting with fewer teen users? Probably not for long

Instagram released this picture, suggesting what advertising could look like in people's feeds. Hopefully it's more exciting than a guy at an empty table

Instagram released this picture, suggesting what advertising could look like in people’s feeds. Hopefully it’s more exciting than a guy at an empty table

Facebook blew the barn doors of its latest quarterly results, sending the stock price surging in after-hours trading Wednesday after the numbers were released.

The company posted quarterly earnings of $425-million. Revenue was up $1.8-billion. Profit margins are up to 37 per cent. And most of all that growth was from mobile.

Plus, there are more than 800 million active users on the network.

Traders responded well, initially, as FB soared more than 14 per cent in after-hours trading.

But then, they digested a little more of the social network’s quarterly report, and were less impressed. The stock price dipped in after-hours trading by 3 per cent.

Why? A small caveat that Facebook now faces – fewer younger users are active on Facebook.

One analyst told the Globe that they may be on Twitter, and these young teens could be seeing Facebook as the ghost of MySpace (shudder).

Instead, these teens are spending their time on Instagram and Snapchat.

But what many people don’t realize – even some analysts seem to be forgetting this – but Facebook owns Instagram.

Oh, and Instagram hasn’t even been monetized yet, despite Facebook’s purchase of the photo-heavy social network for $1 billion.

So while teens are turning to Instragram feeds over Facebook feeds, there are no ads in Instagram to make Zuckerberg & Co. any money – yet.

It’s no secret that advertising is coming to Instagram next year, and Instagram is as mobile-dependent as water is critical to the survival of fish.

With this in mind, it seems as though mobile advertising revenue has the potential to pick up even more steam for Facebook.

Instagram users: prepare for ads in your photo streams

People who use the popular photo and video sharing social network should prepare to deal with something they have never had to deal with before: advertising.

So far, Instagram has never had any advertising in the app experience. Don’t forget, the service has been completely free.

Instagram, however, is owned by Facebook. It was bought by Mark Zuckerberg and co. for $1 billion more than a year ago. And if you’re a public company with shares that trade on the stock exchange, you better show investors return on investment.

The ad announcement from Instagram came via anofficial blog post Thursday.

In it, Instagram says part of its plans involve building the social network “into a sustainable business.” Sustaining a business that doesn’t sell advertising or charge user fees is like trying to live without food or water.

The type of advertisements will come in the form of photos and videos “from brands you don’t follow,” Instagram says.

So, for example you could see an ad for sportswear from Nike. Or perhaps an Instagram photo from Ford. These are just hypothetical.

Instagram also says the ads will be consistent with the format of material we’re used to seeing, such as photos and videos shot with an eye for photography – and retro filters that bring out the best in the images.

Advertising in Instagram isn’t an easy subject to bring up. Users were outraged when a change to the social network’s terms of service opened the door to businesses using people’s photos as ads.

Facebook could expand facial recognition function – can you opt out?

Facebook is preparing to start expanding its face recognition program to include more than one billion of its users, reports suggest.

Already, the social network uses face recognition to suggest tags in pictures. After all, billions of photos have been uploaded to the social network anyways – so they know a thing or two about finding patterns and identifying similar faces.

Reuters reports that it was an update to the data use policy Thursday that hinted at the possible expansion of face recognition.

According to the change, it’ll improve the performance of the “Tag Suggest” feature – which suggests friends to tag in your photos based on…facial recognition.

It’s possible that Facebook could use your profile picture to get a better sense of what you really look like – and use that to improve the the suggestions. To be honest, it mixes me up with a good friend of mine all the time, who also has a similar build and hair style.

However, as Internet companies come under intense scrutiny over the data they share with governments – including Facebook – the timing of this policy change is a little concerning.

Facebook’s chief privacy officer says the goal of the expanded feature would be to make tagging easier, if that’s what the user wants.

People can still opt out of the feature.

Are you concerned about the privacy of your photos on Facebook? Have you opted out of suggested photo tagging?


‘Facebook facelift’ — would you go under the knife for a profile pic?

The days of sucking in cheeks and looking up to a downward-pointing smartphone camera seem
to be fading as vain people attempt to snap the best photos for their social

And it seems that even a bit of Photoshop to turn your profile shot into a glamour
shot won’t cut it anymore.

The latest emerging trend suggests people are going way too far to get a good profile picture
for their social networks – by getting a so-called “Facebook Facelift.”

According to Vocativ (via Mashable), people are going under the knife to alter their
appearance primarily for social networks.

The report – based on the trend in India – says people want to show off desirable features
in their photos online. So just as Hollywood (and Bollywood) celebrities get plastic
an increasing number of folks are seeking cosmetic surgeons to change
their appearance.

