Tuesday Tune-Up #394


$5 billion? Fine. Facebook penalised for data skulduggery
As the dust from the Cambridge Analytica scandal continues to settle, Facebook has been hit with a $5 billion dollar fine courtesy of the US Federal Trade Commission. This eye-watering amount is the largest penalty ever levied against a tech company, however the fact that Facebook pulled in $15 billion of revenue in the first three months of 2019 alone means it’s more of a financial slap on the wrist for them. The company has also been ordered to reappraise the manner in which it handles user data, but will remain free to share data with third parties, driving critics to say the sanctions have not gone far enough.

Cash Rules Everything Around (Social) Me(dia)
Facebook has fired another salvo in the battle for exclusive content creators, unveiling plans to help them better monetise their efforts. These include paid groups, ad placement options, and packs of Stars that viewers can buy and send as tips during live streams, augmenting their current offerings like Fan Subscriptions – a $4.99-a-month digital tip jar that gets fans exclusive content. They’ve also refreshed their back end tools like Brand Collabs Manager and Creator Studio to make page management easier.

Get The Monetisation Options, Dollar Dollar Bill Y’All
It’s not just Facebook courting content creators this week, as YouTube announced a wave of new direct monetisation features. We’re talking more subscription options, additional merchandise partners, and a new way to receive tips during live streams, all in the service of breaking the platform’s reliance on straightforward advertising deals.

Knowing is half the battle against poorly targeted ads
Tired of wondering why you’re being served ads for seemingly random products? Facebook is boosting ad targeting transparency with some platform changes. Now you’ll be shown the specific interests and categories marketers are using to reach you, giving better reasoning than just demographic segments or internet history. Users will also be seeing a two part tab – one part detailing advertisers who uploaded a list with a user’s information, and advertised to it, the other showing a list of businesses who uploaded and shared a list with a user’s information. It’ll also highlight the ways you can adjust your ad experience.

Google – gluttons for social platform punishment?
Remember Google Wave? How about Google+? Proving they have either short memories or an abundance of confidence, Google announced an invitation-only test of a social networking app which aims to bring people together in the real world. Called Shoelace, it offers users suggestions on nearby events they might be interested in, giving them reasons to meet up with other Shoelacers (?) IRL. The NY-only test comes as parent company Alphabet works to diversify its revenue beyond digital advertising.

Old Twitter is dead. Long live new Twitter
Twitter’s desktop facelift began rolling out today, with the redesign heavily inspired by its mobile app. New features include Bookmarks, which allows you to save content without actually liking it; a revamped Direct Message experience; new Dark Mode options; and a new site layout that brings in the side menu bar familiar to phone users. Unlike previous refreshes this new design will be mandatory, which certainly won’t generate animosity from users who are resistant to change.

This edition of the Tune-Up was brought to you by Jonathon Valenzuela