Posts Tagged ‘social media’
Facebook are giving their Messenger app some muscles as they look to woo businesses and brands (brands is a cuddle way of saying ‘businesses who want you to feel like they’re a lifestyle choice’) out of loads of money.
There’s going to be a rake of new features, enabling people to integrate their own apps with Messenger (thanks to a new thing called Messenger Platform) and companies will be able to enhance online shopping and bug everyone on Facebook (thanks to a thing called Businesses on Messenger).
Mark Zuckerberg reckons these new tools will end up in social media tools replacing the old types of talking to companies.
“Currently, if you want to get in touch with a business, most of us probably still call,” Zuckerberg said. “But I actually don’t know anyone who likes calling businesses. It’s just not fast or convenient and it definitely doesn’t feel like the future.”
David Marcus, also of Facebook, added that this would restore the “personal and delightful experience” that customers have when shopping at little local shops for local people. David Marcus clearly hasn’t been to Royston Vasey.
Anyway, the whole deal here is that Messenger Platform will help people plug apps into Messenger which will allow users to share photos, audio or whatever, more easily. Alongside that, businesses will be able to play with the format too. Expect to get some animated gifs from Oreos or something, in the near future. Or, you can live chat with IAMS about your cat that just choked to death.
That is, of course, if you trust Facebook with your bank details.
Initially, this is going to be a thing in America, where Stateside users can link their accounts and debit cards with their profiles and with a couple of taps, send cash to people. Facebook themselves are going to handle transactions and the encryptions. They already handle millions in advertising and gamers on the social network, so that should allay a few fears.
If you’re game, you’ll be able to add a PIN or use Apple’s Touch ID security as further protection.
Again though. This is Facebook who have a rather wayward approach to your data, so if you hold off and stick to tried and tested methods away from them, we wouldn’t blame you.
This new feature will be hitting iOS, Android and the desktop version in the coming months and will be rolled out worldwide soon enough.
“Incorporating security best practices into our payments business has always been a top priority,” Facebook said. “These payment systems are kept in a secured environment that is separate from other parts of the Facebook network and that receive additional monitoring and control. A team of anti-fraud specialists monitor for suspicious purchase activity to help keep accounts safe.”
So what’s the skinny? Well, for a while, people have wondered why someone wasn’t allowed to appear on the social network while breastfeeding, but it was totally fine to watch a beheading video or watching someone get knocked about in a kebab shop or something.
Well, FB has decided to make a document which you can all read (if you want), which details what you can and can’t post on their pages. Not your page – you own shit. The company has written 2,500 words in guideline form, which of course, you won’t want to read.
Facebook says; “Our mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. Every day, people come to Facebook to share their stories, see the world through the eyes of others and connect with friends and causes. The conversations that happen on Facebook reflect the diversity of a community of more than one billion people.”
“To balance the interests of this diverse population, we’ve developed a set of Community Standards, outlined below. These policies will help you understand what type of sharing is allowed on Facebook, and what type of content may be reported to us and removed. Because of the diversity of our global community, please bear in mind that something that may be disagreeable or disturbing to you may not violate our Community Standards.”
So we’ve grabbed the bits we think you’ll be most interested in.
Not Allowed: People explicitly doing the nasty; photos of actual genitals; depictions of sexual business that goes “into vivid detail”; what they describe as “fully exposed buttocks”. Nothing illegal too. That’s a given though.
Totally fine: Women “actively engaged” in breastfeeding; photos and images of art that has nudity in it; post-mastectomy scarring photos.
Not Allowed: On Facebook, they’ll be weighing up the various threats that are reported to them. If you make a direct threat, that isn’t allowed.
Totally fine: Presumably, you’re allowed to now make ‘indirect threats’.
Not Allowed: If you attack someone because of their race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability, that’s not allowed.
Totally fine: Sharing someone else’s hate speech is fine, provided you’re using it “for the purpose of raising awareness or educating others about that hate speech”. Oh, it is also fine if you’re using it as part of “humour, satire or social commentary”. That gets everyone off the hook then, doesn’t it?
Not Allowed: You’re not allowed to threaten celebs and public figures anymore.
Totally Fine: You are, however, allowed to openly and critically discuss famous people.
Blood & Guts
Not Allowed: If you’re sharing pictures and videos for your own “sadistic pleasure” or indeed, “to celebrate or glorify violence”, that’s not allowed.
Totally Fine: However, if you’re sharing a load of blood and gore to raise awareness about something, such as human rights abuses or terrorism or something, then that’s completely fine. If you’re raising awareness about the repression of those who like to celebrate violence while getting sadistic pleasure… well… you’re on your own.
Not Allowed: Don’t put up images of self-harm, suicide and eating disorders.
Totally Fine: That said, if you’re allowed to show these things provided you’re not promoting them, rather, raising awareness or something.
