WhatsApp Hopes Changes Will Reduce Virality and Violence

One day after Facebook said it would remove misinformation that could provoke violence, the company announced tweaks to WhatsApp, saying it would limit the number of groups to which a message could be forwarded on that platform. This specific move — which was requested by the Indian government — came after fake news widely forwarded via WhatsApp led to mob violence and the death of 20 people wrongly suspected of child kidnapping. WhatsApp has over 200 million monthly active users in India. Continue reading WhatsApp Hopes Changes Will Reduce Virality and Violence

Facebook Introduces New Strategies to Combat Fake News

After months of testing, Facebook is launching a “related articles” feature, in another effort to combat fake news without actually taking down those posts. Instead, U.S. users will see links to informative articles on the same topic appended to stories spreading misinformation. The goal is to convince users to hesitate before sharing false news stories, although it does not prevent them from doing so. Facebook is also paying Snopes.com and other fact-checking sites to tag completely false stories as being “disputed.” Continue reading Facebook Introduces New Strategies to Combat Fake News

Facebook Journalism Project Aims to Improve Ties with Media

Facebook’s Journalism Project is creating stronger connections to media companies, the result of the company’s unwelcomed limelight regarding fake news, and founder Mark Zuckerberg’s reluctant admission that the company is, at least in part, a media company. Facebook is also reaching out to support local news and making more efforts to educate users about hoaxes. Facebook plans to offer training for journalists and keep media updated on its efforts. This is the latest chapter in a historically complicated relationship. Continue reading Facebook Journalism Project Aims to Improve Ties with Media

Facebook’s Zuckerberg Lists Options for Managing Fake News

After weeks of accusation that fake news on Facebook, much of it favorable to Donald Trump, impacted the election, Facebook chairman/chief executive Mark Zuckerberg published a post describing ways the social media company might handle the issue. Among the potential steps are third-party verifications, improved automated detection tools and simpler ways for an ordinary user to flag suspicious content. Zuckerberg originally stated that the idea Facebook influenced the election was “a pretty crazy idea.” Continue reading Facebook’s Zuckerberg Lists Options for Managing Fake News

MIT Media Lab Director Ito Explores Transformative Research

Joichi “Joi” Ito, director of the MIT Media Lab, explored how radical new approaches to science and technology can transform society in his SIGGRAPH 2015 keynote presentation. Ito’s remarks addressed what he and his colleagues at the Media Lab view as a fundamental shift in the way we need to work, collaborate, think, imagine and create. He calls it the “Creativity Compass” and unites science, art, design and engineering. Several of the Media Lab’s futuristic projects were also featured. Continue reading MIT Media Lab Director Ito Explores Transformative Research

Twitter Homepage Redesign Intends to Increase Visitor Count

In an effort to increase the number of visitors to its site, Twitter has redesigned its homepage, allowing visitors to view content they would otherwise not have access to unless they were logged in. With about 200 million monthly visitors, Twitter wants to improve user engagement by adding a section to its homepage where users can view the most trending tweets or viral content as sorted into different categories such as “Business News,” or “TV Shows & Stars.” Continue reading Twitter Homepage Redesign Intends to Increase Visitor Count

Movie Studios to Advertise via Facebook’s New Video Ad Model

We recently reported that Facebook is getting ready to launch autoplay video ads, which will appear in users’ news feeds two to three times per day. The social giant has a clever plan to help ensure the ads are worth watching and possibly minimize the inevitable backlash of such a move. Facebook has developed a prescreening process it hopes will lead to users actually enjoying the video ads and possibly sharing them with friends. The first ads to use the platform are expected to come from Hollywood movie studios. Continue reading Movie Studios to Advertise via Facebook’s New Video Ad Model

Live Broadcasting Mobile App Possible Option for Google Glass

Journalist and ETCentric community member Adrian Pennington forwarded us some interesting news about a possible live broadcasting option for Google Glass. Users of the popular app “Hang w/” can stream live video clips from iOS devices to the Hang w/ site and share the content with friends via Facebook. While the clips are currently limited to streams of three, six, or nine minutes — the technology could possibly be used in the future by Google Glass users for longer broadcasts. Continue reading Live Broadcasting Mobile App Possible Option for Google Glass

Social Media and Digital Marketing Show Box Office Impact

Digital marketing had a significant presence in 2013, when some of the biggest viral campaigns were rolled out and more money was flooding into Hollywood’s digital marketing budgets. Intent, interest and awareness levels among consumers could be accurately measured by sites such as Google, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, specifically allowing for box office predictions — often predictions of great accuracy — in the early stages before films were released. Continue reading Social Media and Digital Marketing Show Box Office Impact

Image-Sharing Imgur Wants to Provide a TV-Like Experience

Image-sharing site Imgur wants to create a more TV-like experience. Creator Alan Schaaf believes the site can step in where TV leaves off to provide mindless (in a good way), easy-to-consume entertainment. The site’s biggest appeal is its ease of image uploading, sharing and commenting. Consuming is just as easy to do, and Schaaf thinks it’s equally as enjoyable as TV. Imgur launched a chat feature last month and is shifting from image host to a social community and public destination. Continue reading Image-Sharing Imgur Wants to Provide a TV-Like Experience

Upworthy.com Partners with Gates Foundation on Global Issues

News aggregator Upworthy is rapidly becoming a viral hit machine for progressive online content. Its staff searches for “stuff that matters,” composes multiple related headlines to test the waters, and selects the top performers, which it then promotes via social media. The simple model is reaping impressive results, surpassing 50 million unique visitors in October. Now the company is launching a global health and poverty section backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Continue reading Upworthy.com Partners with Gates Foundation on Global Issues

Facebook Leads Social Platforms in Driving Referral Traffic

According to Facebook, referral traffic from the social network to news and publishing sites has increased by more than 170 percent in a year’s time. This number is just an average, for the percentage is greater for certain sites. Partners including Time, BuzzFeed and BleacherReport have experienced significant increases. Numbers released by social Web tracker SimpleReach indicate that Facebook drives more traffic than any other social platform. Continue reading Facebook Leads Social Platforms in Driving Referral Traffic

Yahoo Announces $1.1 Billion Acquisition Plan for Tumblr

Yahoo announced early this morning that it has agreed to pay $1.1 billion for Tumblr, the six-year-old blogging site that touts more than 100 million users, but little in the form of revenue. While Tumblr users have already expressed concerns that the site could end up cluttered with ads, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer promises “not to screw it up.” The deal marks the largest social acquisition in years, surpassing last year’s $1 billion purchase of Instagram by Facebook. Continue reading Yahoo Announces $1.1 Billion Acquisition Plan for Tumblr