Kevin Systrom and Mark Zuckerberg
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Instagram’s Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger unfriend Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg

Kevin and Mike called it quits on the photo-sharing platform which they founded in 2010 and sold to Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion. Kevin was on the product team while Mike was on the engineering team. In a blog post, both co-founders said they’re looking to build something else.

Why they’re leaving: Compared to other founders of startups acquired by Facebook, Kevin and Mike have stuck around longer thanks to the independence that Facebook granted them. Recently Mark Zuckerberg has been exerting more control and meddling over by:
• Ordering severe cutbacks in how much Instagram was promoted on the main Facebook platform.
• The power struggle on whether IGTV should have to compete with Facebook’s video platform, Watch.
• Instagram felt understaffed as compared to other less successful startups acquired by Facebook.
• Leadership wrangles including restructurings that were seemed to move Instagram’s management down the pecking order.
• Lastly, the main Facebook platform felt threatened by Instagram’s growing success and how it was thriving among younger audiences.

The continued disagreements were now termed irritating and were unwelcome within the cohesive Facebook culture – something Facebook needed – people resisting groupthink and challenging how the company addressed its flaws. All these new changes led to the departure of both Kevin and Mike.

What next? Facebook will likely name Adam Mosseri, currently VP of product, as the new leader of Instagram.

“Social media is in a pre-Newtonian moment, where we all understand that it works, but not how it works,” Kevin Systrom

Elsewhere, Facebook’s reputation as a great acquirer of startups is now coming under attack. Brian Acton, WhatsApp co-founder wrote a piece on Forbes about how it’s like to work under Mark pointing out that Facebook isn’t a good place to sell your startup.

” I sold my users’ privacy to a larger benefit,” he told the magazine. “I made a choice and a compromise. And I live with that every day.” Facebook’s David Marcus wanted to have none of it and challenged Action’s characterization of what it’s like to with Mark. He expressed strong loyalty to Facebook and Zuckerberg by giving examples of how his boss defended WhatsApp’s efforts around encryption and criticized Acton for being “passive-aggressive.”

To play devil’s advocate, it is easy to see why David would publicly Wade into this fight like this especially since he now heads Facebook’s blockchain division which is now in the market to acquire startups to join the new venture. For now, Facebook hasn’t ruined Instagram or WhatsApp, yet, but only time will tell.

Facebook’s data breach compromised 50M accounts including Mark’s

Last Friday, Facebook said it’s computer network had been attacked exposing personal information of nearly 50 million users – the largest in the company’s 14-year history The European Union privacy watchdog could fine Facebook Inc. as much as $1.63 billion.

The attackers exploited a feature in Facebook’s code to gain access to user accounts and potentially take control of them. Facebook had to log out over 90 million people out of their accounts this morning over fears that they may have been affected.
When it rains it pours and this discovery comes at a worse time for Facebook. Just recently it was found that in addition to the contact information you willing add to your profile, Facebook was also using contact information you handed over for 2-factor authentication and also contact information you didn’t hand over at all to target you with ads. (Read More). US Regulators and lawmakers jumped on this mishap to renew their calls for more oversight.
Once in, the attackers could get access to services that use your Facebook account for logging in such as Instagram or Spotify.

Facebook said that it has fixed the vulnerabilities while it continues investigations on the identity of the attackers or the scope in terms of the extent of the attack to third-party accounts and if particular users were targeted. It’s worrying that Facebook still doesn’t have a chief security officer after Alex Stamos who ran that post quit in August for a teaching position at Stanford – Facebook opted not to replace him.

“We may never know who perpetrated it,” Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of product.

An admission of helplessness is not something you want to hear from a company that takes so much pride in its infosec prowess. Mark Zuckerberg also couldn’t answer when questioned why users should trust Facebook anymore. This is worrying especially after his statement on March about Facebook not deserving users’ trust if it couldn’t protect their data. Maybe it’s finally time to #DeleteFacebook.

Also, some users were unable to share articles about the breach on Facebook with the company taking down those posts in what it termed as “spam”.
What to do for now? Change your Facebook account password and log out of services that you primarily log in using your Facebook account. Or in my case resort to texting or in the extreme start using smoke signals to connect with friends…
One question remains- will Facebook tell users whether they were among the 50 million whose accounts were breached?

Sorry for the inconvenience should be Facebook’s tagline from now on

Interesting Read:
Until data is misused, Facebook’s breach will be forgotten. [Read More]

Google, like Instagram and Snapchat, is getting into Stories

Google, which has allowed some publishers to create Stories since February, is now using AI to create and curate even more Stories, so get ready to see more AMP Stories in Google search. Google’s intention to embed stories in its search and image results is yet another signal that the Story format is here to stay. The obvious challenge moving forward is how to turn all that user interest and attention into actual revenue.

Elsewhere

YouTube starts wide rollout of its picture-in-picture mode for the web

So now you’ll be able to simultaneously watch a video and continue browsing on the same YouTube page even in incognito mode just like in its mobile app. There’s a mini player button on the right lower edge among the other orientation options. This works for both single videos and playlists.

Here’s how Apple’s Shazam acquisition could boost Apple Music in its fight with Spotify

• Shazam has 150m MAU and data of listeners in 200 countries – that’s 90 more countries Apple has entered – giving a head-start in Apple Music’s understanding of what Shazam’s 150m active users are listening to.
• Apple is gaining the very talented Shazam’s engineering team
• Shazam has two decades of R&D and this could boost Apple in the smart speaker industry – Prepare for a future where Siri acts as Apple’s voice and Shazam acts as its ears.
• Apple will make Shazam different – either by cutting off other streaming services like Spotify or not and allow Apple to monitor what Spotify’s audience is listening to but we’ll see.
• Apple needs Shazam to beat it’s competitors in the in-car entertainment offerings – now with Amazon and Pandora already ahead.

Mozilla in partnership with Troy Hunt launch Firefox Monitor, its ‘Have I Been Pwned’ clone

Monitor will inform individuals when their details have been part of a data breach after entering their e-mail addresses by comparing against a list of existing data breaches. It will allow users to respond in a timely way to data breaches, giving them a chance to take proactive steps to mitigate against further threats.

Tim Berners-Lee unveils Solid – his plan to reinvent the web

Solid is an open source project to decentralize the web and give users control of their data. With Solid (Check it out here) you will have far more personal agency over data — you decide which apps can access it. The inventor of the web hopes it’s game on, for corporate tech giants like Facebook and Google. [Tim’s Medium Post]

Distract: Hundreds of MOTH memes have flooded the internet and nobody knows why. [Read More]

Previous editions of Clicked can be found here.

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