Facebook is reportedly testing a new feature that would allow users to syndicate their Instagram Stories directly to WhatsApp. Though still in test mode, the move would further underscore Facebook’s desire to expand the stickiness of Instagram to its other owned properties.
On the flipside, it would also help expand Instagram Stories to WhatsApp’s global audience. As of July 2017, WhatsApp commands a global audience of 1 billion users. For comparison, Instagram has 500 million daily active users.
News of the feature was initially leaked in a blog post, which included screenshot taken by an Android user from Brazil. Show below, the screenshot depicts what the cross-posting between the platforms looks like in its current test state. The Instagram Story is on the left-hand side and the cross-post to WhatsApp Status is on the right.
Currently, WhatsApp allows users to post pictures or videos as a native WhatsApp Status and personalize them with drawings, text, emojis, or GIFs, AR filters, and information such as their location and the temperature.
Facebook’s investment in WhatsApp presented the social platform with inroads into the world’s largest mobile messaging platform. Its ongoing integrations align with the company’s new mission statement, which emphasizes the goal of bringing people together and building more “meaningful communities.”
On New Year’s Eve alone, WhatsApp was the source of 75 billion messages including more than 13 billion images and 5 billion videos, translating into the platform’s “biggest messaging day ever” per Adweek.
Within the marketing space, consumer-facing brands will want to pay attention to the updates, especially as WhatsApp builds out its enterprise business capabilities.
At this time, no rollout dates are being discussed as the feature is still too early in the testing phase.
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Facebook Releases Document to Explain Why It's Removing Posts
Meanwhile, the social network is also, for the first time, now giving users the right to appeal its decisions on individual posts.
3 min read
This story originally appeared on PCMag
Ever wonder how Facebook decides what — and who — to remove from its platform?
Wonder no more because the social network just published the lengthy “Community Standards” its reviewers use to determine what is and isn’t allowed on Facebook.
The standards are broken down into six categories: Violence and criminal behavior, safety, objectionable content, integrity and authenticity, respecting intellectual property and content-related requests. They outline how Facebook deals with everything from threats of violence to suicide, self-injury, child porn and sexual exploitation, nudity, bullying, harassment, hate speech and more.
The move to publish these once internal guidelines comes after The Guardian last year obtained and posted snippets of the company’s exhaustive and sometimes contradictory rules.
Facebook’s VP of Global Policy Management Monika Bickert said the company is now going public with this information to “help people understand where we draw the line on nuanced issues” and as a way to solicit feedback on how it can improve its guidelines. Next month, the company plans to launch a series of public events in the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, India and Singapore called “Facebook Forums: Community Standards” to get people’s feedback in person.
Facebook relies on artificial intelligence technology and reports from users to identify posts, photos and other content that may violate its standards. Upon receiving a report, a member of the company’s 24/7 Community Operations team reviews the content in question to determine whether it should be taken down. Facebook currently employs more than 7,500 content reviewers.
Bickert acknowledged that Facebook’s reviewers sometimes make the wrong decision.
“In some cases, we make mistakes because our policies are not sufficiently clear to our content reviewers; when that’s the case, we work to fill those gaps,” she wrote. “More often than not, however, we make mistakes because our processes involve people, and people are fallible.”
Meanwhile, Facebook is now, for the first time, giving users the right to appeal its decisions on individual posts. This way, if the company removes your post and you think it made a mistake in doing so, you can ask for a second opinion.
At this point, you will only be able to ask for an appeal for posts removed for nudity/sexual activity, hate speech or graphic violence. If Facebook removes something you posted for one of those reasons, it will notify you about the action and give you the option to request an additional review. Within 24 hours of initiating an appeal you should know whether Facebook plans to restore your content, or keep it off the platform for good.
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Founder, Notability Partners
Jordan French is an Inc. 500 and Fast 50 ranked serial entrepreneur and multimedia journalist. He is the founder of Notability Partners, a CMO-level concierge service, BNB Shield, Lisbon Hill Farms, Status Labs, and BeeHex. Based in New York and Tampa, French is a frequent speaker and events moderator known for his penmanship at TheStreet, Entrepreneur, Tech.co, TechCrunch, Business.com, Today, and Huffington Post, among others.
Farmville: The Craze That Changed Facebook Forever
In 2007, games were added to Facebook. Two years later, Farmville came along and forever changed the way we look at the social networking platform.
Farmville was far from the first game launched on the Facebook Application Developer Platform. Dragon Age Legends and Mob Wars had already achieved a certain level of popularity.
Farmville also wasn’t an original idea. Farmville heavily borrowed from a now-obscure game called (Lil) Green Patch, which AdWeek reports had 350,000 Daily Active Users, placing it in the top 15 Facebook Application of early-2008. It also was a near-exact copy of Slashkey’s Farm Town, which had debuted in early-2009 as the 4th popular Facebook application. However, Farmville’s creator, Zynga, had something the other two companies didn’t have: a massive user base.
