It’s been less than a week since WhatsApp announced it would start sharing some user data with parent company Facebook, but in that short time, app users and privacy advocates alike have raised a ruckus over what they see as a broken promise. Now, some consumer privacy watchdog groups have filed a formal complaint with the FTC, asking them to look into it.
Amazon was once an online bookstore. Now it publishes books, and produces TV shows and movies (just like Netflix, which started as a DVD-by-mail company). Twitter is broadcasting political and sporting events, Apple will soon launch original streaming video content, and Snapchat has gone from a messaging service for sending self-destructing intimate photos to having a programming deal with NBC. Among all this shifting and pivoting, social media king Mark Zuckerberg claims that Facebook is not going to become a media company; he may be mistaken. [More]
If you’ve ever looked at the Trending Topics in the top right of your Facebook newsfeed, just to see chatter about some video game character right next to news about a massive natural disaster, you’ve probably thought, “who on earth is deciding what shows up here?” Well, now it’s what, not a who, and it… might still need some refining.
Facebook isn’t just Facebook. The company is massive, and has a whole suite of other apps and businesses it launches (or acquires) from time to time. The latest is kind of a pared down social network aimed at busy teens on the go — but that comes along with massive, glaring privacy flaws that could leave kids at risk.
If you scroll through your Facebook newsfeed right now, you might see video ads that start to play, but silently, at least until/if you decide to turn the sound on. But according to a new report, Facebook confirms that it’s testing ads that will blast sound at full volume as soon as you encounter them. Because that’s a pleasant experience. [More]
Facebook is, primarily, an advertising business. It doesn’t just want you to grudgingly put up with its ads, and it certainly doesn’t want you to block them. No, it wants you to love its ads, to embrace its ads, and to beg to be targeted to selectively.
Ah, Facebook’s News Feed. It changes frequently in order keep you better updated on your friends’ lives, the news of the world, and other events. But one thing you’re likely see a bit less of soon: those cleverly written headlines just begging to be clicked. The social network announced Thursday that it would revamp its News Feed algorithm to reduce the number of clickbait headlines you see. [More]
You know what giant corporations really hate to do? Spend lots of their revenue on taxes. And you know what they have to do anyway? Exactly that. But the IRS is saying that Facebook may not have done enough of it, in past years, and may be on the hook for a big fat chunk of cash overdue to the U.S. government.
It’s so easy to buy apps and then buy even more stuff within those apps, even a kid can do it. Which is exactly why a court has ordered Facebook to refund parents whose children made unapproved app purchases while using the social media network. [More]
Facebook is joining the list of apps that allow users to send messages that only exist for a certain amount of time: after testing a self-destructing function late last year, the social media company has announced an official test of “Secret Conversations” in Messenger that also features end-to-end encryption. [More]
It’s one thing if an online ad is misleading or misrepresents the site that you click on, but what happens when you order an item that isn’t as promised? As overseas clothing companies that market solely through Facebook have proliferated, some customers blame Facebook, even though the site doesn’t vet the products and services of every advertiser. Now, at least, Facebook wants to listen if you’re scammed or misled by an ad on the site. [More]