Facebook enlists users to help fight fake news
Facebook has revealed a five-part plan to cleanse its platform of faux publishers who make money off click-bait headlines containing blatant untruths. The plan includes easy fake news reporting, fact checkers, banned ad pushes on suspect stories, sharing algorithms and eliminating spoof domains.
Live audio content now available on Facebook
Facebook is trialling a new Audio function allowing users to broadcast live from the app. The new function will allow users to post audio direct to newsfeeds, allowing others to listen to the audio content as they browse through the platform. A handful of publishers including BBC World Service, HarperCollins and Adam Grant are already on board, and the feature is expected to become available to all users later this year.
Facebook launches Live 360 video
Facebook’s combined Live and 360 video function will roll out to all Pages and Profiles this year. The platform launched the new tool with National Geographic in December, live from the Mars Desert Research Station facility in Utah. But you don't need to be broadcasting from a cool-sounding desert - mere mortals will soon be able to use the new tool as well, even from their humble bedrooms.
Facebook launches new coloured text backgrounds
Facebook is testing a new coloured background option for text updates. The test, oddly, is only available to Android users. iOS and web users will be able to see the coloured updates, but won't be able to create them. Unfortunately, the new colours are unlikely to make the actual text updates any more interesting.
Instagram launches stickers and ‘hands-free’ recording
In yet another blatant rip-off of Snapchat, Instagram has launched a sticker button so users can add weather, time and location to their images. The platform has also improved its video recording function, meaning users can just tap to start and finish a recording, rather than having to hold the record button down for the entire recording.
Whistleblower claims Snapchat fiddled user figures
A former Snapchat employee has come forward with alleged claims that the company has been faking its growth numbers to artificially boost its worth. TNW reports that Anthony Pompliano, who until recently headed the company’s growth team, has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Supreme Court after Snapchat fired him when he refused to go along with its fraudulent plans. Most of the details have been blacked out, but a copy of the lawsuit is available on Scribd.
Uber and Snapchat team up for more personalised rides
Uber users in the US will soon be able to unlock exclusive filters to use on Snapchat within the ride-hailing app as part of Uber's push to become more personalised. The feature is available in the feed of the Uber app after rides begin. Users can swipe between three different cards, "Your ETA," "Your Ride" and "Mystery." When users click on "Unlock filter," Snapchat will automatically open.
Snapchat launches new targeting tools
Snapchat is making upgrades to allow advertisers to improve targeting and increase the amount of time people spend with their ads. The upgrades include goal-based bidding, which enable brands to bid on engagement rather than simple ad views.
Snow claims 40-50M monthly users
Asian Snapchat clone Snow, which Facebook tried unsuccessfully to buy in 2016, now has between 40m and 50m monthly users. The app had 100 million downloads in December, with 40-50 percent of its user base active on the app each month. The one-year-old app is used predominantly in China, where Snapchat is banned.
Medium shuts down 50 jobs and two US offices
Medium founder and CEO Ev Williams has admitted the platform has not found the right solution to drive payment for quality content, in a statement released after the company cut 50 jobs. The publishing platform, which last year enjoyed its best year for key metrics, has struggled to find a way to monetise this success.
L'Oreal Paris wears Snapchat Spectacles to the Golden Globes
L’Oréal Paris, official makeup sponsor of the Golden Globe Awards, put on its Snapchat Spectacles to give viewers a sneak peek into the awards show. The $130 devices were worn by its celebrity makeup artist Sir John as well as two other L’Oréal Paris brand ambassadors, who used them to stream behind-the-scenes content, from celebrities getting ready backstage to the walk down the red carpet.