Facebook’s social experimentation rabbit hole goes much deeper than any of us could have imagined. The Wall Street Journal reports that the controversial 2012 experiment in which the news feeds of nearly 700,000 users were altered to show either positive or negative posts was just one of hundreds that the Facebook Data Science team has conducted over the past several years. More →
Facebook has repeatedly shown us that it is not afraid to bet big on the future. The company sees mobile messaging as a staple for years to come, and it spent an astronomical $19 billion to buy WhatsApp, the biggest name in the business. Virtual Reality is a still-emerging area that could also become a huge market in the future, so Facebook spent a reported $2 billion to acquire Oculus, one of the hottest names in VR. And now, an early version of the company’s Oculus Rift virtual reality headset will finally begin shipping to early buyers. More →
Facebook made waves this week when it was revealed that the social network had been conducting social experiments on nearly 700,000 of its users in order to see how their mood could be manipulated based on the content they saw on their news feeds. As you might expect, the Internet was outraged, but The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is trying to quell the anger by admitting that the terms were “poorly communicated.” More →
Facebook always seems to be taking heat for something, and its most recent slip up involved conducting a massive psychological experiment on its users without their knowledge or permission. Mere weeks before this latest uproar, however, Facebook found itself the target of user complaints for another reason: The company announced that it would begin tracking users’ web browsing history and using it to serve targeted advertisements.
But thankfully, there is now a way to stop it once and for all. More →
Facebook has a ready-made excuse for people who are upset that it conducted a massive psychological experiment on some 600,000 users — they all consented to it as part of Facebook’s user agreement, which says that the company may use their data for unspecified “research.” However, Forbes did a little digging and found that Facebook didn’t add “research” as an acceptable use for user data until months after it conducted its infamous experiment. More →
Surprise! Facebook’s gotten in hot water for doing something creepy. Over the weekend it was revealed that Facebook secretly conducted a massive psychological experiment on some 600,000 of its users by trying to see if it could manipulate their mood by showing them mostly either happy posts or sad posts on their feeds. More →
Facebook is interested in users relying more on its services while they work, TechCrunch reports, although not for time-wasting activities. Instead, Facebook’s London division is working on a “FB@Work” initiative that would turn some of Facebook’s existing assets into productivity tools meant to improve daily activities at work. More →
One of the most unanticipated developments surrounding mobile phones is the fact that people don’t really want to use them to talk to each other. They want to use them to send messages. This phenomenon was so counterintuitive that it has now disrupted the entire tech industry twice — first in 1994 and later in 2012. It was messaging that turned Nokia into king of the mobile phone market in 1990s and then WhatsApp into one of the most successful startups in the history as Facebook was forced to pay $19 billion for a tiny company that was just five years old.
The astonishing popularity of text-messaging on phones has now blindsided two generations of tech leaders. It goes to show how difficult reading consumer behavior can be for even the most accomplished companies. More →
Some people would like you to think that Facebook has a “teenager” problem. You shouldn’t listen to them. VentureBeat directs our attention to a new study conducted by curator startup Niche, which surveyed roughly 7,000 teenagers and found 61% of them used Facebook on a daily basis, more than any other social networking service. More →
The world is full of truly stupid would-be criminals but one Minnesota man might have just taken the crown for the title of World’s Stupidest Thief. CBS Minnesota reports that police arrested 26-year-old Nicholas Wig for allegedly burglarizing a home in South St. Paul on June 19th after his victim discovered that Wig had used his computer to log into his Facebook page and never logged out before leaving. When police arrived to arrest Wig, they also found that he was wearing his victim’s wrist watch, which obviously won’t help with any potential defense. More →
When it comes to privacy, Facebook is hardly a shining beacon. Despite efforts in the past few months to clear up its image, it continues to upset privacy advocates, most recently with its decision to use your browsing history to show you more targeted ads. Of course, Facebook wants all this information to serve better ads, which in turn allows it to keep the social network we’re all addicted to free. After decisions like this, though, it’s worth being reminded about just how much Facebook knows about you, which is exactly what The Wall Street Journal did with its list of the most important things that you’re sharing with Facebook. Here’s just a taste: More →
“Three inseparable friends enjoying a laugh, and one moron in the corner drooling over some meaningless Silicon Valley gossip.”
I’m spending far less time on social media these days than I once did. A combination of factors have led to this. First off, there’s the inherent risk of saying something that ends up crossing an esoteric line and gets you fired while you’re high above the Atlantic en route to Africa. Second, it’s simply too noisy to make sense of in any sane amount of time. And third, I’ve found that focusing more on my surroundings — things that I choose to take enjoyment in — leaves less time for negativity to find its way into my soul via someone else’s keystroke. More →