Snapchat falls again as yet another celebrity shames it on social
Just days after users called out the tasteless Snapchat ad from mobile video game 'Would You Rather', which made light of the 2009 domestic violence case involving Rihanna, the star took to Instagram Stories (Snapchat's main competitor) to release an official statement against the platform for allowing such an ad to be published. While the ad was purchased via Snapchat's self-service advertising platform, and not a direct creation of the platform, steps are supposed to be in place to review all ads before release and the company has cited an internal error for allowing the mistake. Just an hour after Rhianna's statement was released, Snap's share price fell 4.9 percent. This comes just weeks after Kylie Jenner showed similar smack-talking power, telling her fans "Snapchat is dead" and almost making that a reality on Wall Street.
Instagram quietly testing new 'quote-Tweet' style feature
The brunch-enamoured social platform is testing a new Stories feature that will allow users to re-post other users' IG content. According to TechCrunch journo Josh Constine, the way it works is "you pick any public, permanent Instagram post and tap a button to embed it in your story. You can tap to change the design to highlight or downplay the post’s author, move and resize it within your story post, and add commentary or imagery using Instagram’s creative tools."
It's Instagram's official in-built version of the quote-Tweet! But, like the Twitter function, will the ability to properly re-share encourage a culture of trolling and shit-talking - or will it force a better culture of source-referencing original content? Watch this space for test results.
Facebook suspends Cambridge Analytica over massive data breach
Facebook has suspended the account of the political data firm with ties to the 2016 Trump campaign after violating the platform's policies in a massive data breach.
The data was collected through the 'thisisyourdigitallife' app, which paid hundreds of thousands of test users to consent to sharing their personal data to be used for academic research programs. However, the app also scraped information of participant's Facebook friends - without consent - and then shared the data with Cambridge Analytica.
Both parties claimed the data was destroyed at Facebook's request back in 2015, but turns out that's a yuuuge bit of fake news. The predatory misuse of personal information has forced Facebook to reconsider how its user data is protected. To be continued...
Facebook opens Instant Games to all developers
In cheerier Facebook-related news, following a successful two year trial period, the platform has announced it will open up Instant Games (which lets developers build mobile-friendly games using HTML5 for Facebook and Messenger) to all developers.
Facebook has also rolled out a set of new features including the launch of the ads API to help devs grow, measure and monetise the games they create for the network. In-app purchases are still being tested but, in the words of noted 20th Century sage Wayne Campbell: game on.
Twitter increases its focus on breaking news
Currently being tested as an extension to its 'Happening Now' feature, Twitter is testing algorithmically curated timelines for big news to help users keep up-to-speed with breaking updates. During major news events, Twitter will curate tweets from media outlets and users and promote them within a separate thread accessible via a module at the top of the home screen.
The test - which started last Wednesday with tweets about the congressional special election in Pennsylvania, the death of Stephen Hawking and more - is currently taking place with a small group of users in the US. If successful, it could eventually include multiple timelines for the same news event, including recaps and specialist comment.