Here’s your Last Week in Digital Media and all the news you may have missed.
there are reports that the data of 533MM Facebook users have been shared online. The data is reportedly linked to a 2019 vulnerability that Facebook has since patched. If you haven’t updated your Facebook password since 2019, now is a good time to do so and I would also recommend using a password manager like Bitwarden.
YouTube is experimenting with hiding the public dislike count on videos. The move is in response to creators being targeted by “dislike mobs.” While it’s a limited test and may not roll out broadly, it could also be useful for brand accounts that can find themselves targeted in similar negative ways.
- Instagram’s remix tool for Reels is now officially available, enabling users to create TikTok-like Duet content.
- Spotify acquired Betty Labs, the creator of Locker Room, a Clubhouse competitor. Meaning Spotify will now enter the live audio space. Spotify also sees a path to live audio being recorded and pushed out as podcasts (with subsequent ad opportunities). Something I flagged as a possibility back in February off the back of twitter’s own investment in the podcast space.
- Linked In is getting into the creator and social audio space, too, launching a Linked In “Creator Mode” and confirming it’s working on a Clubhouse rival. There are some leaks of potential audio room UX.
- with almost everyone now having a Clubhouse competitor, it’s worth reading this piece on The Verge on how live social audio is the new stories format.
- Instagram is expanding its IGTV creator revenue share offering to the US and Australia.
- T-Mobile is ending its streaming TV service, T-Vision, after only 5 months in the market. As a replacement, existing subscribers (and T-Mobile customers) will be offered a discounted rate on YouTube TV ($10 off per month).
- a few products reached end-of-life. Microsoft ended support for Cortana (their voice assistant) on iOS. Twitter’s Periscope is officially shut down, although some of the underlying code has been repurposed for twitter Spaces.
- rumors about Snap’s AR glasses wearable continue to gain momentum. It’s reported that the glasses would let people layer on lenses in the real world, are geared more towards creators, and could launch as soon as May of this year. Also rumored is a Snap drone.
- the CEO of Niantic, makers of Pokemon Go, teased AR glasses in a tweet during the week. Adding Niantic to the list of companies moving into AR wearables.
- eMarketer shared the latest research on US adults’ top social networks, with Facebook leading the rankings at 68%. Surprisingly, “none” came in at 16%.
- app measurement firm, Sensor Tower, published data on US mobile in-app spending, with average US spending now US$138 (up 38%).
- meanwhile, app analytics firm, App Annie, reported on the most downloaded apps worldwide (free registration required) with TikTok topping the charts but, overall, the Facebook family of apps dominating the list of most actively used apps.
- MAGNA updated its forecast for the US ad market with advertising revenues forecast to increase 6.4% to US$240B. Digital advertising is expected to be 67% of total advertising sales.
- the Australian Government is considering a proposal that would require 100 points of ID to open a social media account and that platforms would need to provide this, upon request, to Australia’s eSafety Commissioner. You can access the report here, with the proposals made in the context of an inquiry into family, domestic, and sexual violence.
- in Canada, Facebook didn’t rule out the possibility of banning Canadians from sharing news on the platform. It came in the same week that Facebook confirmed it was on alert for election disinformation in Canada, and the Canadian parliament chastised Facebook at a hearing that Mark Zuckerberg declined to attend.
- in the UK, Facebook’s Giphy acquisition has moved to the next stage of regulator investigation as Facebook failed to offer competition regulators any concessions.
PRIVACY, TRUST, and SAFETY
- YouTube is expanding the advertiser-friendly brand safety guidelines so that videos with moderate profanity, recreational drug use, as well as certain adult themes will be eligible for monetization.
- Nick Clegg, Facebook’s VP of Global Affairs, penned a piece on Medium defending Facebook against criticism from documentaries like “The Social Dilemma” and attempted to illustrate how Facebook’s algorithm works.
- Facebook released new tools, a “filter bar” to enable people to better control their Facebook News Feed, including who can comment on posts, the ability to tune interests, and increased transparency on why you may be seeing certain posts.
- a coalition of adtech companies is proposing an alternative to FLoC (and Unified ID) called SWAN. SWAN, or Secure Web Addressability Network, attempts to create a coalition of websites where a user can consent to use their data across that network. SWAN is expected to launch in the US Summer.
- as iOS 14.5 continues its public beta, it’s reported that Apple has started rejecting apps that attempt device fingerprinting. Demonstrating that Apple is more than serious about enforcing its new privacy rules.
Have a great week.
PS. A few distractions this week. Google’s experimental lab, Area 120, has released an Android-only app called “stack” to help you scan and automatically categorize receipts. CNN has a mini simulation where you can attempt to pilot a ship through part of the Suez Canal. And when you think you’re after a bad week, spare a thought for US Strategic Command who control, amongst many things, US missile defenses and sent this enigmatic tweet and apology during the week, received a friendly response from Canada, all of which was later revealed to a tweet from a child gaining access to an unlocked computer.