Tag Archive: Social



Although Facebook has been blocked in China for over a decade, the social media giant is on a hunt for an office space in Shanghai that it would use to make hardware.

Citing sources, The New York Times reported on Wednesday that the office could also help Facebook with its broader ambitions in China.

Facebook’s plans are tentative and would depend on approval from the Chinese government.

“We have long said that we are interested in China and are spending time understanding and learning more about the country in different ways,” a Facebook spokeswoman said.

Facebook’s new hardware initiatives would require plugging into China’s electronics supply chain, which helps build some of the world’s most popular gadgets like Apple’s iPhone.

The office would first be used by the employees of Facebook’s hardware effort called Building 8.

In 2015, Facebook obtained a license to open an office in Beijing but the permit lasted only three months and it could not establish a space in that time.

Oculus, the virtual reality company Facebook bought three years ago, already has an office in Shanghai.

At the moment, Facebook uses third parties and its own employees to sell ads in China.

Facebook employees run special security software on devices when they travel in China and do not have access to secretive or critical business information – all due to cyber-security concerns.

China is a large market for Facebook because it has the world’s largest population of online users.

Earlier this year, Facebook released a Chinese version of its Moments photo-managing app through a small local company.

Facebook has been selling advertisements to the Chinese companies hoping to reach the rest of the world. The Chinese ad sales, supported from its office in Hong Kong, are some of the largest in Asia, the report added.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)

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Facebook is gearing up to make money from WhatsApp, the messaging service used by more than a billion people every day

WhatsApp will be testing new features to make it easier for people to communicate with businesses they want to reach on WhatsApp, the messaging service said in a blog post.

“We’re building and testing new tools via a free WhatsApp Business app for small companies and an enterprise solution for bigger companies operating at a large scale with a global base of customers, like airlines, e-commerce sites, and banks,” according to the blog post.

WhatsApp has already started a pilot program that would feature a green badge next to a business contact, indicating that the business was verified by the messaging service.

“We do intend on charging businesses in the future,” Chief Operating Officer Matt Idema told the Wall Street Journal in an interview.

Reuters had reported in March that a potential revenue source for WhatsApp was to charge businesses that want to contact customers, citing company documents.

Started in 2009, WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook for an eye-popping $22 billion in 2014. While WhatsApp had little revenue at the time of the deal, the purchase price was slightly more than the market value of Sony Corp.

Facebook has not focused on WhatsApp so far. The social network had started showing ads inside its Messenger app in July to further monetise the chat service.

Idema declined to describe the paid features or say when they would make their debut, according to the WSJ report. “We don’t have the details of monetisation figured out,” he told the Journal.

” We’ll be listening carefully to feedback during our test phase and keeping people informed as we make these tools more widely available,” WhatsApp said in the blog post.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Facebook inflates the number of people who can see the advertisements on its platform, a Pivotal Research Group analyst said in a note.

Facebook’s Ads Manager claims a potential reach of 41 million 18- to 24-year olds and 60 million 25- to 34-year olds in the United States, whereas US census data shows that last year there were a total of 31 million people between the ages of 18 and 24, and 45 million in the 25-34 age group, the analyst said.

“While Facebook’s measurement issues won’t necessarily deter advertisers from spending money with Facebook, they will help traditional TV sellers justify existing budget shares and could restrain Facebook’s growth in video ad sales on the margins,” said research analyst Brian Wieser, who maintains a ‘sell’ rating on the stock with a price target of $140 for year-end 2017.

Facebook said, “they (reach estimates) are designed to estimate how many people in a given area are eligible to see an ad a business might run. They are not designed to match population or census estimates.”

The estimations are based on several factors such as user behavior, user demographics and location data from devices, Facebook said in a statement, in response to the research note.

In September last year, Facebook told advertisers that the average time users spent viewing online ads was artificially inflated, because it was only counting videos that were watched for at least three seconds, its benchmark for a “view.”

In November 2016, Facebook launched a new blog on its website called Metrics FYI, to share updates and corrections for its data.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Instagram, one of the only Facebook-owned services that hasn’t yet reached one billion active users, said on Wednesday people are spending more time than ever on Instagram app — nearly half an hour. The reason: Stories, a Snapchat-inspired feature which the company introduced exactly one year ago. More than 250 million people use Instagram Stories every day, the company said.

The photo sharing network said people under the age of 25 spend more than 32 minutes a day on its app each day. Rest everyone spends 24 minutes exploring the app, on an average. The company didn’t breakdown how much time people are spending on Stories, a feature that lets people share remarkable moments from their day in the form of videos or images that disappear on their own in 24 hours.

Speaking of which, Instagram said its take on Stories is attracting businesses as well. Over 50 percent of businesses on Instagram produced an Instagram Story last month, the company said. One of five such stories from businesses elicited a direct message from customer.

Since launching Instagram Stories last year, the Facebook-owned app has also added a range of businesses-focused features to make stories more engaging. Play with time, for instance lets businesses run time-sensitive alerts (think of shopping deals).

