Social Networks

99 Days of Freedom

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For what is worth, the extremely controversial Facebook behavioral experiment, which almost took place unnoticed, really hit the nerves of its users. Some of them even decided to strike back. The Dutch users decided to do something about it. This is how the 99 Days of Freedom initiative was born.

It is supposed to be quite a simple and efficient one. You have to give up on your Facebook account for 99 days. In addition, you are strongly encouraged to record your experiences during this period of voluntary abstinence. So far, tens of thousands of people have joined this initiative.

It would be naive to expect that Facebook will change its surveys policy because of this initiative. However, after a recent disappointing experiment, which included smartphones, it would be interesting to find out how long can we manage to function properly without social networks.

When some health experts have mentioned the addiction problem caused by our mobile gadgets, they were not joking about it. Without any exaggeration, we can say that some people have serious problems with their smartphones and social networks. They simply cannot live without them. How about you?

On Her Majesty’s Secret Cyber Service

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Although, it may remind you of a men’s magazine, the GCHQ is actually a very serious and influential British secret agency. So, what do these GCHQ Bond guys actually do? There are so many things they take care of online, for your eyes only. The primary target of the GCHQ’s activities is to influence and shape the public opinion.

How? Well, imagine James Bond with an IT degree. He spends day after day behind his computer fixing the number of likes for an important video on YouTube. Really? Are you disappointed a little bit or enormously? Unfortunately, there is nothing romantic about this new picture about our old hero. And, there is nothing we can do about it.

Forget about spontaneous and honest opinions and comments on the Internet, Facebook and numerous forums. Before you even blink someone has taken care for you what to think. Not to mention an entire army of professional forum commentators and contributors, who are trying to convince that they live in your neighborhood.

There are some dark cyber clouds over the Great Britain, as we write about this story. The government is eager to introduce new and severe laws about anti-hacking measures.The very privacy is under constant pressure and threat. The UK has to fight hard to be cyber safe and OK. We sure hope the GCHQ will not comment badly on this one.

Facebook “Like” and “Buy”

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Are you surprised? For some people it was only a matter of time before Facebook will become even more profit oriented. For what is worth, it seems that the ads are not enough to satisfy growing Facebook appetites for additional business opportunities. Now, you have it. Facebook with a purchase option.

In other words, the “buy” button has allowed Facebook to become more like Amazon. You can do a little bit of both making friends and enjoy shopping. For the time being, Facebook is satisfied with the test version of this option. However, it is only a matter of time when they are going to launch it full scale.

How are we supposed to feel about this one? Are we going to love or hate this option? That is the trouble with all major IT players. They keep looking for new options to earn extra. The question definitely worth asking for is at what cost? Do all of our Facebook friends need to know what we just bought.

Now, hand in hand with our privacy data our credit cards related information will move freely through Facebook cyber space. We all know that sooner or later it all comes down to money itself. However, is there a line we should not cross? Or, everything is allowed in the merciless game of big numbers and small people.

Yahoo Ending

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Huh, this one is going to be a tricky one. We are talking about digital funerals in Japan. Are you still confused? Well, it is not an easy thing to explain this unparalleled and quite an extraordinary service for the recently deceased users. So, if you are a person, who wish to have a digital tombstone, all you have to do is to sign for a Yahoo Ending service.

What can you expect to get in return? All of your previous messages and recordings will be automatically sent to your loved ones, especially for this unfortunate event, which could not be avoided. In addition, you are absolutely free to do or include as a part of this service after your death. It may seem a little bit bizarre, but for the Japanese it is quite practical one.

If you put aside your personal feelings about this extremely controversial opportunity, we can examine one more important legal issue. What is happening with numerous and different online accounts of deceased people? Can we inherit them? Do we have a right to use them afterwards? As you can see, this is not as simple as it might have appeared to you at the beginning.

If we can express all of our feelings of joy and happiness online, why cannot we do the same with unfortunate events and losses? For some people the second scenario is completely unacceptable. Nevertheless, some things and habits will have to change sooner or later, this way or another. The digital wave is coming, and nothing and no one can stop it.

Facebook vs FBI

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No, this is not a scenario for a summer comedy. The FBI has recently acquired an equipment worth one billion dollars for an adequate face recognition. The trouble in this case is that Facebook already possesses a similar type of the technology in question, which is far more efficient.

Do we have to mention that the costs on Facebook’s end are rather symbolic compared to those of the FBI? There you go. You have been using the state of the art technology on a daily basis each time you tag some of your friends on pictures. Not to mention the fascinating accuracy.

The FBI recognition system can offer you an accuracy of no more than 85%. On the other side, Facebook hardly goes under the amazing 97%. That is a 12% difference or in other more suitable financial words almost $100 million for each percent, if our calculation is right. This is the amount the FBI paid for its “toy”.

So, what is the solution for this tricky situation? The excuse offered by the FBI is that their database has “only” 50 million photos, while the Facebook has at its disposal almost 250 billion pictures give it or take. We sure hope Facebook and the FBI do not have the same idea as we do at this moment.

