Saturday 27 September 2014

The real story behind Facebook 'likes'

There might not be much point paying for Facebook ads or "like farms" to increase the page followings of companies or campaigns, a new study has found.


If Facebook likes are anything to go by, Shakira is the world’s favourite person (closely followed by Cristiano Ronaldo and Eminem), Coca-Cola is the world’s top brand, Vin Diesel is more loved than Harry Potter and the Yes campaign won in the Scottish independence referendum.
At least one of those things is not true. In fact, when it comes to Facebook likes, quantity is no indication of quality - or even reality - according to new research from University College London and other institutions.
In what the MIT Technology Review called “the first systematic investigation into the nature of like farms and how they operate,” researchers found that the likes paid for by companies to boost their Facebook followings are likely to be fake, even the ones that are real aren’t worth much, and there’s no indication that any of them are human.
The findings suggest that Facebook might not be an ideal medium for effective advertising, and could have implications for the social network's targeted adverts and promotion sales.

The method
The researchers set up 13 content-less Facebook pages about virtual electricity. Each page included the description, “This is not a real page, so please do not like it.” These pages were split into two groups, with five in one and eight in the other.
They bought Facebook ads to promote the first group, targeting each page at users in a different region (the US, France, India, Egypt and worldwide) at a total cost of $90 over 15 days. They used like-generating services -,, and, which charged up to $190 for 1000 likes over the fortnight - to build the following of the other eight pages, targeting users in the US and worldwide.
The results
The genuine Facebook ads were successful at targeting users in the specified regions, although the majority of the worldwide campaign’s near-500 likes were based in India. The Indian and Egyptian pages also garnered more than 500 likes, while the American and French pages got fewer than 50.

However, the users who liked these fake pages also liked between 600 and 1,000 other pages - considerably more than the average Facebook user’s 40 liked pages, suggesting that targeted promotions attract a certain type of user who is less discriminate with their clicking. 

The pay-for-likes services were more successful in building page followings, mostly gaining between 700 and 1,000 likes - but instead of a gradual growth, the number of likes increased in “large bursts”, jumping by hundreds in just a few hours, after which there was not one new like. These likes were therefore more likely to be fake profiles operated by automated bots, the researchers said.

The conclusion
Although the study was conducted on a small scale, its findings show that a lot of the Facebook likes that companies pay for are fake - despite the social network's attempts to detect and remove false accounts - and even the real ones do not necessarily constitute an engaged following.
“Since our honeypot pages both for Facebook and like farm campaigns explicitly indicated they were not “real”, we argue that a vast majority of the garnered likes are fake,” the researchers concluded.
Facebook has processes in place to protect its users from fake profiles, checking more than 25bn actions a day.
“We stress that our findings do not necessarily imply that advertising on Facebook is ineffective, since our campaigns were specifically designed to avert real users,” they added. “However, our work provides strong evidence that likers attracted on our honeypot pages, even when using legitimate Facebook campaigns, are significantly different from typical Facebook users.”

Source : the Telegraph


Tuesday 9 September 2014

Apple unveiled iphone 6 and iphone 6 plus

Apple unveiled iphone 6 and iphone 6 plus

At today’s event at the Flint Center in Cupertino, Calif., Apple announced two new sizes of iPhone As per rumors we’ve been seeing since early this year, the new models come in 4.7- and 5.5-inch versions, making this the first iPhone announcement in which Apple has announced more than one device size at a time.
These new devices, known as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, respectively. They’ve both got higher resolution screens than the iPhone 5s, which Apple is calling Retina HD. The iPhone 6 Plus in particular sports a much higher pixel density, packing in a 1080p display:
While both of the new iPhones have a new mode called ‘reachability’ which allows you to ‘double touch’ (not tap) the home button to bring the interface down within reach of your thumb, the iPhone 6 Plus has a swipe mode that allows you to navigate many apps by swiping left and right from the edges of the screen.

As with the iPhone 6 (and probably whatever iPads are announced next month), the new phones are both powered by the A8 system-on-a-chip, the latest in Apple’s line of custom-designed processor packages. The A8 has 2 billion transistors, double the amount in last year’s A7. Apple claims that the A8 is 50% more efficient than the A7 while 25% more powerful in general tasks and 50% faster in graphics rendering performance.
As with last year’s model, the new chip contains a low-power motion processor for collecting movement data without draining your battery and a “security enclave” for verifying your thumbprint without exposing that data to hacking. In addition to those features, the A8 now includes an Apple-designed image signal processor that allows for faster autofocus, local tone mapping, and noise reduction. The camera app now includes a ‘cinematic’ stabilization mode which will likely crop and auto-center your video images.
The iPhone 6 Plus will have one additional feature in its camera: optical image stabilization, meaning there’s hardware dedicated to keeping your photos from getting blurry from movement:
While the bigger screen obviously uses more power to operate than the smaller screen on the iPhone 6, the 6 Plus can hold a bigger battery. The net result is greater battery life across the board — you’ll get a few more hours of call time and web browsing on the 5.5-inch iPhone than either the iPhone 6 proper or last year’s iPhone 5s:

Source :