Instagram launches Threads, a Close Friends chat app with auto-status

What if Instagram could automatically tell your Close Friends you’re 🏠 (home), 🤓 (working), đźš— (on the move), or 🛋️ (chilling and might want to hang out)? That’s the idea behind Instagram’s new companion app Threads, a Close Friends-only messaging experience that opens to the camera with shortcuts for instantly sending specific people photos and […]

Facebook ends friend data access for Microsoft and Sony, the last 2 of its legacy partners, under FTC deal

One more consequence of the FTC’s investigation of Facebook, which culminated in a record $5 billion settlement announced today: it’s finally tightening another string in its privacy policy by cutting off access to friend data for Microsoft and Sony, the company announced today. It described having allowed them access up to now as “our mistake” […]

Facebook settles with FTC: $5 billion and new privacy guarantees

Following more than a year of speculation since the Federal Trade Commission said it was investigating Facebook over privacy lapses, the regulator has officially announced the terms of its settlement with the beleaguered social network: $5 billion (as previously rumored) and improved privacy oversight within the company. The order-mandated privacy program covers Facebook-owned WhatsApp and […]

Friend portability is the must-have Facebook regulation

Choice for consumers compels fair treatment by corporations. When people can easily move to a competitor, it creates a natural market dynamic coercing a business to act right. When we can’t, other regulations just leave us trapped with a pig in a fresh coat of lipstick. That’s why as the FTC considers how many billions […]

Facebook talked privacy, Google actually built it

Mark Zuckerberg: “The future is private”. Sundar Pichai: ~The present is private~. While both CEO’s made protecting user data a central theme of their conference keynotes this month, Facebook’s product updates were mostly vague vaporware while Google’s were either ready to ship or ready to demo. The contrast highlights the divergence in strategy between the […]

Facebook pivots to what it wishes it was

In Facebook’s dreams, it’s a clean and private place. People spend their time having thoughtful discussions in “meaningful” Groups, planning offline meetups with Events, or laughing together in a Facebook Watch party. In reality, Facebook is a cluttered mess of features that seem to constantly leak user data. People waste their time viewing inane News […]

Facebook reserves $3B for FTC fine, but keeps growing with 2.38B users in Q1

A massive penalty hangs over Facebook’s head, but it otherwise had a very strong Q1 earnings report. Facebook reached 2.38 billion monthly users, up 2.5 percent from 2.32 billion in Q4 2018 when it grew 2.2 percent, and it now has 1.56 billion daily active users, up 2.63 percent from 1.52 billion last quarter when […]

New privacy assistant Jumbo fixes your Facebook & Twitter settings

Jumbo could be a nightmare for the tech giants, but a savior for the victims of their shady privacy practices. Jumbo saves you hours as well as embarrassment by automatically adjusting 30 Facebook privacy settings to give you more protection, and by deleting your old tweets after saving them to your phone. It can even […]

Mark Zuckerberg actually calls for regulation of content, elections, privacy

It’s been a busy day for Facebook exec op-eds. Earlier this morning, Sheryl Sandberg broke the site’s silence around the Christchurch massacre, and now Mark Zuckerberg is calling on governments and other bodies to increase regulation around the sorts of data Facebook traffics in. He’s hoping to get out in front of heavy-handed regulation and […]

Zuckerberg wants messages to auto-expire to make Facebook a “living room”

On feed-based “broader social networks, where people can accumulate friends or followers until the services feel more public . . . it feels more like a town square than a more intimate space like a living room” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained in a blog post today. With messaging, groups, and ephemeral stories as the […]