Not Allowed: Don’t share things that you don’t have the copyright for.
Totally Fine: Laughing at the notion that anyone is going to listen to the above advice.
As well as that, Twitter is going after those who like a bit of doxxing. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, that’s when people publish the name and address of people just to get at them.
In Twitter’s brand new rules, they say: ”You may not post intimate photos or videos that were taken or distributed without the subject’s consent. You may not publish or post other people’s private and confidential information, such as credit card numbers, street address or Social Security/National Identity numbers, without their express authorization and permission.”
So, anyone caught doling out dodgily obtained nudes or indulging in some doxxery, they’ll be investigated and banned. Presumably, those people will then set up a new Twitter account and carry on as normal. It’s not like it is difficult to set up a sock-puppet account is it?
That said, Twitter could start handing over details to the police and, in Britain at least, anyone who is found guilty of distributing sexual images of a person without their consent could end up going to prison for two years.
These new laws define revenge porn as photos or films which show people “engaged in sexual activity or depicted in a sexual way or with their genitals exposed, where what is shown would not usually be seen in public”.
“Yo mama so fat, she left the house in high heels and when she came back, she was wearing flip flops.” You know that one right? How about: “Your momma’s so fat that she has mass whether the Higgs Boson exists or not.”
That do you? How about: “Your mum’s so fat that she sat on a £10 note and squeezed a bogey out of the Queen’s nose!”
Well, you better get yourself ready to make some jokes like this at Penguin Books after they started the #YourMum hashtag for all the mothers out there.
— Penguin Books UK (@PenguinUKBooks) March 9, 2015
You can, of course, imagine that Penguin innocently tried to do something sweet for all the motherly bookworms out there, but you can’t help imagining someone in the Penguin marketing department is actively hoping this hashtag gets hijacked with a load of rude jokes, so they can grab all that lovely attention, point at the fact they trended worldwide and get to continue promoting Penguin as they laugh about the misunderstanding in the Metro a week after it all blows up.
That’s a bit cynical of us isn’t it? And exactly what is happening here.
And so, to one Facebook user who paid a visit to the social network’s offices in Los Angeles, who saw something that gave him the willies, and will prompt some of you to pop your tinfoil hats on and start shouting “TOLD YOU SO!”
Making, ironically, a post on Facebook itself, Paavo Siljamäki noted that a Facebook engineer logged straight into his account, but without using a password.
He said: “Popped to Facebook offices in LA, the nice people there were giving us good advice on how to use Facebook better. I was then asked if i’m ok for them to look at my profile, i said ‘sure’. A Facebook engineer can then log in directly as me on Facebook seeing all my private content without asking me for the password.”
“Just made me wonder how many of Facebook’s staff have this kind of ‘master’ access to anyone’s account? What are the rules on who and when they can access our private content and how would we know if someone did? (My facebook did not notify me that someone else accessed my private profile).”
Over at NakedSecurity (not as fun as it sounds), they asked FB about this, and got this reply: “We have rigorous administrative, physical, and technical controls in place to restrict employee access to user data. Our controls have been evaluated by independent third parties and confirmed multiple times by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner’s Office as part of their audit of our practices.”
“Access is tiered and limited by job function, and designated employees may only access the amount of information that’s necessary to carry out their job responsibilities, such as responding to bug reports or account support inquiries. Two separate systems are in place to detect suspicious patterns of behaviour, and these systems produce reports once per week which are reviewed by two independent security teams.”
“We have a zero tolerance approach to abuse, and improper behavior results in termination.”
So there you have it. Some will argue that this is Facebook accessing the innards of your profile like a bank accessing your current account or whatever, while others will see this as a flagrant abuse of power by a company who already has a chequered history.
Should we be asking more questions regarding matters like this, or do we just accept that, posting things online is our deal with the devil and that nothing is private?
Dating/hook-up app, Tinder, have launched a premium version of their swipefest. However, there’s something a bit peculiar going on with it.
Tinder Plus has subscription fees which vary depending on your age and where you live. So, if you’re in America, people over 30 will have to pay $19.99 a month, while people younger than that, will be paying $9.99 every month.
Meanwhile, in ‘emerging markets’, it can be as low as $2.99.
A Tinder spokesperson is swatting away any cries of ‘age discrimination’, saying: “We’ve priced Tinder Plus based on a combination of factors, including what we’ve learned through our testing, and we’ve found that these price points were adopted very well by certain age demographics.”
“Lots of products offer differentiated price tiers by age, like Spotify does for students, for example. Tinder is no different; during our testing we’ve learned, not surprisingly, that younger users are just as excited about Tinder Plus, but are more budget constrained, and need a lower price to pull the trigger.”
“With Tinder Plus we’re giving our users access to their two most-requested features through Passport and Rewind, as well as unlimited liking capabilities.”
