Reminder: Other people’s lives are not fodder for your feeds

#PlaneBae You should cringe when you read that hashtag. Because it’s a reminder that people are being socially engineered by technology platforms to objectify and spy on each other for voyeuristic pleasure and profit. The short version of the story attached to the cringeworthy hashtag is this: Earlier this month an individual, called Rosey Blair, […]

Octi raises $7.5M to create augmented reality that understands human movement

The team at Octi says it’s building a crucial piece of the augmented reality puzzle — the ability to understand the human body and its movement. Co-founder and CEO Justin Fuisz told me that most existing AR technologies (including Apple’s ARKit) tend to be “plane-based” — in other words, while they can make something cool […]

Facebook under fresh political pressure as UK watchdog calls for “ethical pause” of ad ops

The UK’s privacy watchdog revealed yesterday that it intends to fine Facebook the maximum possible (£500k) under the country’s 1998 data protection regime for breaches related to the Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal. But that’s just the tip of the regulatory missiles now being directed at the platform and its ad-targeting methods — and indeed, at […]

Facebook is testing augmented reality ads in the News Feed

Facebook is giving advertisers new ways to show off their products, including with augmented reality. At its F8 developer conference earlier this year, Facebook announced that it was working with businesses to use AR to show off products in Messenger. Now a similar experience will start appearing in the News Feed, with a select group […]

All charges against ex-Vungle CEO Zain Jaffer, including lewd act on a child, dismissed by judge

All charges against former Vungle CEO Zain Jaffer, including sexual abuse of a child, have been dropped. According to a statement from Jaffer’s representatives, San Mateo County Judge Stephanie Garratt dismissed the charges today. Jaffer was arrested last October and charged with several serious offenses, including a lewd act on one of his children, child […]

TrendKite expands its PR analytics platform by acquiring Insightpool and Union Metrics

TrendKite is making its first two acquisitions — according to CEO Erik Huddleston, they give the company “the last two components” needed for a complete PR analytics platform. Until now, TrendKite’s main selling point was the ability to look at the articles written about a company and measure things like the audience reached and the […]

Facebook will allow you to see all the active ads from any Page

Facebook made two announcements about ad transparency today — one around the ads purchased by any Page and another around expanding its recently announced archive of political ads. It seems like ad transparency is a big focus today, as Twitter just launched its own Ads Transparency Center, allowing anyone to see ads bought by any […]

Yet another massive Facebook fail: Quiz app leaked data on ~120M users for years

Facebook knows the historical app audit it’s conducting in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal is going to result in a tsunami of skeletons tumbling out of its closet. It’s already suspended around 200 apps as a result of the audit — which remains ongoing, with no formal timeline announced for when the […]

Cordial raises $15M for smarter emails and messaging

Cordial, a San Diego startup building what CEO Jeremy Swift described as a “truly next-generation platform” for email marketing, has raised $15 million in Series B funding. Swift and his co-founders come from email marketing company BlueHornet/Mapp Digital, which he said gave them the background to see “the market was really screaming: There needs to […]

A look back at the best tech ads of the last 35 years

Last week the Association of Independent Commercial Producers announced the winners of its annual awards honoring the best moving image marketing of the year and Apple’s “Welcome Home” ad took home the prize for Advertising Excellence in the single commercial category. Directed by Spike Jonze, the person behind movies like Her and Being John Malkovich, […]