To get people playing Farmville, Zynga leveraged its already popular games through cross-promotion and ability to buy ads. This was so successful, that six months after the game’s release, AdWeek reported that the game had 72.9 monthly active users or more than 20 percent of Facebook’s 350 million users. At the time, Farmville had more active users than Twitter.
During Farmville’s two year reign as the most popular game on Facebook, the site grew from 200 million users in April 2009 to 750 million in July 2011. While there is no way to account for how many users joined Facebook specifically for Farmville, you may have a family member or friend who joined for the game. It’s the game that may have caused your parents to join Facebook and created issues that previously didn’t exist as addressed by the parody band Blood of the Tigercat in “My Mom’s On Facebook.” At its height, TechCrunch reports that Farmville accounted for approximately 10 percent of Facebook’s revenue.
Farmville introduced those who weren’t teenagers to a social media site they could get behind. Unlike Myspace, which is best remembered for its garish backgrounds and obnoxious automatic music playing, Facebook had a sleek clean design, was more interactive than Myspace, and found its killer app in Farmville.
To gain access to features and reduce their time between planting crops, players had to invite friends. One way to get more friends to play Farmville was to encourage friends not on Facebook to sign up for an account and play the game. For many users, it worked and the game’s user base grew exponentially.
In hindsight, it may be hard to believe that a game that was nothing more than people pretending to farm, but Farmville had a large dedicated fan base for a long time in social media terms. Zynga was even able to partner with McDonald’s, American Express, Microsoft Bing, and 7-11. Perhaps, Farmville’s most memorable promotion was GagaVille where for three days Lady Gaga fans could complete a task for a sneak preview of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way album.
Not only did Farmville make money from adverting, it also made money off of virtual goods and introduced many people to the concept of freemium games. While Farmville was ostensibly free to play, if you wanted to progress through the game quicker and ran out of friends, you could pay to progress. Dedicated players spent thousands of dollars purchasing virtual goods, including the 45-dollar Unwither Ring to improve the hardiness of their crops.
These days Farmville is simply a memory from a time when social media was still in its infancy. However, it succeeded in getting millions of people logging into their Facebook accounts on a daily basis and, in some ways, helped contribute to our collective social media addiction.
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Facebook's Answer to E.U. Privacy Law: Accept Data Collection and Ads, or Don't Use Facebook
The aim of GDPR is to return control of personal data to the individual by ensuring companies follow a new set of data protection compliance rules.
3 min read
This story originally appeared on PCMag
On May 25, the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be enforced across the European Union. The aim of GDPR is to return control of personal data to the individual by ensuring companies follow a new set of data protection compliance rules. If they don’t, then penalties of up to 4 percent of worldwide turnover, or $25 million will have to be paid.
Facebook is one of the companies that needs to adjust its data collection and use practices so as not to fall foul of this new regulation. Add to that the continuing fallout from the Cambridge Analytica debacle, and you can understand why the social network is keen to comply with GDPR as soon as possible.
Today, Facebook’s chief privacy officer Erin Egan, and deputy general counsel Ashie Beringer, published an article explaining how the company intends to comply with GDPR. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look to be a scaling back of the data collection or use thereof. Instead, Facebook is focusing on asking permission.
Facebook users will be asked to “make choices” about ads shown based on data from Facebook’s partners and whether you want that data used when deciding which ads to show you. Information in your profile will also require a new choice of “special protection” for sharing political, religious and relationship details. Then there’s facial recognition, which Facebook will offer as an optional feature, but only to those users located in Europe or Canada.
A new Settings and Privacy Shortcuts tool will make seeing, deleting, downloading and exporting data easier, and the Facebook Activity Log on mobile has been updated so it’s clear what data you have shared. Young people are also gaining access to special protections, with 13- to 15-year-olds getting a “less personalized version of Facebook” as well as less relevant ads and permission from a guardian enforced to access different aspects of the social network.
For the typical Facebook user who falls under the protection of GDPR, this means one thing: you’re going to have to agree to allow Facebook to continue collecting your data as it wants. Reuters spoke with Facebook Deputy Chief Privacy Officer Rob Sherman, who confirmed that targeted advertising is set to continue because, “Facebook is an advertising-supported service.”
The permission screens Facebook users will see across Europe will not have an accept and decline option. Instead you can either “accept and continue” or “manage data settings.” But regardless of how you manage those settings, you’re going to have to accept Facebook’s data collection policies to use the social network. If you don’t accept them, Sherman explains what the solution is, “People can choose to not be on Facebook if they want.”
Facebook ends its post with the sentence “We’re committed to making sure people understand how we use their information and how they can control it.” I think that sums up how GDPR, and whatever other privacy protection laws appear, are going to be dealt with. Facebook will comply with them by ensuring users give their permission for the data collection to continue. Unfortunately, most users will probably just tap accept.
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