Facebook roundup: FWD.us, anti-virus, paid messaging and video

Zuckerberg and tech elite create FWD.us – Mark Zuckerberg this week announced FWD.us, a political advocacy group to focus on the issue of immigration reform. The organization is backed by other tech leaders including Reid Hoffman, Eric Schmidt, Marissa Mayer, Drew Houston, Ron Conway, Chamath Palihapitiya, Joe Green, Jim Breyer, Matt Cohler, John Doerr, Paul Graham, Mary Meeker, Max Levchin, Aditya Agarwal and Ruchi Sanghvi. Reports about the group starting coming out recently, but Zuckerberg officially announced FWD.us with an editorial piece in the Washington Post on Wednesday. He called for “comprehensive immigration reform,” “higher standards and accountability in schools” and “investment in breakthrough discoveries in scientific research.”

Paid messaging test rolls out to U.K. – Facebook has expanded its paid messaging test, according to The Guardian. The social network is prompting some users to pay to send direct messages to another user’s inbox rather than their “other” folder. Facebook has a two-folder messages system. Communications from friends and other close connections appear in the inbox, whereas messages from users who don’t have mutual friends or messages that originated as an email to a user’s @facebook.com account are likely to be sent to the “other” folder. As part of the limited test, which began in the U.S. in December 2012, senders whose message would have appeared in the recipient’s “other” folder will have the option to pay to have the message routed to the inbox instead. Typically this costs about $1, but the company is testing higher price points for celebrities and public figures on the site.

Facebook expands free anti-virus software program – Facebook this week expanded its AV Marketplace program by supporting seven new languages this week: French, Italian, German, Spanish, Korean, Japanese and Portuguese. Through the program more than a dozen partner companies provide free security software downloads to prevent Facebook users from becoming victims of viruses and phishing attacks. AV Marketplace originally launched in April 2012.

Video doubles engagement on Facebook – Facebook users are more than twice as likely to comment, share or like video content than with non-video content, according to a study published by Adobe this week. Nearly 90 percent of all online video consumption occurs on desktops, but overall, mobile video viewing grew by 300 percent. Tablets are growing the fastest in terms of mobile video usage. Adobe’s analysis was based on nearly 20 billion video starts, 10 billion ads served by Adobe media customers and more than 450 million Facebook posts in 2012.