Instagram on Wednesday also shared some country-focused data. Stories by actresses Sonam Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Parineeti Chopra, and Shraddha Kapoor have been most viewed by Indians.

It’s unclear exactly how popular Instagram is in India – Facebook hasn’t shared any data. Gadgets 360 spoke with marketing research firm Sensor Tower, which noted that between May 2016 and May 2017, Instagram was installed about 34 million times during the same time across the App Store and Google Play, a figure which amounts to about 8.4 percent of its worldwide downloads.

In comparison, Snapchat was downloaded approximately 10.6 million times on the Indian App Store and Google Play, the firm told us. This number amounts to about 3.6 percent of its worldwide downloads. Sensor Tower added, “In May 2017 alone, Instagram had about 3.8 million downloads in India on the two stores, a 137.5 percent year-over-year growth from last May’s 1.6 million.”

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging platforms in the world and Windows Phone is one of the least popular platforms supported by the app. However, the latest version 2.17.234 update of the beta app for the platform has hinted at some crucial changes that are coming to WhatsApp very soon. The Facebook-owned app will reportedly get some business-friendly features that will allow businesses and consumers to interact with each other via the platform.

The latest update of WhatsApp for Windows Phone disallows users to add a “check mark” symbol in front of their name in the app, as pointed out in a report by MSPoweruser. While on surface it might not appear to be a big deal, it is being speculated to have been done in order to avoid confusion regarding the authenticity of the businesses in the future.

As per a report by WABeta Info, which has a history of providing credible information regarding upcoming WhatsApp updates, WhatsApp will be verifying business accounts with a check mark, much like the one on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, to provide them certain amount of authenticity while dealing with their customers.

WhatsApp has reportedly been planning to introduce a separate app for businesses, called WhatsApp Small and Medium Business, which will be required to be installed by the businesses to contact their customers. Notably, the report suggests that users will not be required to install a separate app and will receive communication from businesses on their regular app. However, they will get the option to prevent communication selectively from certain businesses or all businesses within the app.

As per WABetaInfo, the communication between businesses and the consumers will further be supported with the support for “Structured Messages” that contain text, image, action items, and the translation of the message. There are said to be certain restrictions on the businesses regarding length and nature of their name and even unverified business can use the app to reach its customers. Additionally, businesses will get a feature called “Public Announcement” that will allow them to pass on official announcements to their users.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


A Delhi court on Monday summoned as accused app-based cab service providers, including Ola and Uber, for allegedly violating permit rules.

Metropolitan Magistrate Abhilash Malhotra summoned ANI Technologies which runs Ola, Uber India Systems and Serendipity Infolabs which runs ‘Taxi For Sure’ and directed their authorised representatives to appear before it on December 11.

The court’s order came while allowing the plea of NGO, Nyayabhoomi, seeking prosecution of the three firms under various provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act.

The court had earlier recorded pre-summoning evidence advanced by the NGO through its secretary Rakesh Agarwal, in support of the complaint, which also sought summoning of the three firms as accused.

The NGO, which filed the complaint throught advocate Sumit Kumar Modi, also sought recovery of a whopping Rs. 91,000 crores from cab service providers for allegedly not adhering to rules relating to fares and not operating by meters.

The NGO has also sought recovery of an additional penalty of Rs. 26,000 crores from the firms and jail term for them.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


After a US-based digital security company alerted Twitter about a massive botnet campaign promising online sex to its users, the micro-blogging website has removed nearly 90,000 such fake accounts.

Dubbed as ‘SIREN’, the fake botnet campaign was discovered by ZeroFOX, a Baltimore-based security firm specialising in social-media threat detection.

“To our knowledge, the botnet is one of the largest malicious campaigns ever recorded on a social network,” ZeroFOX wrote in a blog post.

ZeroFOX’s computer vision and natural language processing algorithms identified over 8,500,000 tweets from close to 90,000 accounts related to the ‘SIREN’ campaign.

“‘SIREN’ has been incredibly successful, netting over 30,000,000 clicks from its victims. This data can be gleaned because the botnet uses trackable, Google shortened URLs,” ZeroFOX added.

ZeroFOX last week reported the findings to both the Twitter and Google security teams, who promptly removed the offending accounts and links, comprehensively remediating the ‘SIREN’ botnet.

All of the nearly 90,000 accounts had a suggestive photo of a woman as a profile picture and a female name as the display name.

The accounts either engaged directly with a target by quoting one of their tweets or attracting targets to the payload visible on their profile bio or pinned tweet.

The tweets themselves generally contained canned, sexually-explicit text, often in broken English, compelling the target to click, such as “you want to meet with me?” or “Push, don’t be shy” [sic].

Once a link is clicked, the user is issued a series of redirects.

The final redirect websites encouraged the user to sign up for subscription pornography, webcam or fake dating websites.

“These types of websites, although legal, are known to be scams. Many of the websites’ policies claim that the site owners operate most of the profiles,” the blog post said.

