Tag: social networking

Zuckerburg talks bulwarks about isolationism

Facebook's Zuckerberg - Wikimedia CommonsSocial notworking Tsar Mark Zuckerberg was speaking a load of bulwarks against rising isolationism.

In a note, he wrote to Facebook users and claimed that the social notworking site could be the “social infrastructure” for the globe and a bulwark against isolationism.

“Across the world there are people left behind by globalization, and movements for withdrawing from global connection,” Zuckerberg wrote.

The question, the 32-year-old executive said, was whether “the path ahead is to connect more or reverse course,” adding that he stands for bringing people together.

Zuckerberg quoted Abraham Lincoln, the US president during the country’s 19th century Civil War and waxed rather philosophical saying that the dogmas of the quiet past, were inadequate to the stormy present.

Facebook could move far beyond its roots as a network for friends and families to communicate, suggesting that it can play a role in five areas, all of which he referred to as “communities,” ranging from strengthening traditional institutions, to providing help during and after crises, to boosting civic engagement.

In comments on Facebook, some users praised Zuckerberg’s note for staying positive, while others declared “globalism” dead.

Facebook has been under pressure to monitor closely police hoaxes, fake news and other controversial content, although the concerns have had little impact on its finances. The company reported 2016 revenue of $27.6 billion, up 54 percent from a year earlier.

One area where Zuckerberg wrote that Facebook would do better would be suggesting “meaningful communities.” Some 100 million users are members of groups that are “very meaningful” to them, he wrote, representing only about five percent of users.

Facebook is also using artificial intelligence more to flag photos and videos that need human review, Zuckerberg wrote.

While there is much that can be agreed with in Zuckerberg manifesto he did avoid one word which would have been nice to hear “privacy.”

Facebook to check its facts

funny-pictures-auto-news-france-387930After the fiasco of the US election which saw a candidate being elected on the basis of Russian supplied fake news, Facebook has decided to clamp down on the phenomena.

The social notworking site  said it will implement new measures to combat the so-called fake news and lies spreading via its platform. Facebook was used for circulation by fraudulent “news” sites, whose operators posted false headlines that were shared widely, driving web traffic and generating ad dollars. But they were also fooling unintelligent people who believe in bizarre conspiracies and think the word “libtard” is amusing

Now Facebook has a plan to cut off phony sites masquerading as news sources and to clearly label fake news. In the process, it might help restore programmatic ad revenue to legitimate publishers that have seen marketing dollars siphoned off by bogus sites.

Facebook is deputizing reputable, third-party fact-checking sites to label posts as “disputed,” a warning that will appear prominently in the Facebook feed and pop up when someone tries to share the post. The fact-check organizations include Snopes, FactCheck.org and Politifact, which are part of Poynter’s International Fact Checking Network.

Adam Mosseri’s, Facebook’s VP of product for News Feed said that the fact checking will provide more context can help people decide for themselves what to trust and what to share.

“It will still be possible to share these stories, but you will see a warning that the story has been disputed as you share.”

The process for flagging fake news starts with Facebook’s everyday users, who will be able to report any posts they consider suspicious. Once flagged, independent fact-checkers will determine whether it deserves the “disputed” tag or not.

Facebook also is going after the money that funds the fake news. Facebook said it will shut down links to spam websites, which often use spoof domain names that sound like reputable news sources. When people click on the “spoof” domains they mistakenly go to sites that are covered in ads and fake news.

“We’ve found that a lot of fake news is financially motivated. Spammers make money by masquerading as well-known news organizations, and posting hoaxes that get people to visit to their sites, which are often mostly ads.”

Ad technology has been blamed for helping fake news. During the election BuzzFeed uncovered overseas schemes with people making money by hosting websites filled with outrageous stories and driving traffic to them through Facebook.

Facebook still growing like topsy

what-we-learned-about-facebook-ceo-mark-zucke-L-gl5gYRSocial notworking outfit Facebook is raking in money and surprised Wall Street with its estimates, sending its shares to an all-time high.

Facebook now has more than 1.7 billion monthly users, well ahead of any rivals.

Analysts say the company has managed to transform itself from when it first went public.  It managed to leap from desktop to mobile and find advertisers to back it.

Mobile advertising revenue accounted for 84 percent of the company’s total advertising revenue, compared with 76 percent a year earlier.

Total advertising revenue surged 63 percent to $6.24 billion, beating the average analyst estimate of $5.80 billion.

The company also saw strong growth in monthly active users, now boasting 1.71 billion as of June 30, up from 1.49 billion a year earlier. Time spent on its suite of apps, including the main Facebook app, Instagram and Messenger, increased “double digit percentages,” Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on a conference call with analysts.