Rewind? Why, if you’ve swiped someone into oblivion, you can reverse the decision, not that they’re more likely to think you’re alright. The Passport feature lets you change your location, so you can gawp at people from other countries if you want. Maybe you can try and woo someone before you go on holiday? Maybe you could find out how women call men ‘creeps’ in many languages?
Anyway. There you go. Tinder. Penalising widows and making eyes at younger people.
There’s a restaurant in Manchester called ’47 King Street’ and, like most places, reviews are mixed. On the eaterie’s TripAdvisor, some say it is wonderful, while others hate it. One customers says that the staff pretended to phone the police on them.
Well, there’s another complaint doing the rounds and the restaurants itself has made it a million times worse by getting shirty on social media with a hen party. Pick your side now.
Melissa Grogan-Morgan left a negative review on 47 King Street’s Facebook page, saying that she wasn’t too impressed with the staff (something that has been levelled at the business on a few occasions online). She soon found that the restaurant was volleying insults her way, calling her and her friends things like “peasants” and “chav cheap trash”.
The PR nightmare continued with comments like “vile people” and that they were from the “bottom of the barrell”. Of course, someone quickly deleted their Facebook page and screamed in frustration at the whole thing.
Other comments said that they “wouldn’t know fine dining if it slapped them in their ugly faces!” as well as referring to them: “What absolute trash they were. We pity the groom!”
So, who is laughing at all this and who is outraged?
Obviously, someone’s going to get their knuckles rapped over this as, either way you look at it, someone’s been a dick to a bunch of people who put £600 in their till.
47 King Street itself, is hardly fine dining and doesn’t have the exclusivity of Studio 54 or something, so this is all a huge pig’s ear and… it’ll blow over by the end of the week.
You’re going to die. Even if you have plans to store your head in a glass jar like Richard Nixon on Futurama, you’re still going to shrug off your mortal coil and end up worm food, mainly because Futurama is fictional.
While that’s not the cheeriest thing to tell you all on the morning of Friday 13th, there is some good news for users of Facebook.
When you perish, Facebook is letting users decide what they want to do while they approach St Peter at the Pearly Gates (insert another religious or non-religious thing here if Christian heaven sounds like a nightmare to you).
This new feature allows Facebook-havers to choose someone to be their digital heir, so when you pass away, someone can do one last post for you to let everyone know you’re not alive anymore. That person can also delete your account for you too.
Your Facebook next-of-kin will be able to respond to friend requests, pin posts and update your profile picture, but they won’t be able to delete photos and do a load of posts pretending to be you, doing updates from heaven. Which is a shame. There’s no clue whether you’ll be able to ‘check in’ to heaven or a grave either, which seems like an opportunity missed.
Before this, Facebook preferred to freeze a member’s account when they found out someone had died. If you don’t choose a digital heir, then Facebook will freeze your account like before and leaving everything as you left it, complete with privacy settings. Dramatically, this process is called ‘memorialization’.
If you prefer, you can leave all your passwords to someone when you die, in your will or on a bit of paper or something, tied to your toe like when people die in cartoons.
Anyway – DEATH!
Twitter, like the rest of the internet, has had a bit of a troll problem. Of course, they’ve not had a problem with proper trolls who expertly wind people up, but in 2015, trolling means ‘abusive people who try and make people cry’, according to the papers.
We feel sorry for proper trolls who made it an art-form, rather than people who just shout ‘rape’ and ‘cancer’ at women.
Anyway, Twitter has been blamed for a lot of abusive internet behaviour and CEO Dick Costolo is taking personal responsibility for it. That’s not to say he’s been creating fake profiles and shouting at strangers online, but rather, he’s taking accountability for the social media site’s problems with, what basically adds up to, a load of nobheads.
He’s hinting that Twitter will be taking stronger action to reduce abuse on the network.
Costolo’s comments came about after one of his employees brought up Lindy West, an American writer who was attacked following the death of her father, with the abuser setting up an account using her dead father’s image to insult her further.
Costolo, in typical internet bigwig fashion used infantile language, saying that Twitter “sucked” at dealing with abuse and that trolling was driving away “core users”.
“I’m frankly ashamed of how poorly we’ve dealt with this issue during my tenure as CEO,” said Costolo, adding: “It’s absurd. There’s no excuse for it. I take full responsibility for not being more aggressive on this front. It’s nobody else’s fault but mine, and it’s embarrassing.”
It would be unlikely for the CEO to say something was ‘embarrassing’ about his company without wanting to do something about it, so over the coming months, we could well see some new measures from Twitter to try and stop people from setting up accounts just to shout at people with. Naturally, trying to stop that is like trying to punch a cloud of botfly, so we’ll see how they get on.
The likes of Daily Mail, CNN and Vice are among early media adopters of Snapchat’s new Discover feature.
The Discover feature grants users a snapshot of content every 24 hours, allowing Snapchat users to flick through new content on their Discover channels.
