In this week’s Clicked, we delve in how companies are panicking in reaction to GDPR,Papua New Guinea banning Facebook but not with good intentions,Facebook removing its Trending Topics section and other tech stories you might have missed reading in this tech roundup.
GDPR Comes Into Effect
- EU’s sweeping data privacy law,the GDPR went live triggering news publishers such as The Chicago Tribune and The Los Angeles Times to shut access to their websites in a bid to avoid the stiff penalties.
- Other news sites like The Washington Post launched EU-specific paywall.
- GDPR rollout is affecting the ad business too with the programmatic (automated) ad-buying market crashing in Europe with ad demand volumes falling between 25 and 40% in some cases according to Digiday
- Someone is winning though despite all,and that is Google. GDPR is boosting the ad prices of the search giant it seems.Sometimes well-intentioned regulation has the perverse effect of consolidating power to the largest players because they have the most resources to navigate novel legal or policy terrain.
- Move over GDPR,the next privacy battle in Europe is over this new law – ePrivacy Regulation. This law is under consideration and that is designed to protect the privacy of online communication. The law will require Skype, WhatsApp, iMessage, video games with player messaging and other electronic services that allow private interactions to obtain people’s explicit permission before placing tracking codes on users’ devices or collecting data about their communications.
— Adrian Weckler (@adrianweckler) May 25, 2018
- Also who would have thought internet regulation couldn’t be funny?
This is hilarious! @Spotify has a I <3 GDPR playlist!
— Rishabh Mehrotra (@erishabh) May 25, 2018
— Aaron Levie (@levie) May 25, 2018
Facebook This Week
- Papua New Guinea, a country in Oceania is unplugging and shutting down access to Facebook for a month to give the government the ability to study the impact of the platform and carry out research and analysis of its use.Sam Basil, the country’s Communications Minister says it will gather local developers who can look at the possibility of creating a new social network site for Papua New Guinea citizens specifically to use with genuine profiles. But Wired’s Louise argues it shouldn’t be shutdown and that the government has other hidden intentions since is concerned because a lot of the corrupt dealings and activities are being exposed in detail on Facebook.
"Observers worry, though, that Papua New Guinea is merely borrowing problems cited by other countries, like fraudulent profiles and fake news, to try to block speech." https://t.co/AZKYl0Otut
— Alexios (@Mantzarlis) June 1, 2018
- Facebook finally kills Trending : Here’s the TL,DR – Facebook launches this widget,it reportedly suppresses conservative news in the US,they fire human editors leading to an increase in misinformation and now they’ve finally stopped investing time and resources in the Trending box.
- This is a good thing since Trending topics algorithms in social media networks can be gamed making it problematic for the platforms as Brian Feldman argues in this piece for the New Yorker that Trending is a worthless metric, and all social media sites, not just Facebook, should do away with it.
- Watch,Facebook’s video platform and its way of taking over your precious TV time is nearing closing deals on news shows and will include content from CNN and Fox News. Talks are ongoing with BuzzFeed, Wall Street Journal and ATTN.Yes,it won’t be a standalone app as it will exist in Facebook’s main app.
- So CNET’s Alfred deleted his Facebook account and created a new one and quickly,the social network figures who he is and starts bombarding him targeted ads.Clearly Facebook is like Hotel California,you can check out but never leave and it’s now even more scarier as within two months, 65 advertisers were able to reach him even though he never made a single post
- Snap’s CEO,Evan Spiegel was at ReCode’s annual Code Conference this past week and when he was asked how he felt about Facebook routinely copying them.[Youtube Video] Here’s his response:
He even added that Snap’s values are hard to copy..LOL
“Most fantastic triumph in the world as a designer is if you design something so simple that the only thing someone can do is copy it exactly.”
— Steven Sinofsky (@stevesi) May 30, 2018
- Good news to news publishers as the homepage is making a comeback : Charbeat’s data has shown that in the post-Facebook era,the share of traffic coming from people who visit mobile sites directly is now higher than the share coming from the social media giant.