David Wehner, Facebook’s chief financial officer, pointed to Asia-Pacific, especially India, as one of the most promising areas for continued user growth. The region “has been a consistently good performer for us over the last several quarters and we will continue to invest our global sales resources to drive opportunities there,” Wehner said in an interview with Reuters.

Facebook is one of the biggest beneficiaries as advertisers move money away from television to the internet and mobile platforms.

The company is also courting advertisers to experiment with Facebook Live, its recently launched live video feature. Executives said they were working to become a “video first” platform, and identified private messaging as a growing focus.

Zuckerberg reiterated his company’s glorious 10-year plan on the call with analysts. He said that over the next three years, it will focus on continuing to grow its massive user base, especially in developed nations, and over the next 10 years it will look to build new technology to get more people online and using Facebook through internet-beaming drones.

Meanwhile, Facebook still has several untapped areas for revenue opportunities, including its WhatsApp and Messenger apps, both of which have more than 1 billion users.

Facebook also owns picture-sharing app Instagram, which recently announced it has more than 500 million users. Facebook has yet to say how much money Instagram makes, but research firm eMarketer predicts it will make $1.5 billion in revenue this year.

Net income attributable to Facebook’s stockholders rose to $2.05 billioncompared with $715 million last year. Total revenue rose 59.2 percent to $6.44 billion, ahead of analysts’ average estimate of $6.02 billion.

Salesforce would have paid more for Linkedin

SalesforceThere is a bit of head scratching going on over why Linkedin chose Microsoft’s lower offer for its company over a bigger one offered by Salesforce.

Microsoft wrote a cheque for  $26.2 billion for the social notworking site, which was lower than what was offered by Salesforce.  However Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said that he was willing to go much higher and would have changed other terms of the bid if he had been given the chance.

In a filing with regulators on Friday, LinkedIn said a board committee met on 7 July  to discuss an email from Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff.

“The email indicated that Party A would have bid much higher and made changes to the stock/cash components of its offers, but it was acting without communications from LinkedIn,” LinkedIn said in the updated filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

LinkedIn has said its board was concerned about other problems with a Salesforce bid, including the fact that a deal would have required approval from its shareholders. LinkedIn could still go with another bid if one comes in, but its deal with Microsoft contains a $725 million breakup fee provision.

Salesforce was the only serious rival to Microsoft.

US government wants your Facebook account details

ellis islandThe US Customs and Border Protection agency has submitted a request to the Office of Management and Budget, asking for permission to collect travellers’ social notworking account names as they enter the country.

The CBP has asked that the request “Please enter information associated with your online presence — Provider/Platform — Social media identifier” be added to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) and to the CBP Form I-94W (Nonimmigrant Visa Waiver Arrival/Departure).

Apparently the detail request will be optional but if you fail to fill it in the customs people will look at you oddly and insist on a full body cavity search.

“Collecting social media data will enhance the existing investigative process and provide DHS greater clarity and visibility to possible nefarious activity and connections by providing an additional tool set which analysts and investigators may use to better analyse and investigate the case.”

Of course it is utterly pointless. Border staff are hardly going to check that you have written down any reliable data, let alone volunteer your Facebook account to be rigorously probed by an official.

Are they going to be concerned if someone is running an account under a fake name? Will they send you home for calling yourself Mitzi Galore when your real name is Simon?  Will they test to see if the kitten crawling out of a bog roll is your own?

All this is remarkably like Donald Trump’s plan to ban Muslims from entering the country by asking them “are you a Muslim?”   Or the government’s previous goodie “have you ever been involved in the administration of a Nazi concentration camp?” What did Wernher Magnus Maximilian Freiherr von Braun used to write on the form when he went through?

 

We have reached peak Facebook

FacebookSocial notworking sites have reached their peak and might start to fade from view from now on, according to the latest figures.

London-based data collection company SimilarWeb studied the habits of Android users across the world, to monitor the changing popularity of social media apps and discovered that the social media frenzy is dying down and people are starting to spend less time on social media apps.

In almost all countries, time spent on the four leading social media apps, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter had fallen.

In some cases, the drop in usage was minimal, with Snapchat usage in Brazil dropping from 11.23 minutes to 11.10 minutes.

Other cases saw a more substantial drop, like time spent on Twitter in France. Over Q1 2015, the average in France was 19.80 minutes and in Q1 2016, that number dropped to 13.12, a drop of 34 per cent.

In a few cases, such as Facebook’s usage in Spain, time spent within an app did rise but that was bucking the trend.

SimilarWeb marketing analyst Pavel Tuchinsky said that across the board, people are spending less time on their Social Media apps.