Let’s look at some filmed content:
Discovery Channel, ESPN and Warner Music are also on board with more set to follow. The Daily Mail have even dedicated a team of four to re-purpose editorial content for the app, which will no doubt point via nosy pictures at Kim Kardashian pouring her curves into a slinky winning dare-to-bare outfit, or throwing shade at various degrees of dressed down celebrities getting coffee with pixelated children.
A Snapchat spokesperson said: “Snapchat Discover is a new way to explore stories from different editorial teams. It’s the result of collaboration with world-class leaders in media to build a storytelling format that puts the narrative first. This is not social media.
“Social media companies tell us what to read based on what’s most recent or most popular. We see it differently. We count on editors and artists, not clicks and shares, to determine what’s important.”
It went on: “Discover is different because it has been built for creatives. All too often, artists are forced to accommodate new technologies in order to distribute their work. This time we built the technology to serve the art: each edition includes full screen photos and videos, awesome long form layouts, and gorgeous advertising.”
In what is a clear move to thwart some of the contenders that are stealing some of Twitter’s userbase, they’ve decided to add video capture to their mobile app, which allows you to record, edit and share clips of up to 30 seconds in length. Saves linking to Vine videos, right?
If you’re an iPhone user, you can import and edit existing videos from your camera roll and, if you’re on Android, then that’ll be ‘coming soon’.
Twitter have also added a group messaging function, which means you can tweet at a load of people at the same time in your DMs, as well as out in the open.
Updates are rolling out as we speak, but of course, if you’re on Android, the Google Play update won’t actually tell you what’s new, unlike all other updates, so leave it to us to let you know what the craic is.
Tweetbot originally started life on the Mac App Store back in October 2012, and has now the latest casualty of the Twitter rule of limiting new clients to 100,000 users.
The rule dates back to August 2012, when Twitter announced that any new app which was mainly used to access the users’ timeline would need explicit permission to have more than 100,000 users.
The post was widely seen as an attempt to kill off third-party Twitter clients, and eventually forced users onto the official Twitter app.
Mainly as Twitter cannot display adverts on third-party apps, and it has no control over which of its new features get rolled out when, you can imagine why they got a bit itchy about it.
While other apps have managed to escape such a fate – the rules were imposed in August 2012 – Tweetbot for Mac fell foul and is now ostracised. The ruthless world of social media!
Thankfully no one is actually cheating on their partner WITH Facebook, because that would be psychologically troubling.
Leeds law firm Lake Legal said that 66 out of 200 divorce cases they examined, had Facebook mentioned in not too wondrous tones. The main cause of grievances was when partners use the site to track down and befriend ex-shags, or been a bit odd with the truth, with various mutual friends pointing out any posts that they’ve seen from one party that excluded the other.
That’s basic social media etiquette, really. Whatever you do, don’t tell anyone. Least not your online presence. Honestly, there’s no helping some people.
Lake Legal’s managing partner, Lyn Ayrton said: “Social media provides an ongoing log of our lives. The sharing of written posts and pictures, often with geo-tagging, provides a record of activities that can be used in a court case.”
“Social media provides an ongoing log of our lives. The sharing of written posts and pictures, often with geo-tagging, provides a record of activities that can be used in a court case.”
“Often, if a partner refers to an impending bonus, a new job offer, or plans for a holiday, it may provide evidence that they are not telling the truth about their financial position. At the very least, it could call their credibility into question. It’s like having a massive public noticeboard.”
“Somebody said she was not in a relationship with anybody new but then posted a message inviting everybody to a housewarming party for her and her boyfriend.”
Well, they deserved everything they got, there…
One of the things that made Twitter so likeable when it first came out, was how unfussy and simple it was. While other social networks were fiddly and filled with over-complicated algorithms and such, Twitter kept things tidy and basic.
Then, they started tinkering and messing about, annoying everyone in the process. And they aren’t stopping, now they’ve announced a new feature which is designed to recap tweets you might have missed while you were away from the app.
This means that, instead of just showing a chronological list of most recent tweets, the iOS app will display the top tweets since you last opened the app. Initially, this is only being rolled out on Apple devices, but it’ll be on Android in no time, that’s for sure.
Some third party apps, when you re-open Twitter, kick off where you left it, but now the official app will curate the top tweets that would have missed among the flurry of people slagging off TV shows and the like. If the feature is anything like Facebook’s algorithm-driven news feed, then there’s going to be huge amounts of people complaining about it, as Twitter has always been good for being a real-time feed, unlike Facebook’s complete mess of a timeline.
“If you check in on Twitter now and then for a quick snapshot of what’s happening, you’ll see this recap more often; if you spend a lot of time on Twitter already, you’ll see it less,” the company’s blog post said.
Jarringly, there’ll be no way to turn the feature off either.