Government requests for Facebook user data up 27 percent in first half of 2016

facebook mobile login screen Facebook released its latest transparency report today, detailing government requests for user data for the first half of 2016. According to the report, government requests for account data increased by 27 percent globally as compared with the last half of 2015. The number of requests grew from 46,710 to 59,229, Facebook said. The majority of the requests (56 percent) received from U.S. law… Read More
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Zuckerberg implies Facebook is a media company, just “not a traditional media company”

zuckerberg-leader Mark Zuckerberg gave new insights about how he sees Facebook’s role in informing the world today during a Live video one-on-one year-end chat with COO Sheryl Sandberg. Facebook’s CEO also lent support to employees trying to fight fake news today, though reports indicated some employees were dissatisfied by his initially tepid response to the issue. “Facebook is a new kind… Read More
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Twitter didn’t fix itself in 2016 and Wall Street isn’t happy

jack dorsey alt angle code conference Layoffs, a borked acquisition and continued tepid user growth defined Twitter in 2016. And these are all things that make Twitter’s future uncertain, which we know Wall Street does not like. Jack Dorsey’s one-year tenure as CEO was more or less defined by a continue decline in its stock price and, amid all its attempts to try and re-make the service and make it more palatable,… Read More
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Facebook kills off exact location sharing in Nearby Friends, adds “Wave”

facebook-wave Nearby Friends didn’t turn into the Foursquare-killer it could have been, but Facebook is still trying to help people meet up in person… with a few changes. Facebook has removed the precise location-sharing feature from Nearby Friends, which now only lets you opt-in to broadcasting your approximate distance from friends and current neighborhood. Unmapped Previously, you could select… Read More
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Twitter overcharged video advertisers, issues refunds

twitter-video-chase2 Now it’s Twitter copying Facebook… but in the worst way. Following several embarrassing disclosures of inaccurate metrics by Facebook, today Business Insider’s Alex Heath broke news that Twitter overcharged some advertisers. Between November 7th and December 12th, a source tells BI that video ad buyers were overcharged up to 35 percent. Twitter apparently informed these… Read More
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Now Snapchat has “Filter Games”

snapchat-games Snapchat wants you to play with your face, not just take pictures of it. New Selfie Lens filter games are starting to appear to users, creating an addicting new Snapchat feature that also inspires competition between friends and could become a powerful ad revenue driver. Snapchat confirms this is the launch of a new, native games feature. Back in March, Snapchat tested a limited run of a… Read More
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Snapchat has quietly acquired an Israeli startup for a reported $30 million to $40 million

screen-shot-2016-12-25-at-9-24-58-am Snapchat sewed up its first acquisition in Israel this week, according to the outlet Calcalist News. It acquired four-year-old Cimagine, whose augmented reality platform lets consumers instantly visualize products they want to buy in their intended location, paying what Calcalist says was between $ 30 million and $ 40 million. According to its LinkedIn page, Cimagine currently works with brands… Read More
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No Signal: Egypt blocks the encrypted messaging app as it continues its cyber crackdown

Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images) Egypt has intensified its cyber crackdown under president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. In recent years authorities have blocked Facebook’s controversial Free Basics program for not allowing it to spy on users, imprisoned citizens for satirical Facebook posts and reportedly used Deep Packet Inspection technology allowing for extensive surveillance of Egyptians’ online activities. Read More
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Oculus acquires eye-tracking startup The Eye Tribe

the-eye-tribe The direction you look could one day control your VR or mobile experience thanks to Facebook and Oculus’ latest buy, The Eye Tribe. Oculus confirms to me that this is an official acquisition. The startup has developed a $ 99 eye tracking device developer kits for computers, and software that can bring gaze-based interfaces to smartphones and potentially virtual reality headsets. The Eye… Read More
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Twitter introduces 360-degree video live streaming

twitter-360 Twitter is taking another step into getting into live video by introducing 360-degree live streams through Periscope. Anyone on Twitter and Periscope can watch 360-degree live video, though currently only select partners can go live in 360 via Periscope, the company announced in a blog post. While it’s only available for a limited number of partners for now, it makes sense that Twitter… Read More
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