Facebook overhauls messaging as it pivots to privacy
Robie de Guzman • May 1, 2019 • 1415
Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg has revealed a series of changes to the firm’s portfolio of social platforms, including Instagram and Whatsapp.
The new designs and features for its apps are a direct response to widespread criticism of how the firm protects user data.
Zuckerberg said the company plans to put privacy first.
He acknowledged that there was much to do to rebuild trust.
In a speech to developers, Zuckerberg described the firm’s new focus on privacy as “a major shift” in how the company is run.
“As the world gets bigger and more connected, we need that sense of intimacy more than ever, so that’s why I believe that the future is private. This is the next chapter for our services,” Zuckerberg said.
Some of the more visible changes to those who use the firm’s products will include:
Messages sent via messenger will be end-to-end encrypted by default, meaning Facebook itself won’t see the contents, and the platform will be fully integrated with Whatsapp.
Instagram is trialing a “private like counts” feature which would hide the “likes” a post attracts from viewers, but not the account owner.
A whatsapp secure payment service trialled in India is set to be rolled out to other countries later this year.
“It’s going to take time, I’m sure we are going to keep unearthing old issues for a while, so it may feel like we are not making progress at first but I think that we have shown time and time again as a company that we can do what it takes to evolve and build the products that people want,” Zuckerberg said.
Other Facebook executives introduced changes within the Messenger and Instagram apps aimed at helping businesses connect with customers, including appointment booking and enhanced shopping features, as well as a tool to lure customers into direct conversations with companies via ads. (REUTERS)
Facebook Inc. said on Tuesday (June 17) it would affix labels to political ads shared by users on their own feeds, closing what critics have said for years was a glaring loophole in the company’s election transparency measures.
The world’s biggest social network has attached a “paid for by” disclaimer to political ads since 2018, after facing a backlash for failing to stop Russia from using its platforms to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
But the label disappeared once people shared the ads to their own feeds, which critics said undermined its utility and allowed misinformation to continue spreading unchecked.
Facebook introduced a similar labelling approach for state news media earlier this month, but that label also sometimes drops off with sharing and does not appear when users post their own links to those outlets.
The company has been facing demands to do more to combat false viral information before the Nov. 3 presidential election, including by presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, who called Facebooks’s chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg on June 11 to reverse his decision to exempt political ads from fact-checking.
Zuckerberg has touted transparency tools in response, arguing that voters should be able to examine statements from would-be political leaders unimpeded.
In a USA Today op-ed on Tuesday, he pledged to display a Voting Information Center at the top of U.S. users’ news feeds. He also said the company would aim to help 4 million people register to vote, double its goal for 2016. (Reuters)
Ten months after the death of her husband, a wife still received a heart-warming surprise from him for their 25th wedding anniversary.
Aly Mendoza received an email from her late father regarding instructions for an anniversary surprise. The email also contained a letter for her mother.
“Apparently before my dad passed away 10 months ago, he planned everything, he even contacted and paid for a florist to deliver flowers to my mom for the coming years on every special occasion, my mom’s birthday (August 19,) Valentine’s Day, and their anniversary (June 10),” she wrote in her post.
“Even if they’re not physically together, even though he’s no longer here, he was still able to surprise and make my mom happy. Not even death could stop my dad from loving my mom and showing her how much she meant to him,” she added.
Aly said her dad picked the flowers for the bouquet: white and pink.
“White roses are special to my parents because when my dad was courting her, my mom had two suitors. She told herself that whoever gives her white roses was ‘the one and obviously it was my dad who gave her white roses,” Aly said.
Aly felt the joy her mom felt when she saw the surprise. She shared how her parent’s love endures—and not even death could make them part. AAC
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