By Rodrigo Bonnilla, Isobel Trimble, Iggy Loh
YouTube seeks to combat “fake news” with an unexpected strategy
During a panel event at last week’s SXSW, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki announced that YouTube will begin displaying so-called “information cues” below conspiracy theory-related videos. These “information cues” will contain links to third-party fact-based sources such as Wikipedia.
These “information cues” could help end the debate once and for all for many “harmless” conspiracy theories such as the Apollo moon-landing hoax, but more importantly, protect the public from much more damaging ones. For example, just last month, a conspiracy video went viral after suggesting that a supposed school shooting survivor in Parkland, Florida was actually played by an actor.
Though YouTube will not ban the upload of conspiracy-related videos, this new addition aims to provide users with more information for them to come to their own conclusions. As Wojcicki noted during the panel, YouTube aims to deliver the “right information” even though the platform is not a news organization.
Facebook steps up the battle against YouTube with more music licensing deals
Over the past few months, Facebook have been confirming numerous licensing agreements with music publishers and record labels. Resulting in allowing users to post songs or content without the headache of their content being removed from Facebook, Instagram and Oculus due to rights discrepancies. The latest deals being with Sacem, Socan and Wixen Music Publishing.
With music being increasingly consumed online over the past decade, take music video powerhouse Vevo for example; who manage to attract almost half of YouTube’s visitors, equating in billions of views. This presents a clear opportunity for challengers in the online music space. Deals with social media companies are opening a new revenue stream for an industry that’s had a hard time adjusting to the digital age, so it’s a win win for both parties.
User-generated content is of course a valuable currency for platform, brands and products it may or may not inadvertently promote, and for the user’s own experience and gratification. When looking at the music industry specifically, the online consumer has sizeable impetus in defining musical culture and its future.
Facebook’s Express WiFi is now available in developing countries.
Facebook has created an app in Google Play that allows people in developing countries to pay to access WiFi. This Express WiFi app offers users a fuss-free and secure way to purchase affordable data package with higher-speed bandwidth and locate hotspots in the area more easily. In the past, users are required to either open their mobile web browser or download a local telecom app, which would require them to adjust their mobile settings. It’s readily available on the Google Playstore.
Facebook’s effort to bring WiFi to underserved regions in developing countries is to expand its offerings beyond developed markets that are already saturated. It is currently only available in Indonesia and Kenya but they are working to make it more accessible to other developing countries.
It’s definitely an investment for Facebook in the long run as they recruit more users on their platform by getting them first to be connected online.