Paging Guy Incognito: Facebook to target ads without personal data
In a move to distance itself from past controversies, Facebook has reportedly developed an ad targeting tool called Special Ad Audience, based on people’s online behaviour rather than their data. This follows on from changes Facebook has already made to prevent targeting people based on categories like race, gender, age, family status and even household income. While this appears to be a positive move for consumers, advertisers are worried it will jeopardise the success of campaigns. As the tool is still in its infancy, it remains to be seen what impact the changes will have.

Snapper's Delight: Facebook's new Stories feature to streamline photos
Facebook is determined to make Stories work, adding a new option called Slideshow to the feature lineup. Put simply, it allows iOS users to bulk upload images to their Story (rather than the laborious one-by-one approach), which then play out through Story frames. Facebook reckons Stories will overtake feed sharing this year, however the means by which Stories success are measured requires this information to be taken with a fistful of salt.

Mo' money, mo' problems: Data chiefs question Facebook’s cryptocurrency plan
Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project is set to launch in 2020, however regulators have expressed concerns about its privacy risks and the lack of information currently available about the project. Data protection chiefs from all over the world are calling on the social media giant for answers; in a joint statement published on Monday by the U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office, data privacy commissioners from Australia, Albania, Burkina Faso, Canada, the EU, the UK and the US, shared their concerns and set out a list of questions that Facebook is expected to address. Facebook claims it won’t have access to personal financial information gathered for its cryptocurrency but there are still a lot of gaps that need to be filled to satisfy its interrogators.

Fire and forget: Instagram scheduling added to Facebook Creator Studio
Great news for frustrated social media marketers – Instagram and IGTV scheduling is now available via Facebook's Creator Studio app. Previously, scheduling has only been possible via third parties, and the ‘gram’s API restrictions have limited the options available. The new tool has been rolling out to users over the past month, so if you don't have it yet, you likely will soon.

All the trust money can buy: Facebook to pay for “trustworthy news”
Facebook are soon to launch a news section, and with the spectre of fake information hanging over them they are apparently prepared to drop serious dollars for reputable information. The Wall Street Journal reports that the social media giant is willing to pay annual licensing fees of as much as $3 million for the rights to headlines and article previews from sources like ABC News, Bloomberg, the Washington Post and Dow Jones to help with credibility

Down Under Challenge: TikTok to launch Australian office
The Chinese-owned video-sharing app has set its sights on Australia, with plans to open a local office by the end of 2019. Brand activity on the app has been on the rise in Australia, with influencer collaborations and campaigns like the #Cricketmania challenge for the ICC World Cup driving up the user base, leading the company to declare that our country is a key market.

A challenger appears: Facebook tests subscription model for Watch
Facebook is entering the streaming wars by testing subscriptions to its long-form video platform in the US. The slate of initial publishing partners includes BritBoxTV, MotorTrend and Tastemade Plus. Facebook is remaining shtum on the specifics, however Tastemade CEO Larry Fitzgerald spilled some beans, describing Watch’s offering as providing “similar economics” to other platforms such as Apple which takes around 30% of every monthly Tastemade Plus subscription. A spokesperson for MotorTrend said they are pricing their Facebook Watch offering at $4.99 a month.

Bargain basement: Verizon sells Tumblr
Tumblr has changed hands yet again, two years after it was acquired by Verizon in their $4.48bn purchase of Yahoo. The microblogging site was snapped up by web services company Automattic, who also operate Wordpress.com. While the sale price is unknown, speculation puts it at under $3m, a long fall in value from Yahoo's $1.1bn purchase of it in 2013. While Tumblr has maintained popularity with its user base, last year's decision to ban adult content from the site wounded its reputation online.

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Post written by Jonathon Valenzuela with additional content by Lauren Underwood