Social network users are seeing specialists for everything from nose jobs to chemical
peels – shelling out hundreds of dollars to seek out a look they think will
make them more attractive.

A doctor in a video posted on YouTube says the procedures are “minor” – such as lip
enhancements and chin augmentations – but cost around $500.

While a bit of Photoshop can tweak things in a photo or two, people’s acquaintances end up
seeing “real” looks when meeting up in person. So, they go under the knife (or

One woman interviewed in the video claims: “My friends all say ‘Wow sister! Your face has
become so much nicer than before.”

Another woman says that she’s getting lots of marriage proposals since having work

Are people going to extreme lengths to alter their appearances for photos that get posted
to social networks? Would you ever change your appearance to look better

Facebook’s new search function goes deep into your past

Facebook_graph_searchAfter launching a beta version of their new deep search tool, Facebook is announcing this week that Graph Search is being rolled out to even more users.

Starting Monday, Facebook Graph Search will be available to all users with their language settings set to US English.The search featureis supposed to help you find places and things that your friends – or random other people who haven’t locked down their privacy settings – are interested in.

To give it a shot, I tried the search ‘Photos of my friends before 2009.’ I forgot some friends actually had hair, and I forgot how youthful we all once looked.

The idea is that you search for things involving your friends, and that should be better than the search results you’d typically get form Google. So a better practice search would be ‘Restaurants my friends have been to in Toronto.’

The feature isn’t particulary new, having been out since in beta to some users earlier this year. But Facebook says it’s a lot better.

It’s supposed to be faster than it was at launch, better at understanding what you’re asking it to find, and ultimately better at delivering search results that are actually useful to you.

But because searching for photos of your friends from about years and years ago can bring about undesirable results, you’ll definetly want to take a gander at your privacy settings, and lock them down.

In the top-right corner of your page you’ll see a lock icon. Click on it, and then dive deep to adjust what others can and can’t see when searching for you on Facebook.


The most popular place to Celebrate Canada Day was…

While anybody can check into the places they’re at using Facebook on any day of the year, the world’s largest social network zeroed in on the places that Canadians were checking in to most on Canada Day.

After crunching the numbers and sorting the stats, the most checked-in place on Facebook for this year’s Canada Day was the Parliament of Canada in Ottawa.

Surprisingly (for me at least), the second-most popular place was Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.

Perhaps many Canadians were flying home or going away on holiday, sharing their whereabouts with their social world as they travelled the real world.

Which – actually – might not be the best thing to do.

Police caution against checking in to places when you’re on vacation, alerting potential thieves to the fact you’re away from home (and asking for a break-in).

In third place was Donald M. Gordon Chinguacousy Park in Brampton, Ont.  and then came the Rogers Centre, where the Toronto Blue Jays were playing a game.

As we go down the list, we come across other spots in Canada, such as the Old Port of Montreal and Vancouver International Airport.

Then in eighth place came Canada Place in Vancouver, followed by Niagara Falls and then Centennial Park in Toronto.

Unicef slams Facebook, Twitter ‘slacktivism’

The international humanitarian aid group Unicef is slamming people who ‘Like’ and retweet things on social media that aim to help people in need, because ultimately, clicking the Like button is a slacker’s way of getting involved, it seems.

unicefadTo get the point across, Unicef started an ad campaign to show people that actions speak louder than Likes.

 Slacktivism is what happens when someone does something, or starts something, but what they’ve done doesn’t really make a difference.

Unicef Sweden’s director of communications says that likes and social media is a good “first step” to getting involved, but people need to do more for things to actually happen.

“Likes don’t save children’s lives. We need money to buy vaccines for instance,” Petra Hallebrant told the Atlantic.

The ad campaign to get the message across is so brilliant, you would think it came from the office of Don Draper on Mad Men.

One of Unicef’s ads shows a man and woman out at a restaurant. When it comes time to pay the bill, the two say they’ll split the bill 50-50, but he’ll pay for his share in ‘Likes’ while she has to actually pay money.

Another video shows a little boy saying he’ll get sick, but he thinks everything will be alright because Unicef Sweden got 177,000 likes on Facebook.

At the end of the videos, they show a message that says vaccines can’t be bought with likes, so make a donation to the organization.


This is quite possibly the first major campaign against slacktivism – which runs rampant on Facebook and Twitter.

People took part in memorial runs for victims of the Boston Marathon Bombings – but who actually donated to the groups helping the victims return to living normal lives again?

And women on Facebook wrote cryptic status updates saying where they like it (to put their purse) for breast cancer awareness, but did they actually donate to research projects or groups helping patients?

Unicef thinks slacktivism is a problem on social networking sites like Facebook – do you agree?

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