Facebook, TikTok, Fan Subscriptions, More: Thursday ResearchBuzz, February 28, 2019


BetaNews: Facebook to launch its Clear History tool later this year — to the joy of privacy advocates and the pain of advertisers. “Facebook is no stranger to privacy-related controversy, and to try to counter some of this the social network announced in the middle of last year that it planned to give users a ‘clear history’ feature. Although first talked about in May, no progress has been visible on this front, but Facebook’s CFO, David Wehner, has now said that the feature will be launching later this year.” I’ll believe it when I see it.

CNET: TikTok gaining on Facebook with 1 billion downloads, according to reports. “If you haven’t heard of TikTok, you’re now about a billion steps behind. The social video app, which lets users record themselves lip-synching to popular music videos and share the clips with friends, has just surpassed 1 billion downloads on iOS and Android.”

TechCrunch: Facebook wants up to 30% of fan subscriptions vs Patreon’s 5%. “Facebook will drive a hard bargain with influencers and artists judging by the terms of service for the social network’s Patreon-like Fan Subscriptions feature that lets people pay a monthly fee for access to a creator’s exclusive content. The policy document attained by TechCrunch shows Facebook plans to take up to a 30 percent cut of subscription revenue minus fees, compared to 5 percent by Patreon, 30 percent by YouTube, which covers fees and 50 percent by Twitch.” OF COURSE IT DOES.


Social Media Examiner: How to Write Instagram Captions That Improve Engagement. “Do you want to improve your Instagram post engagement? Wondering how to write strong Instagram captions that move people to action? In this article, you’ll discover how to create appealing Instagram captions that clearly communicate your marketing messages and encourage people to act.”


Washington Post: ‘Seeded in social media’: Jailed Philippine journalist says Facebook is partly responsible for her predicament. “The arrest this month of Philippine journalist Maria Ressa, which experts say is a retaliatory move for exposing violence-inciting fake accounts on Facebook linked to President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration, raises the question of the company’s culpability for her dangerous predicament.”

Art Critique: The Art of Repair. “In a world already saturated with commodities, many of which are designed to be quickly disposed of, is it necessary for artists to make new things? I’m interested in artists like [Mierle] Ukeles, who rather than creating more objects, are instead turning to what already exists—particularly that which has been designated disgusting, irredeemable or beyond our noticing—to create artworks based in careful study, maintenance and critical repair.”

CNN: Anti-vaccination conspiracy theories thrive on Amazon. “Amid a growing measles outbreak in the United States, the role of powerful tech companies like YouTube and Facebook in spreading vaccine misinformation is under heavy scrutiny. But there is another massive platform offering spurious anti-vaccination content to people seeking information, a review by CNN Business reveals: Amazon, the world’s largest online marketplace.”


The Hindu: Retiree loses ₹1 lakh to Google Maps loophole. “A 60-year-old retired government servant in Thane has become the latest victim of scamsters who exploit a loophole on Google Maps to acquire bank details of people. The Kapurbawdi police said the woman, who stays with her family at Majiwada, found on Monday that ₹1 lakh was debited from her account after she dialled a number she found on Google for Axis Bank’s Fort branch.” This is happening way too much to folks in India. ₹1 lakh is a little over $1400 USD.

Motherboard: Police in Canada Are Tracking People’s ‘Negative’ Behavior In a ‘Risk’ Database. “Police, social services, and health workers in Canada are using shared databases to track the behaviour of vulnerable people—including minors and people experiencing homelessness—with little oversight and often without consent. Documents obtained by Motherboard from Ontario’s Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS) through an access to information request show that at least two provinces—Ontario and Saskatchewan—maintain a ‘Risk-driven Tracking Database’ that is used to amass highly sensitive information about people’s lives. ”


Reuters: Google Translate mostly accurate in test with patient instructions. “In hospitals that serve multicultural areas, doctors are increasingly looking for ways to translate their discharge instructions into languages they don’t speak. A new study finds that Google Translate may be up to the job – with some caveats.”

Ars Technica: Alphabet subsidiary trained AI to predict wind output 36 hours in advance. “Alphabet subsidiary DeepMind (it was acquired by Alphabet in 2014) has been developing artificial-intelligence programs since 2010 to solve complex problems. One of DeepMind’s latest projects, according to a recent Google post, has centered around the predictability of wind power.” Good morning, Internet…

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