A large percentage of the bots were female names with nude or semi-nude pictures.

In terms of the ‘SIREN’ actors themselves, a large chunk of the Twitter accounts’ self-declared user languages were Russian.

“The poor English, Cyrillic text and sheer magnitude of the infrastructure is indicative that ‘SIREN’ is a group or actor that is technically proficient and probably located in the Eastern Block of Europe,” ZeroFOX said.

The botnet is named after the mythical Greek Sirens, who seduced wayward sailors with their singing and lured them to their doom.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Twitter, in its latest step to curb abusive behaviour on its platform, rolled out new features on Monday to help users disable notifications from accounts that they want to avoid.

The micro-blogging website said its “advanced filter settings” will now have options for users to mute notifications from accounts that they do not follow as well as from accounts that do not follow them.

Users can also filter lower-quality content from notifications such as content that appears to be automated and mute notifications related to certain words and phrases.

Twitter had said in March that it would introduce new filtering options for notifications to allow users to limit what they see from certain types of accounts, such as those that do not have a profile photo.

Twitter and rival Facebook have been facing a barrage of criticism for failing to tackle cyber-bullying, fake news and extremist propaganda on their platforms.

Last week, a US judge ruled that Twitter could move forward with a lawsuit that aims to free technology companies to speak more openly about surveillance requests they receive from the US government.

The US government had failed to show the kind of “clear and present danger” that could possibly justify restraints Twitter’s constitutional right to talk about surveillance requests, US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in Oakland, California, said in a written order.

“The government’s restrictions on Twitter’s speech are content-based prior restraints subject to the highest level of scrutiny under the First Amendment,” Rogers wrote.

The First Amendment to the US Constitution guarantees certain rights including freedom of speech.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


In the war of social media platforms, we have reached a point where it is becoming hard to distinguish which features are exclusive to any particular platform. Every platform is now borrowing the best features from its rivals, in an attempt to attract audiences. In what seems like a continuation of this trend, Facebook is reportedly working a feature that would enable select publishers to push curated content directly into a user’s News Feed.

The social media networking giant’s rumoured feature ‘Collections’ works similarly to the Snapchat Discover feature that displays content in an organised way from media partners, as per a report by Business Insider. The report adds that early partners have been told the content will be added to the user’s News Feed by Facebook, and therefore reach a much wider audience.

As of now, publishers have to either gather enough likes or pay the website through its sponsored post program in order for their content to turn up in a user’s News Feed. It will be interesting to see how this new feature from the company, if it does roll out eventually, is received by users considering the recent flak it received on accusations of spreading fake news. Facebook declined commenting about the feature when being contacted by Business Insider.

Last month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook has been working on fake news or misinformation issue for a quite some time now. He said that the problem at hand is complex both technically as well as philosophically. He went on to outline the steps that are already under-way to curb the distribution of fake news.

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


The US government said on Friday it was deeply concerned over Russia’s decision to block public access to networking site LinkedIn, saying it created a precedent that could be used to justify blocking other sites operating in Russia.

LinkedIn, which has its headquarters in the United States, is the first major social network to be blocked under a new law that requires firms holding Russian citizens’ data to store it on servers on Russian soil.

Internet services analysts say other tech firms, including Facebook and Twitter, could also find access blocked unless they move data onto Russian-based servers.

Maria Olson, spokeswoman at the US Embassy in Moscow, said Washington urged the Russian authorities to restore access immediately to LinkedIn, and said the restrictions harmed competition and the Russian people.
“The United States is deeply concerned by Russia’s decision to block access to the website LinkedIn,” Olson said in a statement sent to Reuters.

“This decision is the first of its kind and sets a troubling precedent that could be used to justify shutting down any website that contains Russian user data.”

On Friday, anyone attempting to access the LinkedIn website via Russian telecom operator MTS saw a message in Russian saying: “Access to the resource you requested is restricted.” Attempts to access the site via Vimpelcom, another major telecom operator, were also unsuccessful.
Russia’s government says the new requirements are designed to ensure personal data on Russian consumers is properly protected, something it says can only be done if the servers are inside Russian jurisdiction.

Critics say the new law is part of an attack on social networks in a country which has increasingly tightened control over the Internet. The Kremlin has denied it is practising online censorship.

In a message sent via email to its Russian users, LinkedIn said it regretted the decision to block access, and was seeking meetings with the telecom regulator. “We are considering all possible ways to resolve this situation,” said the message.

The firm has over 6 million registered users in Russia. Russian authorities started taking action after a court this month rejected an appeal lodged by LinkedIn against an earlier ruling that its site should be blocked.

Matthew Hammond, chief financial officer of London-listed Mail.ru, which runs some of Russia’s most popular Internet services, said there are likely to be further actions against non-compliant firms. “Will the Russia government enforce it more widely? I don’t know. It seems a reasonable assumption that it probably will,” Hammond told investors at the Morgan Stanley European Tech, Media and Telecom conference in Barcelona on Thursday.

 
Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)