Facebook is on a roll with new features in the last one week. It is now the turn of Facebook comments and replies to take center stage. In the last two days, we’ve being reporting how Facebook bullying tactics is impacting on how users use or download their products. First, Facebook decided that those stubborn users who refuse to use Messenger for their Facebook chats and messages must be forced to do so. So now, messaging or chatting with Facebook friends through the web version of the app is not possible. If you want to continue chatting or sending messages, your only option is to download Facebook Messenger.
The second ‘do it or get lost‘ scheme was announced a week later. This time around iOS users were told their Synced photos would be deleted from Facebook unless they download Moments, the photo sharing and uploading app from Facebook. They were given up to the 7th of next month to make up their minds. This Time though, the new directive is not that dire. As a matter of fact, it is a welcome news to users of Facebook. Proving the point that Facebook is mostly about making life easier for us
Facebook is continuing to integrate videos into most of its services and products. According to them, it is now possible to make video comments and replies on Facebook. That is an awesome feature anyhow you look at it. So now, instead of just using words and emoticons, you can actually make a short video of yourself replying to a comment or post. There are so many other ways how this can be useful.
Anytime Facebook adds a new fun feature to its flagship product, comparisons to Snapchat is unavoidable. Videos appeal to the younger users. And that is the edge Snapchat has over Facebook. The introduction of Facebook Live was seen as an attempt to cut into Snapchat’s territory as well as Twitter’s Periscope. Even acquiring Masquerade saw comparisons with Snapchat. For Facebook, getting out of that Snapchat circle is now almost impossible. Especially after it emerged they tried to buy Snapchat a few years ago.
It is understandable though. Snapchat has more younger users exchanging and viewing videos than Facebook. Facebook wants to key in to that market to ensure its future.
Announcing the new feature through a blog post, Bob Baldwin, an engineer at Facebook informed the world that the new feature was developed at this year’s Facebook Hackathon, tagged Hack 50. Hackathon is a yearly Facebook affair where top hacks come together to brainstorm non-stop over a 24 hour period. This year’s event was held in January at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Silicon Valley. So one of the discoveries of the gathering of eggheads gets implemented 6 months later. Wonder why it took so long.
This is what Mr Baldwin had to say about the impact of hackathon on the new video feature on facebook:
At Facebook’s 50th Hackathon early this year, we prototyped the ability to upload a video into comments and replies on posts, because we wanted enable more engaging and immersive conversations. This adds to the suite of multimedia features within comments including: links, photos, stickers, emoji, and starting this week video.Videos in Comments are now available worldwide! You can upload them as replies to posts by people and pages, as well as within groups and events. It’s supported on desktop web, iOS, and Android. To try it out, click the camera icon next to the comment field!”
To use video to Reply to comments is rather easy I must say. I checked it out just to be sure the ‘….now available worldwide!’ isn’t just another corporate spin. I am so used to getting this new features months after they get launched, you can understand my skeptism. I hovered the pointer on the camera icon next to the comment field. And there it was, an ‘Attach a Photo or Video’ box popped out. Clicking that would take you to your stored media files where you now chose the video to share. If you’d uploaded photos before, it’s just the same way. Except this time around, the file you select to upload is a video file.
The new feature is supported on all platforms
photo credit: fortune.com