Interns at Facebook are responsible for much more than getting coffee and making copies. They make valuable contributions. Peter Cottle, a graduate student at the University of California, Berkleley, and future Facebook engineer, reflected on his internship with the social network, writing that himself and another intern were responsible for most of the work on the site's first mobile advertising interface.
Even Cottle (pictured), who will join Facebook full-time next spring, admitted that he didn't expect to make much of an impact when he began his internship. He thought he would be testing already-established programs or writing documentation.
The powers-that-be had something else in mind for Cottle: to design Facebook's first mobile advertising interface. He worked together with another intern, Leo Mancini, who was responsible for the mobile interface's page insights experience.
For my internship project, I was tasked with implementing the promoted posts feature inside the pages manager for iOS application.
When Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg mentioned during an interview last month that he wanted to build a search engine, headline writers instantly put leading search engine Google on notice. Yet, while Larry and Sergey are probably watching closely, the technology and data at Facebook's disposal suggest the company will most likely create something fundamentally different from Google's search service.
Facebook lacks the comprehensive index of the Web that it would need to equal Google's ability to match queries with web pages — and it would have to invest a lot to create one.
However, flush with cash from its IPO this summer, the world's largest social network already has its own unique stockpile of data — courtesy of its users' social lives — that could power a new kind of search engine altogether. By mining users' updates about vacations, music listening interests, online habits, and more, Facebook Search could be better at answering subjective questions, about what products, experiences, and businesses you might be interested in, than a traditional search engine.
In the ongoing discussion about the "year of mobile," most of the industry has come to realize that we are now talking about something much bigger. The question and the answer have both changed.
We're far more tied to wireless and the mobile web than many of us expected, even a few short years ago. I recently brought down the Wi-Fi in my apartment by accident, and was essentially brought back to living in pre-internet times. Not quite the stone age, but very disconnected from what we've grown to expect. Phone, iPad, laptop, security alarms, and music were all inaccessible, showing exactly how chained we are to fluid connectivity. "Mobile" today is not a singular device, but a galaxy of connected systems.
Is the problem real?
Facebook announced on Tuesday that it is expanding its web and mobile security efforts to help users ward off malicious URLs, threats and scams not only on the social network but across the Internet.
Starting today, Facebook users can download software directly from security companies such as avast!, AVG, Avira, Kaspersky, Panda, Total Defens and Webroot. This adds to Facebook's existing platform of security providers, including Microsoft, McAfee, Norton, TrendMicro and Sophos, which will also begin offering anti-virus software for mobile devices.
"As with our existing partners, these seven companies will help protect Facebook's community of over a billion users by improving our URL blacklist system," the company said in an official blog post. "This system scans trillions of clicks per day, and before each click, the system consults the databases of all our AV Marketplace partners to make sure the website you are about to visit is safe."
Do you have an unhealthy relationship with social media?
Is your phone constantly beeping with alerts from Twitter? Have you added 'social media guru' to your business card? Do you turn social media sites into verbs? Do you consider yourself an influencer?
If your answer to more than one of these questions is 'yes', then you might have a sickness.
This infographic from Marketo (courtesy of those fabulous fellows at Column Five) proposes ten examples of social media addiction – see if you recognise yourself below.
(Click the image to see a larger version)
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