Most countries spent less time on Facebook compared to last year, with the exception of Germany where the time was roughly the same last year compared to this.

Instagram also saw a rise in installs in several countries including France, Germany, and the US. Instagram’s biggest loss, however, came in India where the app dropped from being installed on 32 per cent  of Android devices to 19 per cent.

Facebook angers the Berlin courts

what-we-learned-about-facebook-ceo-mark-zucke-L-gl5gYRA regional court in Berlin found that the social notworking site Facebook had not changed its terms and conditions statement to adequately address intellectual property concerns.

The court fined Facebook $109,000 a week after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s visited Berlin to collect the first ever Axel Springer Award for entrepreneurship and something people call innovation.

However, four years ago, a German court found that Facebook’s terms and conditions did not address the circumstances in which users’ intellectual property could be used by Facebook or even licensed to third parties.

The regional court in Berlin ruled today that while Facebook did change the wording of the statement on intellectual property in their terms and conditions, the message remained the same.

Facebook, however, said that the problem was with the timing. “We complied with the order to clarify a single provision in our terms concerning an IP license a while ago. The court felt we did not update our terms quickly enough and has issued a fine, which we will pay.”

However, the court’s ruling stated that the problem was not with the speed by which the clause was updated, but with the fact that the key message was never changed.

This is just one in a string of legal problems for Facebook in Germany and throughout Europe. They have been under fire for their use of facial recognition technology, which prompts users to ‘tag’ people in their photos.

In 2012, the District Court of Berlin ruled that Facebook violated user rights with its FriendFinder function, a decision which was upheld in a lower court in 2014, and again on January 15 of this year.

Facebook is also in trouble with the French authorities for suspending the account of a teacher who posted a famous nude painting.

The Austrian Supreme Court will also hear if a privacy lawsuit initiated by Viennese lawyer Max Schrems in 2014 should be treated as a class action.

Twitter is a rubbish indicator of elections

TwitterPundits who use twitter to predict the outcome of elections are wasting their time, according to the Social Science Computer Review.

Recent elections have seen social media and particularly Twitter used as a method to poll support for particular candidates.

The SSCR has looked at the numbers and decided it is difficult to predict the outcome of an election based on the amount of Twitter buzz.

Twitter data was a more accurate measure of the level of interest in candidates rather than the level of support they will receive.

“Negative events, such as political scandals, as well as positively evaluated events, such as accomplishments, can underlie attention for a party or candidate,” said the study.

In other words the analysis does not support the simple more tweets, more votes’ formula.

A video clip of a candidate’s campaign gaffe broadcast on the nightly news might lead to a spike in Twitter attention, but likely not result in more overall political support, according to the study.

The data also showed that Twitter users did not necessarily reflect the demographics of the population as a whole. In the United States, social media platforms like Twitter and Yik Yak are often more popular among millennial voters.

Twitter disagrees claiming that a Time magazine website report that showed Twitter chatter favoured the winning candidates, Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, in the Iowa caucuses this month.

Zuckerberg makes sacrifices for new kid

what-we-learned-about-facebook-ceo-mark-zucke-L-gl5gYRSocial notworking supremo Mark Zuckerberg has been reading a few books on child development and reached the conclusion that he needs to take a couple of months off after his daughter’s birth.

“This is a very personal decision,” he shared on his Facebook page, along with a picture of a stroller, a yellow baby carrier and his dog, Beast.

“Studies show that when working parents take time to be with their newborns, outcomes are better for the children and families.”

Of course no one has thought to ask the child – one kick like, one poke no, do you want your dad around after you are born?

Facebook allows its US employees to take up to four months of paid maternity or paternity leave, which can be used all at once or throughout the first year of their child’s life, a policy which is generous by US standards.

Zuckerberg, 31, did not say who would be running the company while he is out – it is most likely to be the chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, who oversees all of Facebook’s advertising.

Zuckerberg’s decision is unusual among high-level tech executives, especially men.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer took two weeks off after her first child’s birth in 2012, and when she announced she was pregnant with identical twin girls in September, she said she would be taking limited maternity leave and “working throughout”.

Facebook reaches a billion on same day

Facebook's Zuckerberg - Wikimedia CommonsMark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of social networking site Facebook, said that last Monday a billion people used the software.

That’s one in seven people on the planet.

In a comment he made on his own Facebook page late yesterday, Zuckerberg thinks that its reach worldwide will continue to grow.

Zuckerberg started Facebook as a way of contacting other people when he was a student at Harvard University.

Stats show that Facebook has nearly one and a half billion people worldwide, who use it to irritate their friends, show what they’ve eaten for supper, and point to other news sources on the world wide web.

Zuckerberg is now a very rich man.