True Blue, For the Internet, Me and You

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Have you ever wondered, why some of the most popular social networks, such as Instragram, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google, Tumblr, and others, use the blue color as their main theme? Well, there is no person who does not like this color. And, there is something more about it.

According to the findings of numerous researches we are supposed to feel nice, safe and confident when exposed to it. On the other hand, it is worth mentioning that Facebook has some additional reasons, as well. Its founder Mark has some partial color blindness issues, and this is one of the rare colors he can recognize.

Yes, there are exceptions, such as Viber or Google+. And yes, you have to offer much more than a calming theme to attract more users. Nevertheless, somewhere you have to make the very first move. Now, we know more and we can feel relaxed and confident as soon as we hit the blue screen.

We should not forget that blue is above all a symbol of freedom. This is something social networks should keep on their minds the next time they jeopardize our privacy. Otherwise, we are going to end up in one more paradox. One more chapter, how the symbols of freedom become signs of oppression.

LiveRail Helps Facebook To Prevail

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Here is one more high class takeover. For what is worth, LiveRail is now a part of Facebook. Who or what is the LiveRail, and what does it do exactly? Well, LiveRail is a synonym for the online video advertising. Now you get it. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to figure it out what Facebook plans to do with LiveRail.

Has Facebook found its match with LiveRail? Definitely, LiveRail delivers 7 billion video commercials on a daily basis. Do we love video ads? No, as a matter of fact, we simply adore them. According to some recent surveys things are just getting better for video advertising. And, that is only the beginning.

The UK market alone has witnessed an unprecedented growth of 92% in less than two years in the field of mobile advertising. In addition, there are some clever guys in LiveRail, who have come up with a way to combine automatically video ads with the appropriate video content on the targeted website.

This was definitely a smooth and smart business move for Facebook, but what about us? What is going to happen with our privacy? Is this our online destiny to become nothing more than a simple advertising object? LiveRail will prevail, and we will turn into an email. Good luck Facebook you are going to need it.

Facebook Frankenstein

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Are you tired? Everywhere you look on the Internet there is a potential threat to your privacy. You think that you have finally come up with a way to successfully close one privacy door, and the other one is being opened in a blink of an eye. You have just closed this new open door, and someone is already spying your privacy through an open window.

Now it is Facebook’s turn to test our trust. What they have done with us has nothing to do with commercials and profit. However, this one was a little bit more personal. Facebook has conducted some secret experiments without our knowledge or approval. We are talking about an unprecedented manipulation of newsfeed feature. So, what they have done with it?

The purpose of this shameless experiment was to determine how the newsfeed influences our posts. The Facebook has carefully influenced the flow of newsfeed on its network. Soon enough, it has become obvious that positive newsfeed policy pushes us unconsciously to publish positive content. You do not have to guess twice what the results of the negative newsfeed was, do you?

So, Facebook has played with our emotions unpunished. How we are supposed to trust any social networks after these disturbing findings? You know how it goes, don’t you? Every emotional manipulation of such a scale and whit huge numbers included, sooner or later ends with some commercial or advertising consequences. No safe place to go. Do you feel that way?

Twitter India = Twitter + WhatsApp

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So, what do you say about this one? You know how it goes with the Twitter guys, don’t you? There are busy little bees, or we can say little birds, when it comes to experiments. They try so many new things and features, but only very few of them live long enough to become the standard ones for a daily use. So, what is this one all about?

Well, the users in India had a nice opportunity to become the “test subjects” for a short period of time. They were granted with a unique opportunity to use both Twitter and WhatsApp as one app. Imagine that you have WhatsApp buttons in the corner of your Twitter account, and your imagination will do the rest.

Why India? Why WhatsApp? Well, it is not an easy task running a successful social network. In a blink of an eye, your users may forget about you and move to your competitor’s network, for good. It comes without saying that you have to innovate and surprise your users with the new nice things every step of the way.

It is not a secret that Twitter is loosing its US based users. On the other sides, it maintains to keep the balance thanks to the increasing numbers from Asia, especially India. Now, you have the whole picture. Twitter has a new priority, and it has to fly there immediately. Everything for a new user. Right?

Slingshot vs Snapchat

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One of the most famous lines from the Mission Impossible can find its perfect place in our story. “This message will self-destruct…” as soon as you read it. We all know that this is something specific for the Snapchat app. Then, what is happening with the Slingshot app? What is this one all about? Let us find out together, shall we?

The Slingshot is a Snapchat app for Facebook with a catch. It seems that the main purpose of this app is to give you the feeling of Snapchat for the Facebook users. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to figure it out that Facebook wants all of its users to forget about Snapchat and use only the Slingshot. So, what is the catch?

In order to avoid a danger of being accepted as a copy of some other app, Slingshot requires from you to send a message in order to get one. You can relax all of your messages will disappear as soon as you examine their content just like in the Snapchat app. However, you have to work for it. Yes, this a two-way street.

We can use one more movie line in this story. Let us borrow something from the Troy. “Is this what you left me for…” can easily say Facebook Home to its creators. A little bit hard to believe and accept. As a project Facebook Home is apparently abandoned. Let us see, if the new boys in Facebook’s neighborhood can change the tide.