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Facebook Changes News Feed To Favor Time Spent, Publisher Diversity

Once again, Facebook is changing how it organizes the News Feed. Facebook announced a number of tweaks to the News Feed algorithm today. The social network is putting greater emphasis on engagement time, or how long people tend to spend on a given post. While liking or commenting on a post is one indication that the social network uses to shuffle the News Feed, it’s not the full picture of what the user wants. People don’t typically like or comment on everything they read after all, so moving forward, Facebook will prioritize posts based on how long users spent on similar posts from the author or publisher in the past. To inform these tweaks, Facebook will rely on data it’s been collecting on how long people spend on Instant Articles or clicked through on its mobile browser. – Digiday

Facebook Considers Letter Users Add A Tip Jar To Make Money From Posts

Facebook is exploring new ways for individual users to profit from their posts on the network, The Verge has learned. A user survey distributed this week hints at a broad range of ways that users could make money or promote a cause, including a tip jar, branded content, and taking a cut of the ad revenue Facebook earns from posts. The survey also asked users to indicate their interest in a “call to action” button, a way to let followers make donations, and a “sponsor marketplace” to match users with advertisers. It’s unclear whether Facebook is considering making these options available to all users; the language of the survey indicated it is targeted at verified users. – The Verge

The Average iPhone Is Unlocked 80 Times Per Day

Now we know exactly how addictive iPhones are, according to Apple: the average iPhone user unlocks their phone 80 times per day, says analyst Ben Bajarin, who attended a security “deep dive” at Apple’s headquarters last week. At that rate, given a 12-hour day of usage, iPhone users check their phones between 6 or 7 times an hour, or about once every 10 minutes. That doesn’t sound too excessive, although there are probably users who unlock their phone at a far higher rate. – Business Insider

Snapchat User “Stories” Fuel 10 Billion Daily Video Views

The majority of people using Snapchat, Inc.’s application are making videos, and fueling a boom in watching them, the company is telling its investors. More than a third of Snapchat’s daily users create “Stories,” broadcasting photos and videos from their lives that last 24 hours, according to people familiar with the matter. Now users are watching 10 billion videos a day on the application, up from 8 billion in February. Snapchat confirmed the number of video views on Thursday. – Bloomberg

Meet The Man Behind Google’s Doodles

As a kid, Ryan Germick liked to draw – a lot. Unlike most other kids, “I never stopped,” the 35-year-old said.

It’s paid off — turning into a career that sits at the forefront where artists intersect the code-filled, left-brain world of tech giants. The two sides are coming together at a rapid pace – and the need for more creative types in tech is only expected to grow. Germick’s audience has grown as well, from just his parents and four siblings to the millions of people who visit the Google homepage. Germick is the Google Doodle guy. As the chief doodler, he leads a team of about a dozen, serving as the creative and technical force behind the changing Google logos, better known as the “doodles” that inhabit Google’s otherwise static search homepage. – BBC

Brandi Smith
Brandi Smith
Senior Social-Digital Strategist

A strategic communications professional with 10+ years of experience, Brandi has managed a plethora of award-winning public relations and social media campaigns on behalf of CPG brands. With an emphasis on consumer lifestyle, food, beverage and fashion clients, Brandi specializes in leading the integrated planning and execution of brand management strategies designed to generate both consumer awareness and engagement. Throughout her career, Brandi has served clients such as Kellogg’s, Kimberly-Clark, Jim Beam and White Wave Foods while employed at Ketchum.

After living in Chicago for a number of years, Brandi returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh. She holds a B.S. in Public Relations with a second concentration in Sport Management from West Virginia University.