- Facebook’s Messenger stories are getting the Polls feature so now you’ll be able to poll a larger section of your friends without having to create a specific group chat for that purpose. Plus, if someone wants to comment on your poll, they can just type a reply at the bottom to open a Messenger conversation with you. This comes in in a bid to declutter Facebook Messenger.
- Hillary wants to run Facebook. The former US presidential candidate was in Harvard to receive an award and when someone asked her which tech company she’d like to run if she had the chance. Clinton said that she would want to be in charge of the social media giant because of the immense power it has over the world’s flow of information.
- This guy has decided to cash in by selling all his Facebook data on ebay. He adds that if these companies are making bank off of our data and aren’t even managing to keep it safe, shouldn’t we at least get a small cut of the action?I absolutely believe so!
Facebook thinks its own news is spam! pic.twitter.com/1fsD1xPJbP
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) June 1, 2018
Telegram CEO,Pavel Durov says that Apple is blocking Telegram updates worldwide.Telegram doesn’t want to hand over its encryption keys to Russia and the country wants Apple to remove the app from the app store and that’s why updates have been rejected worldwide.
If you’re a power user of the internet like me(LOL),than you’ll be saddened by the fact that Twitter’s only good thing going on it,Favstar, is shutting down since Twitter doesn’t want to support the API anymore. Favstar was a site that you could browse the best and funniest tweets. RIP
Snap has a monetization flaw,Stratechery’s Ben Thompson argues and this is a challenge since for hardcore Snap users the app is still mostly about chat, not Stories; that, though, is another way of saying that Snap’s core use case is fundamentally unsuited to advertising.
Microsoft is talking about buying Github,a startup at the center of the software world last valued at $2 billion. The two have had on-and-off conversations over the years, but talks have grown more serious in the past few weeks. Github has struggled to land a CEO to replace Chris Wanstrath, who announced his resignation in August. This seems like a good move but should a large corporation known for its closed source code own a service which hosts the majority of the internet’s open source code?
Android Police’s David argues that if there’s a reason for HTC to be making phones anymore, the U12+ sure isn’t making itself a case in point. He just doesn’t see a way forward for this company. Read why the HTC U12+ shows a smartphone company in free fall.
Xiaomi Mi 8 Transparency fuss
There’s something fishy about the transparent Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition. This design looks cool, but it might be a lie. Some have claimed it’s just a facade under the glass. And indeed, when you check out other phone mainboards, they don’t look anything like this.
Wooooow. Xiaomi also went to capitalize on the "transparent back" trend and made a see-thru version of the Mi8
…except apparently they didn't. The components don't actually line up that way in the phone.
— Marques Brownlee (@MKBHD) May 31, 2018
Here’s an update
After confirming with an internal source, I translate he's meaning: "the components are physical things, NOT a sticker. BUT, it's a piece of board which has nothing to do with phone function. Remove it won't infect any function of the phone. "
— Chengming Alpert (@ChengmingAlpert) May 31, 2018
Xiaomi didn’t just copy the notch,it copied everything else from the iPhone X.
Even the indicators for WiFi, telco signal and battery on Xiaomi’s Mi 8 are placed identically to the iPhone X
— Jon Russell (@jonrussell) May 31, 2018
Google Pixel 3
Remember when both original Google Pixel phones had the same design? Miss them days.
can't wait for all of the militant tribalist Android fanboy notch haters to suddenly find notches acceptable when the pixel 3 comes out
— dan seifert (@dcseifert) May 30, 2018
Apparently people in China can now file for divorce on the WeChat instant messaging app
The Tech Bro Alignment
This is a fun parodish chart from The Outline is so fun because it’s true
The Tech Bro Alignment Chart
Pretty accurate if you ask me.
— Beyond Bridges (@jgphilpin) May 30, 2018
Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference kicks off on Monday. Here are the odds on what Cupertino might unveil.
Expect a mix of the two—hardware and software—at the 2018 shindig as PCMag has compiled
"No new hardware at WWDC!??!" pic.twitter.com/7HycDcvitr
— John Paczkowski (@JohnPaczkowski) June 1, 2018