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The Week in Social: Star Wars, Facebook Messenger, and a Happier 2015

Star Wars – the metrics awaken

On a weekend when the historic film franchise was predicted to top $250 million at the box office, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg revealed that the film was mentioned by 53 million Facebook users, and more than 35,000 related Facebook events were planned this month alone.

Read more on The Verge and Social Times

Facebook events getting smarter

Facebook’s Events feature has subsisted for some time as a simple e-vite system for groups of friends. The feature has expanded over the last months, and executives report that the improvements will keep coming. In the most recent update, iPhone users can now browse events by geography, and according to event topic, enabling users to find relevant events “on the go”.

Read more on Wired

Facebook testing “click for more”

Desktop users on Facebook might notice a slightly different experience when viewing videos in their feed. Instead of the video playing in line, Facebook is experimenting with having the video screen launch in a darkened overlay, with a carousel of related videos lining the bottom. The move earmarks Facebook’s continued efforts to boost native platform views, and solidify it’s place in the hosted video space.

Read more on Tech Crunch

Facebook live streaming for everyone

In addition to modifications to the video view experience, Facebook is expanding its live streaming offering to all users. The feature was only available for verified celebrities last August, but it can now be used by all users and verified pages. In parallel with other broadly available streaming apps like Periscope and Meerkat, Facebook is hoping to play host to more ephemeral live announcements and live Q&A sessions.

Read more at The Next Web

Less noise for Slack collaborators

If you’re one of the 2 million daily users of Slack, there’s good news: you may now go incognito. Slack has introduced a Do Not Disturb mode, allowing you to turn off alerts for new messages and mentions without going offline completely.

Read more at The Next Web

Live stream treasure hunt

London based band MOONES hosted a unique treasure hunt via live stream last week. Locals were challenged to find a code hidden below a perfectly ordinary window. The hook: as the viewer rate increased, the camera would pull progressively wider, giving more environmental clues to the code’s location. The winner of the contest won £4,000, the band’s video budget.

Read more at Mashable

Facebook Messenger gets Uber

The latest move in Messenger becoming everything for everyone, Facebook has teamed up with Uber to enable users to request rides from within the app. The feature works fully independently within the Messenger app, and integrates with group chat to share with others that you have requested a ride. Users receive a $20 incentive toward their first ride for using the feature.

Read more at The Next Web

Vine suggesting things you might like

Following in the footsteps of most other channels, Vine is now serving their own version of a suggested content feed. iOS users will now find a “For you” feed, populated with content similar to what you’ve watched on the platform previously.

Read more at The Next Web

Pinterest now sending price drop alerts

Users who have saved Buyable Pins will begin receiving notifications from the platform if a price changes for the better. Pinterest reports that some 1 million buyable pins see reduced prices every day, but no mechanism existed previously to alert users to changes. The feature arrives in the same week that Pinterest has announced more than 1 million businesses on the platform.

Read more on Social Times

Facebook endeavors to make 2015 happier

Following criticism in 2014 for resurfacing exes, revisiting tragedies, and otherwise stirring up sad memories, Facebook indicates that 2015’s Year In Review feature will have happier moments. The network has been testing an algorithm to filter out unhappy material since October, and promises more sunshine for the spotless mind.

Read more on Social Times